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
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!
Round 5 of the British Drift Championship was to take place at the Three Sisters race circuit in Wigan, a tight and twisty track, using a new layout. Although Lwi had only done a novice day in 3 sisters previously, the new layout helped level the field a little against regular visitors.
The weather forecast was good, warm and dry, unlike previous rounds, this would give Lwi the chance to silence the doubters who think his current position in the championship, 1st, is due to the previous wet conditions favouring the lower power of the M3.
Friday, was a short drive from the Allitalia base in Wrexham after the M3 had been checked over and was spent with free practice and Lwi familiarising himself with the new layout. A very technical line had been set out to challenge the drivers, Lwi inputted the data into his processor type brain, spent some time perfecting the line then called it a day.
Saturday morning and the weather was dry and warm, after a short practice it was time for qualifying. Lwi was the last to run due to his position in championship and was determined to prove a point. His first run was a tidy 94 points and a second run topped this with a 95.6! Top qualified again but always chasing that perfect 100 score
Top 32 Battle: The first battle was to be with local drift god Karl Farrar with Lwi putting in his now almost perfect lead line, Karl was able to get up close, physically pushing him over the finish line. Lwi chase was tidy and close enough to win the battle. Advantage Lwi and through to Top 16.
Top 16 Battle: Lwi second battle was with Paul Cunnington, another driver who is close in championship, Lwi now has qualifying line dialled in and Cunnington made a few more errors than Lwi. Advantage Lwi and Great 8 beckons
Great 8 Battle: A battle that Lwi was looking forward to, Martin Cowley, sitting a few points behind Lwi in championship, this was to be a head to head battle, and the conditions were dry, advantage should go to Cowley with his superior powered Nissan. But Lwi drove a clinical lead and an impressive chase which impressed the judges, against the odds he took the win and finally made it into the Final 4, a position that has eluded him a few times this season and achieving this by taking his direct competition out made it a special moment
Final 4 Battle: This was going to be a tall order in the M3, pitched against Andy Frost in the 600hp FastR BMW. Frost had started to gel with the car after spending some time testing and he was driving well. The battles were very close but Frost took the deserved win by a close margin.
Final battle : The battle for the final place on the podium was against Minelga, another hard fought battle that Lwi managed to clinch with his precise line driving. 3rd position was in the bag!
The Pro Class
But it was not over, the top 4 finishers in ProAm had opportunity to race on Sunday in the Pro class
Qualifying: And Lwi pulled it out of the bag and put a safe first run in with a 78 point then nailed it with a 91 point run. He held the top place in qualifying until knocked down to 2nd by Martin Wonnacott. This put Lwi straight into Top 16 battles and he could sit back and watch the remainder of the field battle it out.
Top 16 Battle: This level of the Pro class was alway going to be difficult and Lwi was to battle Adam Simmons in his LS powered BMW. Another very close battle that Lwi lost by just one point.
Overall a very productive weekend that showed what Young Blood, Lwi Edwards is capable of, wet or dry. The fact that Lwi has only owned a drift car for 18 months, this is the first year in competition and he is still only 17yrs of age. Looking forward to seeing what can be achieved in the Pro class in 2020.
The last round of British Drift Championship is Buxton on Friday 11th October for Pro Ams and a full weekend of competition. Buy your tickets here and support us
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 .
Back to the UK for the next round of the British Drift Championship for Young Blood, Lwi Edwards. Round 4 takes place at the NEC Birmingham on purpose built track similar to the previous round of Drift Games in Ireland.
Currently sitting in second place overall in the Pro-Am class of the BDC2019, he is looking to build on this with consistent runs while avoiding the notorious concrete walls that will be lining the circuit.
Half way through the season of the British Championship and Lwi is only 5 points behind the leader. As a team, we didnt expect to be anywhere near this but Lwi’s natural talent is shining through at an incredible speed . So we are all geared up now for a push to move up a level into the Pro class for 2020. Although the M3 is capable of competing in Pro class with some modifcations, a new car Pro spec car is due to be factored into the workload this year in anticipation of him gaining his Pro License in 2019
We are looking for individuals and companies who would like to get involved with the progress of Lwi Edwards, a golden opportunity to support a young driver who, at 17yrs old, is turning out to be a giant killer.
In the meantime, the M3 has just been prepared and checked by Allitalia Wrexham ready for the NEC and Lwi is fresh from a weekend of practice in Instructing with Learn2Drift at Rockingham and Birmingham Wheels to keep his skills honed.
If you would lie to be part of this journey please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Round 2 of the British drift Championship found us making the long trip over the border to Driftland in Lochgelly, Scotland. With young blood, Lwi Edwards sitting in 5th place overall in the Pro-Am championship, we knew it would be a challenging weekend at the purpose built drift circuit that suits high horsepower cars
Friday practice was spent familiarising himself with a circuit that Lwi had not visted before. With the team trying different settings on the BMW E36 M3, he settled in pretty quickly and dialled in the qualifying line before session finished. Feeling comfortable with the setup, he decided to finish on a high after nailing an almost prefect qualifying run.
Qualifying : 84 points and 3rd Position
Saturday started with open practice for the morning, with the sun shining and a dry track, Lwi spent his time just cleaning up his qualifying lines before the main qualifying sessions started. The weather became overcast as sessions started and the rush to get a run in before it started to rain was on. His first run was clean and tidy, scoring a very impressive 84 points, putting him in 2nd place. Then the weather started to change and light rain started to make things interesting. After making the decision to ‘send it’ on second run, Lwi got caught out with the slippy track on entry to first clip and slipped off line, this was immediately a zero score, so luckily his 84 point run was enough to finish in 3rd place overall.
Into Battles – The heavens opened
Top 32 : And the heavens opened, we hoped this could give Lwi a small advantage and level the playing field and we were right, so decided to change to narrower Triace tyres on the rear and Uniroyal rainsports on front for more grip in the torrential rain. First battle was with Charles Funnell in his nicely built AE86. Lwi had a great jump on him in lead position and lay down his usual perfect line even in the rain, unfortunately for Charles he couldnt get the grip needed to catch Lwi. The chase run for Lwi was same, with Charles struggling with conditions and Lwi comfortably keeping close proximity throughout. First win to Lwi and though to top 16
Top 16 : And Lwi was pitched against Stu Jones in his Nissan, another high powered car in hands of experienced driver. The Lead run and once again, Lwi was not phased by the very wet and slippy conditions to pull a clean lead line while the chase car struggled for grip and Lwi managed to pull a gap which he held until the finish. The chase run and Lwi held a good proximity to the lead car, keeping a safe distance as the lead car made a few small errors. All in Lwi’s favour and he moved through to the Great 8.
Great 8 : A place Lwi has been before and this battle was going to be hard, with Matryn Cowley in his Nissan, another very talented driver who is renowned to be aggressive on the chase runs and is currently leading the championship. The Lead run, and Lwi made a small mistake into clip 2, just dropping a wheel over the circuit into the huge puddle that had developed, but the chase driver also made a large error in the middle of circuit which had now developed a mixed surface of grip, catching a few drivers by surprise. The chase run, for Lwi was hard work, Martyn’s car had the grip and the power but Lwi managed to keep close proximity but in the same area of the circuit that Martyn had problems Lwi had to back off to avoid hitting the lead car, this caused him to transition too early and he ran wide off track on that clip. After composing himself, he held a good chase position for the rest of the run.
So it was all up to the judges to make their decision, which seemed to take for ever, both drivers had made errors on the difficult mixed surface and opinions were mixed, the majority wanted one more time, but judges couldnt agree and the win went to Martyn Cowley. A controversial decision as both drivers would have been happy to run OMT to battle it out. So Lwi was out and Martyn Cowley made though to Final 4 and on to finish on the podium
Another amazing result for Lwi in his first competitive season at a circuit he had never even visited before, never mind driven, the weather did help with lack of horsepower in battles, but he also qualified 3rd in the dry against some big horsepower cars. The podium is getting closer every time and Lwi is currently sitting in a nice position on the championship table in 5th overall.
Credit must go to Learn2Drift, the leading UK drift school that started the whole drift mission 18 months ago, now officially an instructor for the school, with their help and guidance, it has enabled Lwi to experience drifting on both wet and dry surfaces in different vehicles. The opportunity to gain extra seat time inbetween competition is invaluable and is recommended to both beginners and experienced drifters. http://www.learn2drift.com