BDC Round 3: JDM Appreciation

It was time again to hit the road and travel to one of the further locations on the British Drift Championship calendar for me. Prior to this I had never visited Teesside, but I’d heard a lot of good things and couldn’t wait to take on the challenge of trying somewhere new. Some events are worth travelling five hours for, and I was convinced that Round 3 was going to be one of them.


With my last coverage being from King of Europe where the paddock was filled with all sorts of crazy (mainly) German metal I was looking forward to the variation that the BDC has to offer once again.


Shooting King of Europe made me realise that I probably take something for granted. When I shoot for Wangan Warriors, I always try to keep my eyes set on the Japanese offerings despite us allowing any cars to be featured in our event coverage. It all comes down to my personal taste, as well as supplying fresh content for the cars I know that our followers feel so passionately about.


There’s no question that the BDC had a huge variety of cars from the motherland, and I decided it was time to give them some appreciation.


Before arrival I’d been hearing people speak of a certain car that had turned up to compete for the first time. I’d intentionally kept my eyes away from this build online, as I wanted it to be a nice surprise when I finally got to see it in the flesh.


I hadn’t really prepared myself for what I was about to see. I knew it was going to be awesome, but the very first second I knew it had exceeded that, and then some. I was treated with what would be without a doubt one of the best looking cars to ever grace the BDC.


Marc Huxley has been the genius behind some fantastic builds over the years. His awesome KE70 oozed old-school cool, and it’s going to be hard to ever forget the huge Volvo 245 barge which he competed in last season.


There’s no doubt that Marc has always gone against the grain, continuously bringing something entirely different into the tournament and this RA28 Celica was to be no exception. Naturally in this day and age, it didn’t take long for it to hit the social media networks and be known across the world in a matter of minutes.


In true BDC style the car wasn’t finished up until the very last minute, and his first run in the car at Teesside was to be the first time it had ever seen a track. It immediately looked at home, and for me it was the most perfect car I’d ever seen waiting to tear up the track at the BDC start line.


Despite starting its new lease of life as a barn find after a lot of work the combination of old age beauty with a modern day beast seemed to work perfectly for Marc’s RA28/SR20 combination. Within just a few laps it looked like he’d been sat behind the wheel for years.


There was no doubt that this car is a true head turner, each and every time it appeared, people couldn’t help but stop and stare.


See what I mean?


Anyway, it’s easy to get carried away talking about it, but let’s not forget some of the other awesome cars that the BDC has to offer. There’s plenty to admire in the pits, so much so that I’ll try and get some more coverage of specific cars as the season continues.


Alex Law’s S14A is another one of the awesome looking cars in the competition, representing 90’s Japan and somehow defying physics with this crazy fitment. Not only is it surprising to see it sideways in a competition, the Super-Pro car is also driven to and from each and every round.


It almost seems impossible that this car could drift, and Alex himself isn’t quite sure how, but he had some great moments at the weekend and I can’t wait to see him fully adapt to the car one he’s ironed out some issues.


Phil Morrison would once again be piloting the DW86 which was eating the tarmac for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the weekend.


This was the first time I’d seen it running the new upgraded 7.4L LSX454 engine and it looked as though Phil was looking increasingly confident with the setup and ability to tame the beast. It’s also nice to see the car seemingly having recovered from the initial technical issues which plagued the start of Phil’s season.


Team Falken were once again out in force, sending huge clouds of smoke across Teesside.


With their all-Japan line-up and huge smoke shows, it’s hard to not appreciate these guys at each event.


Mark Luney was on form as usual in his 1100bhp Lucas Oil Supra.


If it’s clouds you’re after then you can always rely on Mark to come up with the goods!




Rain, what pretty much every drift fan dreads. I’d always heard that going ‘Oop North’ generally meant that you were going to be treated to a downpour at some point, and this weekend certainly didn’t disappoint.


With the heavens well and truly opened, long gone were the huge clouds of smoke. If you can handle venturing away from cover, there’s always some great photo opportunities to be had, but expect to get soaked right the way through in the process.


Alternatively, you can stand under cover and enjoy watching your team strut their stuff around the track whilst enjoying the drier comforts.


One thing that always takes me by surprise in the rain is just how much different the shots look, reflections are no longer so much of a problem and you gain a huge contrast boost in the process. There’s no doubt that something feels amiss in drifting shots without smoke, but I always like to take advantage of the slower pans during this time.


There’s no doubt that the slippery track was causing issues for all of the drivers, what was a warm, dry track earlier in the day had now turned into a slippery ice rink. There was no shortage of cars spinning and leaving the track, and with the rain continuing until the end of the day, it was time to wind down and dry out.


After a night appreciating the benefits of a dry hotel room, it was back to the track for battle day. It was nice to see the small JDM touches around the pits bright and early.


Today would see the drivers eyes focused on taking home the Winner’s trophy for Round 3.


With a huge improvement in the weather, the crowd had turned up for what was to be a fantastic day ahead.


There was absolutely no lack of rare Japanese cars on show as the battles begun.


It was time for one last check of the vital pressures before heading to the start line.


With Malx carrying out business as usual, it was time to give the drivers permission to once again tear up the circuit as day two gets underway.


The DW86 was in full attack mode, leaving the chase cars struggling through the usual thick fog that we’ve become accustomed to.


The proximity of some of the battles was as close as ever, with some fantastically intense action on show. It was decided that for the first time this year Top 32 would run across all three classes. There was certainly not going to be a shortage of dramatic battles this weekend!


Yesterday’s weather concerns were a thing of the past, with drivers back to doing what they do best…


Whilst also leaving visibility irrelevant at times.


David Waterworth’s S15 is always one that gets my attention, it’s hard to ignore with the Dodge Viper powerplant under the bonnet. With him making the most of the BDC’s first ever burnout zone, it was time to hit the track.


Once again, the driving on display was second-to-none, and these were without a doubt some of the closest battles I’ve witnessed to date in the BDC.


One of the more eye-catching builds is the R34 front with R32 rear and a huge V8 bulging out of the bonnet. It’s sure to attract some attention from the purists!


Later on in the day, we got to experience the most expensive battle to take place in the BDC, and they certainly weren’t holding back!


It was absolutely awesome to see Marc Huxley forcing Mark Luney’s proven Supra into a ‘One more time’ battle. It really does go to show that anything can happen in the BDC, it was gutting to not see Marc not progress further, but it was a fantastic start to what I’m sure will be some amazing times ahead with this car.


The day wasn’t without some disagreements, which just goes to show just how much the competition means to the people involved. Matt Carter had driven fantastically throughout the weekend, but the judges decided that it would be Baggsy who would advance to the final against O’Sullivan.


Baggsy took the most of enjoying the last moments on the track before the drivers would take to the podium for the winners to be announced.


It would be Team Japspeed’s Shane O’Sullivan who would take the win, topping off a fantastic weekend for the Irish. With D-Mac taking the win in Formula Drift, alongside James Deane taking Drift Allstars and Danni Murphy winning Queen of Europe!


It was time to leave and reflect on a fantastic weekend of ups and downs, and a through soaking for everyone involved.


… Whatever your method of transport for the journey home may be!


Until next time, BDC!

– Bill Jefferies