Driftcup Round 5 – Lydden Hill

NewsPosted on 20th October 2015

Lydden Hill hosted the final round of the 2015 Driftcup season, a champion would be crowned and five drivers would gain a British Drift Championship license ready for 2016.

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The championship could still be won by six drivers, with Oliver Lewis in first with Andi Halkett, Alexis Drew, Dan Joyce, Mark Webb and Shay Kavanagh all chasing him down.

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The layout is familiar to anyone that follows UK drifting, dropping down the hill the cars initiated onto a rear clipping point before cutting across the track for an inside clip before heading up the hill.

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A rear clip on entry to the hairpin would promote the chase car to close in before an inside clip on the exit of the corner.

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A run down the hill before initiating up the hill and onto another inside clip, being careful not to hit the kerb and launch the car into the air before running out to the edge of the track.

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Its easy to get it wrong with several drivers dropping a wheel in to the gravel, some of them went in a bit further and needed some help to get back out.

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The judges for this round were the British Drift Championship drivers of Keilan Woods, Ryan Pothercary and Dan Firmager, when they weren’t watching the action they could be seen giving advice to the drivers around the paddock.

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The morning practice session gave the drivers a couple of hours to head out on to the track and learn the judged line.

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It wasn’t long before the drivers were released in pairs to practice for those all important battles.

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The qualifying session followed with each driver getting two non-consecutive attempts to put in their best run.

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Alexis Drew continued his good form with his second run scoring 89.0, good enough for first place and three extra points toward the championship.

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Andi Halkett secured second place with a run of 88.3, giving him 2 extra points.

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Dean Newport-Hall qualified in third place, his first run gave him a score of 84.3, he is getting to grips with his new S15 and will be one to watch in future.

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The Top 16 qualifiers looked like this –

Position Driver Name Highest Score
1 Alexis Drew 89
2 Andi Halkett 88.3
3 Dean Newport – Hall 84.3
4 Owen Counihan 82.3
5 Daniel Bryant 80.7
6 Oliver Lewis 79.7
7 Haydn Cruickshank 77.3
8 Jack Nicholls 77.3
9 Arron Stevens 76.3
10 Mike Walton 76.3
11 Simon Conosenti 75.3
12 Chris Taylor 75.3
13 Rob Johnston 73.7
14 Mark Illand 71.3
15 Danny Grundy 71.3
16 Mark Webb 70.7

The Top 32 followed after a short break to give the drivers time to prepare their cars. Championship leader, Oliver Lewis, would make an early exit after making a mistake in his battle against Jason Clark.

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Mark Webb would also miss out on his chance to secure a shot at the title after getting knocked out by Lee Barker during the Top 32.

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On the other side of the tree Danny Grundy knocked out Shay Kavanagh, this removed his outside chance of the championship.

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13 year old Ryan Caldwell, would have a great start to the battles winning his battle against Mike Walton.

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The Top 16 battles would change the outcome of the championship again with two key battles. Andi Halkett and Danny Grundy went One More Time before the judges could separate them with Danny advancing through.

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Could this be the end of the line for Andi Halkett’s charge for the championship?

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It wasn’t long before we would find out with Alexis Drew getting knocked out by Lee Barker. This would decide the championship in favour of Andi by a single point over Oliver Lewis.

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As the battled continued into the Top 8 we would see Bill Eastwood knock out Owen Counihan after a One More Time, during the first battle both drivers pulled a gap in their lead runs. The next battle was much closer but Bill had been showing just how well he could chase all day securing him a place in the Top 4.

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Danny Grundy would join him in the Top 4 after knocking out Peter Hayden.

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Jason Clark earned his place in the Top 4 after battling Ben Capel in a car that has a lot of history, it was a close battle but ultimately Jason would advance through.

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Arron Stevens would battle Lee Barker, Lee had been driving well all day and managed to take the win after pulling away during his lead run.

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Bill Eastwood put in another phenomenal chase run against Danny Grundy to advance to the Final.

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Lee Barker and Jason Clark would have to go One More Time before the judges could decide to put Jason through to the Final.

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Danny Grundy and Lee Barker battled for the final place on the podium, Lee had been on form all day putting in another great set of runs and taking the win.

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The Final between Bill Eastwood and Jason Clark would be decided in favour of Bill after another close chase run against Jason. He pulled a small gap during his lead run and it was enough to get the top step on the podium.

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The drivers took the opportunity to celebrate on the podium, it was a great day for everyone with many drivers having something to celebrate.

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Lee Lawrence was awarded the Aford Awards Hard Charger Trophy after he lost third gear during practice before qualifying in 31st place.

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Andi Halkett would be crowned the 2015 Driftcup Champion, a consistent year with two podium finishes resulted in him having 66 points to Oliver Lewis’ 65.

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The top five drivers will gain a British Drift Championship License for next season, those drivers are Andi Halkett, Oliver Lewis, Alexis Drew, Danny Grundy and Jason Clark.

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It has been a fantastic year of Driftcup and we can’t wait to do it all again next year.

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