Phil Morrison takes EDC Round One
Phil Morrison in the Driftworks Federal Tyre S15 wins the first round of the Need For Speed European Drift Championship at Oulton Park.
A new look to the Driftworks S15 Silvia shrouded new power, and new Driftworks suspension, meant a steep learning curve for Phil both in terms of the car, and the brand new course.
EDC were running the Oulton course backwards for the first time in the history of the track and all the drivers finding the narrow and extremely fast entry challenging in the short morning practice session. This meant it was a completely even playing field, and literally any of the drivers could take the win.
Phil looked determined from the very first run. Noticeably fastest into the first corner, initiating very early into the first tight left hander.
Shuffling the car into position whilst slowing from the 95mph entry, the Driftworks Silvia looked composed, and each time the throttle was nailed, it made it’s presence known, with the 6 cylinder turbocharged Toyota motor putting 666bhp through the super tractive Federal Tyres, sending the obligatory waves of tyre smoke the Driftworks fleet of cars are so well known for.
With a short but intense rain storm, things started to look a lot less composed for Phil, as the S15 snaked up the soapy Oulten track, having to abort a couple of runs as it seemed almost impossible to bring the speed of the cars down to make the first corner.
The whole pit lane seemed to be crossing their fingers in the hope of making the rain disappear, and by the start of the competition, their wishes appeared to come true, as the track dried out, bringing the speeds back up, but leaving the lovely wet grass to make times extra special should you make a mistake.
The competition was now in full flow, and Phil worked his way through the rounds to get to the semi’s, Where he met Buff in the SVA 350z. This car is known to be one of the quickest in the field, and the high speed battle certainly didn’t disappoint.
Phil showed much bigger angle into the first corner, and pulled some ground on the 350. When following Phil iniated way earlier than the lead car, which left him pushing too wide on the exit of the first corner, touching the grass with the rear wheels. He was sure to spin out, but he calmly held it, and remained extremely close to the 350z, staying glued to the door, and nearly getting swiped each time the car in front transitioned.
The other semi final was between two Northern Irish top dogs. Alan ‘Chubby’ McCord in the pink LS1 V8 powered S15, and Paul Conlin in another 2JZ powered S15. These guys seemed to be very familiar with each others driving style, and pushed very hard. with Chubby just pulling enough ground on Paul in the second run, to take him through to the final,
So the final between Phil Morrison in the Toyota powered Driftworks S15, and Alan McCord in the GM LS1 V8 powered S15 was sure to be a musical battle, with all those pistons and a huge turbo thrown in to the mix, the 95mph run up to the first corner was a symphony of power.
Phil lead the first run. Again fully committed into the first corner, pulling away from Alan. Alan then made a big lunge towards the door of the Driftworks S15 as it lead into the slower right hander. Momentarily looking like he was going to T-bone Phil, the shallow angle that allowed Alan to gain this ground, had left him massively offline, and Phil pulled away through the final corners.
With Alan leading the second run, Phil was already up on him, almost side by side into the first corner. Phil timed the transitions perfectly, just allowing enough space for Alan to swing from corner to corner, before getting right up on his door again each time.
The judge had made his decision, and as the two cars parked up in front of the crowd awaiting the result, Phil’s arm was lifted, and it was announced he’d won the first round of the 2009 Need For Speed European Drift Championship.
Commenting on the first round of EDC, Phil Morrison said:
“I’m ecstatic about winning the first round of EDC. It’s a very refreshing way to start a new season for us, and is instant justification for the many hours we’ve spent making sure the car was 100% ready for the start of the season…
The car worked perfectly from the get go. I gave it my all in the early practice session, so I could find the limits of the unfamiliar track.. I feel that pushing beyond the normal limits and taking a few risks in practice, put me in more of a comfortable frame of mind in the competition. The competition was fierce, and I enjoyed the different challenge each of my competitors gave me, particularly Chubby in the V8 S15 for the final, which was a real battle of hybrid Nissan, Toyota, and Pontiac.
Of course without our sponsors, we wouldn’t even have a car there, so I’d like to thank: Federal Tyres, Sky Insurance, Garage D, and of course everyone at Driftworks”
See the next round of the Need For Speed European Drift Championship at Knockhill in Scotland on Sunday the 17th of May.