Round 2 of the 2019 HEL Performance Driftcup took place at the Adrian Flux Arena in Kings Lynn. This venue always provides a great atmosphere with the spectators able to see all of the tight, technical track.
The layout was year was similar to previous visits to the track with a long left hand bend to start before transitioning down the short straight and into the other end of the arena with another long left hander.
The track then cuts through the middle of the arena and continues with an outside line around the final corner. This layout gave the chase driver plenty of opportunities to get onto the door of the lead driver providing they are on the qualifying line.
On Saturday the Non Seeded drivers started their practice session early in the day with each pair getting a lead and chase run before cycling back through the queue of drivers.
The track was damp to start the day but quickly drying as the cars cleared the water off the qualifying line and by the end of the session we saw some great runs on an almost dry track.
In the short break between practice and qualifying the rain came down. For the qualifying session each driver would run back to back runs, this way they would be able to get used to the conditions on the first run and then complete their second attempt straight after.
Max Cotton had a great run to score 80.3 on his first attempt, enough to see him top the qualifying session.
Arek Ladniak finished in a close second with 79 points and Charlie Hulme in third with 71 points.
The battles kicked off with George Barcley winning his first battle against Jay Wilding.
Axel Hilderbrand managed to beat Grant Belstaff to make it into the Top 16.
Arek Ladniak had qualified in second place and he continued with that momentum as he beat Damien Choppen.
On the other side of the battle tree we had Alex Chapman beat Tim Newell, the tight technical track suited Alex’s driving style.
Max Cotton won his first battle of the day against Harry Handscome after a couple of strong runs.
The Top 16 saw George Barcley take on Douglas Humphrey, he had a strong lead run before swapping over and chasing well, he took the win and went through in to the Great 8.
Rob Black was having another strong performance at this round, beating Scott Robinson to earn his place in the Great 8.
Steven May earned his spot in the Great 8 after his battle with Paul Howell.
Max Cotton exited the competition at this stage in his battle with Tom Van-Beek after a small mistake saw him spin out whilst chasing.
The Great 8 started with Richie Gilbey and George Barcley lining up against each other, both drivers pushing hard in order to advance into the Final 4. George Barcley took the win this time.
Rob Black and Arek Ladniak battled next with Arek pulling a small gap on his lead run before chasing well, he would go through to the next stage of the battles.
On the other side of the tree we saw Steven May beat Craig Barber after a great set of runs from Steven. Could he take it all the way to the final at this round?
Alex Chapman beat Tom Van-Beek to take the last remaining spot in the Final 4.
George Barcley took on Arek Ladniak next to determine who would make it into the Final and who would be left battling for third place. Arek led first as he was the higher finisher in the qualifying session. His lead run looked good but then on the chase he struggled resulting in George Barcley taking the win.
Steven May lined up against Alex Chapman, with Steven leading first. He managed to pull away from Alex Chapman off the start line and maintain it throughout the run before swapping over and chasing closely. It was all that he needed to do to get into the Final.
Arek Ladniak and Alex Chapman battled for third place on the podium, both drivers pushing hard but Arek span out whilst leading, handing the win to Alex Chapman.
Steven May and George Barcley battled next for the top step of the podium. The drivers gave it everything but the judges had seen enough to give Steven the victory.
The drivers celebrated on the podium with Steven May in first, George Barcley in second and Alex Chapman in third. The Driven Racing Hard Charger was awarded to Rob Black after his strong performance throughout the day.
Normally after a long day at the track everyone would spend some time resting, talking with friends around the pits before turning in for an early night ahead of the next day. This time we had team battles at night so everyone grouped together into teams of 3 and hit the track.
The format was simple, each team had a practice run before a single run to wow the crowd. Whichever team had the biggest reaction from the crowd after their run would go through to the next stage of the battles.
The atmosphere around the stadium was great as the crowds chose their winners for each battle, narrowing it down one by one until Damien Choppen, Zane Gittins and Tim Newell were declared the winners.
The next morning the Seeded class started their practice session early in the day, it was dry and sunny today so the drivers could push harder with the gripper track surface.
The drivers’ confidence grew quickly and they soon started to practice closer chase runs ahead of the afternoon’s battles.
By the end of the session there were several drivers that looked like they would be a challenge for anyone lining up against them later in the day.
The qualifying session saw Jamie Stanton score 79 points on his second run, enough for first place at the end of the session.
The battles kicked off with Alex Chapman winning his first battle in the Seeded class against Belinda Challis.
Tony Morgan and Chris Parnham had a good battle before Tony Morgan took the win, advancing in to the Top 16.
Two of the Non-Seeded drivers that had moved up into the Seeded class battled with Steven May lining up against Arek Ladniak. Arek managed to take the win this time.
Top qualifier, Jamie Stanton, lined up against Kristian Rice. Jamie had a strong lead run but Kristian’s car started to have issues as their battle came to an end, he had done enough though to beat Jamie and take a place in the Top 16.
Alex Chapman came up against his teammate, Paul Parnell, in the Top 16. Paul was in a borrowed car, driving hard but it wasn’t enough, Alex took the win.
Josh Payne and James Fenn-Bacon battled hard with the judges needing a One More Time before they could decide that Josh Payne was the winner.
Tony Morgan had another great battle, this time against Jon Hudd who was battling car issues. Both drivers drove well with Tony Morgan taking the win.
Stuart Adsley beat Arek Ladniak to continue his day as he advanced into the Great 8.
The Great 8 started with Alex Chapman beating Josh Payne before Nik Harding and Tony Morgan went One More Time before Nik took the win.
On the other side of the battle tree, Stuart Adsley beat Ian Wyatt before Jake Lynch took the win over Mark Chapman.
Our Final 4 was set, Alex Chapman took the win over Nik Harding as Nik couldn’t compete due to damage sustained in an earlier battle.
Stuart Adsley and Jake Lynch battled for the remaining place in the Final with the losing driver taking third place on the podium due to Nik Harding being unable to compete. Both drivers drove well with Stuart Adsley edging out a win over Jake.
The final battle between Alex Chapman and Stuart Adlsey was a close one, they had great lead runs and maintained close proximity whilst chasing before the judges had seen enough to declare Stuart Adsley as the winner.
They celebrated on the podium in front of friends, family and supporters. Stuart Adlsey on the top step with Alex Chapman in second and Jake Lynch in third.
The Driven Racing Oils Hard Charger trophy was awarded to James Fenn-Bacon.
It was another great HEL Performance Driftcup round, join us at Teesside on the weekend of July 13/14th for Round 3!