Maxxis Japspeed drivers take top two drift spots
Maxxis-sponsored Team Japspeed dominated the opening round of the Maxxis British Drift Championship on 21-22 April at the Teeside Autodrome, as the team scooped three of the top four spots in the Super Professional class, which the title sponsor refers to as the premier league of drifting. Maxxis-sponsored SATS Motorsport, also using the MAZ1 Drift tyre, leads the constructor’s title race after Steve Moore made it on to the second step of the podium in the Super Pro class. The Infinity Tyres sponsored Acorn Motorsport Division team also had a successful time at the Teeside Autodrome, finishing in third place in the team standings.
Piloting the 450bhp RB-25 powered Nissan Silvia S15 with distinctive Monster Energy livery, Shane O’Sullivan battled hard to clinch victory in Middlesbrough. Steve Biagioni snatched the final podium position, while Paul Smith claimed fourth. The Team Japspeed trio were all running Maxxis MAZ1 Drift tyres, which provided superb grip and were more than a match for the tricky conditions.
“This is a brilliant start to the season for us, probably the best performance we’ve had in three years, and Maxxis tyres have proved to be the top choice,” said Team Japspeed boss Paul McCallum.
With a full grid of 96 of Europe’s most skilful exponents of drifting – 32 drivers competing in each of the Semi Pro, Pro and Super Pro classes – the 2012 Maxxis British Drift Championship promises to deliver better drivers, improved cars and the very best in drifting action. For the fifth year of the UK’s premier drift series, rounds are being staged over two days, with practice and qualifying on the Saturday followed by open practice on the Sunday morning.
The organisers say they want the Maxxis British Drift Championship to be a breeding ground for the sport, so winning drivers get the chance to ‘step up’ into the next class as they improve their skills and develop their cars. This setup maintains the excitement for the fans, the organisers contend, as they follow the exploits of their favourite drivers, and makes for strong competition between the less experienced drivers so that new blood can come through the ranks.
Maxxis is also running a Cash Rewards scheme designed to help drivers meet the costs associated with racing competitively. Drivers claiming podium places using Maxxis tyres during 2012 can claim additional cash prizes from the tyre manufacturer.
Acorn competes on Infinity tyres
Acorn Motorsport experienced some engine difficulties ahead of the meeting, and quickly decided to use their spare car, a luxury no other team in the BDC currently has. The team built the new vehicle in four days, which Infinity says is testament to the team’s in-house engineering skills. Practicing at Teeside, the AMD team was tested by a damp track, but drivers Mark Lappage and Ian Waddington (in the professional and Semi-professional classes respectively) both said their Nissan S13 models were working well and Infinity’s tyres had “great levels of grip”. The next day, the team qualified in second and 13th.
Waddington ended up with fourth place in a car he had never driven before, that was built in 4 days, while Lappage took his Nissan S13 into the top eight. though he struggled with a car issue in that round, losing out to the eventual Professional class winner Christian Lewis. Due to his excellent qualifying round, Lappage ended the event joint-fourth and the team with only two drivers from the permitted three stood in third place after Round One.
Jorge Crespo, European general manager for Infinity Tyres, stated: “we are happy with this result and very proud of the AMD team who’ve had a great result, finishing third after just the first round, with the help of Infinity tyres.”
Round two of the Maxxis British Drift Championship is at the Norfolk Arena in King’s Lynn on 1-2 June and then the series returns to the Teesside Autodrome on 29/30 June – 1 July for a different track layout and the launch of the Team Triple Drift Event. It then heads to Lydden Hill in Canterbury, Kent (11-12 August). At Silverstone on 2 September the Super Pro drivers will take to the track as the main attraction of TRAX, the UK’s largest car show, and then it’s up to Scotland for the season finale at Knockhill, the drivers’ favourite track, on 29-30 September.