It’s official: Team Japspeed are the 2014 Maxxis British Drift Championship Super Pro & Constructors Champions!
The team headed to Anglesey circuit in Wales for Round 6 of the BDC safe in the knowledge that Shane O’Sullivan had already wrapped up the Super Pro championship title with a round to spare, but the constructors title was still wide open and up for grabs.
Despite having driven at Anglesey earlier in the year, all of the drivers had to familiarise themselves with the new track layout that had been laid out just for the event. Starting with a hugely fast right hander with the clipping point located at the outer edge of the tarmac, an 80mph transition along the pit wall followed before the drivers had to scrub off speed and tuck into the inner clip on the left hand hairpin and subsequent clip on the outside of the tarmac that marked the end of the course.
The vast majority of the competitors took a good while to dial themselves in to the challenging layout but Team Japspeed’s Shane Lynch, Paul Smith, Shane O’Sullivan and Danny Eyles all found a good rhythm right from the off.
Heading into qualifying full of confidence the guys pulled out all the stops. Despite not even needing to compete in this round, Sully refused to relinquish his dominance on the series and stormed to the top qualifying spot with a blistering 91.5 point run.
Danny Eyles followed in 14th place while Shane Lynch took 19th and Paul Smith netted 22nd. With the Top 32 battles taking place the following day the cars were checked and double checked to ensure they’d be at their best for Sunday’s action.
Sunday dawned with the weather looking to be as promising as the previous day; exactly what we were hoping for.
Our first battle saw Paul Smith go up against Wesley Keating in the Top 32. With Wes driving as part of the Nankang Tyre team, a win for Paul here could knock the Nankang team off their perch at the top of constructors table and set Japspeed on a path to the title.
Paul kept his cool and knocked Wes out in his trademark calm and collected style – he was through to the Top 16.
At recent events a run of bad luck has consistently seen Japspeed drivers drawn against each other in the early stages of battles. Anglesey was to be no exception, with Shane Lynch and Danny finding themselves going head to head in the Top 32; a mistake from Shane handed the win to Danny.
Due to his top qualifying position Sully had secured a direct passage through to the Top 16 where he found himself drawn against Marc Huxley. A massive mistake from Marc on his lead run saw Sully having to take serious evasive action to avoid a collision. As a result of this, Shane was through to the Top 8.
Paul continued to make short work of the competition, knocking Tomas Kiely out in the Top 16 with pinpoint accuracy.
Danny found himself up against Team Falken’s Matt Carter; a formidable opponent at the best of times. Danny pushed exceptionally hard in what was an incredibly close battle but, unfortunately for us, Matt secured a slight advantage.
Paul was the next Japspeed driver to face Matt Carter, this time in the Top 8. Paul pulled out all of the stops but was unable to secure that small advantage he needed, his campaign being ended at this point.
Sully’s Top 8 pairing saw him up against last year’s BDC champion Mike Marshall. Both drivers pushed as hard as they could but Mike was unable to match Sully’s pace, leaving Shane with a spot in the Top 4.
Once again a Japspeed driver found themselves drawn against Matt Carter and, despite a monumental effort from Shane, a trip onto the grass put paid to his efforts and saw him eliminated at this point.
Hope was not all lost however with Sully having one more battle left: the fight for third place. Drawn against Driftworks’ Richard Grindrod, both drivers went all out in what was one of the battles of the event. Nobody knew which driver had taken the win until the prize giving ceremony where it was revealed that Shane would have to settle for fourth place.
Regardless of the result on the day, Shane O’Sullivan was officially crowned the 2014 Maxxis British Drift Championship Super Pro champion having won the series by a massive thirty three points! Once the constructors points had been tallied we were ecstatic to learn that Team Japspeed had taken the Constructors title by ten points!
We’ve had plenty of ups and downs this season but Sully’s dominance of the Super Pro championship (four podiums and two wins in six events) has helped to make 2014 a year to remember for Team Japspeed.
We’ve got a lot in store for 2015 as we aim to return bigger and better than ever before – we won’t be letting go of our titles anytime soon!
You can view our photo gallery from Round 6 of the Maxxis British Drift Championship at Anglesey here.