As the sun rose over Brands Hatch for another scorcher of a day it was time for Round 4 of the championship. The air was electric with thousands of spectators attending the Tunerfest South show, putting the pressure on the drivers to give their all and leave a lasting impression.
After a morning driver briefing to recap the previous day’s events and receive guidance from the judges on their expectations, it was time to prepare for practice.
Nathan Chivers kicked off the day with a strong start, with newfound confidence in his S15 it showed in his driving.
Richie Gilbey, plagued by electronic issues the previous day, had a frustrating time with his car but managed to get back on track. However, the gremlins continued to haunt him, and he had to retire before the qualifying session.
Ryan Hughes in the DY Engines GT86, riding high after finishing third the day before, was in top form. Would he secure a podium spot once again?
After the practice session, the Hyper Paddock had come alive with activity as drivers returned to check their cars, ensuring they were ready for the upcoming qualifying round.
To make the most of the expansive Hyper Paddock at Brands, we displayed a diverse collection of street-spec drift cars alongside the full competition Drift Pro vehicles.
This really showcased the remarkable advancements in drift car builds, offering a captivating contrast between the two types.
The excitement extended beyond the track as The Science of Drifting team provided thrilling passenger rides in their dedicated drift area. Fans had the chance to experience the exhilaration of drifting firsthand.
If you missed out fear not as the team will be returning for the next round at Oulton Park. So if you’re at the track and craving an adrenaline rush, be sure to jump in for a few laps.
Throughout the day DJ Eddie Lovebus was on hand hand bringing the energy and beats to the paddock!
Soon enough it was time to suit up and get ready for qualifying, check out the highlights below!
After a disappointing performance in Round 3, Josh King brought his A-game to qualifying, firmly securing the top spot on the leaderboard with an impressive 95.00 point run in the Fifth Gear Transport E36.
BMW dominance continued as Lwi Edwards claimed second place, closely trailing Josh King with a fantastic 94.33 qualifying run.
Defying the previous day’s qualifying results, reigning Drift Pro Champion Ollie Evans delivered a clean and precise performance, earning him a solid 92.00 score and securing the third spot
Dave Bastin, still riding high from his podium finish the day before, pushed his Kent Models AE86 to its limits and claimed the fourth place with 91.67 points. However, he knew that tough challenges awaited him if he aimed for another podium finish.
Martin Richards, after a triumphant first-place qualification and victory in Round 3, found himself in seventh place with an 88.67 qualifying run. To have a shot at the podium once again, he needed to step up his game in the Top 16 battles.
Liam Lawrence’s E36 boasted a fresh, Japanese-inspired livery, but sadly the style couldn’t make up for the mechanical issueshe faced throughout the day. Despite the setbacks, he managed to qualify in 15th place with 80.33 points. Unfortunately, his mechanical woes worsened, ultimately forcing his retirement due to a faulty clutch.
Paul Beechey, who didn’t make the Top 16 cutoff, would take Liam’s place in the battles, getting a rare second chance to earn crucial championship points.
During a brief break in the Hyper Paddock, fans flocked to get autographs and chat with the drivers before everyone prepared for the Top 16 battles.
Here’s how the Top 16 lined up. Brace yourself for the exciting highlights from the first round of battles!
First out of the gate was Josh King in the Fifth Gear Transport E36, facing off against Paul Beechey in the Peacock Performance S15. From the first corner, it was evident that Josh was a force to be reckoned with, delivering a relentlessly close chase run. Paul struggled to match his opponent’s performance when the positions switched and couldn’t keep up with Josh’s E36. Josh King emerged victorious, advancing to the Top 8!
Jonathan Smith in the IA Motorsport MX-5 went head-to-head with Ryan Hughes in the DY Engines GT86. Despite Jonathan finding his groove with the car, he couldn’t close the gap enough to outshine Ryan’s advantage in the chase run. Ryan secured the win, ending Jonathan’s journey for now. However, we eagerly anticipate Jonathan’s return at Round 5.
Harry Love in the HL_Drifting S14 Silvia faced Dave Bastin in the Kent Models AE86 in the next battle. While Harry showed improvement from his previous battle, it wasn’t sufficient to overcome the phenomenal driving Dave had shown at Brands Hatch. Dave Bastin claimed the win, advancing to the Top 8.
The fourth battle unfolded between Haydn Cruickshank in the Colour Sound Experiment Toyota Chaser and Axel Hildebrand in the Sonax S14. With a fifth-place qualification, Axel was determined to win and gave it his all to keep up with the monstrously powerful Toyota. Ultimately, Axel’s chase run proved much closer than Haydn’s, leading to his victory. The Top 8 was shaping up to be an exciting one!
Matthew Roberts and Lwi Edwards found themselves in battle once again. Matthew struggled with the circuit, allowing Lwi to create a significant gap between them.
With a clear advantage on both runs, Lwi emerged victorious, moving on to the next round.
Andy Frost in the Tegiwa/Coilovers.co.uk S14 faced Martin Richards in the Driftworks R32 in the following battle. The “iceman” Andy put up a great fight, but it wasn’t enough to match Martin’s chase skills. With his R32 sticking close to Andy’s S14, the advantage heavily favored Martin, securing him the win.
Ollie Evans in the BC Racing S15 took on George Barclay’s WFS Motorsport BMW 2 Series. Despite the expensive carbon fiber in front of him, Ollie showed no mercy as he chased George down. In the subsequent run, George couldn’t quite match Ollie’s performance, leading to Ollie’s victory.
One of the most unusual incidents of the day occurred even before the battle began. Ian Philips in the Tegiwa/Coilovers.co.uk 350Z lined up against Nathan Chivers in the Liqui-moly S15. As the cars accelerated towards the first corner, Nathan applied too much throttle, causing him to lose traction on the freshly re-paved and slippery tarmac. He veered into Ian’s car, knocking him off track and into the armco before they even reached the first corner. Due to this error, the judges had no choice but to award the win to Ian. However, the 350Z suffered serious suspension damage, and the team had to work tirelessly to repair it before the Top 8. Could they make it back in time? Read on to find out!
With a break in the action, everyone headed back to the paddock to cool down, make necessary repairs, and prepare for the Top 8 battles
The stage was set for the next set of exciting battles. Let’s take a look at the battle tree.
Ryan Hughes and Josh King kicked off the Top 8 battles with an stunning showdown. Both drivers delivered outstanding runs, shrouding the track in thick clouds of smoke. It was a fiercely contested battle, but Josh managed to gain an advantage with a solid lead run, showcasing his skills as he transitioned into the final corner. With that, Josh King secured his spot in the Top 4!
Next up were teammates Dave Bastin and Axel Hildebrand. Dave seemed poised to execute a powerful lead run, charging through the first corner with great speed. However, as he approached the final turn, he suddenly straightened up. This costly error granted Axel the advantage, bringing Dave’s winning streak to an end.
The long-standing rivalry between Martin Richards and Lwi Edwards ignited once again in the Top 8. As always, it was a phenomenal battle between the two, with both drivers sticking to each other like glue. After careful deliberation, the judges deemed Lwi’s chase run slightly cleaner and closer, awarding him the win. The crowd was treated to yet another awesome duel between these top drivers.
With the repaired car ready just in time, Ian Philips went head-to-head against Oliver Evans. Ian unleashed a new level of aggression in his driving, but he couldn’t quite match the proximity that Ollie maintained during his chase run. Ian made some slight corrections, giving Ollie the advantage. With the win secured by Ollie, the Top 8 battles came to an end, and the competition swiftly moved into the Top 4.
The first clash in the Top 4 pitted Josh King in the Fifth Gear Transport E36 against Axel Hildebrand in the Sonax S14. Axel had been displaying some of his best driving to date, but he faced a daunting challenge in the form of Josh King’s super aggressiver and fast driving. After an impressive lead run by Josh, everything came down to his chase run to secure victory. However, as both cars navigated the final corner, it appeared that Josh’s car experienced a sudden power dip, forcing him to back out and straighten. This mistake tilted the scales in Axel’s favor, propelling him into the final showdown.
In a mesmerizing battle that had the crowd on the edge of their seats, two of the finest tandem drivers, Ollie Evans and Lwi Edwards, clashed for supremacy. The battle was closely matched, with Lwi relentlessly pursuing Ollie’s S15, keeping mere inches between them. Ultimately, the judges awarded the advantage to Lwi, sending him to the final against Axel Hildebrand.
Before the grand finale, the time had come to determine who would claim the third-place spot on the podium. Josh King and Ollie Evans stepped up to the challenge. Josh once again showcased great skill, but Ollie’s chase run proved hard to surpass, with more angle, speed, and proximity.
The final was upon us with Axel Hildebrand and Lwi Edwards battling it out for the crown. Lwi lead the first run absolutely flying through the course with Axel doing his best to keep up, the pressure must have gotten to Axel and he span on the final corner. A default 0 score for Axel meant he would have to pull something crazy out the bag or Lwi also spin to gain back an advantage. Lwi showed no signs of letting that happen with a super close chase run. With both drivers smoking out the circuit, hands out the window in celebration as they crossed the finishing marker it made for fantastic end to the day.
Back in the Hyper Paddock there was a buzz in the air as the crowd gethered to discover the final results…
And your Drift Pro Championship Round 4 winners are as follows:
1st Place: Lwi Edwards
2nd Place: Axel Hildebrand
3rd Place: Ollie Evans
Champagne showers to end another amazing weekend of drifting!
A huge congratulations to Lwi Edwards for taking another win and securing 2nd place on the championship leaderboard, hot on the heels of Martin Richards. There’s still plenty of time for things to shake up so we look forward to seeing what the drivers bring to Oulton Park on the 22nd of July for Round 5 of the championship! To see the current leaderboard head over to ojur championship standings page on our website: https://www.driftpro.co.uk/2023-standings/
A big thank you to all of our official partners, drivers and staff for another epic event and we look forward to seeing you at the next one!