Round 2 of the British Drift Championship at Three Sisters circuit in Wigan, 12 months to the day when Lwi made the podium for the first time in the ProAms and almost qualified top in the Pro class, so he was looking forward to a good result now competing in the Pro class for 2020.
Practice day was booked for the Thursday prior to the event but a minor scare saw main sponsor Allitalia stripping the gearbox out of the car on Wednesday evening after a noise developed in the transmission while moving the car ready to load on the trailer. After checking the clutch and flywheel, the gearbox was replaced for the spare to avoid any failures on race day. The BMW LSV8 was given a clean bill of health and loaded ready for a later start on practice day.
Practice day ran smoothly and gave Lwi a chance to get used to the new Accelera 651 sport Xtra 100 TW softer compound semi slicks supplied by partner for 2020 Tirestreets UK now mounted to some new 1 Form 18 inch rear wheels. We dialled in some different settings to gain some more grip and tried some different tyre pressures. Some new cooling fans fitted after the problem in previous round turned out to be much more efficient and kept the temperatures down by about 20 degrees to around 90c, even when driven hard which was a relief. The car ran faultlessly until it suddenly cut out while waiting in line at the start. After being towed back to the paddock it turned out to be the main kill switch, brand new this year, which had failed! After searching the paddock, Luke Barker’s team came to the rescue with a new one, all fitted and ready to go in under 30 mins. The rest of the day was uneventful, Lwi just cleaning up the qualifying line ready for race day
After chilling out watching the Pro2 class it was time to get the race face on for the Pro day on Saturday. Fuel up with Sunoco race fuel, new Accelera 651 rear tyres and morning practice, the weather was good with a damp start but forecast was dry so it was going to be fast and furious all day for sure.
First qualifying run and Lwi was on it from the start, a nice clean line hitting all the clips and gaining a score of 94,holding top spot for a while but finished finished 2nd
Qualifying Run 2:
Never happy with his run and always chasing that perfect score, Lwi was advised by judges he needed to put more flare in his style, so this run was more smoke, speed and pushed out to the clipping points. Something was amiss this time though and a lesser score of 92. Back to the drawing board to chase the perfect score. However, Lwi did finish the qualifying in 3rd position which is pretty amazing for his first year in Pro’s
Top 16 Battles:
Due to Lwi high qualifying score he advanced through to the top 16 and his fist battle was to be with one of the most experienced drivers on the grid Martin Wonnacott in his awesome high spec Toyota Chaser, this was going to be a good one. Lwi pushed hard and put his usual flawless lead run which may have caught Martin on the hop but he caught up quickly on the chase run. Turning around and Lwi made a few mistakes on the first few clips so the judges voted for a OMT (One More Time) to give a chance for a cleaner run from both drivers.
Top 16 Battle OMT:
Lwi pushed hard on this battle, it was close and entertaining until Martin was forced into a mistake on the last few clips, running off the track and allowing Lwi to take the win and advance into great 8
Great 8 Battle:
After battling Martin, the great 8 battle should be more even with young irish driver Dylan Kehoe who had advanced through from Pro2 with a very nice spec Nissan with similar power to Lwi. It was very close and tidy battle which Lwi took the win to advance through to Final 4
Final 4 Battle:
Well, this was going to be a mission, Lwi was now up against the experienced and fellow welshman Ollie Evans in a much higher spec Nissan who was determined to win the championship. Lwi pushed as hard as he could, it was close and fast with Ollie losing his bumper on transitions but Lwi just couldnt beat Evans and the lost the battle.
Third Place Playoff:
Lwi had one final chance to make the 3rd place podium and his opponent was the young driver Max Cotton, who had stormed the field of Pro2 to this position in the Pro class. The battle again was close with both Lwi and Max rubbing doors but the win went to Max, so Lwi just missed out on a podium place. Well done Max!
Lwi finished the weekend with a 4th place o/all finish and although disappointed in not getting another podium at Three Sisters it was a great result after some hard battles. Currently sitting in 5th place in the Pro championship, once again it it a great result for the first year in the Pro Class
Always looking for consistency like last year in Pro2, if Lwi can stay in top 5 for this season it will be a great achievement, but who knows what happens, with so few rounds of the championship, things can change quickly.
Huge thanks to everyone involved with the team from sponsors Accelera tyres, tirestreets UK, haltech, Sunoco fuels, Driven Oils, Learn2Drift, 1Form Wheels and bank of Nana and John, as well as all the Team Driftfam who all make this possible.
Always looking for support on this journey, please get in touch if you can help out in any way at firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
The Emerald Isle beckons Lwi Edwards for the final round of the Drift Games National Championship this coming weekend at purpose made circuit in Punchestown, Ireland
Currently sitting in 8th position in a championship mixed with Pro and Pro-Am drivers is an amazing feat for the youngsters first ever season in competition, while making it to the podium is impossible due to the huge lead that fellow UK driver Luke Barker is fighting with Harry Kerr, it is still possible to climb a few places still with a good result this weekend.
The BMW M3 has been repaired after a few wall taps in BDC at Birmingham, checked over and give a bill of good health by Allitalia Wrexham. Then heading off across the water once again with the support of Irish Ferries ready for open practice on Friday morning.
Team support has increased for this last round with ‘Team Manager’ Damien Gough and the legend Pro Drifter Julie Robinson on hand to offer advice to young Lwi as well as the usual mechanical support from Chief Mechanic Dan ‘mad’ Madden and of course, myself, Howard, who has the task pulling it all together.
Its going to be challenging weekend once again against the higher HP cars but with Lwi showing his ability to drive a precise lead line and almost perfect qualifying line which the judges expect, the chance to finish well is always available with the lower power of the M3 engine.
2020 will see another step up competition car build to compete with the top drivers, and hopefully this will be in the Pro class .
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!!!!!