Title and team sponsor Maxxis was delighted to see its MA-Z1 Drift tyre working to good effect at the Teesside Autodrome when Team Japspeed’s Paul Smith finished third in the Maxxis British Drift Championship.
A field of 83 drivers demonstrated their skills on the main circuit and competing alongside the regular Team Japspeed trio of Paul Smith, Steve Biagioni and Shane Lynch in the Super Pro class was Shane O’Sullivan in the RB25-powered S15 – one of several Prodrift drivers to make the journey from Ireland.
Paul overcame a technical glitch to take the top spot in qualifying with Shane O’Sullivan in fourth and Shane Lynch in 11th,and while a broken driveshaft brought Steve Biagioni’s weekend to a premature end, the crowds were delighted to see the Impreza drifting again.
The three remaining Team Japspeed drivers duly progressed into the Top Eight but after
Matt Carter got the better of O’Sullivan and Lynch’s V8 S15 was forced to retire, Smith was left to carry the team’s hopes. Having got the better Simon Perry, Paul lost out to eventual winner Steve Moore in the semi-finals but then drove on the limit in the battle for third/fourth spot, overcoming David Waterworth to scoop the well-deserved podium.
In the Maxxis-sponsored SATS Cosworth Mark Luney was marked down by the judges for excessive use of the handbrake on entering the first corner and so qualified ninth. In his first run against Simon Perry there was so much smoke that Luney lost sight of the track, clipped the tyre wall and ripped off the car’s rear bumper. Knowing that his chances of progressing to the next stage of the competition were slim, Mark went out anyway and in one of his best runs of the day put on a superb show for the crowd.
Round four of the Maxxis British Drift Championship takes place over the weekend of
August 20-21 at Knockhill, one of the most-exciting drift venues on the calendar, when the series will welcome Darren McNamara and Frederic Aasbo of Team Need For Speed.
The team is having a successful season in this year’s Formula Drift Championship, North America’s premier drifting series, and is now aiming to broaden its horizons by competing in European events.
For more information: www.maxxis.co.uk