The British Drift Championship took its 2019 finals to Buxton Raceway, to say the least we were all a bit sceptical being an oval known for banger racing. This weekend also saw a schedule change with the Pro-am competition on Friday and Pro Competition on the Saturday with Battle Royale happening on the Sunday. The Friday started terribly with horrendous weather, this is not helped with the raceway being on the top of mountain and completely open to the elements, but luckily around midday it dried up and looked like a better afternoon ahead. From this moment on the event was the best BDC event we had ever witnessed. Jammed full of action and some of the best driving the UK has ever had to offer.
This round would see all supported Pro-am drivers, William Hanna, Ian Rutherford and Luke Barker competiting with Ian Bizz Phillips unfortunately unable to compete this round. The pro-am practice would start at 10am with qualifying not until 4pm which gave the drivers plenty of time to learn to layout. With the day progressing nicely our drivers seemed to be getting an amazing line but there were some people falling victim to the sold walls all around the chaos.
During the practice Will would see a driveshaft failure and fire in the engine bay, but both were fixed in time for more practice ahead of qualifying. Qualifying got underway at 4pm and all 3 of our drivers were ready to go and all 3 pushed their cars to the limits, rubbing walls and clipping points all the way round and at the end of it all they all qualified for the top 32 with Ian Rutherford being in the top 10.
As the light began to fade the qualifying came to an end, this meant that the circuit would become illuminated all the way around with flood lights and spot lights making it one amazing spectacle.
As the battles begun it became apparent that masses of smoke, darkness added with floodlights would make for some epic action, as our drivers lined up for their battles we became a little nervous as everyone was pushing 110% but everyone going that bit beyond was ending in the way and taking serious damage.
Luke would be the first of our drivers to unfortunately lose out, after pushing hard he would not see it passed the top 32 but both Ian and Will would go on to battle really hard until they were both knocked out in the great 8. This how ever would not be the end of the weekend for our drivers.
Because of how Luke finished in Drift Games Nationals he was awarded a Pro licence which was able to be used in BDC and both Ian and Will earned them from well fought season in BDC and finishing in the Top 10 in Pro-am at the end of the season. This meant all 3 were eligible to driver in the Pro on the Saturday but unfortunately Ian wasn't able to due to other commitments.
Saturday would see a very foggy morning but this would soon clear leaving quite a nice morning with practice again being from 10am-4pm with a couple of breaks. With their success in the Pro-am both Luke and Will went out to give their all and pushed harder than we thought was possible with this circuit and again were both fully prepared when it came to qualifying.
In qualifying both drivers did really well and got into the top 24 comfortably and prepared for battles as the sun began to set. As the drivers lined up for the battles the lights were put on and track was set ready for the night fight. Luke would be the first to do battle and pushed so hard around the whole course to get the win into the top 16. Will was up next and he had managed to find extra pace in the car which showed as he pulled a massive gap in his lead which secured him into the top 16.
In the top 16 Luke faced top qualifier, Matt Carter, who got a 99 point run. We knew this would be a hard fought battle and after a couple of small errors unfortunately Luke lost finishing his weekend and 2019 season. This would however be a very important battle.
Will went on to win his top 16 and top 8 battle getting him all the way to the top 4 where he faced Oliver Evans. Evans has been on the edge all day pushing the limits and this battle was no exception which was just too much for Will which saw him head to the 3rd 4th place battle against Matt Carter. Matt had already put out Luke and was set to try and keep Will off the podium but during his top 4 battle he snapped a drive shaft and this was unable to be fixed in time handing 3rd place to Will. Meaning this was his first ever Pro podium finish after having his Pro licence less than 24hrs.
We are so proud of all our drivers and they managed to get 4th in the constructors overall. Every supported driver now also has a Pro licence which shows promise for 2020. Do you think they can get a podium lockout next year?