With both Formula D and D1GP holding their opening rounds of 2012 last weekend, the off-season is well and truly over! In a matter of days the British Drift Championship will descend on Teesside Autodrome for the first round of the 2012 championship. The 2012 UK drift season is officially open for business.
The anticipation of the the last few months is now at an end. Cars built, sponsor deals done – now all that’s left is to put it all on the line and get out there and drive!
Ive missed driving across the country and arriving at circuits as the sun is rising…
..and being privy to the behind-the-scenes workings of a national championship.
I’ve missed the sound of turbo-charged straight-sixes cracking the morning air.
And of course, I’ve missed the smell of burning rubber and tortured clutches. For me the 2012 season couldn’t come around quickly enough.
With licensing days held during the off-season, the British Drift Championship has now grown to close on 100 competitors spread through three driver classes.
That will mean a whole lot of burnt rubber and some almost criminal barrier abuse.
Some of the 2011 teams are no more, but in the nature of evolution the spaces left have been filled with new blood.
There are plenty of familiar faces still there though.
Since 2008 Mark Buckle has been driver liaison. For 2012 he has now stepped up to be Clerk Of The Course for all six BDC rounds.
With the large number of competitors and two full days of competition this will be no meagre undertaking.
Its all change for the judging team. Rich Newton has stepped up to the unenviable roll of head judge, joined by Team Dark Dog driver David Roze.
Alongside Rich and David we have a UK drift Legend with a capital L. Multiple European champion Brett Castle is also joining the BDC judging team for the 2012 season.
The championship kicks off in a few days at the UK drift Mecca that is the Teesside Autodrome.
Then we’re off to the Norfolk Arena for a floodlit night battle.
With Teesside proving so popular in 2011, BDC is returning to Teesside for Round 3. The course will be run in a different configuration to the opening round, and will be held over three days to incorporate the annual Team Drift event.
Round 4 sees a welcome return to the South-East and the Lydden Hill circuit.
So expect backwards-entries ahoy and plenty of kerb hopping. There is never a dull moment at Lydden.
For Round 5 it’s a return the home of British motorsport, Silverstone, and the Trax show.
Then it’s back north for the final showdown in the hills and high kerbs of the amazing Knockhill circuit.
2011 Super-Pro champion Matt Carter will be back to defend his title in the refreshed 1JZ Team Falken s14.
Team SATS will be boasting four-digit power figures and enough torque to bump-start the planet if need be. Power is nothing without control, and the organic power control system installed in the driver’s seat is of course Mark Luney.
Wayne Keeber’s consistency through the 2011 season saw him take a well-deserved third place overall. It was announced just yesterday that Wayne will now be joining TEAM SATS in the battle for the 2012 constructors’ title.
In its third year of development, the Japspeed 1JZ Impreza was starting to get results in the hands of Steve Biagioni. For 2012 it now sports a rear-mounted cooling system and sequential gearbox. Could Steve retake his BDC crown in 2012?
The Super-Pro class will have more entrants than ever before. With names like Remo Niezen and a host of European drivers, the 2012 Super-Pro category will be the hardest fought it’s ever been.
2011 Pro class winner Mike Marshal moves up in to the Super-Pro class for 2012.
Semi-Pro winner Matt Campling and second-place man Marc Huxley join Belinda Chalis in the Pro class. Hopefully we will see some more epic battles like we did at the 2011 finals.
The G35 of Team Falken’s Paul Cheshire has been on a weight-loss diet and then a muscle bulk-up during the off season. One-piece ‘clamshell’ front and rear sections significantly reduce the overall weight, and now with a sniff under 700hp on tap the immaculately-prepared G35 should be much more competitive.
The Semi-Pro class is the grassroots of the BDC. Grassroots it may be, but it’s just as hotly contested as both Pro and Super-Pro.
With a lot of new blood entering at the Semi-Pro level we can expect door-to-door action all the way.
Saturday 21st April, 9am GMT: the first wheel of the 2012 UK drift season will turn in anger.
With so many drivers competing it’s really going to be a case of go hard or go home.
The results from Round 1 Teesside could make or break a driver’s championship hopes. The first round of any championship is always a lottery. Fresh cars and new drivers make it impossible to predict who will win.
Two things are for sure through. After six rounds champions will be crowned…
…and Speedhunters will be at every round, with a dedicated team to bring you all the thrills and spills of the 2012 Maxxis British Drift Championship.