The final round of the 2017 HEL Performance Driftcup took place at Driftland, Scotland, last weekend.
Many of the series regulars made the journey north although there were several local drivers looking to collect trophies on home soil.
The championship would be decided this weekend with Alistair Sutton coming into the round with the lead, although several drivers were hoping to take the top spot.
It wasn’t just a battle for the top spot in the championship though as the top 8 finishers in the championship would be given the opportunity to progress into next seasons British Drift Championship.
The layout for this round was set as the same layout and line as the BDC event on the previous weekend, this was to challenge the drivers as a high speed entry along a wall awaited them.
If the drivers didn’t commit to the first clipping point it showed as they wouldn’t carry enough speed to make clip 2 or 3 without straightening.
From there it was an outside line around the hairpin before transitioning back around and onto the wall as they exit the track.
The morning practice session was a great opportunity for the drivers to get on the correct line around the track, many of the drivers had been here for a day or so at various practice days to get an early advantage.
If the drivers made an error along the wall it could easily end their day, John McDonald managed to go up the grass bank and roll the car. The car was fixed and back out in time for qualifying although it was looking a bit sorry for itself.
The qualifying session saw Will Foxwell take the top spot with a run of 79.3 on his first attempt.
Stuart McLellan was close behind on 74.7 points with Zanna Young in third on 73.0.
As the Top 32 battles kicked off it was William Hanna showing his strong form at this round, beating Martyn Giles.
Fourth place qualifier, Aidan Clarence, also advanced through from the Top 32 after he put the pressure on Jamie Woodcock. Jamie ran wide at clip 3 handing the win to Aidan.
John Mcdonald took his BMW E30 through to the Top 16, beating Lee Bourner after some contact between them as Lee ran wide.
Championship leader, Alistair Sutton, got another step closer to taking the win as he knocked Danny Whyman out of the competition in the Top 32.
William Hanna and Stu Jones battled hard, some small mistakes from Stu handed the win to William Hanna.
Stuart McLellan looked to be on a charge with his 600HP+ BMW E36 smoking out the track as he battled Haydn Cruickshank, he would pull away on his lead run, putting him through to the Top 8.
Alistair Sutton made it through another battle, this time against Matt Fountain in his Soarer.
The Top 8 looked like a series of battles that you wanted to happen at the end of a season. All the drivers looked strong and any one of them could take the win at this round. William Hanna and Phillip Hayden battled with Phillip keeping great proximity on his chase run, unfortunately it wasn’t enough as William headed through to the Final 4.
Ricky Lawrence and Stuart McLellan battled hard with it going one more time before the judges chose Stuart as the winner of this battle.
John McDonald showed that it didn’t matter that his car had taken a beating as he knocked Zanna Young out of the competition, securing his place in the Final 4.
The final battle of the Top 8 was between championship leader, Alistair Sutton and Stuart Maclachlan. Both drivers gave it their all with great proximity from them both on their chase runs, Stuart took the win this time although Alistair had done enough by this stage to take the championship.
William Hanna and Stuart McLellan battled next for a place in the final, it was close but a mistake from Stuart would see William Hanna take the win.
John McDonald was on a roll as he took the other place in the final after winning his battle against Stuart Maclachan.
Stuart Maclachan had the odds against him in the battle for the final step on the podium, he was massively underpowered compared to Stuart McLellan’s car but it would play into his hands as Stuart McLellan straightened on his chase run.
The final battle, William Hanna in his R33 Skyline and John McDonald in his BMW E30. John led first with William keeping as close as he could, a small gap was maintained by John throughout the run, putting the pressure on William as they swapped over.
William had a strong run through the first half of the track before running wide after clip three, the win would go to John McDonald!
The drivers took to the podium to celebrate, it was an unbelievable end to the season, nobody would have predicted that a car could be rolled in practice, fixed and return to the track and go on to take the event win.
It’s been an amazing 2017 season with so many talented drivers in the series, along with so many advancing to the BDC ranks throughout the year. Bring on 2018!