Round 4 of the 2017 HEL Performance Driftcup was held at Teesside Autodrome, the birth place of the British Drift Championship.
We have been here in the past for Driftcup but this year the drivers would be out on the main track, using the British Drift Championship line that was used earlier this season.
It’s a challenging layout that would push the drivers. At this stage of the season everyone is advancing their own skills so this was a welcome challenge.
This round also featured a practice day on the Saturday with plenty of the drivers taking advantage of the extra track time to learn the line and dial in their cars.
The Sunday morning practice session was relaxed as the drivers perfected their runs, preparing for the battles later on by leading and chasing their fellow competitors.
As qualifying kicked off we would see many drivers scoring well into the 70s on their first runs, Phillip Hayden topped the qualifying session after the first runs with a score of 79.7.
On the second set of runs no one was able to beat that score, except for Phillip, who managed to improve on it with a run of 84.3. Tom Hutchison qualified in second with Danny Whyman in third, both drivers scoring 76.0 on their first runs.
The Top 32 battles kicked off with newcomer, Adam Charville, lining up against series regular, Michelle Westby. Michelle dropped two wheels on her lead run handing Adam the advantage as they swapped over, Adam would then pull away on his lead run, taking the win and advancing in to the Top 16.
Chris Rayner lined up against Mike Jackson, being the higher qualifier would normally give him an advantage but at this stage of the season there isn’t an easy battle. Mike chased Chris with great proximity throughout the run earning him a place in the Top 16.
Jack Wootton and Martyn Giles had a very close battle. It took a One More Time battle before the judges awarded the win to Jack for his great chase run.
On the other side of the battle tree Will Smith and Aidan Clarence would also have to go One More Time as Aidan pedalled a borrowed BMW E36 as hard as possible around the course. The judges awarded Aidan the win by a narrow margin after their second runs.
Third place qualifier, Danny Whyman would exit the competition at this early stage. He would straighten badly on his chase run handing the win to Huw Savill.
The Top 16 would see Adam Charville take another win, this time against Steve Knott. Could Adam take it all the way to the final on the debut of his new car?
Jack Wootton would have another tough battle against Stuart Jones, it would be another One More Time before the judges awarded the win to Jack. It was another battle won with some impressive proximity whilst chasing.
Haydn Cruickshank and Ian Lonsdale lined up to battle, both drivers pushing hard to get a good position as the championship nears the final round. Ian took the win after a strong lead run earned him the advantage and his place in the Great 8.
Adam Charville took on Mike Jackson in the Great 8, both drivers we ecstatic at the opportunity to go the next British Drift Championship round. They would have to concentrate if they wanted a shot at the podium. Adam got the advantage on both his lead and chase runs earning him a place in the Final 4.
Jack Wootton had another One More Time, this time again Tom Hutchison. On their first battle both drivers had strong lead runs whilst making small mistakes whilst chasing so they had to run again. This time around Jack had the stronger chase run, this was the third time that his chase runs would get him the win and a place in the next stage of the battles.
Huw Savill advanced through to the Final 4 after a damaged car caused Aidan Clarence to retire from competition.
Ian Lonsdale made it through to take the last place in the Final 4 after a great battle with Ryan Harrison. The first run of the battle was scored evenly with Ian gaining the advantage on the second run whilst chasing with a dive onto Ryan’s door as the track tightened between clip 3 and 4.
Adam Charville and Jack Wootton would line up to see who would make it through to the Final, again it was a strong performance from Jack in both the lead and chase positions getting him the place in the Final. Adam would have to retire with car issues at this stage meaning he wouldn’t be able to battle for a place on the podium.
Huw Savill and Ian Lonsdale battled next, the winner would go through to the final with the other driver taking third place on the podium, not a bad result either way. Huw chased first with great proximity to Ian, managing to close in as the run progressed. They swapped over and Ian wasn’t able to keep the same proximity, it was close but not enough to take the advantage back from Huw.
Huw Savill and Jack Wootton battled for the final, it wouldn’t have been a battle featuring Jack if it didn’t go One More Time. Sure enough, after the first run it was just too close to call. Jack managed to do what he had done all day on the second attempt, putting in a great chase run to take the top spot on the podium.
The drivers took the opportunity to celebrate with a large crowd of friends, family and fans assembled to congratulate them.
Mike Jackson was awarded the Aford Awards Hard Charger Trophy.
ExtremeBHP Motorsport also collected the Team trophy for the event.
Be sure to come to Driftland, Scotland on September 3rd to see the action for yourselves as we head into the final round of the season.