So, where did we leave this off? Oh yeah. The event was rad. Qualifying was intense and unpredictable, and a brilliant Top 16 was the result. You can read Part I here, and when you’ve done that, make the jump!
So, first up in the Top 16 was quite a simple one to predict. Phil Morrison in the INSANE Driftworks S15 was up against Antony Mortley in the R32/4. If this picture doesn’t do justice to how close Phil was running on Mortleys rear end, I don’t know what will! Given his immense follow run, Morrison went through.
Clearly Luke Fink had seen Morrison’s run and felt compelled to try and one-up him! I’m sure the top guys have some sort of magnetic system in their car to keep them so close! The yellow Rocket Bunny of Anthony Scott was the victim in this battle, and Fink went on to the Top 8.
Walton Smith was absolutely on it in his Top 16 run against Luis Lopez. That car is a smoke machine!
Unfortunately for Luis, he spun on his lead run, giving Walton the win.
The little underdog MX5 of Fillipo Pirini didn’t get his day, with Nigel Colfer in the Marangioni Tyre S13 taking the win in what was a very close battle.
Top qualifier Juha Rintanen went against Ricky Emery. This is a good example of how stupidly fast Juha is – I didn’t get a single shot with them both in frame. Unsurprisingly he won!
Peter Green in his V8 powered E30 lost out to the R33 of Martin Richards. This was quite a surprise to me – the E30 has an insane amount of steering lock, and in practice he was getting some incredible angle and speed.
I love the livery on Brad McQueen’s S14. It’s advertising Ouch, a tattoo studio in London. Anyways, back on topic. The car glued to his behind is that of Damien Mulvey. He pulled away in his lead run, and then stayed glued in the follow run. The judges only had one way to call it – Mulvey went through.
A Toyota washout in this battle, as Alan Sinnott in the Corolla faced Steve ‘Stiggy’ Evans in the nimble Starlet. Both cars are totally unique in Drift Allstars, and the Starlet is often considered to be a giant killer. But not today. Sinnott had been running very quick all day, and hadn’t changed his style for this battle. He sailed away from Stiggy, and found a place in the Top 8.
Which coincidentally we are now on!
The two S15s, of Phil Morrison and Luke Fink, were first up in the Top 8. I don’t even know where to start on the skill of these two drivers. Both are champions, both are internationally known and revered. Both are massive talents. And to top it all off, both have very similar cars here.
While following Fink stayed right on Morrison’s tail. To get through Phil would have to pull off something spectacular in his follow run…
…And he tried valiantly to do so, but Fink was simply too fast, and pulled quite a substantial gap by the end of the run, giving him a spot in the semi-finals.
Next up is the GC8 Impreza of Walton Smith against Nigel Colfer in the S13. Walton pulled a sizeable gap in his lead run and made his way in to the semis.
Juha Rintanen took on Martin Richards. And absolutely demolished him. Not to Martin’s fault though! Juha is just so fast. It’s actually quite hard to communicate how fast he is in picture form. And not only is he fast, he stays on your door when following.
Next up we have Alan Sinnott and Damien Mulvey together in a battle. It was all going really well, both cars were close, but in the next run there was a bit of a surprise…
…That is a wheel. It belongs to Mr. Mulvey. It’s meant to be on his car.
It all happened so fast I’m personally not quite sure what happened. However! They managed to get the car fixed and out for another run! I have a massive amount of respect for the guys who are running the show in the background and working on the cars, they don’t get enough love!
Even with his new wheel Mulvey couldn’t keep up with Alan Sinnott, and the Corolla made its way into the semi finals.
The first battle of which was Aussie, Luke Fink, against Walton Smith. At this point it’s no holds barred. Fink was blisteringly quick! And Walton simply couldn’t keep up while maintaining the same amount of angle. Fink took a spot in the finals!
This isn’t how you’re meant to follow someone! Alan Sinnott and Juha Rintanen in the semi-final battle had a coming together. The damage done wasn’t too great – Juha had a damaged rear panel, and Alan lost a wheel, but didn’t damage the suspension. Easily patched!
Both of these cars had been fighting for the fastest speed in practice, so this was going to be an incredible battle!
Juha, who had been simply pulling away from everyone in the other battles, now had a fight on his hands. One he would lose. Sinnott took the spot in the final against Luke Fink.
This left the bottom spot on the podium a fight between Walton Smith and Juha Rintanen.
Juha clearly felt sour over losing to Sinnott over speed and stepped up his game even more, pulling away from the Impreza of Walton Smith with no trouble whatsoever. The 3rd spot on the podium was his.
Alan Sinnott in the Corolla, and Luke Fink in the S15. On the first run, with Fink leading, Sinnott managed to match the pace of the more powerful S15. What would happen when the roles were reversed?
With Sinnott in the lead it was going to be hard to keep Fink at bay. But Sinnott kept at it and managed to make the fight a good one!
Well, it was too close to call! The judges decided a one-more-time was in order, and they ran again. While Fink was leading, his tyre came off the rim! He tried to keep the car in control but it was too tough, and he spun. Alan Sinnott took the win!
What an start to the championship! It’s wide open – with a Corolla on the top spot in the championship I have a feeling that anything can, and probably will, happen!
1. Alan Sinnott
2. Luke Fink
3. Juha Rintanen
Round 2 of the chamionship is this weekend, June 24th, in London. Unfortunately I won’t be attending, but out fantastic Stew Noble will be! Keep an eye out for our coverage from there!