Round 6 of the British Drift Championship was to take place at Buxton Raceway, high up in the hills so everyone knew that this would be a challenge with unpredictable weather and a tight oval circuit, to make it even more interesting the races would be battled under floodlights late into the night.
This was the final round of the BDC and anyone in the top 4 could take the championship, it couldnt be any closer after some amazing battles all year, and Young Blood, Lwi Edwards had turned out to be the ‘fly in the ointment’ sitting in second position going into this last round. Fresh from his return from the Tullyroan Oval in Ireland, Lwi was confident of a good finish but needed luck to be on his side to take the win, and for once, things went in his favour. Non of us had thought of crunching the numbers to work out where he had to finish, Lwi always looks towards the top step and top qualifying, so we decided to let things pan out by the end of the night.
For the last time this season, the trusty BMW M3 was given a clean bill of health by main sponsor Allitalia Ltd, Wrexham and fitted with a few mods such as LED lighting to help when it came to the night battles at Buxton, some fresh race fuel from our recent 2019 supporter Sunoco UK and a mixed stock of tyres to test from Extreme, Westlake and Triace for the changing conditions. Still testing the brands to see which suit the power and Lwi’s driving style. The car was then loaded for the hard slog up the hills to Buxton Raceway on the Thursday night ready for the race day on Friday
Friday morning and torrential rain, horizontal at times, played havoc with practice. Lots of standing water on the circuit in places and for a short while it looked like the whole event could have been a washout. Lwi spent as much time available getting familiar with the circuit after only been here once before to test the BMW earlier in the year, but the grip level was mixed and this could potentially cause problems for all the drivers when competition started officially later in the day. This weekend the extended family had also ventured across to support Lwi at this last round but one special guy, Heath Bamford was missing from the gang after having a serious accident on a motorbike a few days before, a shout out from the judges was a nice gesture.
Qualifying 1 : With darkness starting to fall and the circuit starting to dry it was time for Young Blood, Lwi Edwards to get his game face on and start taking this seriously, all the drivers were given a sighting lap due to the mixed surfaces and Lwi used this to put an almost perfect run before the actual qualifying lap. The usual clinical line from Lwi put the first score of 84 to put him in 3rd position. Well happy with that one, nice and safe
Qualifying 2 : And the floodlights were now changing the atmosphere in the arena, once again, Lwi put a really strong precise run but the judges didnt think it was a top qualifier and he didnt move from his 3rd place finish. Still happy with the result and put him in good place ready for battles.
Top 32 Battle : And this is where lady luck started to take part and Lwi had a by run due to his opponent having problems with the car and unable to start. So one lap of the circuit and back to prepare for the next battle
Top 16 Battle : Lwi Edwards Vs Karl Farrar. All the battles from now on were going to be hard, Karl was very experienced and his 500hp Mazda had been flying all day around the oval. Lwi put his usual clinical lead on the qualifying line but Karl also ran a tidy line, however, it was judged that Lwi took the win by 1 point with even one judge calling one more time… it was so close and some great battle with Karl, Lwi would have been happy to take a one more time, to do it all over again, but through to the Great 8 he went.
Great 8 Battle: Lwi Edwards Vs Stu Jones, and lady luck number 2 was on his side again when unfortunately, Stu damaged his car going into the first bend and was unable to repair it in time to start the next battle giving Lwi the path into the Final 4. Things were now looking rather interesting with the championship but we tried not to get distracted by the points and Lwi just continued to take one step at a time.
Final 4 Battle: Lwi Edwards Vs Martin Cowley, the battle that could make or break the championship, Martin was on form all day and you could tell that he was hungry for the win. Lwi struggled to keep proximity on the chase and this was going to go in Martin’s favour but to confirm this, Lwi actually span on the final roundabout finish!! Put down to combination of loss of brakes and grip coming into the bend after having to work so hard to keep up with Martin. Lwi took the defeat and Martin had to work hard for the well deserved win.
Final Battle Playoff: Lwi Edwards Vs Fitzgerald. The final battle for Lwi to take third position and this was another case of ‘giant killer’ mode. Lwi now needed to finish 3rd to have chance to take the championship and Fitzgerald had all the gear and experience to take Lwi down but Lwi switched up a gear to run a perfect line as always and it looked good for Lwi to take the win, however, we would have to wait until the final podium celebrations to find out
The final podium celebrations and results announced! Lwi takes 3rd place finish on the day which was incredible against the odds, but the crucially takes the championship win overall by 1 point … 1 point lead after 6 rounds of the championship in his first ever year of competition .. what a result!!! And still only 17yrs Old!
Huge thanks has to go to everyone who has supported us this year and also to the British Drift Championship team who gave Lwi the chance to qualify at the start of the season and give him the platform to compete, no-one could have predicted the outcome of the championship with Lwi being the underdog all year and now the next challenge is to take a win in the Pro class in 2020, I am sure this will be more difficult and we will be looking for a select amount of companies or individuals who would like to get involved with the team in this new chapter.
Below are selection of videos and images from Buxton 2019