BDC Round 3 Report

If the word of the day at round 2 was “angle”, then perhaps the word of the day at Round 3 was “sunburn”. A scorching-hot Lydden Hill hosted Round 3, and the challenging track close to the South East coast of England is known as one of the fastest drift tracks in Europe. All the drivers were looking forward to his one. The high track temperature increased grip levels for everyone too. So it was shaping up to be a memorable event.

Once again the judges, Sweeps and Jord, set up a course designed to level out 70 drift cars of different sizes and horsepower. Competitors were encouraged to use the full length of the Dover Slope straight to attack the first initiation into the notorious Devils Elbow. The second clipping point encouraged fast and aggressive transitions into the tight cut-through. Finally, a new barrier was added by the BDC crew to the bottom of Hairy Hill, forcing the drivers into a flicked transition (or “Manji”) into Paddock Bend. This was intended to prevent the high horsepower cars from simply doing rolling burnouts through the transition. Drivers were encouraged to stay tight to the inside of Paddock bend to demonstrate they were in control of the drift, rather than being sucked up into the banking as the track twists like a log flume onto the main straight.

There was an excited summer vibe at Round 3. Ashley Stevens’ fan club turned up and made plenty of noise. BDC commentator Mike Gaynor was on hand with his ‘Asda Price’ sun cream (seriously, thanks! – all at BDC). Sweeps was wolf-whistled for having a nice skirt as he helped the Lydden marshals clear some debris off the track. And there are rumours that Team Green’s Alan Green will be noise tested at Round 4. Apparently some residents have complained that his yelling from the banking during the Pro Top16 was clearly above 105dB!

Pro driver Steve Carter probably has a dented steering wheel after he beat it up in frustration as he struggled with the tricky Devils Elbow. We don’t think Steve had anything to do with the collection of animal noises that started in the pits, but when he returned Steve was definitely calm again. Nightwalkers’ Marc Cheshire did a great job in a practically standard S13 200SX. It even had the original wing-mounted intercooler!

The biggest points were up for grabs through the first corner entry, where a number of drivers deserve a mention for initiating from miles out: Steve Moore, Martin Richards, Steve Biagioni, Richard Clarke, etc. And a special mention for Dave Monaghan for showing some individuality with his awesome flicked initiations. Top stuff!

Then we got to hear BDC commentators Mike and Motty’s singing voices as the whole crowd joined them to sing Happy Birthday to four-year old Tommy Redmond. Semi-Pro driver, and Tommy’s dad, Andy Redmond then joined the celebrations by immediately beaching his car in the gravel! Apparently the X-Factor judges heard the singing and have been on the phone: “M&M definitely have it!” they say. Thankfully a course of antibiotics should help clear it up.
SEMI-PRO QUALIFYING – ‘GREAT 8’

POSITION

NAME

DRIVER NUMBER

CAR

TEAM

DROPPED RUN

SCORED RUN

1

Ashley Stevens

23

39

82

2

Martin Richards

60

Nissan Skyline R33

39

74

3

TJ Berney

36

0

67

4

Nathan Chivers

12

Nissan Skyline R33

64

65

5

Phil Maclachlan

33

Mazda RX7 FC3S

52

60

6

Wayne Keeber

48

57

59

7

Ian Phillips

30

0

58

8

Lloyd Bagladi

26

Nissan Skyline R32

29

5

FINAL – ‘GREAT 8’

Top Qualifier Ashley Stevens kicked off the Semi-Pro final. He’d been on it all day but would the ‘Great 8’ pressure get to him? Ashley charged in on his first run with a long first entry but unfortunately lost his angle before transitioning at the second clipping point. Both of his runs were scored at 66 points, so he was consistent and set the standard for others to try and beat.
Skyline Owners team member Ian Philips had a good stab at taking top spot with really early first corner entries but was marked down for cutting across the corner on his first run, and for not being close enough to the clips on his second. Wayne Keeber ended up with the wooden spoon after putting two wheels off the track on one run and spinning on his second. But his commitment was typical of how every one of the Great 8 finalists attacked the course.
Phil Maclachlan woke everyone up within a 10-mile radius with his anti-social Mazda RX7! With his lock issues from Round 2 sorted he charged at the Devils Elbow with lots of confidence and topped Ashley Stevens by a single point, to the delight of the Team Green fan club. In turn, Japspeed’s Nathan Chivers pipped Maclachlan by three points. Chivers best run began with a crazy-long first entry much like Ashley Stevens’, but Chivers holds on to it and shows lots of angle to impress the judges and the crowd. Lloyd Bagladi and TJ Berney were both victims of their own aggression, registering just one run each, which really hurt their chances of victory.
It was Bagladi’s Team Teyaki unit teammate Martin Richards who stole the show. The big white Skyline is a familiar sight in the Great 8, with Richards fresh from a table-topping victory at Llandow. Richards added a ridiculous first corner entry that was fast, long and with physics- defying angle before hitting pretty much every clip every time. The result was a pair of 81 point runs and another Semi Pro victory. Can anyone stop Richards from running away with the title?

POSITION

NAME

DRIVER NUMBER

CAR

TEAM

DROPPED RUN

SCORED RUN

1

Martin Richards

60

Nissan Skyline R33

Team Teyaki Unit

81

81

2

Nathan Chivers

12

Nissan Skyline R33

Japspeed 2

50

70

3

Phil Maclachlan

33

Mazda RX7 FC3S

Team Green Tagalongs

59

67

4

Ashley Stevens

23

66

66

5

Ian Philips

30

Nissan Skyline R33

Team Skyline Owners 2

0

64

6

TJ Berney

36

Team Pog Moi Thoin

0

57

7

Lloyd Bagladi

26

Nissan Skyline R32

Team Teyaki Unit

0

54

8

Wayne Keeber

48

0

0

PRO-CLASS FINAL

TOP 16
Terry Davies  vs  Jon Stevens
Anthony Scott  vs  Simon Perry
Ashley Stevens  vs  John Calvert
Steve Moore  vs  Dave Monaghan
Richard Clarke  vs  Chris Hackwood
Steve Biagioni  vs  Brad McQueen
Keith Hammond vs  Andy Faulkes
Gavin Cummins vs  Danny Eyles

Only six points separated Terry Davies and Jon Stevens in qualifying, and when Terry led it proved to be a close battle. Unfortunately, on the second leg Terry’s Cosworth-powered Mk2 Escort fell off the track resulting in a ‘Big Fat Zero” and sending Jon Stevens through. Anthony Scott’s RB30 powered Sil80 was sent packing by Simon Perry’s RB25-powered Nissan Skyline. Despite Scott’s experience at Lydden and his strong practice runs, Simon Perry put real pressure on him, particularly when following, to force Scotty into some uncharacteristic straightening.
Semi-Pro Ashley Stevens qualified with a higher score than unlucky 16th place Pro Sid Crowfoot, so took his place up against speedy John Calvert. Stevens did well but Calvert’s speed and consistency gave him the edge. Dave Monaghan smashed through the 1st clipping point marker and knocked out Steve Moore with some really aggressive drifting. Richard Clarke beat Chris Hackwood by just one point over the two hard-fought runs; Clarke’s superior speed and angle earning him the win.
Steve “Baggsy” Biagioni’s 200SX had mechanical issues, so he borrowed Nathan Chivers’ R33 Skyline. He went up against Brad McQueen of Team Green. Baggsy scored a pair of 6/4 wins largely due to his longer entries into the first corner and showing more angle. Andy Faulkes won the second round against Skyline Owners Keith Hammond, but fell off the track while trying to keep up with Hammond’s impressive first entry, sending Keith through. Finally, a battle between drivers borrowing cars; Gav Cummins in Baba’s 200SX, against Danny Eyles behind the wheel of Shane Lynch’s S15 Nissan Silvia. Danny Eyles straightens over the first corner apex on the first run, while on the second Danny has a better first entry which is countered by the fact he hesitates and straightens during the final transition. Gav goes through by just point!

QUARTER FINALS
Simon Perry  vs  Jon Stevens
John Calvert  vs  Dave Monaghan
Steve Biagioni  vs  Richard Clarke
Keith Hammond vs  Gavin Cummins
Simon Perry and Jon Stevens go to a “One More Time” after a pair of scrappy runs. Simon leads and takes a 9/1 advantage after Stevens just about saves a spin. Then Simon forces Jon to spin by shadowing him so closely. Dave Monaghan and John Calvert both seem to have mastered Lydden Hill, but it’s Monaghan who goes through, thanks to John Calvert spinning on the last corner whilst trying to avoid a collision with the rear of Dave’s car.
Steve Biagioni and Richard Clarke have a monumental war that needs a One More Time to settle it. In the first re-run Clarkey shadows Baggsy for a 5/5. Then Clarkey leads and initiates from miles back! Baggsy follows, nearly hits Clarkey and straightens briefly. Clarkey takes a well-deserved one point victory.
Keith Hammond and Gavin Cummins shadow each other effectively to force yet another “One More Time”. The increasing number of these sudden-death battles shows the depth of quality in the BDC Pro Class. In the re-run Keith leads and gets the advantage with better lines and more speed, but when they swap around, Cummins nearly gets taken out by Hammond during the final corner. Hammond is ragged but following closely when Cummins straightens briefly. It looks like Hammond touches the rear end of Cummins’ borrowed S13 and then the grass banking, kicking the Skyline across the track. Both cars end up spectacularly in the gravel trap. The crowd goes wild and Cummins goes through.
SEMI FINALS
Dave Monaghan vs  Simon Perry
Richard Clarke  vs  Gavin Cummins
Dave ‘Royal’ Monaghan goes for one of his new trademark flicks into the first entry against his Skyline Owners teammate Simon Perry. Dave straightens and it’s heading for a 6/4 to Perry, but Dave seems to give up during the last part of the run and doesn’t drift, handing an 8/2 advantage to Perry. Royal repeats his flick with a straighten and Perry remains ‘Mr Consistent’ and goes through to his second successive BDC Pro final.
Cummins takes the first run 6/4 thanks to an early initiation and a momentary straighten from Clarke. However, Clarke levels it up with his sheer speed and smoke, pulling a small gap on Cummins in the return leg. So it goes to another “One More Time”, and Cummins leads first. Clarke pushes him around, but again straightens briefly resulting in a 5/5 draw. Clarkey leads for the final run and drops a monster first initiation! Cummins tries to follow but falls off the track and into the gravel! A great effort by both drivers, one of the best battles of the day.
3RD PLACE BATTLE
Dave Monaghan vs Gavin Cummins

Gavin Cummins leads first in this third place drift-off with Dave Monaghan. Dave goes for another monster flick into the first corner but doesn’t quite nail it. It doesn’t matter though as Gavin Cummins suffers mechanical issues. His car falters on the first corner and Gavin is forced to drive the remainder of the track without drifting. A slightly scrappy run from two knackered drifters concludes the wrestle for third place. Cummins takes a small victory in the final leg after Dave straightens, but overall Dave Monaghan makes the last step onto the podium.
BDC RD3 PRO CLASS FINAL
Richard Clarke  vs  Simon Perry
Two of the most popular drivers in the BDC go head-to-head at the fastest venue on the BDC calendar. This is going to be BIG!
In the practice run, Clarke leads and Simon does his trademark trick of following close without drifting to try and psyche Clarke out. Would it work?
Clarke leads the pair, both flat-out down the straight and initiates from somewhere around Ashford 10 miles up the road. It’s a stonking entry and on the apex of the first corner his 180SX pops a flame right in front of the judges in celebration. Simon Perry is struggling to keep up, which isn’t representative of his flawless days drifting. Clarke completes a flawless run while Perry straightens on all three scored sections. Heading down the main straight to start the return leg Perry’s R33 Skyline is spluttering.
After taking advantage of the 5-minute rule, fellow competitors and BDC staff try to bump the Skyline in reverse but there’s no response. Sadly, Simon Perry is forced to retire from his second successive BDC Pro Final due to mechanical gremlins. Team Driftworks Richard Clarke takes a very popular win, his first victory in his debut year as a Pro driver in the British Drift Championship!

TEAM COMPETITION
Skyline Owners Team 1

One of the many things that sets the BDC apart from other drift championships is the team competition. As ever, Team Teyaki Unit put in a good display with Martin Richards in particular winning the Semi Pro class. But there is no denying that Round 3 belonged to the Skyline Owners.
‘SO’ have two teams, and it was their Team 1 that racked up the points. All three drivers made the Quarter Finals of the Pro Top 16! Keith Hammond looked determined to take the outright win and was looking god until he got a bit too close to Gav Cummins. Dave Monaghan made lots of new friends with his ridiculous flicked initiations (and almost standard horsepower!) While Simon Perry continues to develop into a consistent top-level Pro driver, getting to the final before mechanical issues forced him onto the second place on the podium for the second round in succession. Congratulations to Team Skyline Owners 1!

For up-to-date Championship tables visit:
https://www.thebritishdriftchampionship.com/news/index.asp?id=48

Pictures by Ross at www.doristars.com checkout his site for a whole host of amazing drift photography.

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