Having never been to a British Drift Championship event before, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know all of the of the competing drivers, I don’t know all of the teams and I don’t know who’s building what for the upcoming season. However, I do know that it is supposed to be the pinnacle of drifting in the UK, so when I was invited to go down to one of the Licensing Days at Silverstone I decided to attend.
The purpose of the Licensing Days were to offer amateur drifters the chance to prove themselves worthy of a Semi-Pro drift license which would allow them to compete in the Semi-Pro class at this year’s British Drift Championship (the other classes are Pro and Super-Pro). There were also a number of other drivers present who came just to practice, some of these being competitors in the Super-Pro class.
We arrived bright and early at around 9am to be greeted by wind, rain and freezing cold temperatures.
As the drivers were in a drivers briefing at the time it gave me a few minutes to get up close and personal with some of their cars, this lovely PS13 being one of them.
This stealthy R32 and bright purple PS13 could not have had more contrasting colour schemes if they tried but they both looked fantastic in the pits and while going sideways.
Rolling on Rota Torques and sporting a rather large rear wing along with little touches like the contrasting front grille and mirrors the PS13 was hardly the sort of car one could fail to notice.
I remember seeing this S15 at Japfest last summer and it seems to have gathered a few more battle scars since then! On the upside though that at least that shows it’s been used properly and is no stranger to going sideways.
Another gem in the pits was this Uras kitted RPS13. It certainly looked fantastic but I couldn’t help but think it could do with being a little bit lower…fortunately for me one of our fans on the ej9.co.uk Facebook page did a quick Photoshop to show how it would look properly slammed and it looked incredible!
It was then that I came across the first car that I know very well; Joe Ankers’ PS13 Onevia. I still maintain that this is one of the coolest looking drift cars in the UK.
Also looking great was this four door R32, not the most common of sights in the UK.
Adam Simmons from Slide Motorsport also made an appearance in his highly tuned R33. Unfortunately Adam wasn’t drifting on the day but it was good to see the car again since I last saw it at Buxton when it was silver and looked completely different!
As the cars eventually made their way out onto the track it was time to see how everyone would handle the atrocious weather conditions.
This red S14a was one of my personal favourites as it just looked so clean and functional. The Rota GTRs definitely completed the look brilliantly.
Stay tuned for some more pictures of this car in the next few days.
Aside from the plentiful S13s and S14s there was also a large number of R33s present, all of them looking great in the terrible conditions.
R32s were also pretty popular as well; it’s amazing how such a simple shape still looks fantastic twenty years on.
There were also a couple of Soarers present on the day; the sound of a 1JZ bouncing off the limiter while coupled with a performance exhaust is one of my favourite engine sounds ever (in my mind only beaten by the sound of a ported rotary!)
Joe Ankers’ PS13 Onevia spent almost the entire day out on track, with his entry angles and bravery increasing as the day went on. Joe is normally a fairly conservative driver, but the sight of others attempting more and more extreme entries obviously spurred him on!
The aforementioned PS13 looked even meaner than before as it lined up for another go at the fairly tight and technical course…
The N/A roar of an AE86 is always music to my ears; this cool looking example’s soundtrack was no different.
This was the first time I’d ever seen a C33 Laurel on UK soil and it is certainly lived to my expectations of being a rather odd looking car. It looked brilliant fun on track though!
One of the most unique looking cars present was this fantastic looking Porsche 944! It actually looked surprisingly settled on track and I believe the driver ended up going home with a Semi-Pro license.
Speaking of unique cars, how about this Mk2 Escort Mexico with an SR20 under the bonnet!? More pictures of this little beast will be uploaded next week.
There were quite a few BMWs present as well but they were definitely outnumbered by Japanese machinery.
The main reason myself and a large number of mates made the trip to Silverstone though was to watch our close friend Alex Law giving his S14a its first proper shakedown since receiving an overhaul over the winter.
For the last few months my Facebook news feed has constantly been filled pictures of new parts that were being purchased and news of the car’s progress in general. After all of that preparation for this year’s Semi-Pro championship (Alex obtained his license last year) we were all eager to see how the car would perform.
In the end we needn’t have worried; Alex’s courage/bravery/mentalism resulted in him being chosen as driver of the day and receiving a Pro license for this year’s British Drift Championship, not bad going for a “shakedown”!
It’s always nice to see one of your mates doing well but the event in itself was also a pleasure to attend (despite the horrendous weather conditions) thanks to the friendly yet competitive atmosphere. I know I’ll definitely be trying to attend as may of the British Drift Championship rounds as possible this year!
Remember to “like” the ej9.co.uk Facebook page and keep your eyes peeled for some more pictures from the Silverstone Licensing Day!