Family sedans unhurriedly journeying along the rolling bucolic British coastline, tracing the scenery heavy, iconic White Cliffs of Dover is an everyday occurrence. The cliffs spread east and west from the town of Dover in the county of Kent. The unnerving scream of tires belligerently rejecting traction and the roar of 10,000 united horsepower demanding attention at the same time - not so much a regular thing around these parts.
Overcooking your line at Lydden Hill put cars smack in the gravel pits.
The practice sessions are always a fan favorite as drivers work out where they will take their lines, sometimes overcooking it.
Kent is home to Lydden Hill Race Circuit, and at exactly one mile (1.6 km) around it claims the title of shortest road racing circuit in the UK, making it ideally suited for Round 4 of the British Drift Championship. The BDC did not race at Lydden in 2011, so this time expectations were extra high, and once again no one was left dissatisfied.
With each passing round the exhilaration has been ratcheted ever higher for emotionally invested spectators, while the pressure for the drivers is reaching the boiling point. After a year's break from Lydden Hill on the BDC event calendar, all the Maxxis British Drift Championship staff and K&N supported drivers were eager to revisit the challenging Kent circuit. It's a tricky, take no prisoners course, featuring cavernous gravel traps waiting to swallow up those who dare to stray off the line. Drivers only solace is to remain totally focused, not just in the moment, but in the exacting split second. Spectators soak up all the action from the hill. For a lucky few it was a local event, while others journeyed from all over Europe to attend this must-see event.
A drifters-eye view of the action.
The two day event started with practice sessions on Saturday August 1, followed by qualification which is always the real make or break affair, as it trims the field down from 32 to 16 in each class. Round 4 also saw an influx of European talent which proved to be an instant hit with the spectators, and added even more incentive for the all drivers to dial it up yet one more notch.
Racing will go down to the final round before a clear champion in any of the three classes is decided.
Following all the thrills and spills of qualifying it became clear that many drivers had markedly improved throughout this season. Right across the board in every class competitors are separated by only few points, leaving the Championship wide open for anyone to grab. Which only further proves just how intense the competition and the depth of skill within each class of the Maxxis British Drift Championship have truly become. Every single point needs to be earned because nobody is giving up anything.
Sunday was the finals for those who qualified, and once again the sun was shining on the hill as the drivers lined up in their quest for glory. Drivers had been briefed on what was expected and they delivered on all counts! Some of the most committed entries anyone has see this year were witnessed on the first corner at huge pace, it made for a spectacle that was acknowledged by the crowd with a symphony of air-horns.
Team Japspeed won the Constructor's Cup at Lydden Hill.
Lydden Hill offered up some more surprise results from some of the strong, name brand, contenders as they bowed out of the contest early. While it also proved to kick-start the season for some others, as they gained their best result of 2012. Unpredictability and sheer racing fickleness continue to propel the BDC forward as more frantic fans become obsessed to see what happens next.
After an exhilarating day of twin drifting the judges had worked through the pack and picked their winners for the customary champagne spraying on the podium. The weekend's Hard Charger award was presented to Bradley Wallbank. The Constructor's Cup was collected by Team Japspeed. The breakdown for the top-three in each class is as follows.
1st - Jay White
2nd - Lewis Cracknell
3rd - Lee Barry
1st - Kevins Corsius
2nd - Paul Cheshire
3rd - James Fuller
1st - Paul Smith
2nd - Shane Lynch
3rd - Barry Leonard
There's everything to drive for as the Maxxis British Drift Championship continues onwards to Round 5 at Silverstone for Trax on September 5th, in front of an anticipated crowd of over 16,000 spectators.
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