JDM All-stars Wembley
The course had been designed by a number of top pro drivers whose inputs and test sessions where invaluable in creating a high speed course which tested drivers to the absolute limit. The Friday night test session before the event showed the true potential of this venue, with over 1000 spectators turning up to see the circuit created and tested.
Denis Healy from Ireland, in the Nexen Tyres /Hunky Dorys SR20 powered AE86 and Kawabata San Team driving sports from Japan where the first to test the demanding layout. After a few fine adjustments the circuit was finished, and both drivers where very happy with the circuit layout.
Saturday morning started and the sun was shining, looking on what was a historic day, on bringing Europe’s fastest growing motorsport to the limelight and the forefront in London City. The brand new course layout would have the best line up of drivers ever to grace the UK scene.
With such huge international media attention, this would confirm JDM All-stars as the biggest Professional series in the UK.
The course started out with a high speed third gear entry with cars reaching 80 mph, which followed into a long first corner, and then transitioned into the tight last two hairpins. This would be one of the most challenging tracks, as drivers had to set their cars up to maximize speed, and carry it through the whole course, while holding good momentum.
Practice started, and from the off a few of the International drivers where on form. Paul Vlasbom from Holland was on form. Both Japanese drivers, Kawabata san was rubbing the first corner wall, and Murata-San was driving the Driftworks R32 after his S15 from Norway didn’t make the trip. Olaf Commijs in the Falken Tyres 350z was very comfortable laying down smoke all over the venue.
After 10 minutes in the Group 1 qualifying session, the rain started and turned the Wembley street circuit into a very slippery track. Anthony Scott from the UK, and Bruno Esperanga from Portugal both had shunts on the wall which ended their day.
Paul Vlasbom after a two year sabbatical from the UK scene, stamped his authority on why he is one of the best qualifying first. Second was Mark Luney in the SVA imports 350z, who was revelling with his new tyres from sponsors Maxxis tyres, and found he could control the 350z so much better in these conditions utilizing there potential.
Dan Chapman (top UK wildcard driver) in the Driftworks PS13 qualified 4th, and in only his fourth professional event was an amazing achievement. With qualifying so close the rest of the top 16 were covered by 7 points, which showed how close the event was.
Surprise people who didn’t make the cut, where Murata-San from Japan, Dean Kearney, Denis Healy and Christy Carpenter who are at the forefront of their domestic series in Ireland. Lennard Wanders(The Dutch smoke Machine) was flying in the New Jap Imports UK Beer-R324 but didn’t make the cut either.
Top 16 Battles
Paul Vlasbom in the BMW touring Vs Declan Munnely from Ireland in the MK2 Escort. Vlasbom had the edge on both laps pulling away in leg 1 and sticking the escort in leg 2.
Team driftworks had their own battle when Bon Bon beat Dan Chapman after a collision from both cars.
Team Autoglym had their own battle when both team mates Steve”Stiggy” Evans went to a one more time with Declan hicks.After a small mistake in the OMT battle Stiggy progressed.
Shane o Sullivan in the ex Good Road D1 car was up against Martin Ffrench “Ffrenchy” in the New Dragon Performance RX7 Car. Martin had a spin in the first battle but won the second battle, which put Shane through with the advantage.
Phil Morrison in his New 2JZ powered S15 Driftworks Car was up against Olaf”The Iceman” Commij. Both had the most powerful cars at this event but struggled in the slippery conditions. Olaf got the advantage on the first run and progressed to the Great 8.
Battle of the day went down to both Nigel Colfer in the Xtreme Autos 180sx from Ireland and Kawabata-San from Japan in the Driving Sports S15.This was truly to go down in history as one of the most amazing battles in JDM Allstars history.
This battle was to go to two one more times, as the battle was so close. On many occasions both cars made contact with each other, but it was a mistake by Kawabata in the last run which gave the advantage to Nigel Colfer to progress to the great 8.
Eric o Sullivan –Series Leader in the Rockstar Corolla was up against Ronan Kearney in the SDS Imports PS13.A very close battle that eventually saw the series leader go through to the great 8.
The last top 16 battle was Mark Lunney in the SVA imports 350Z against James Hudson in a borrowed S14.This battle was very close with Mark getting the edge in the one more battle against James to progress to the great 8.
First battle was Vlasbom versus Bon Bon in the Driftworks chaser JZX 81.Both cars not really suited to this circuit as the short technical section at the end would catch both cars out. In the first run a big mistake by Vlasbom by straightening would result with the advantage to Bon Bon. On the second run both cars where equal with 5:5 score, sending the Driftworks car through to the top 4.
Next battle was won by Steve Evans over Shane o Sullivan, who was revelling in the wet conditions in the Autoglym starlet.
Olaf Commijs team Falken Europe 350Z next had a battle against the man on form Nigel Colfer, after two very tight battles Nigel would progress to the top 4 placing.
Another very close battle to round off the top 8 was Eric o Sullivan Vs Mark Lunney, two very experienced drivers in Europe. Clearly today Eric wanted the win very badly and Lunney was not giving up. Eric got a small advantage in the final leg which was enough to get him in the top 4.
First semi-final, was Steve Evans Vs Bon Bon. Very much a David and Goliath match up. Stiggy in the more nimble starlet with less power against the big powerful chaser of Bon Bon.In the first two legs both drivers could not be separated.The battle went to one more time. This time it was Stiggy who took the advantage, as Bon Bon ran too deep and collided with the kerbings taking his front bumper off.This was enough to ensure Stiggys place in the final.
The second semi-final was an all Irish affair with new rising star Nigel Colfer against the JDM series leader Eric o Sullivan.Nigel had the mental advantage after taking the win over o Sullivan in a recent domestic battle. After the first two runs, both drivers were inseparable, with the battle going to a one more time.Eric took the advantage in the first leg of OMT and this was enough to secure his place in the very first final of JDM Allstars Wembley Street Drift.
Steve Evans(Team Autoglym) Toyota Starlet Pinto Powered
Eric o Sullivan (Rockstar Energy/Hankook) Toyota Corolla AE86 –S2000 Powered
With both these old school cars reaching the final, it was proof that anything can happen in drifting , when up against more modern machinery.
Eric o sullivan led the way in leg 1, but steve evans had a spin in the first corner which immediately ended this battle. Eric won the second leg and with that stage 2 of the triple crown series.
With two wins out of three “Flat Eric” is one step closer to be crowned the first ever King of the JDM Allstars Triple Crown Series.
With Martin Ffrench having below average result in the top 16 with his debut with new UK team Dragon performance and Bon Bon still finishing in the top 4, it is all to play for when we return to Lydden Hill for round 3 of the JDM All-stars triple Crown Series.
Top 16-Qualfing Results
1. Paul Valsblom 99.5
2. Mark Luney 99
3. Dan Chapman 98
4. Eric O’sullivan 97.5
5. Declan Hicks 97
6. Nigel Colfer 96.5
7. Shane O’sullivan 96
8. Phil Morrison 95.5
9. Olaf Commij 95
10. Martin French 94.5
11. Kawabata San 94
12. Steve evans 93
13. Ronan Carney 92.5
14. Ben Broke Smith 92
15. James Hudson 90.5
16. Declan Munnely 90
17. Christy Carpenter 89.5
18. Dennis Healy 89
19. Martin O’Meara 86.5
20. Dean Kearny 86
21. Lennard Wander 85
22. Fergal McGovern 84
23. Tim Tatje 83
24. chris Bradbury 82
25. Simon Russell 81
26. Steve Usher 80
27. Murata San 75.5
28. Matt Carter 75
29. Micheal Gaynor 73
30. Anthony Scott 70
31. Tom Yates 45
32. Bruno Esperanza HERO
33. Jon Beezy DNF
Top 16 Qualifying.
Paul Vlasblom Vs Declan Munely – 6/4 PV – 6/4 PV
Dan Champman Vs Ben Broke-Smith – 6/4 BB – 7/3 BB
Declan Hicks Vs Steve Evans – 5/5 – 5/5 – 6/4 SE – 5/5
Shane O’sullivan Vs Martin French – 10/0 SO – 9/1 MF
Phil Morrison Vs Olaf Commij – 6/4 OC – 5/5
Nigel Colfer Vs Kawabata San – 6/4 KS – 6/4 NC – 7/3 KS – 7/3 NC – 7/3 NC – 6/4 NC
Eric O’sullivan Vs Ronan Carney – 5/5 – 10/0 EO
Mark Luney Vs James Hudson – 5/5 – 5/5 – 5.5/4.5 ML – 5/5
Paul Vlasblom Vs Ben Broke-Smith – 7/3 BB – 5/5
Steve Evans Vs Shane O’Sullivan – 10/0 SE – 6/4 SE
Olaf Commij Vs Nigel Colfer – 5.5/4.5 NC – 10/0 NC
Eric O’Sullivan Vs Mark Luney – 5/5 – 6/4 EO
Ben Broke-Smith Vs Steve Evans – 5/5 – 5/5 – 10/0 SE – 6/4 SE
Nigel Colfer Vs Eric O’Sullivan – 5/5 – 5/5 – 6/4 EO – 5/5
Steve Evans Vs Eric O’Sullivan – 10/0 EO – 6/4 EO
Top 4 places
1. Eric O’Sullivan
2. Steve Evans
3. Nigel Colfer