As some of you might have noticed in Reiniers post from a few months ago I was at the D1RC World Championship in the UK.
D1RC is the UK RC drifting series, a bit like the D1:10 here in Holland. Every year D1RC is hosting an international event at Snetterton Park in Norfolk. This year, for the first time, it was a world championship instead of a Europian championship which meant there were even more countries present then normal. This year there were 39 drivers from 8 different countries all over the world. I was part of the Dutch team called Team Orange and we had 6 drivers in total. Well… Actually just 5, as one of our drivers was representing Suriname. I’m quite happy he did so. I’ll explain why later.
The worlds is an event of 4 days. Practice on thursday, qualifying on friday and saturday and the finals on sunday. Team Orange left on wednesday evening to take the ferry overnight and arrive at Snetterton park thursday early in the morning.
Packed the van full of cars and pit supply’s
After a night of fun on the ferry we arrived to early so we had to wait for someone to open the gate for us. We were even the first to set up our gazebo and built a nice and very orange pit area.
England is in sight
I think we’re there
Our very orange pit area. We had a few 100 meters of orange flags and ribbon hanging in there
Our first glance at the track. It’s HUGE
It was time to unload all the cars and parts. I got to see everyones team car for the first time, and I have to say that every single one was looking awesome. We immediatley took some pictures of the cars together and apart, as most of us hadn’t even made show pictures yet.
They all fit together quite well don’t you think?
This is the one I was driving the whole weekend. Here it was still shiny and new
Soon after we had set up our pit area the French and the Danes arrived. A lot of new faces. It’s great to meet the people you talk with on the forums, to finally know the face behind the nickname and avatar. All good people too!
Now it was time to put all our fresh rebuild cars to work. I was really blown away by the pace those UK drivers were going round the track. They are all so incredibly fast, even with the 10.5 motors. I knew we all had to work on our driving style to keep up with the fast guys, otherwise we would lose all of the battles in the final right away. So we did, and what an amazing experience! I loved the high speed drifting. All of us were getting faster and faster, mostly by tandemdrifting on the practice track.
While gathering for the drivers briefing our cars were getting a lot of attention
As you can see Jim was really pushing the limits of his car trying to stay ahead of the super fast Z33 of Tom Walton
I was trying to go faster too. As you can see Edwin had got the hang of it sooner then me, so he just stuck to my door the whole way round the track
I don’t know why ‘Le Bleu’ picked orange as their team colour. Did look good on the track though. A big string of orange cars chasing each other round the practice track
After the diner the D1RC ladies had cooked up for us we drove a few more laps round the track and started packing. We headed to the hotel for some more fun, some beers and the much needed sleep.
“You want some gravy with that?”
Cheers mates! The first day of this epic weekend was over
It was day 2, and it was getting serious now. The first day of qualifying and a lot more (in my case needed) practice. Everyone was getting their brand new HPI T-drifts out which meant that the cars were even faster then the day before. The qualifying started at noon with the first group of drivers. All the drivers were split up in to 7 groups of about 6 drivers. Each group got 10 minutes structured practice before doing their qualifying runs. We all gathered round the track to cheer for our team mates. Great teamspirit in Team Orange, and in the other teams as well. We were all helping each other out by sharing parts and working on each others cars. Only in drifting!
I found this at the supermarket. It tasted good too!
Owen cooking up our lunch…
All was going well. Tandemdrifting at the practice track. Really, the practice track is where the most is happening. No pressure, just fun
John Turner, the man behind D1RC, making the official openings speech
A trackwalk with all the drivers. The judges explain what they want to see in the qualifying runs
We all had some great qualification scores, with Rick in 5th place being Team Orange highest scoring driver so far. After that we had Mick in 16th place, Jim 17th, Edwin 19th, Owen 29th and I was at the bottom on the 32th place. The scores were all very close together, so anything could happen the next day. Even the lowest score (82) was higher then the top drivers at the D1:10. Those English judges have a weird scoring system..
Top qualifyer of day 1 with 95 points was Richard (RLS) with his Cusco Impreza
After the qualifying sessions it was time to goofe around on the practice track again.
One of the Lithuanian drivers trying to impress us by putting a flag on his car
But ofcourse Mick could do better, and stuck an even larger flag on his car
I joined the party by strapping a ‘Beesie’ on to mine. It understeered so much with that thing dragging behind the car
Saturday was the second day of qualifying. I really wanted to score better as 32th place didn’t cut it for me. The judges had reversed the starting order from friday, so I was in the second group to qualify. I had saved my tires in the morning so I had as much grip as possible for my qualifying rounds. Brand new T-drift slicks seem to have a lot more grip then worn ones, so we all had bought a few extra sets of tires. As I was running with as much negative camber as possible on my chassis I could just turn my tires around and have a new surface to ride on.
In the structured practice round for my group I had some amazing runs! Near to perfect! Unfortunatly the wind was back when I needed to do my qualifying runs and the score was a bit disappointing. Only one point more then on friday, and I was a bit pissed of at the judges. They noticed that too haha, I was looking very angry. But because most of the other drivers didn’t manage to improve their score I had climbed up the ranking to the 27th place and I was in the C poule for the finals.
The Dutch scores from day 1 and 2 so far: Rick still at 5th place with 90 points, Edwin at 10th place with 89 points, Jim at 15th place with 88 points, Mick at 16th place also with 88 points, Owen at 24th place with 87 points and I was last again.
Saturday’s top qualifyer was Stu Sissons with his Falken Z33
After qualifying it was time for the best shell and best chassis competition. We lined up all the cars next to each other to take some group shots. Each country needed to pick one judge for both competitions. Every judge got to nominate one shell and one chassis and then had to decide together what the winner would be. I was the judge representing Holland, and Owen was representing Suriname so we had 2 judges in our team. First up was best shell and out of the 6 nominees 3 of the shells were from our team. As Owen was representing Suriname he got to nominate a car too. Owen had nominated my car which I really need to thank him for. He and I took the initiative to set the criteria for best shell. We devided it in to 4 different categories. Paint, interior, lights and overall detailing. As 4 of the cars didn’t meet the 4 criteria my SC430 and Owens S14.3 were the two finalists. All the drivers got to vote for the two by standing behind the car of their choice. I took the win by a very small difference. Owen got 18 votes, I got 19. Sorry Owen!
After that everybody removed the body and all the countries got to chose a chassis. I was looking for the most clean wired chassis and picked an Xray T2 ‘009. Or maybe it was because of the orange anodized alloy.. Who knows! Just like last two years it was the Yokomo of Paul Edwards that won. Well deserved!
All the cars lined up for best shell
The 6 nominated shells
The 2 finalists
The happy winner
All the chassis lined up for best chassis
The 6 finalists for best chassis
Without much doubt, this was the winner… Like last two years!
After some burgers and potatoes it was back to the practice track again for some night drifting. But as it is summer it only got a bit darker just before we needed to go. We had set up a barrier and some empty cans to make an extra challenge on the practice track. This was a lot of fun, but it did go horribly wrong some times. I have smashed the diffuser of my SC430 in to pieces here.
Some more twin-drifting while the sun set
Drifting that gap wasn’t as easy as it seemed
Although after a little practice you could get it right
Sunday was the day of the finals. Maz had worked out his table of confusion and everybody knew who they were up against. I had to go up againt Owen in our first battle. I knew it would be a hard task. I haven’t had a single practice round with Owen and I didn’t quite know his driving style. Offcourse I had driven with him at our local competitions and demo’s, but everyone had adapted his drivingstyle to the big Snetterton track and I didn’t know what to expect. To be honest, I was quite nervous. I was quite new to the whole competitive drifting and my results at home weren’t very good. I think I went in with nothing to lose and tried to make a great show of it at least. Owen had a better qualifying score and had to lead first. I chased him pretty good and we had a very close run. The head judge commented on our driving that we were in a battle and not on an exhibition. I don’t remember the score, but I gues it was a 5-5. I had to lead the second run and couldn’t do anything but drive a nice line with good pace to ensure my win. Owen had the chance to make the difference which he definatly tried. Unfortunatily for him he made a mistake and went in to fast on the second clippingpoint and hit my car causing a spin. The judges ruled it his mistake and I took the win. Mixed feelings as Owen really deserved the win just as much and I already had my price, but I was happy too as I had just beat the number 3 from last year which is quite an accomplishment.
This and a lot of nice goodies from HPI were at stake
Some last minute practice to get in the mood
And some relaxing at the track to get focused and talk strategy with the team
Owen and I in battle-mode
Owens unfortunate mistake
After that I was up against Robert from the UK team. I took the win there and was on to the C poule finals. There I met David from the French team. After a close battle I had won the C poule and was through to the B poule.
Chased quite good. Not pushing too hard and risk spinning out
Managed to overtake David on the first run and I nailed all the clippingpoints. In the next run I just made sure I didn’t spin
In the B poule I was up against our ‘Flying Dutchman’ Jim. He is super quick, always and everywhere. Against Jim you always have to drive defensive. He can see an opportunity to overtake in every mistake you make, and succeeds most of the time too. So this was exactly what I did in the first run where I had to lead, and it worked rather well. I was very wide on the first clippingpoint, but I had a bit more speed then Jim and managed to stay ahead. On my chase run I had to make difference and went in very fast. Jim was driving different lines from the rest of Team Orange all weekend and this run wasn’t different. I was following his line which was a lot more shallow then I was used to. Coming up to the first clippingpoint I could’nt get my car to go in like Jim did and I went off-track over the curbs with both front wheels and spun out. This is where my weekend ended. Jim went on to the A poule, which is the top 16 of the world, and even got to the 4th place.
Me vs. Jim
I think this has to be one of the fastest runs of all weekend at that corner. Jim and Tom probably had the fastest.
The A-finals were very structured. Every rank had its own battle, not like we have here in Holland where your rank depends on your qualifying score. As Rick, the photographer of our team was in the A-finals I was on paparazzi duty. The top 16 had some of the best battles I’ve ever seen. While I was burning my skin of in the summer heat, Jim, Edwin and Rick all progressed through to the top 8 and were sure of a price. Edwin eventually got 7th, Rick got 5th and Jim lost the battle for the last podiumspot and got 4th. Very very good job! Mick and Owen too offcourse. Mick had some bad luck in his chase run as he went off-track on the second clippingpoint. John ‘Angry Monkey’ went very wide and Mick could easily overtake him but I think he wanted a bit too much. The rest of his two runs were definatly good and I think he would’ve easily won. Owen did a superb job as the team captain. He was giving tips, coaching and supporting all of our team and it really gave us confidence.
Mick vs. John
Rick vs. Tom, who has won the 2010 D1RC series and got second at the Worlds
Edwin beating Paul Edwards
Rick beating last years winner, Stu
The top three spots were for Frenchman Remi Daude in third place, the super fast Brit, Tom Walton in second place and on the top spot it was UK’s Pete Gray. Congrats to you guys!
Team Orange took most of the prices. Besides best shell and 4th, 5th and 7th place we also had Edwin who won the raffle (HPI Cupracer) and Rick who won best dressed drifter and also most published picture.
All of the prizes we took
The Norw.. ehm.. Danish wave
The guys cheering for me. I love the team-spirit
All the orange cars + their drivers. Would make one awesome team!
I really would like to thank the D1RC organisation for a super smooth and fun event, all of the drivers for the great company and offcourse all of Team Orange for making this a unforgettable and wonderfull experience! I really hope I can be there next year.
And thanks to Rick and Jim for letting me use their pictures.