Shane Luke and Japspeed head up the shred at BDC 2016 opener

“The offseason and downtime is over, and round one of a fresh British Drift Championship has arrived. Every year the series takes on Lydden Hill for it’s opening round, and every year the bar gets raised.” Not our words, but those of former British Drift Champion and Team Japspeed driver Paul ‘Smokey’ Smith.

“People have built insane cars, and the attitude is different this year,” continues Smokey. “Everyone wants to put on a show and compete. To be up there, we will have to drive insanely hard.”

Smokey couldn’t have been more right if he tried. Not only has Japspeed signed double Gymkhana champion Luke Woodham to their roster of elite drivers, and fielded a new supercharged car into the grid, but they ended the opening round of the 2016 series with all four drivers in the top ten.

Shane Lynch unleashed the beast in awesome style with his thundering Supercharged V8 Nissan 370Z, scoring second place, and his first podium of 2016. “It’s good to be back,” a delighted Shane said, as he collected his trophy. “It’s just fantastic to be on the podium at the season opening event. We had tested the car last year, and wanted to race it, but it just wasn’t ready. The extra time – basically a years worth of development – has really paid off.

“It was about building a car that pushes the sport and the championship, and also that people will enjoy watching. The sound of the car is insane – it get’s me going when I’m driving it. I’ve said it before the noise is Jurassic, like a Tyrannosaurus Rex screaming its head off. And then when the car goes past you’ve got this deep blunt V8 rumble; I love it.

“Congratulations to Marc Huxley on taking the win – he took it all the way to the top today, and deserves the win. Hopefully this is a set up for fantastic season – the bar has definitely been raised again, and I’m looking forward to the next event already.”

Following closely behind was Paul Smith, who battled through to fourth place in the semi finals temporarily driving the infamous Japspeed Lexus IS200. Smokey was due to face Shane in the semi finals, but was denied the chance to go door-to-door with his team-mate, after his mechanics overran the five minute rule by a matter of seconds while repairing damage to his car sustained in a previous battle against Jack Shanahan.

Luke Woodham impressed hugely in his debut event with Team Japspeed. Qualifying seventh, Luke kept a cool head in the rain soaked and treacherous conditions, dispatching his rivals one by one in trademark style. “The main aim this weekend was to make an impression – new team, new season,” Luke told us. “I was pushing to qualify in the top eight inline with the new format. I managed to qualify seventh which was brilliant.

“From there I tried to pick off everyone battle by battle. I put a set of Maxxis MAZ-1s on the back, and the car just really came into its own in the wet.  I lost against the eventual winner of the event –but it was a great battle all the same and I’m looking forward to doing it all again.”

Rounding out the pack of solid results was Matt Carter in 10th place. Showing huge commitment in his Team Japspeed and Monster Energy liveried wide body R32 Skyline, Matt was narrowly knocked out of the event during the top-16 battles, after a dramatic 5-5 & 6-4 battle with team mate Shane.

Team Japspeed will be zeroing in on round two of the BDC at Driftland in Scotland on June 18th & 19th, but be sure to keep checking back on with us to find out where they will be shredding next.


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