Its been a very busy year here in the UK drift wise, 3 top level championships all hotly contested all coming down to the wire to reveal the 3 respective champions.
It all kicked off back in April with JDM Allstars Newcastle. Set right on the quayside the tight technical 'street' style track produced some jaw dropping driving straight from the off..
..If you wanted to score big you had to run the wall!
Two drivers stood out from the off Dan Chapman and Remo Niezen. scything through the top 16 they finally met to fight it out for the win. The resulting battle had to be one of the best of the year, to get some idea just how intense it was check out the faces of the people in the paddock. It took 3 runs to decide it but Remo eventually took the win by the smallest of margins.
BDC round 1 was next on the calendar with the first visit to the massive 'launch pad' at Donnington Park.
Among the 72 drivers entered for round one was Richard Clarke, making his return to competitive drifting after a 2 year break he promptly stamped his mark on the championship by qualifying first in pro class.
A mistake from Clarke in the top eight saw two drivers in their first year in the pro class fighting it out for the win, Jon Calvert and Steve Biagioni fought it out with Jon eventually taking a small advantage and the round one win.
EDC kicked off at completely new venue Oulton Park. Phil Morrison and Mark Luney immediately stood out visibly quicker than the rest of the field..
Inevitably they met in the final and the resulting battle was nothing short of spectacular with Morrison using every bit of the track to take the win.
May and the JDM Allstars championship arrived at one of my favorite circuits Lydden Hill.
Mechanical problems saw a early end to Dan Chapmans day..
..Leaving Paul Vlasblom and Remo Niezen to battle for the win.
Remo took the win with Vlasblom second and a fine result for Anthony Scott taking third in the Rocket bunny PS13.
BDC round 2 from the fantastic Llandow circuit in Wales was always going to be great round, a different world to the fast open Donnington Park Llandow is tight technical with a nasty little surprise if you run too close the clipping point in turn 1.
Richard Clarke again put in a great qualifying performance and looked good for the podium until a spin against Julie Robinson saw him take a early exit from the competition.
As did Steve Biagioni with a spin against Ben horne putting Horne through to the final with Simon Perry..
Unfortunately a broken gearbox stopped Perry dead in turn 1 causing some light contact and giving the win to Ben Horne.
For EDC round two we headed north to Knockhill..
..Similar to the corkscrew at laguna seca Seat curve has to be seen to be believed, steep blind and very fast without doubt the the most spectacular corner on the UK drift calender.
With Phil Morrison out in the top 8 it was left to Mark Luney Peter Barber and James Russle to sort out the order on the podium..
Barber took a well earned win at Knockhill.
No rest for the wicked and later on that month we were at Silverstone for EDC round 3.
Luney was a man on a mission round silverstone but a brave move in the semi finals didn't quite pay off giving Alan McCord the ticket to the finals..
..And the round win.
June and BDCs turn to visit Lydden Hill in Kent.
Ashley Stephens got his first taste of running in the pro class and of the the high curbing in fast turn 4.
But it was Simon Perry and Richard Clarke that made it through to the grand final..
..Only for Perry to suffer another mechanical failure handing the win to Clarke.
Later on in the month EDC round 4 arrived at another new track Brands Hatch..
With the Driftworks s15 out of action Phil Morrison was driving the DW r32 normally piloted by Ben Broke-Smith..
..Fast and flowing the round soon turned into the luney Morrison show with Luney taking the over all win.
July and time for JDM Allstars flagship event Wembley.
A huge accident while performing in a demo meant Dan Chapman had to totally rebuild the PS before Wembley.
Remo and Vlasblom met once again the the semi finals but this time with Vlasblom coming out on top..
..Leaving it a Chapman Vlasblom final..
..And Chapman taking a very well deserved win.
EDCs July round was Santapod for the 5th event in the series.
Changeable weather and a tricky track didn't make for the easiest round and it ended up Phil Morrison and Alan McCord battling for the event win..
..With Morrison coming out on top with McCord and Castle making up the podium.
With the year now flying by we are already in August and BDC round four from Norfolk area..
Team Japspeed were looking totally dominant by start of the semi finals, they didn't exactly get a easy ride through with drivers like Julie Robinson and Simon Perry up there..
..But non the less Danny Eyles and Shane Lynch made it a all Japspeed final..
..With Eyels taking the win followed by Lynch and Biagioni.
September and the final round of JDM Allstars 2009 from Silverstone.
Championship contenders Chapman and Vlasblom met in the top 8 with Vlasblom taking the win…
Declan Munnely in the MKII Escort had to be hero of the day. looking vastly out gunned by the DW s15 he matched Morrison on the first runs forcing a one more time before going out in the top eight…
..As did Remo in the quarter finals, another 'one more time' before Morrison progressed into the final run with Vlasblom..
Running a bit too fast through the transition the DW s15 had a little interaction with Vlasbloms tow eye and the round win went to Paul Vlasblom.
At the end of a intense year JDM Allstars champion 2009 is Remo Niezen with Dan Chapman in second and Paul Vlasblom third.
Mid September and we were back at Llandow for the final round of BDC 2009.
Early season niggles well and truly over the Japspeed cars of Lynch and Eyels we now looking unstoppable..
..Meeting in the semi finals Eyels took the win and progressed into the final up against Steve Biagioni..
..With possibly the best drive i have seen from Danny Eyels he took the round win but with Steve Biagioni in second it finished of his remarkable season just nicely, pro class rookie to pro class champion in one season..it doesn't get much better than that!
And that brings us onto the final event of 2009 the EDC final from Snetterton.
The fastest track of the year was always going to produce a exiting round, the drama started with championship contenders Mark Luney and Phil Morrison meeting up in the top 8. Luney won the battle but still needed the overall win to secure the championship.
It went right down to the wire..in fact farther than that it went through the wire and gave out some electric shocks with the final battle of the day running one more time. watching Mark Luneys PR manager pacing around chain smoking while the battle with Paul Conlan ensued was priceless.
But a on form Luney is a hard man to beat and a controlled drive eventually saw him take the round win and the 2009 championship win with Phil Morrison second and Peter Barber third overall.
And so ends a very brief look at the 2009 UK drift season. 2009 has been the best year the UK has seen in drifting with all three championships producing some truly epic rounds and deserving winners. And what might 2010 hold in-store? Who knows but if this year was anything to go by 2010 promises to be unmissable! ..I cant wait.
BTW Paddy will be back with a reveiw of the Pro Drift season in a week or so.