Team Falken at British Drift Championship Round 3: Teesside Autodrome, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham
The fight for the championship goes on…
Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham – July 21, 2014 – Amidst summer heat, thunderstorms and torrential rain, Team Falken battles through the field to secure championship points across all three classes at the third round of the 2014 Maxxis British Drift Championship, including a podium for championship contender Matt Carter in the Super Pro class.
In one of the most closely fought and heated competition rounds that the team has seen to date, Team Falken enjoyed a full house following Saturday qualification. Not only did they face their competitors, but the great British weather conspired against them too, unleashing heavy rain all through qualification. The team adapted well with Kirsty Widdrington qualifying in a fantastic third position in the Semi Pro class and being hotly-tipped for a strong performance all weekend. In the highly-contested Pro class Alan Green returned to Teesside full of energy and secured 13th position. In the top Super Pro class Paul Cheshire put in a solid performance to take 15th place and Matt Carter pushed his R32 to the limit, netting 3rd position also.
During Sunday’s main event Kirsty was out first, heading off against Callum Craddy in the Top 32. Nothing short of a convincing victory followed, with Kirsty absolutely on point during both runs. In the Top 16 battles she faces Jake Spickett – in her lead run she pulls a large gap and maintains a perfect line, however in her chase run Kirsty makes a serious error which is enough to hand Jake the win, ending Kirsty’s event.
In the Pro competition, Alan Green first squares up to the huge power Toyota Supra of Marcin Mucha. Alan leads well completes the course in style leaving a cloud of smoke behind. With the roles reversed Alan chases with close proximity but straightens coming out of the penultimate hairpin, which is enough to unfortunately end his weekend.
In the Super Pro class Paul Cheshire is paired up against the immaculate new-build of Marc Huxley’s RA28 Celica. The crowd are on their feet as one of the most closely-contested battles unfolds in front of them. The first run sees mere millimetres between the two cars as they navigate the twists and turns. During the second run all is going well until Paul upshifts exiting the hairpin, terminally damaging the differential and ending his run.
It would all fall to Matt Carter to carry the baton going into the finals, but it’s no easy run! In the Top 32, Matt battles Lluis Lopez of Spain in his V8-powered S14. Lluis makes contact with Matt on the first run but in the second run Matt follows perfectly, securing the victory. In the Top 16 he heads off against Driftworks’ Phil Morrison’s 800bhp V8 Toyota Corolla – Matt sets his car up for ultimate grip and manages to keep up with the powerful Toyota, just inches from the Driftworks car for the whole course. Matt would face another tough opponent in the Top 8 – Nankang Tyre’s Wesley Keating. It’s a short-lived battle, with Wesley making heavy contact with Matt on turn one, handing Matt the win but damaging the Falken R32’s front suspension. Matt goes on into the Semi Final against Stephen Biagioni regardless. The two exchange blows over two runs in one of the most heated battles we’ve ever witnessed. On the second run Biagioni makes contact with Matt, however Matt maintains his drift, handing Matt a strong advantage. Unfortunately, in the heat of the battle Matt spins on the penultimate corner. The judges are divided and, following a technical inspection to see if the cars are damaged from the contact, award Biagioni the win. Nevertheless, Matt goes on to win the 3rd place playoff against David Waterworth, securing a podium!
"Round three delivered all of the thrills and the occasional spill for the team" commented team spokesperson Jordan Butters. "We were over the moon with how the team performed throughout the weekend in some testing conditions and amidst some intense competition. We’re still in strong contention for great finishes across all three classes going into round four."
Kirsty Widdrington currently sits in 11th position in Semi Pro class, Alan Green remains in 11th position in Pro class, Paul Cheshire is in 13th position in Super Pro class and Matt Carter is in 3rd position in Super Pro class. From here the team have three weeks to repair and prepare their cars in time for round four of the Maxxis British Drift Championship, which will take place at Lydden Hill Circuit, Kent on August 9th-10th – we hope to see you there!
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