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Grass Roots

rsz_shelsley_walsh_picHurling the little GWR Raptor into the Esses at unbelievable speeds and matching the pace of the big V8s over the finish, Jos Goodyear took the opening British Championship run-off at Shelsley Walsh with the ever-present duo of Scott Moran and Alex Summers, split by just seven hundredths, in hot pursuit. But after a phenomenal run to qualify top for the second shoot-out, which would stand as FTD, a mistake off the startline and a fumbled gearshift into Kennel left Goodyear with a closing run-off disadvantage he couldn’t counteract. Fifth place was the result as the all-conquering Gould V8 swept past, and Moran took the win with Summers on his tail.

Summers saw his championship lead reduced to ten points as his co-driver – who is still scheduled to miss a further eight rounds – broke clear of his tie for second place with Trevor Willis. In the pre-lunch run-off, charging through Shelsley’s bumpy Ess approach in a firework display of sparks, the press-on OMS driver overdid things at the left-hander and spun the car, removing the rear wing on the Recticel barrier. Repairs were rapidly affected, and Willis was back in action in the afternoon to finish third, a quarter of a second behind Summers and narrowly holding off Tom New, really flying in the red GR55B. Although Wallace Menzies is a couple of places in front on the championship table, the Southampton man kept ahead of his co-driver all weekend, split in the morning run-off by Alastair Crawford’s late-model GR55 and in the afternoon by Goodyear.

Chasing the top three in the morning, Will Hall kept the still recalcitrant Force-AER in the hunt, but a last-minute gearbox problem cost him a shot at the closing shoot-out, though not his fourth place on the series table. As at Gurston, Dave Uren and the turbocharged Force were at last beginning to mix it with the heavy hitters. But in the afternoon run-off he joined the ever-growing list of competitors to visit the Bottom Ess barrier, leaving himself with a busy week in prospect to repair damaged front suspension before Loton in a week’s time.

John Bradburn kept his points total ticking over with mid-field placings in the Gould-HB and after a difficult practice session with gearbox electronics problems, Paul Haimes recovered to bag a total of three points in the turbocharged Gould GR59 despite a blown plenum seal. Two normally aspirated 1600 runners swapped places for run-off qualification on Shelsley’s power slopes, Ed Hollier just out of the points with his Empire Evo in the morning while class rival – and eventual winner – Eynon Price grabbed the final point in the closing shoot-out with the GR59.




FTD: Jos Goodyear (1.3s GWR Raptor-Suzuki) 23.03s

Championship run-off, round 9:1 Goodyear 23.09s; 2 Scott Moran (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 23.23s; 3 Alex Summers (3.5 Gould-NME GR61X) 23.30s; 4 Will Hall (2.0t Force-AER WH) 23.84s; 5 Tom New (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 24.04s; 6 Alastair Crawford (2.8 Gould-NME GR55C) 24.17s; 7 Wallace Menzies (3.5 Gould-NME GR55B) 24.26s; 8 Dave Uren (1.3t Force-Suzuki PC) 24.27s; 9 John Bradburn (3.5 Gould-Cosworth HB GR55)24.67s; 10 Paul Haimes (1.3t Gould-Suzuki GR59) 25.06s; 11 Ed Hollier (1.6 Empire Evo-Suzuki) 26.06s; Trevor Willis (3.2 OMS-RPE 28) DNF.


Championship run-off, round 10:1 Moran 23.30s; 2 Summers 23.42s; 3 Willis 23.68s; 4 New 23.76s; 5 Goodyear 23.93s; 6 Menzies 24.12s; 7 Bradburn 24.43s; 8 Crawford 24.58s; 9 Haimes 25.14s; 10 Eynon Price (1.6 Gould-Suzuki GR59) 25.97s; Uren DNF; Hall DNS.


Championship positions after round 10: 1 Summers 87pts; 2 Moran 77; 3 Willis 66; 4 Hall 53; 5 Menzies 46; 6 Goodyear 41; etc.



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Castle Combe racing photoSummer arrived in style as First Line welcomed almost eighty guests in glorious sunshine to the Castle Combe racing circuit in Wiltshire, for its second First Line sponsored race weekend last Sunday.

The Classic 50 Race Weekend is a prominent event in Castle Combe’s racing calendar and it was First Line’s Borg & Beck brand that took prime position for this mainly historic meeting.

The brand is synonymous with the motor industry and will have been the original equipment clutch system on many of the vehicles that were racing during the weekend. However, it’s not just Borg & Beck that classic enthusiasts can count on, as the First Line brand is also one of the UK’s largest for the classic car sector. So whether the need is for a water pump for an MGB, a rear sub-frame bush for an original Mini or a handbrake cable for a Cortina, First Line is the first name to remember.

Tucked neatly in the middle of the weekend’s classic action was the Formula Ford 1600 championship race, which provided perhaps the most exciting and entertaining spectacle of the programme.

Coincidently the race was specifically supported by First Line, so after a frenetic battle that eventually saw Ben Norton prevail over Nathan Ward, but also had a dozen other squabbles up and down the field, it was First Line’s commercial director Alan Wood who joined the top three in the course car to take the plaudits from the crowd.

After returning to the pits to present the prizes, Alan said: “He might only have been driving the course car, but I reckon the driver could have won the race himself, I was hanging on so tightly my knuckles have turned white!

“Seriously, it was a great event to support and it was a delight to welcome so many valuable First Line customers to a relaxing and enjoyable day out. We saw some great racing and the sun shone all day, so we look forward to doing the same thing next year.”

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Tyre manufacturer Maxxis has signed up as title sponsor of this year’s British Drift Championship (BDC) – a five-round series plus a stand alone team competition which aims to represent the best in multi-class drifting throughout Britain.

Since the organisers are bidding to involve a larger international field of drivers across all classes, the 2010 Maxxis British Drift Championship will include both demanding 100mph tracks and smaller, more technical venues.  Some of the circuits are established favourites among the drivers, like Lydden Hill in Kent, but the series is also travelling to some new, high profile locations.
The 2010 Maxxis British Drift Championship calendar is:

Round 1 (Pro and Semi-Pro)        Silverstone Stowe Circuit/IST Show        April 10-11
Round 2 (Semi-Pro)            Llandow Circuit, South Wales            May 1
Round 2 (Pro)            Silverstone Main Circuit/JTS Show        May 23
Round 3 (Pro and Semi-Pro)        Lydden Hill, Kent                June 19
Round 4 (Pro and Semi-Pro)        Donington Park                July 10
Round 5 (Pro and Semi-Pro)        Knockhill, nr Dunfermline            Sept 25-26

This season marks the running of BDC events on Silverstone’s Stowe Circuit and at Knockhill Racing Circuit for the first time. The season opener at the home of British motorsport will be one of the main attractions at the popular International Styling and Tuning Show, while Knockhill – Scotland’s national motorsport centre famous for its spectacular curves and crests – will host the championship decider.
The competition at Donington Park is certainly one for drift fans to relish, but it is the return to Silverstone’s main circuit – a major coup for the organisers – and a tie up with the JTS Show which means the professional drivers will be setting their sights on winning round two of the Maxxis British Drift Championship!

Extra excitement will be generated by the British Drift Team Championship, which returns as a one-off event from August 6-8.  Taking place at the Norfolk Arena in Kings Lynn – a purpose-built oval which is the smallest, but most technical, track on the BDC calendar – the team competition is part of what is being billed as a three-day ‘drift extravaganza’ and includes a full day of practice plus a multi-class Top 32 drift event.

In addition to ensuring the drivers are tested and judged across all aspects of drifting competition, the venues have been selected to offer spectators a safe, yet close-up view of the action. The paddock will once again be arranged in such a way that fans are encouraged to interact with teams, drivers and sponsors, so as to continue the informal atmosphere that prevailed last season.

All competitor cars will feature Maxxis windscreen banners and at each round there will be trackside hoardings and a branded podium along with the Maxxis inflatable arch and hospitality unit. Maxxis British Drift Championship advertising will appear in key consumer titles, including Banzai, Total Nissan, EVO and Japanese Performance, while event web posters will be developed for the major drift related forums.
The Maxxis Babes will attend all the events, mingling with fans and giving away Maxxis T-shirts and caps plus flyers for the drivers to autograph.  Photographs and blogs about their BDC exploits will then appear on the girls’ own website,

“Our decision to sponsor British and Irish drifting as a way of promoting the Maxxis brand to an audience of performance car enthusiasts was rewarded by some superb results last season, particularly in the BDC where Team Japspeed driver Steve Biagioni lifted the title and his team mates Danny Eyles and Shane Lynch finished runner up and fifth respectively.  We are delighted to increase our support in 2010 by taking over as title sponsor of Britain’s premier drifting series,” says Maxxis International UK’s Managing Director Derek McMartin.

“The BDC has come a long way since its inception just three years ago, attracting the highest calibre of teams and drivers. They are very definitely out to win, yet many within the sport have remarked on the camaraderie that exists between competitors and fans as a positive development. We look forward to seeing the very best of Britain’s drift talent chasing top honours in the Maxxis British Drift Championship.”

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