Team Japspeed - A fourth to be reckoned with

Returning to Lydden Hill for the 2nd time in 2016 last weekend saw Round 4 of the British Drift Championship.

However this time the BDC team reversed the circuit to create a more complex and challenging run for the competitors. Leaving HQ early on the Friday for the long journey to Lydden the team were prepared for a stormy weekend with wet weather forecast throughout the event.

With Shane Lynch, Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith and Matt ‘Doorhunter’ Carter on site Saturday saw the first practice session and a chance for the driver to get to grips with the new layout. Despite surprisingly dry weather this time would prove particularly important for Shane due to work carried out on the V8 370z following the Round 3 of the series.

Unfortunately towards the end of practice mechanical issues began to appear with the 370z and the Japspeed Lexus IS200. For the weekend this meant Shane would be out of action for the weekend while Paul Smith spent the Saturday working to rectify drivetrain problems. Meanwhile Matt Carter completed practice without issue ready for the main event the following day.

Arriving on site on the Sunday the team began work to rectify the drivetrain issues with the Lexus. Despite the best efforts of all involved the car would need to be taken out of action for the weekend. In the true spirit of the sport our friends at DieMax Engineering kindly offered to lend Paul Smith their new S15 – which incidentally is the same shell Shane used to drive before the 370z.

Going into Qualifying Paul Smith had to quickly acclimatise to a completely new car and despite putting in two clean runs this would not be enough to see him through Top 24. Meanwhile Matt Carter true to form and very familiar with his car put in two incredible qualifying runs earning him a score of 91.92 and 2nd place qualifier.

Top 16 battles and first up Matt came face to face with Samer Khadra with his Nissan R34 GTT. A strong, clean battle from both drivers made for a tough call from the judges however living up to his ‘doorhunter’ name Samer simply couldn’t escape Matt’s chase leading to a unanimous decision in his favour.

Heading into the Top 8 Matt was drawn against BDC veteran Wayne Keeber in his 2JZ-powered Toyota Soarer. True to the spectacle BDC fans have come to expect neither driver would disappoint. Another close proximity, tyre smoking battle and an obvious win for Matt which propelled him through to the Top 4.

Straight into Top 4 battles and first up Matt found himself against Jack Shanahan. Going into this battle Matt knew he would have his work cut out to take down the current Champion leader. Despite an overall clean run, Matt pushed so hard going into the first corner he pushed that bit too hard resulting in a slightly wider than ideal line; handing his opponent the win.

However all was not lost as this placed Matt into a 3rd/4th place battle against Marc Huxley in the iconic old school Celica. Following the same form all weekend Matt put in an incredible chase and lead run. Unfortunately for Matt Marc kept pace resulting in a close proximity battle filling the air with tyre smoke! As the smoke cleared the judges call awarded Matt 4th place overall.

A mixed weekend; we had an awesome time. Everyone at Team Japspeed would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jack Shanahan, Martin Richards and Marc Huxley on taking podium.

We’ll be back in action 26th-28th August for CarFest South. Don’t miss it.