Hey everybody, James Deane here driver of the Low Brain Drifters, Rockstar Energy Drink PS13 writing my 1st blog for OMGDRIFT.com Thank you for having me OMGDRIFT! For my first blog I’m writing my story from Drift Allstars round 5 in Birmingham which was held last weekend. This was another new track for me to experience this year. The weekend started on the Friday for us. For this event I had lots of support from home (Ireland) as the Drift Allstars series is a European series, I travelled on my own for the other events across Europe. We decided to drive to Birmingham From Ireland in a 7 seater Ford Transit van with my Dad driving, Mam, Chris my nephew (up and coming drifter) Martin (OMGDRIFT photographer) and Aisling coming along to support me. We left my house at 6am on the Friday morning with a 2hr30min drive to the Ferry, then a 4hour ferry crossing to Wales, and first stop 3 hours later in Lydney, Britain was to Low Brain Drifters to check over the car.
We arrived at LBD headquarters at 3pm Friday feeling pretty tired but ready to get stuck into the PS13. I had brought over a 200sx 3:7 ratio diff to use as from looking at videos of the track I thought a longer gear ratio would suit better. When I got there Julian (team owner) and Jordan had the 4:1 diff removed from the car which saved some time. Because we run R32 GTR Skyline rear end we can’t just bolt in the 3:7 diff because the Skyline shafts are bigger. So I stripped the GTR diff, unbolted the 4:1 crown wheel from it, washed it all down and bolted the 3:7 crown wheel onto the GTR diff.
Then bolted the now 3:7 GTR diff into the 200sx 3:7 casing. Job Done! We then went for food and when I had came back Chris and Jord had the diff back in the car and ready to test! We warmed the car up on the ramp first. Then took it outside the unit for a test. Everything was fine so it was time to head to Birmingham which was another 1hr30mins away from LBD. We Checked into our hotel which was 1 mile from the track, it was 1am, a long day! Time for bed!
We got up at 7am Saturday morning, it was main event day. I was really excited and feeling really good about this event. We got down to the track a few hours early at 9am. We wanted to get set up early and as I had missed practice on the Friday I wanted to get down there to see how it all looked just in case we needed to make any changes to the car before practice started. I cycled the track that morning and the track looked much better than I expected. Lots of walls and hard transitions which suit my driving style. We made a few set up changes before practice, first decision was to remove the new low mount Wing because I don’t think it would have lasted 1 lap as the Judges had set out 3 outside clipping points against the wall/railing which was higher than the car.
After our first drivers meeting, it was finally time for the first practice session! The track turned out to be really fun and very technical. It was an oval track with space in the middle. So we started on the main straight, drive the first corner (clockwise) to gather as much speed as possible, cut through the middle of the track starting the drift, transition hard left drifting up onto the first outer clipping zone which was the whole outside line on the banked left hand bend(anticlockwise) then transition hard back right on the back straight with an inside clip, transition back left which was a full 360degree bend cutting through the middle again with the last outside clip in front of the crowd. Really fun track to drift! After my first run in practice I was really happy with the car, the gear ratio was perfect and I loved the track!
First little problem we ran into was that Tires only lasted us 3 laps. It was a hard surface on tires but made for some BIG smoke! Then when we were changing our first set of wheels we noticed the wheel nuts gave up and also damaged the wheel studs when we were removed the wheels. So the panic was then on us, we were running around looking for new wheel nuts and tap and die set to clean the wheel studs again. By the time we got all this sorted we had missed the rest of the first practice session. So the second practice session started, we dropped tire pressures lower to get some more traction and try make our tires last a little longer. It worked, I was now getting 4 laps to a set of new 265-35-18 tires and grip levels were much better. I got 8 laps in the second session but time went so fast when i was practising my qualifying I never practised my chasing!
After practice we had a 15 minute break before qualifying, As I was leading the championship I was the last car to Qualify. I like and also dislike being the last car to qualify. I like it because I have lots of time to get focused and also I get to see all the other drivers runs before I do mine so I have an idea how hard I must push! I dislike it because I don’t like waiting sometimes you have too much time to think. Some of the drivers put down some awesome runs including Nigel Colfer, Christy Carpenter and Phil Morrison polluting the ozone layer with his white clouds of smoke.
I knew I had to push really hard to try beat these guys. So on my first run I put down a solid run getting all my clips, nothing too exciting just to get me into the show. In my second run I pushed as hard as I could running as much angle speed and smoke as possible, I rubbed the walls so I was really happy with my run.
We had an hour break to get ready for the twin Battles. First was another drivers meeting where they would tell us the Qualifying Results, I knew i had a good run but I didn’t know was it enough to grab that top spot and take them 10 valuable championship points. I was nervous awaiting to hear my name. 4th Christy Carpenter, 3rd Phil Morrison, 2nd Nigel Colfer and 1st with 295 out of 300 points James Deane. I was delighted! Just what I wanted! I love qualifying first because I like doing my lead run first in the twin battles.
Skipping through to my top 8 battle I was up against Anthony Mortley in his freshly Build BR32 Skyline. It was his first event in this car and he was doing a good job all day! I was first to lead and put down a solid run pulling away from Anthony over the run. On my chase run I knew his speeds were a little slower so I left a few car lengths at the start but quickly caught up with him on the first banked left hand bend. I finished out my chase run doing some left foot braking to keep my distance from Anthony. I got the win, I was moving on to the semi finals! I was very happy!
Moving on to top 4 I was put up against Phil Morrison in the 720BHP Driftworks S15. This was a battle I was really looking forward to. I have battled Phil before In the Finals of the Prodrift European Championship round 5 in 2008 and it took 3 OMT’s before Phil beat me! I wanted some revenge! I knew his car was really fast and puts out tire smoke with his 285-30-18 Federal RS-R tires like I have never seen before. It was now dark and we were drifting under flood lights! Awesome! Run 1, I lead and pushed as hard as possible keeping a nice distance ahead of Phil. Phil had a correction behind me so I had an advantage. Run 2, I chased Phil down keeping nice and close through out the run not making any mistakes. It was so hard to chase Phil with his smoke! I could not see anything down the entire back straight but I kept the throttle fully open! The Judges called my name, I was through to the finals of round 5!
In the Final I would meet Irish driver Christy Carpenter in his awesome Yokohama tires BN widebody S15. Christy is a really good driver and has really stepped up his game this year being one of the most aggressive drivers in Prodrift this year. He is not afraid to push his immaculate S15 to the limits. I knew this would not be an easy battle either. His car is really fast too. In run 1 I gave it my all again and put down a great lap running the qualifying line throughout the course. Christy had a correction at the start of his run. Run 2, I chased and stayed nice and close through the track and he also did an awesome lead run. When the smoke settled the judges said they had made a decision! It was time to go to the podium! I was happy with my runs!
So Bren the MC called out the results, 4th Nigel Colfer, 3rd Phil Morrison, 2nd Christy Carpenter and 1st James Deane. I won Drift Allstars Round 5 at Birmingham Wheels. I was delighted! It was a dream event for me with the team qualifying 1st and winning, extending our lead in the championship! The finals of Drift Allstars is held next month in Wembley, London. This will be a massive event with drivers competing from all over Europe.
This event would not have been possible without our sponsors, Low brain Drifters, Rockstar Energy Drift, Opie Oils, DeaneMsport, Protuner, Saj from Japanese Performance for the wheel nuts all the support I had at this event. Trevor, Jordan, Chris and Will for looking after the car, Julian, Mam, Dad, Ash, Martin, Aisling, Karen, Brodie, Becca and everyone else that supported me at the event and online.
Huge thanks to OMGDRIFT for giving me the chance to share all this with you.
Till next time,