Round 4 of the Driftcup season was held at Teesside Autodrome on the west track, although it wasn’t the line that is normally used for this track.
This year the first corner marked the initiation point with an outside clip on the exit before a manji passing clip two.
A clipping zone followed on the tight right hander, forcing the drivers to commit to a wide line and allowing the chase car to close up.
They were then pushed wide through the hairpin before climbing the hill with the final clip on the outside against the tyre wall.
The morning practice session saw the drivers pushing hard to get used to the demanding line with many of them aware that a good result here could give them a big push towards a good result in the championship.
Mark Webb must have had it at the back of his mind all day, score enough points today and he would have done enough to take the championship with a round to go.
The practice session stayed dry throughout, giving the drivers the most amount of runs at any round so far this year. It was looking to be difficult to separate some of these drivers as the day progressed.
The drivers had a short break following practice to give them time to check over the cars and prepare them for qualifying.
Each driver would get two non-consecutive runs to impress the judges, a perfect line with speed and angle would be needed to get a high score. Kriss Darling managed to do that on his second run, getting 90.8 points and taking to top spot.
Maciej Hawrysz, or Magic as he is better known, took second place with 87.7 points followed by Mark Gemmell in third with a score of 85.3.
The Top 32 would have some great battles including Callum Marshall in his BMW E36 knocking out John Galasso in his Chaser. Its good to see different cars being used competitively, John certainly drives the car hard but on this occasion it wasn’t enough.
Dan Joyce in the ultra low S15 battled Dominic Gates in his S13, Dominic put in a good effort on his chase run to maintain proximity and then pulled away once they had swapped over. He would take the win and go through to the next stage of the battles.
Marcin Klawikowski drove his Supra well around the tight track, taking out Mike Jackson in their Top 32 battle.
Championship leader, Mark Webb, scored some more valuable points toward his championship after he advanced to the Top 15, knocking out Sam Bickerstaff in his R33.
The Top 16 saw Mark Illand knock out Dominic Gates, could Mark make it all the way to the Final 4 and get another shot at the British Drift Championship?
Marcin Klawikowski took his Supra through to the Great 8 after his battle with Kynne O’Brien, the proximity on his chase run was impressive, he had progressed further than any other newcomer this weekend, would he go any further?
Mark Webb and Stuart Jones battled with Mark showing his chasing skills again, sticking his car on the lead cars door and maintaining it for the remainder of the track. He would advance through to the Great 8, getting some more valuable points toward the championship.
Kriss Darling was showing his skills whilst chasing Lee Lawrence, he would also advance through to the Great 8.
The Great 8 would see Mark Illand knock out Callum Marshall after a close battle, Mark just had the edge to go through to the Final 4.
Maciej Hawrysz knocked out Marcin Klawikowski, Maciej’s chase run was another example of great proximity throughout the run.
Mark Gemmell had been quietly advancing through the battles throughout the afternoon, Barry Stevenson would be the latest driver to be knocked out as he charged into the Final 4.
Mark Webb and Kriss Darling, these are two drivers that you would pick to battle for the final as they both chase so hard, Kriss emerged victorious this time and advanced through to the Final 4.
Mark Illand and Maciej Hawrysz battled for a place in the final, Maciej Hawrysz pulled a big lead through the first few clips, it was too much of an advantage for Mark to recover from, Maciej would go through to the final.
Mark Gemmell and Kriss Darling battled for the remaining place in the final, Kriss Darling showed again how well he can drive the BMW E36 Compact, putting it on the correct line and maintaining good proximity on his chase run. He would go through to the final, leaving Mark to battle for third.
Mark Illand and Mark Gemmell lined up for their battle, the third step on the podium was waiting for the winner. Mark Illand put in two good runs getting enough of an advantage to take the win.
The final between two BMW E36s, the Compact of Kriss Darling and the Coupe of Maciej Hawrysz. Both drivers put on a show maintaining close proximity to the lead car on each run. The judges had seen enough to separate them, Kriss Darling took the win and the top step of the podium.
The drivers celebrated on the podium in front of family, friends and fans.
Marcin Klawikowski joined in the celebrations after being chosen as the Aford Awards Hard Charger.
The top 4 drivers all get a chance to compete at Round 4 of the British Drift Championship when it heads to Lydden Hill on the 20th & 21st August.
The final round of Driftcup takes place at Driftland on September 11th, Mark Webb has taken the title but there are plenty of drivers that will be battling to finish in the top five.