The British Drift Championship 2012 Round 1: Teesside Autodrome, UK
Challenging conditions at the 2012 British Drift Championship opening round put Team Falken's skills to the test. Pro class contender Paul Cheshire and 2011 Super Pro class overall champion Matt Carter suffered early exits from the competition, having failed to qualify after dropping a wheel off track in torrential conditions. Super Pro class contender Alan Green makes it as far as the Top 16 in his newly built 180sx.
A busy off-season saw all three of the Team Falken cars arrive at later than scheduled due to last minute tuning. Two of the 2011 cars have undergone extensive changes since last season and Alan's car is an all new chassis.
Paul Cheshire's Nissan Skyline G35 has undergone extensive weight-saving measures since it's last outing. The Toyota-powered Nissan has now been re-tuned to over 670bhp thanks to ceramic coating from Zircotec and parts from SFS Performance, HEL Performance and Pipercross Air Filters. The car now also boasts complete fibreglass one-piece front and rear sections, shaving some much-needed pounds off the total weight! Paul has also taken the off season to transform the car's cooling system, moving the radiator to the back of the chassis to improve weight distribution. Time restrictions meant that there was no time left for testing and Paul was straight into qualifying with the new setup. To make matters worse the heavens opened and the car received it's first wet-weather (and hail storm) test run during qualifying, unfortunately placing Paul outside of the Top 16. Paul made the most of the track time over the weekend to fully test the new setup and looks to head into round two in a competitive position.
2011 Champion Matt Carter also chose to take the off-season to improve on his Nissan Silvia S14.5. The car now sports the same rear-mounted radiator solution and ceramic coating as the G35 as well as an all-new turbo courtesy of CR Turbos and full wide-body conversion from EP Racing and Falken-coloured Rota Force Drift wheels. The result is now over 500bhp and 500lb/ft on tap! Matt went out and qualified on usual high form, however he unfortunately dropped a wheel off track during his run, and was heavily penalised by the judges, leaving him just outside of the qualification quota. Nevertheless after some vital track-time the off-season transformations to the car are a success and Matt will return at round two to defend his title.
Super pro driver Alan Green took the brave decision to change his 2011 car for something more competitive. His previous Nissan Silvia S14 had seen many years of competition and was suffering the consquences of old age as a result. The new chassis is a Nissan 180sx S13 which Alan has tuned to over 450bhp. A full bodykit was applied before the traditional Falken Motorsport colours were applied along with a set of Rota Wheels. In practice and qualifying Alan gelled with the new chassis right away and was looking very strong. He managed to qualify in 11th position in the top Super Pro class, much to the team's delight. A pairing against 8th place qualifier and eventual 2nd place podium Steve Moore saw Alan put up a good fight, but unfortunately the judges ruled in Moore's favour and an early exit for Team Falken. Some much needed early points on the table for Alan nonetheless and it's all still to play for at this stage of the season.
From here all three cars are being prepared for shipping to Germany for demonstration events at Bodensee Tuning Show, the world famous Nurburgring N24 event and an International Drift Series event at Hockenheim, exposing the team to over 250,000 European motorsports fans over the next three weeks.