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The 2012 Maxxis British Drift Championship Blasts-off at Teesside Autodrome

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Racing was edge-of-your-seat close as no one was giving an inch.
Racing was edge-of-your-seat close as no one was giving an inch.
An automotive symphony composed of high-strung engines singing, screeching, whirling tires defiantly mocking traction, and plumes of heaven-bound blue smoke all harmonized to announce that the 2012 Maxxis British Drift Championship has officially started. Teesside Autodrome in Middlesbrough, North East England played host to Round 1, with a full field of 96 of the most talented drivers from across Europe competing for glory. There are three classes, Semi-Pro, Pro and Super Pro, with 32 cars per class. This is the fifth year for the premier drifting competition and the first for K&N to offer their sponsorship endorsement.
In the Super Pro Final it was Shane O'Sullivan taking the top spot of the podium, with Steve Moore taking 2nd and Stephen Biagioni 3rd.
In the Super Pro Final it was Shane O'Sullivan taking the top spot of the podium, with Steve Moore taking 2nd and Stephen Biagioni 3rd.


While the Maxxis British Drift Championship has achieved its status as the number one drifting contest in the UK, it still hasn't forgotten its roots as a driver's championship. The BDC continues to be geared towards developing drivers, and giving winners the chance to "step-up" into the next class as they improve their skills and car. It is in essence a high-quality breeding ground for the fan-favorite sport of drifting. "2012 is going to be a monster!" said K&N Sales and Marketing executive, Samantha Wallace. "Better drivers, better cars, more action, that's the 2012 BDC!"

Several subtle changes have been made for this year, and they're all in the name of improving the standard throughout the Championship. If Round 1 is a taste of things to come, then the changes have been a huge success. One area that has been put under the microscope and improved is the judging.
You could hardly miss the retina-burning color scheme of Dan O'Brien car.
You could hardly miss the retina-burning color scheme of Dan O'Brien car.


There are now four judges who will be at the each round and every judge selected has been chosen because of his unbiased nature and on the basis of them being previous drift competitors (and winners) themselves, this gives them a unique insight into what the drivers are doing and the lines they are taking, it allows for swift and very balanced decisions from true drivers.

At Teesside the judging was broken down into sections, you had a maximum 30 points on the first section, 30 on the second, and 30 on the third section, with a final 10 points based on overall impression. The final ten points is effectively based upon, style, flair, aggression and showmanship. The judges wanted to see aggressive entries and cars getting as close to the clipping point as possible, and that's precisely what they got.
Rain and wind put some of the best drivers into the kitty-litter early during the weekend's action.
Rain and wind put some of the best drivers into the kitty-litter early during the weekend's action.


After the Sunday shakedowns and practice runs were completed, all of the drivers were assembled out on the pit straight; it was a spectacle, a real treat for the fans still shaking off the winter doldrums. Spectators were briefly given the opportunity to get up close and personal with favorite drivers and cars for a photo opportunity or to ask a question about their particular drift weapon of choice. Between breaks and finals the fans were kept entertained by a Group B rallying legend, the Metro 6R4. Lucky raffle winners were allowed a once in a lifetime hot lap in the passenger seat, and all of the money raised went to charity.

Fans roared with excitement as they witnessed some of the very finest edge-of-your-seat moments as drivers pushed closer and closer to the clipping point. Every contest seemed more thrilling than the last as no one was giving an inch when pride and glory were at stake. Technical skills were at such a high level all day that judges had their hands full making some extremely difficult decisions.

The top three from Semi Pro drenched in champagne and collecting hardware where Brian Egan in 1st, Lee Barry in 2nd with 3rd going to Gareth Taylor.

The tough Pro class was won by Christian Lewis, 2nd was taken by Mark Huxley, and 3rd went to Michael Sheehan.

With the entire day building for the Super Pro Final, when it finally happened, nobody was disappointed as the ever-calm Shane O'Sullivan took his place on the top spot of the podium to crown a fantastic first weekend of drifting. In 2nd was Steve Moore and Stephen Biagioni rounded out the top three.

Round two of the 2012 Maxxis British Drift Championship takes place June 1st and 2nd at the Norfolk Arena for the "Night Fight."

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