Four HEL DriftCup drivers achieved a British Drift Championship licence in round 4 of the championship at the NEC.
4 drivers who were eligible to take part in the BDC after finishing in the top 8 of the last round of HEL DriftCup, took their cars to the NEC to compete in the High Roller event.
Everyone of them hit the testing and most dangerous track used for competitive drifting in the UK.
The conditions were horrific with the conditions of the track changing all the time due inconstant rain falling through out the day.
This didn’t stop them coping with the conditions as if they were veterans of the sport.
Damien Choppen just scraped in the to the top 32 with the final place on the grid.
He met and the top qualifier Philip Hayden in the first round battle, Philip crashed in to one of the unforgiving walls giving Damien a place in the top 16.
He then met Lwi Edwards in his M3 powered BMW, Lwi took victory and moved on in the competition.
Chris Parnham drove well and placed 15th in qualifying. His 1st opponent was Josh king, Himself once on the grid of DriftCup was in good form. On this occasion, Josh moved on the top 16.
Marcus Clare took to the conditions like a duck to water. He placed his Nissan R32 in 2nd place in qualifying and was over the moon.
He took out Stu Jones in the top 32 meaning a place in the top 16.
He, like Damien met Josh King, Josh, took another scalp and was victorious and moved on to the great 8.
Last but by no means least, Charlie Hulme. He was still in shock from having made in to the competition and was buzzing just to be on the grid of the BDC.
Did he let the nerves get the better of him? Well maybe just a little bit during qualifying, but he still gained his licence by qualifying in 19th place.
Once the battles stated, this is when Charlie came in to his own.
First up he came against Danny McQuire in the Skid Risk R34. He had looked quick all day, due to the mixed conditions he was unable to do enough to beat Charlie, on to the top 16.
Next up was Ian Rutherford, driving a much more powerful S13 who had qualified 3rd and on good form at recent events.
Whether the pressure of ‘the new kid on the block’ or simply and uncharacteristic mistake. Ian on his chase run straightened massively between clipping point 3 and 4. This was all it took to see Charlie heading for the great 8.
For this round he met Dominic Gates, driving a car he had borrowed for the event. Just as Ian had done in the previous battle, Dom made a mistake between clips 3 and 4 and Charlie was heading for the semi finals.
This battle saw him battle against the man who had already knocked out 2 of his fellow DriftCup drivers, Josh King.
The experience of Josh showed on this occasion, he was glued to Charlies door on the chase and pulled away a little from the blue S13 in the lead. Josh went on the the final, it wasn’t over yet for Charlie. A run off for 3rd and 4th place against William Hanna.
William, like Josh had more speed than Charlie and despite his best efforts was beaten by the R33.
It wasn’t over for Charlie, With his making the top 4 in the Pro Am class. He would get to drive in the Pro class on Sunday.
The weather took a turn for the worse on Sunday and rain fell constantly, this meant Charlie knew exactly what to expect.
He hit the track running, and despite not only gaining his licence for the BDC. He took his lower powered S13 and scored 80 points to put him in 5th place in qualifying. Considering the competition, this is an outstanding effort!
This also meant he would be guaranteed a place in the top 16 as the top 8 drivers are automatically placed in the bracket due to the BDC using a top 24 battles.
He had to wait and see who he would battle, it would either be Tom Murphy or the Pro Am Driver Matt Fountain.
Tom Murphy won the battle and lined up next to Charlie on the start line.
For the first time in the 4 days of driving we had seen Charlie being ‘Mr Consistent’, he made an error in the same place that other drivers he had beaten earlier in the competition. Not only that but he made contact with the side of Tom’s car that saw him out of the competition.
We have to say HUGE congratulations to Charlie and his team. He has proved that being consistency can get you results beyond your wildest dreams.
Make sure you grab your discounted ticket for round 4 of HEL DriftCup at Three Sisters Race Circuit here > ROUND 4 TICKETS
You will see who the next group of drivers that will be given the opportunity to follow in Charlies foot steps. Its going to be incredible!