At the start of this season we couldn’t have predicted the position that Young Blood, Lwi Edwards has found himself in going into the last round of the British Drift Championship at Buxton Raceway. Currently sitting in 2nd Position of the ProAm championship after being knocked off the top step by Josh King but still only 5 points behind and he has extended his lead over Martin Cowley who is now in 3rd after knocking him out in a head to head battle at the last round at 3 Sisters.
This goes to show what a young new driver can achieve with consistent results all season, only one podium finish, but always qualifying high and reaching the Great 8 in every round. Lwi has been in stealth mode gathering crucial points which have carried him to the top of the championship, and it hasnt been easy, Lwi has had to work hard with his relatively low powered M3 engined BMW against a field of higher powered cars. It was planned at the start of the year to keep the spec of the car realistic for his first ever season in the ProAm class so Lwi could prove his talent behind the wheel against the odds and he has exceeded all expectations. The Pro class is calling for 2020 and a completely new Pro Spec car build is on its way.
Round 6 will take place at Buxton Raceway, an oval circuit up in the hills, which Lwi has driven only once. However, fresh from his return from the epic Tullyroan Oval in Ireland, he has had some experience of battling in an oval with walls that can ‘bite’. Only 12 months ago when Lwi was still 16yrs old, he finished on the podium at the very last Iconic King of the Ring at Arena Essex, another tight oval circuit. This circuit layout looks challenging and technical and the BDC Team will be putting on a great show for the last event of the season. The weather at this time of year could be unpredictable and Lwi will be avoiding any hard impacts to the walls. It is a tall order for Lwi to win the championship, the top 5 are so close in the points table that it could go to any one of them, but he has now proved that he is a contender for the championship.
Friday 11th October is the main day for ProAm class running under floodlights and the winner will be decided at around 10pm. The event Continues on with Pro class on Saturday and a Battle Royal on Sunday for all comers.
Hidden away in Northern Ireland is the most immaculate Oval circuit named Tullyroan Oval and once in a while, Kevin Quinn organises the most amazing event called Tullyroan Oval Driftnights. Pulling together some of the best known names in the drift world from around Ireland, Europe and occasionally, the world. All under floodlights with Big prizes at stake
We had been given the heads up by a fellow drifter and, after speaking to the organisers, gained an entry for Lwi into this invitation only event, an amazing chance for him to pitch his driving ability against some top class drivers.
The car was checked over again after last round of BDC in Allitalia workshop, some fresh fuel stocked up from new partner Sonoco UK and last minute ferry booking again with Irish Ferries and we, once again headed off to our happy place across the water for the hop from Wrexham to Northern Ireland.
Friday started with practice through the day and the chance to twin with names like David Egan. The weather was mixed with heavy showers and the track was patchy in places so made it quite challenging to run qualifying lines.
Qualifying: As darkness fell and the rain came down hard, the qualifying runs began. Lwi, as always putting his clinical line driving to score an 82 point run to put him just out of the top 10 in 11th place, with only names like Shanahan’s , Quinn , Larner, and McKeever and Drift Games Extreme drivers above him, another great result in the conditions
Saturday: And the weather was mixed again, heavy showers and dry spells and after a short practice during the early afternoon start it was time to run a Superlap which gave the running order for battles.
Top 32 Battle: Now the battles were going to get serious and Lwi had been seeded against another hugely talented young driver, Harry Kerr, in pretty identical spec M3 BMW’s. The first run and both drivers made few mistakes and put pretty well identical runs in lead and chase, so much so, it was judged to go OMT (One More Time), a good call and both drivers agreed on the decision with another chance to battle.
Top 32 Battle OMT : And another chance to battle Harry Kerr for a place in Top 16, it was close again but Lwi put a better run by a small margin and won! So Lwi was through to the Top 16. The next opponent was going to be interesting…
Top 16 Battle : And this couldn’t get any better, something Young Blood, Lwi Edwards had been praying for all year, the chance to battle arguably one of the best drifters in the world and recent Red Bull athlete, Conor Shanahan. It was a tall order to ever beat Conor but Lwi put up an amazing fight, held proximity and ran his perfect lead line. Conor’s smooth style is very similar to Lwi which gave him confidence to make a dive on his door but Lwi was certainly out car-ed and he was happy to take the defeat. The opportunity to be able to run with Conor was invaluable and has been a great experience for Lwi to prove he can battle with the best even with a inferior car. This sets him in good stead for 2020 when the next step up car is built.
An amazing weekend with some world class drivers, thank you to Kevin Quinn for the Invite, all our partners who help us out including Allitalia Wrexham, Irish Ferries, Sonoco UK fuels, L2D. We are always looking to work with new names, if you would like to get involved with this journey, get in touch ready for 2020. Its going to get exciting!
Fresh from his return from final round of Drift Games Nationals, young blood, Lwi Edwards will be heading up north to Three sisters circuit on 14th September for round 5 of the British Drift Championship.
Still on a high from finishing 6th overall in DGN championship and being awarded with the Future Talent Trophy, Lwi’s first ever year in competition has turned out to be a rush. But, the competition is far from over. Back on British soil, Lwi is currently leading the ProAm class of British Drift Championship by a slender margin over a list of drivers who think he shouldn’t be there and will do their best to knock him off the top spot!
This weekend will be another challenge, the circuit is tight and narrow in places but the track layout is nice and technical, something that Lwi seems to enjoy, already gaining the name of Mr Technical at previous rounds.
Practice on Friday the into the competition on Saturday. Lwi is looking to build on his consistent results that have carried him to the top spot.
Let’s keep the ball rolling, with the Irish championship behind us, Lwi can now concentrate on the BDC, already exceeding expectations with his results, the race is on to stay high on leader board until end of the season and gain his Pro license.
The final round of the amazing Drift Games National championship took place in Punchestown, Ireland. This horse racing venue was transformed into a purpose made drift venue and incorporated a large classic and modified car show. The Nationals competed on the Saturday and the Extreme class on Sunday, so it was a jam packed weekend for petrol heads.
A few minor repairs to battle scars on the M3 from the previous round of the British Drift Championship carried out by Allitalia Wrexham and comprehensive mechanical check , the Team made its way for the last time across the water from the base in North Wales to the Emerald Isle with the support of Irish Ferries in time for practice day on the Friday.
Young Blood, Lwi Edwards, was sitting in 8th position overall in the championship, so needed to have a good finish at this last round to make his way up the leaderboard. Practice on Friday was invaluable for Lwi to familiarise himself with the purpose built track, a very technical layout with more inner clipping points than previously which created a tight circuit. The weather was warm and dry and we did wonder if it would be more suited for the higher horsepower cars, but this was not the case, and once again, the control tyres that are used helped to level the field a bit.
Qualifying : After a short practice session on Saturday morning, Lwi processed his usual qualifying line into his computer type memory and finished the session early to relax. As Lwi was sitting high up in championship, he was one of the last to run and had the pleasure in watching the majority of the field of 70 drivers rack up some high qualifying scores in the 80’s. To get into the top 32, a score of at least 78 was needed, but nobody had broke into the 90’s.. until Lwi went out. He drove clean qualifying line that the judges had specified, and scored a 91 on first run, putting him in 1st position. But Lwi is never content and was still determined to improve on second run, putting in score of 92. Normally this would have been enough to stay at top, but the level of drivers still knocked him down to 4th place which was still a great result. The minimum score to break into top 32 was 79 points, so it was an indication that all the battles were going to be hard.
Top 32 Battle: Lwi first battle was against Trevor Healy in a Nissan Skyline, which was a little easy due to Healy unfortunately spinning out on his chase of Lwi, this gave Lwi a 10-0 advantage, so he didnt have to push on the chase run and won the battle without too much drama.
Top 16 Battle: After having a long wait due to the circuit having to be cleaned after a major oil spill, Lwi was to run against Justin Murphy in an identical spec M3 as Lwi, another skilled driver who had beaten Lwi in previous battle at Watergrass Hill after a OMT. Both drivers Lwi and Justin ran a clean line and it was a close call but Lwi took the win as he was judged as having a tidier chase line that Justin.
Great 8 Battle: And this was going to be a tall order, Lwi against Alan Mc Meel in a very light, big horsepower AE86, approx twice HP and half weight of the M3, and he could pedal well . Lwi lead run was perfect as always, and allowed McMeel to sit on his door, but Lwi knew he would be left behind on his chase, so pushed as hard as possible to keep close and had to cut track to keep proximity. The judges marked Lwi down for this and the better car won the battle. Lwi was out-carred again in the Great 8 and McMeel took the win.
The final championship points moved Lwi up to 6th Position overall and he was honoured receive the accolade of the Drift Games Future Talent award for 2019, an incredible achievement for his first season in competition against a field of talented drivers from Ireland and few from the UK
Next round will see us at Three Sisters for British Drift Championship on 14th September where Lwi will be battling to keep his lead of the Pro Am Championship.
All the In Car footage from qualifying and battles below on playlist showing the smooth precise driving style of young Lwi Edwards
Thanks again for the people who support us: Allitalia Wrexham, Learn2drift, Irish Ferries, and the Team, Howard Edwards, Danny Madden, Damien Gough and Julie Robinson, they all help make this happen
Round 4 of the British Drift Championship, High Roller, was to take place on a purpose built track at the NEC in Birmingham. Solid concrete barriers lined the technical layout which would favour the high horsepower cars, unless it rained, which it did, torrentially!
Arriving at the venue on the Friday ready for practice, the Allitalia crew set up their usual camp ready for a half day of practice for Lwi in the M3. Weather was dry and a limited amount of time for the field of drivers meant a rush to get some runs in and familiarise with the new layout. Lwi did his usual and just dialled in the line he needed , inputted the information into his computer type brain and signed off for the day.
Saturday turned out to be a different story, greeted with torrential rain that didnt let up for a lot of the day, this was going to upset the whole field of drivers and also level the playing field for lower horsepower cars, but still didnt make it easy for Lwi. Some extra practice in the morning helped get used to the rain, but it was going to be a lottery for everyone with standing water and slippy painted lines, some uncharacteristic zero scores were ahead.
Qualifying: and Lwi was determined to qualify well now he was 2nd in championship within reach of the top step so kept his cool to run a steady and safe first run, choosing to run the Triace soft tyres to search for grip in the wet surface. His score of 58 was lowest to date but enough for the conditions to keep him in top 10 for a while. The second run was a disaster, something rare for Lwi to ever do, a certain part of the track caught a lot of drivers out, and Lwi included, he span! This meant that his score of 58 was to stand and the long wait to see what position it left him in. Luckily for Lwi, and with lots of zero’s happening, he qualified a reasonable 17th place. The worst position ever but safe to fight in battles.
Top 32 Battle: A David and Goliath battle to be had, Lwi Vs Andy Frost. Lwi in with approx 340hp and Andy with around 700 hp, but the track was still wet and this would help Lwi get the power down. Lwi to chase on first run and he kept it safe and steady in the wet and slippy conditions. His lead run again was steady and accurate, running a nice lead line as always, this was in the bag for Lwi, and his confidence was growing on the day.
Top 16 Battle: and Lwi was facing a newcomer Damien Choppen in his E46 with 1JZ engine fitted. The track had started to dry slightly and this was to become a bit of an issue for Lwi running the sticky Triace tyres, with the mixed surface changes, gripping in areas made for a challenging drive. Lwi lead line was nice and tidy, the chase was on point and advantage to Lwi, so through to great 8.
Great 8 : This was to be an epic battle with William Hanna in his Skyline, almost twice the hp and a track that was drying out quickly. Lwi made some small errors on his lead run due to the grip level changing and not having the horsepower to compensate, but also ran a perfect line on the walls, then Hanna also made few mistakes. So it went to one more time, the best decision the judges could make. By now, the Triaces were grippy and did cause Lwi to shallow slightly on his chase run, but kept proximity and did a few demon dives on the lead car to please the judges. His lead run was an epic start, somehow left Hanna standing off the line but carried too much speed into the same corner that caught him out on qualifying and Lwi span! .. Again… Hanna took the deserved win.
So Lwi didnt make the final 4 again but an amazing result again for the 17yr old youngster in a relatively low powered car on his first ever year of competition
But consulation for the weekend was winning the ‘Hard Charger’ Award for the day knowing that he is now LEADING THE PRO-AM CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!
Due to the success with Drift Games in Ireland, Lwi was given a bonus opportunity to be able to enter the first round of the British Drift Championship to try and qualify for a place to compete in the 2019 BDC season. A golden opportunity to pitch his driving abilities against some of the best drivers in the UK.
Friday was spent practising the very technical circuit layout, organisers had decided to run the traditional Teeside layout in reverse to spice things up a little and level the playing field. This suited Lwi and the less experienced drivers as it was new to everyone. The car was set up and tyre choices selected by main sponsor Allitalia Ltd with just 1 broken driveshaft changed in record time to keep the M3 Powered BMW out on the track for a long as possible
Saturday was the main event for the Pro-Am and after a morning practice it was straight into qualifying mode. For Lwi, the pressure was on to qualify in the top 32 to gain his BDC Pro-Am status but he didnt let his nerves get the better of him and nailed his first run to put him in top ten, then drove a nice tidy line on second run to a final qualifying score of 73 which placed him in 8th place overall at the end of the session. A pretty incredible result for the young 17yr old in his first competitive season. This result secured his BDC Pro-Am license to compete in the UK but the real competition was just about to begin…
Let The Battles Commence
Top 32 battle started with Matt Fountain in a Soarer, Lwi putting in the usual clinical lead run which seemed to unphase the experienced chase car, and he made a few mistake, running off line and also finishing with a small ‘love tap’ around final bend. The chase run for Lwi saw him being left behind slightly due to the power difference but Lwi managed to make up some proximity and also followed a qualifying line to take the win.
Top 16 battle was against William Hanna in another high powered Nissan Skyline, but this didnt phase Lwi with his technical approach to driving, again the lack of horsepower was compensated by car control , putting the BMW where it needed to be to take the win and move into Great 8!
Great 8, where things really start to get tough,and only one step away from the final battle and chance to go through to next day with Pro class! Unreal that Lwi should be at this level on his first ever attempt of BDC
So, the Great 8 battle saw Lwi and Josh King. Both in BMW E36 but one was turbocharged and had twice the horsepower as the other… unfortunately, Lwi was in the M3 engined one, so was about 300 hp short. However, this again didnt phase Lwi, once again he drove a near perfect lead run, following qualifying line, and let the chase car make the mistakes, but he just couldnt make up any proximity on his chase run against the superior power of the lead car, so the battle was lost. Josh King went on to win the ProAm on the day
Expectations officially exceeded
Lwi went into this competition just to qualify in top 32 to gain his BDC ProAm license but once again, as in Drift Games license day, he has shown his incredible talent to both qualify in top ten and take a relatively under powered car up to top 8. He was officially the youngest driver in the lowest power car to get into top 8 on the day, a pretty decent result.
Next event will see us back in Ireland for round 2 of Drift Games Natonals 4/5 May
It was never going to be easy with the class of drivers in the championship but Lwi pulled out all the stops with his smooth precise driving style to qualify 1st in the first session and finally finished an impressive 6th overall out of 75 drivers after the second session. This meant Lwi had officially made it into top 32 and ready for battles
Things went a little pear shaped during his first battle, carrying a little too much speed into the first corner he stepped off the track causing the chase car to follow therefore getting penalised, his chase run was clean but the damage was done and he lost the battle. It was the first time all weekend that Lwi made a mistake and he paid the price.
But a lot of positives to take away from the weekend, an incredible result considering Lwi is still just 17, has only been Drifting for around 12 months in a car that he has only driven twice before arriving at Mondello in a championship that has a mix of experienced pro and Pro-Am drivers.
The car prepared by Allitalia Ltd ran faultlessly all weekend and the service crew was on point.
The Drift Games championship is new for 2019, very slick and professional and fast turning out to be the best drift championships to be a part of. The opportunity to compete against top class drivers in this environment is invaluable at his age and we are confident Lwi will shine during the season.
Next stop will be Teeside this coming weekend where Lwi now has opportunity to qualify for British Drift Championship as well!
It was a warm and sunny in Mondello Park today but young blood kept his cool
The image captures the level of competition that young Lwi Edwards will be facing on race day tomorrow. Practice on the track today was quite challenging against some experienced and talented drivers in cars with sometimes twice the horsepower but this incredible championship has been carefully engineered to help encourage more talented drivers with lower hp cars and create a more level playing field by using a control tyre.
This suits Lwi well, being a very tidy and precise driver he will be in a position to battle with more powerful cars without losing out to hp gains.
Faultless driving today with his confidence in the new car growing every minute, Lwi will be looking for a good result tomorrow.
Countdown to first round of Drift Games National Championship.
Car is finished and ready or the trek over the water from Wrexham to Mondello, Ireland for the first round of the championship. A big step for Lwi to have opportunity to compete against some of the best and experienced drivers in Ireland and a few from UK also.
Drift Games is a perfect stepping stone to Pro and International competition and Lwi will be the name to watch in the future. Fingers crossed for a good result this weekend.