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    Never in the history of the British Drift Championship has a round been more hyped than Round 2 of the 2017 Championship. In Round One the Irish were again held off the top spot by Matt Carter in his Japspeed R32 Skyline. Teesside has been part of BDC history, and after 10 years of events being held at the Iconic drifting circuit, it brought back some serious memories for me on and off the track.

    It goes without saying the 2017 BDC hype is working. Again, Round 2 was smashing viewing and attendance figures, it was by far the biggest crowd I had ever seen at the Middlesbrough circuit.


    The week for me personally had started well. The car was on top form, re-aligned and tested. At the last possible moment it started to go wrong... when loading it onto Wesley Keating’s lorry, the car just started to cut out! It was not ideal, and in poor conditions with no time to fix we had no choice but to load it onto the lorry. The next time I would see the car was later on that evening after a mammoth 6 hour drive to Teesside, hampered by 3 hours stuck on the motorways surrounding Manchester.


    Social media was gathering pace with competitors arriving all afternoon the excitement began to grow at the venue. Throughout the evening, we could hear the surrounding crews arrive and unload as I spent the evening working on the Nissan, trying everything we could to get the car to idle.


    Eventually we settled on raising the idle control to mask the issue temporarily: at least this made the car drivable.

    The next morning it was clear that it was going to be another tough round. Many of the competitors from both classes had made use of the Teesside practice days throughout the year, and from the off it was obvious that a lot of the guys had the line dialled almost instantly.


    I hadn’t driven the circuit for a few years, but I was building in confidence, until we had a tiny bit of drizzle just enough to mean on the edge initiations were enough to spin the car. After a couple of spins, I just doubted myself going into qualifying - unlike in previous years.



    This resulted in 2 tame runs, the second being the better, I just came up short  of clip 2 and 3, the rest was good but even a wall run on clip 6 wouldn’t be enough to get me into qualifying missing out by just 1.4 points.


    Looking back, I’m just kicking myself for not just going at it. In the commentary, Dave used the word ‘tentative’ and I couldn't have said it better myself! No matter what happens I need to shake this qualifying nerves, something that’s never bothered me before.


    After watching myself slowly drop out of the qualifying positions on the live stream, I quickly realised that even though this was the end of my participation in the weekend, it most certainly was not the end of the event!


    Next up was Pro Practice…. and wow! The sheer level of the driving in the Pro practice session was outstanding, and really gave me the feeling that Sunday was going to be something special. I was pitched up next to Wes and some of the Irish guys, who unfortunately were having some teething problems in the LSX powered 180sx.


    I missed most of the Pro Am battles after helping them with a couple of water hose issues, but from what I did see it was a BMW wash out. Matt Walker, a dude I had watch drive from being a total beginner, was slaying it in his M3 powered E30.

    Peter Hayden in an E36 BMW took the Pro-Am win, just beating Matt in the Final.


    Once the day’s activities had come to a close it was time for a chill, eat some pizza and to watch the Formula D top 32 on the side of a lorry, which was probably one of the coolest ways I’ve ever watched drifting!

    Sunday started wet and miserable, with the clouds looking like it could go either into a tropical storm or glorious sunshine - the first hour of practice was certainly tricky.


    One thing about drifting in the wet is it shows the true colours of a car and it’s set up. The wet will exploit any flaws that car has and things that are barely noticeable in the dry become exaggerated in the wet. You can tell a lot about a car’s set up in the wet and how well they have been prepared, guys like the Shanahans, Martin Richards, dive only slightly slower in the wet than they do in the dry and the stability of the drift and the confidence the drivers have is clear to see.


    Many cars that maybe rely on low tyre pressure to maintain high grip, have may struggle to quickly dial more grip in. You can see many cars instantly become sitting ducks if battles were to be run in these conditions it would make for an interesting technical spectacle, but no where near the level of showmanship and entertainment that the record breaking crowd deserve.


    Qualifying was dominated by the Shanahan brothers taking first and second place, and at the time I felt it was surely not going to be long before we had the same result on the podium.

    Talking of the podium, Matt Carter again sprung to my mind as the clear favourite for this event, as if single handedly showing the Irish the door at Round 1 was not enough. Maxxis had provided team Japspeed with semi slicks. Something the Maxxis backed team had been lacking over the last couple of seasons, and this addition could push the team back into a similar domination which they had around 2010-2012.


    Anthony Galvin was a noticeable addition to the Irish contenders looking to take the BDC silverware back to Ireland, I have always liked the look of his car and to take a good look around it and meet the guy was a pleasure this weekend. Even if his car did drip oily black exhaust condensation all over my fresh Yellow paint!


    I watched as many battles as I could from the infamous Teesside bank. As I watched on, I can’t help myself but look into the technicalities of how some of these guys with fully sequential boxes, just slapped it in 3rd or 4th down the main straight and didn't even need to change again for the entire run!


    I was envious, not just of the cars but the driving quality. It was absolutely every bit as good as what I had been watching in Ireland over the last couple of seasons. Looking back to Teesside events of the past, I would sit on the Middlesbrough circuit outer bank distracted by the driving I would get hideously sunburnt. Watching normal BDC level runs with timid driving at best. Waiting for the one moment of chase car magic normally supplied by Carter, Luney, or Huxley… Not this time.

    The only thing I could relate from this weekend to BDC of the Pre-Egan era was my f**king sunburn. Even writing this now as I sit here a day later with a drift hangover, my face feels like it’s been through one of those rotary hotel toasters.


    From the top 24, nearly every battle had drama. Literally every other battle had a door rub, a wall ride or even airborne cars dragging there dismembered suspension into the grass (not that drifting is all about crashing), but all of the drivers had to fight their way into that top 24, and not one of them was going out without being on the knife edge of ‘all or nothing’.

    As the rounds went by, Matt Carter looked unstoppable. His team mate Paul ‘Smoky’ Smith in the GT86 looked like he was finally getting comfortable in the Toyota chassis and I'll put him down as my one to watch next round.


    Clutch issues had hampered Jack Shanahan all weekend, yet somehow he still not only managed to make top qualifier and still made it through to the top 4. Not even BDC 2017 wonderboy Oliver Evans had a look in, as Connor prepared to battle Matt Carter in the final.


    The first run was intense, with Malx the Line Marshall noticing something amiss with the Westlake liveried S13, Connor decided to risk the car and head into battle. By the time the cars came around for the second battle, Connor’s car was not fit for the 2nd run and sadly after a calling a 5 minute rule. Was not able to get back to the line.


    For me at the moment, Matt Carter is still the favourite to take the 2017 BDC Title, not only because I feel that he at the moment is the best chase driver on British soil, but the Shanahans always seem to have this cloud of reliability over there cars. Sometimes I just find myself willing them to make it on but rarely an event goes by where one or both of the cars have some kind of issue. 


    Drifting is basically one of the only remaining motorsports that is truly unlimited, and with that is going to come danger and questionable reliability, only time will tell how this pans out throughout the season.

    My S14 was loaded onto the back of the WKD imports lorry, it’s heading over to Ireland for a few weeks. At the time of writing we don’t think we will be driving it at Round 2 of the Irish Drift Championship unfortunately but we are on the reserve list somewhere. With limited driver spaces we didn’t make the first cut. I'll be doing as many events as possible while the car is in Ireland we just don’t know what yet.


    BDC round 3 is scheduled as a Pro only round, but the rumour on the street is that this may now also be Pro-Am, But I’ve sent the car to Ireland, so in reality I have no idea what’s going to happen this week or next week or anytime soon!

    Until I know what the hell I am doing.

    Take it easy



    Images By  : FJ Photography 


    • Joe Ankers



    • Previous Blog Issues

    Issue Three -  Drift Matsuri 

    Issue Four -  BDC The Preparation

    Issue Five - BDC Round 1



     Last month saw the first round of the 2017 British Drift Championship. We are a little behind in terms of blog posts, as the start of the year didn’t quite go to plan (more on this later!). In this issue I thought I’d cover a little about my own S14, and throw together a couple of paragraphs summing up what we have been up to during the off season.

    The first thing to talk about is the engine department. The engine for this year is a Straight Cam SR20DET from my previous competition car (1992 Nissan PS13 Silvia). We didn’t have the budget to go for fully forged, so a full refresh was in order. All parts were replaced with brand new, genuine OEM items, apart from where we could obtain basic upgrades. This included:


    ACL Race bearings

    ARP Rod bolts

    ARP Head bolts

    Tomei 1.2 mm Head Gasket

    Tomei Pon Cams

    Tomei Rocker Stoppers

    Improved Solid Intercooler pipework by Race Day Developments to the GTR Intercooler

    The entire bottom end balanced Inc clutch and flywheel.

    Walbro 450lph fuel pump


    This added to the existing:

    Owen Developments GT3868HTA

    Nismo 740cc injectors

    Grex Oil cooler

    3 inch Custom Exhaust with Jetex and Buddy Club Boxes

    Rear mount radiator

    Tubular manifold



    With these modifications, the car needed a re-tune. This was undertaken at Protuner, where Greg Gush (The Sr20det Guru) worked his magic. The car made 350whp, which is a 50hp increase on what was achieved before the refresh.



    Once the Engine was sorted it was time to turn our attention to a few other areas of the car. The new rear rad set up had been working great in the few times we had tested it over the last year. The only issue was, with such an increase in the volume of water when the temperature increased; only a small amount the pressure was enough to bypass the radiator cap, so during the off season we have added a small expansion bottle with a re-circulating and self bleed system.


    During mapping, the system worked perfectly and the thermal imaging camera clearly proved that the radiator was performing well, even under an intense workout.

    We also looked to improve the handling of the car with a new set of 7Twenty Monotube Coilovers, which allowed us to have much more control over the way in which the car transferred weight, and enabled us to get maximum attrition from the tyres. We will cover more about car set up in coming issues.



    With the car’s new power, we made a rather last minute decision a week before our pre season test and only 2 weeks before the first round of the championship we decided to fit a Z32 300zx Gearbox.

    With not much planning I ordered a conversion plate for a SR20DET to Z32 from Low Origin, a friend had a Z32 manual box from a previous project so we had the main components for the conversion to hand. After four long nights, followed by a 48 hour straight-stint in the garage (overcoming hours of unforeseen issues), we emerged from the garage a few hours late but ready to roll and hit our first practice of the year at 3 Sister’s Raceway.


    We arrived early afternoon after my girlfriend's mum, Fiona, offered to tow us to the track (as she felt it wouldn't be safe after myself and Ffion being awake for so long)!


    The conditions at the circuit were sketchy at best, with damp patches and intermittent showers throughout the day it was difficult to get any real testing done. However the engine was running great and the new box seemed to be working.


    We had one minor issue where I had forgotten to tighten a bleed bolt on the engine and it popped out mid track, fortunately a quick tow back and re-bleed and we were up and running again!


    I wanted to try and get used to the new box, especially the change from the direct close SR gear throws I had been driving with for the last 8 years box to the remote VG Shifter, I tried to hook up third a couple of times, but with the 3.9 diff and the relatively small circuit it did not seem to want to hook up as well as I would’ve liked.


    By the end of the afternoon, a little frustration had crept in and I wanted to make sure third at least worked so I entered the lunar section of the track in third and clutch kicked the car until it finally broke into a drift. However, I was so offline by this stage I clipped a waterlogged foam barrier which span us across the track and into some tyres placed on the inside of the circuit.


    It was my own fault, but at least I knew third worked, the car didn’t start after the crash so we loaded it up and headed home to assess the damage.


    We had a week to go until BDC Round 1, and with the car back in Wales, it was time to asses the damage. The good news was the engine started, but something didn’t sound quite right, the knock to the rear left when I hit the block had smashed the rear bumper and bent the exhaust in 3 places and ripped the flexi section out.


    With a couple of days to go, Hywel from Race Day Developments was able to spare a couple of hours one night for some emergency repairs.


    Hywel came over to asses the damage, it was clear that the entire exhaust needed to be re shaped, and reset. Unfortunately the RDD workshop was full of awesome projects currently undergoing major work, and with no ramp available we turned to a RX7 FD loving fellow Jap enthusiast Josh, luckily he had a ramp available for us to use.

    With the car in the air we set about fixing the damage, and within a couple of hours the car was ready to go.


    It was time to head to BDC round 1.


    Till next time, take it easy!




    Images By  : FJ Photography & Harry Adair

    • Joe Ankers



    • Previous Blog Issues

    Issue One - The Introduction

    Issue Two - The Irish Drift Championship

    Issue Three -  Drift Matsuri 




    Drift matsuri is one of the very few events in the drift calendar that makes me believe that drifting in Britain still has some connection & parallels with the kind of events that take place in the motherland of our chosen pastime. Open tracks, the widest range of driving talents i have ever seen,  an insane mix of cars and a shitload of seat time.



    I'm lucky enough for it to be held once a year on a circuit a few miles away from where I grew up, and not too far away from where I currently live.


    The circuit is divided up into 3 tracks: the ‘Practice Hairpin’, the ‘Touge Track’ (part of the coastal circuit, also known as Hill / Mountain track) and the ‘Fast Track’ (Club Circuit). Each one has their pros and cons, but either way all of them are excellent fun and it’s definitely worth spending time on all of them over the Matsuri weekend. Here’s a brief insight into the chosen configurations.



    The Hairpin is an area of the circuit which, for sure, is under used. It has no tyres lining the track and allows you to really test the limits of your ability and car setup with minimal risk. I tested out the car here before moving on to the other tracks!


    My personal favourite is the Coastal; in particular the section from the start line up to the back straight. From the first drift day held at the circuit (around 2013), I have always said that section of track is one of the best sections of track in the UK, and I feel there is some potential here for a great competition layout.



    The layout provides a challenge for all drivers and car set ups, and there are a number of lines to be taken, dependant on your style. My personal favourite is to attack the Hill Section with as much speed as possible throwing the car over the crest already sideways using as much angle as possible to slow the car down for a solid 3rd gear pull onto the back straight. Which is what I have been working on in the previous years.


    The Coastal Circuit continues onto a tight 180 hairpin left and a 90 degree right to finish. This brings you back around to the start line queue, with the option to hit the pits for a fresh set of rubber or move onto the Fast Drift Circuit (Club Circuit).



    Unfortunately Matsuri for me didn’t go to plan and I only managed a couple of passes up the hill in somewhat sketchy & patchy conditions, trying to get used to a new set up with a poorly car.


    I have put together a little video of one of the last runs before I had to call it a day. This pass over the hill has a little extra manji on the climb up the hill than I would normally like to do. However, it was still fun and I seemed to be getting some accuracy on the line after a few sketchy runs. While getting used to the rebuilt S14, I was happy tagging a few nice rear clips.


    The Fast Circuit is basically 3 corners, a fast 90 degree left onto a strait and into a banked 180 degree right into a large 4th gear (in your 300bhp Stock SR20DET and SR Gear Box) 90 degree right. This course is a challenge, and to do it well requires some serious commitment. The first straight is linkable with a huge transition, or even with a single manji, which if you're progressing from Manjis working onto a transition gradually increasing the speed and commitment, the feeling of nailing it is amazing. However, a lot of dudes think that the aim is to get as many manjis per straight as possible, after all you can do what you like, but it does mean that it can get tricky at times (Although personally for me 6 manjis per straight is a waste of speed and tyres).



    The 180 degree hairpin is deceiving as the bank means you can hit it with way more speed than you think, the following straight again is about maintaining speed and getting your initiation for the fastest corner timed right for maximum angle and speed.


    The event has a really chilled vibe and the fact it’s a 2 day event really removes a lot of the pressure you would get on a practice day, the seat time was great and some of the drift train lengths were into double figures.



    The weekend didn't come without its casualties this kind of event takes its toll on cars if not mechanically then certainly aesthetically and it wasn't just the grassroots guys, some of the Pro level drivers see this as the last event of the year so quite often like to see it off with an actual bang.



    One guy keeping a lot of the drivers on tack, either with repairs, recovery or even getting parts shipped to the track throughout the weekend was Hywel Rosenthal. He is the MD of local garage Race Day Developments (RDD) with the help of his mechanic Olly had a busy weekend repairing drift cars. Some of you will know that RDD have sponsored me over the last few years, but this weekend Hywel was kept busy by not just myself but many other drivers. Just the few times I managed to catch up with him he was welding lower arms, hubs, steering racks! There are a few people missing from this list but a run down of the people i can remember he has helped in one way or another are: Marc Huxley, Ryan lawrence, Adam Agatowski, Sid Crowfoot, Stuart Roy, Nat Younger, Chris Bate, Hayden Jones, Jesse Ashley on behalf myself and all the people he helped I think he is definitely worthy of some thanks!



    This year the night fight for me was not quite as good as the previous 2 years (2014 was a full BDC level comp ran on the BDC circuit which was ruled by a fantastic drive by James Deane. 2015 was an insane open pit session on the fast track in the dark which I was lucky enough to drive in). This year saw the return of competition format on the reverse of the BDC layout and then continued around to the back of the circuit. For me it was too spread out and not as focused as when the BDC layout is used (especially from the spectators point of view). That said, people doing insane drifts in the dark is never a bad thing!



    The following day, drifts resumed, albeit with a few sore heads after the ‘Party In The Pits’ (featuring a questionable DJ). The chilled vibe continued and the seat time was phenomenal, unfortunately still sitting out the day with the car not 100%, I took time to spectate from some of the more remote parts of the circuit, the coastal and mountainous views are spectacular and well worth the 15 minute walk up the hill.



    Probably the highlight of the weekend was getting a few laps out with TJ Berney and the Irish guys. There’s no reason for me to hide the fact I have huge respect for TJ, the guy bossed the IDC Pro Am in a car not much higher spec than my own, here are a few clips from the laps I got with him, including a classic drift save moment!


    Drift Matsuri has never disappointed and this one was no different, as a driver a spectator and a drift fanatic Matsuri's are here to stay, my only hope is they become more common, less oversubscribed and sensationalised and be about drivers getting out on track together!



    Til’ next time, as always check out these useful links, and take it easy!


    Joe Ankers



    • All photos this issue by FJ photography




    • Joe Ankers




    • Drift Matsuri

    Drift Matsuri Website




    • Previous Blog Issues

    Issue One - The Introduction

    Issue Two - The Irish Drift Championship




    There are some things about drifting you cannot put into words, or explain in a way which anyone can understand. The level of concentration that you reach while millimetres away from the car you are mirroring. The state of mind when everything’s in slow motion, when you can hear and feel every particle of rubber and dust, when your peripheral vision tracks debris hitting your windscreen as you focus on your target. That feeling at the end of the run when you're awaiting the result of a battle when in reality you don’t care which way the result goes because that run was f*cking awesome.


    STL S13 180sx 200sx DRIFT2013 PS13 Photo: Alistair Graham (STL)

    For everything else that can be put into words, I’m going to try and put them down in this blog. Over many years I recorded and shared my drifting experiences in a build thread for my old Ps13/Onevia on the now minimally used Driftworks Forum. In a way it's sad that social media like Facebook and Instagram have taken over from online forums I felt like the words accompanying the pictures really could explain the feeling and reasoning behind what was going on, and maybe convey some of the emotion of a particular time, especially when written in the first person.


    S14 200SX 18X10.5 STYLE49 DISHED WHEELS2017 S14  - Photo: Ffion Jones

    "Why now? Why here?" you may ask… Well the timing for me is right. So let’s fill in the gap with abit of history.  The old build thread finished around the end of 2013, I was lucky enough to be part of Team CarLoan4u, with two of my best friends within drifting Alex Law and Matthew Samuel. 2013 was our first full season within the BDC, we managed to win the constructors championship in cars that we had built in carparks and driveways. Against all of the odds, against Teams with huge budgets, with a little help from CarLoan4u we managed to stay afloat and buy some gazebos and snatch the championship by a handful of points. The following year the 2014 season saw the CarLoan4u team disbanded, even though I had continued success I made the decision to retire my Nissan Ps13/Onevia from competition.


    VG30DETT S14 STL 200sx drift side2015 VG30DETT S14 - Photo: Alistair Graham (STL)


    2015 was spent developing the New S14 chassis (the trials and tribulations of this teething process will be covered in the next post focusing on the build of this new chassis). I took the decision at the end of that year to take a season out from drifting. I had a lot of personal changes and challenges over the next 12 months and I knew if the S14 setup was the one i wanted to use going forward then there had to be some changes to not only the chassis, engine and aesthetics but also to myself. All of this was going to take time and money.


    S14 200SX 18X10.5 STYLE49 DISHED WHEELS2017 S14  - Photo: Ffion Jones


    So we come to today, where the new car is built and it’s in the stages of ironing out the teething problems. As you can see it is now yellow and fitted with a fresh SR20DET. The plan for this build in not only be ready for the 2017 season but a 3 year assault on competitions, exhibitions, drift events and basically every opportunity to drive we can physically manage to attend.

    This blog’s aim is to cover these events, the ups, the downs and everything in between from car setup, drift preparation and styling, through to driver progression.


    2017 S14 ft. 7Twenty style 49 in one off Hyper Silver - Photo: Ffion Jones


    So, why here…. 7Twenty are a company that have literally taken my goals for the next few years and stamped them with a ‘hell yeah’. So this seemed like as appropriate a place as any to publish this journey.

    Don’t be under any illusion: This isn’t going to be the most powerful car, I'm not going to be the next James Deane, but this will be a continuation of a journey of a normal guy who has built a car to push himself and the car as far as possible, which stopped when I tried to mix drifting with being an adult. I've decided being an adult can wait a few more years, there is plenty of time for that.

    Till then, Here’s some useful links

    Take it easy,



    Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/brosefer/
    Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/Joe.Ankers.Drives/
    Original ps13 build thread - http://www.driftworks.com/forum/drift-car-projects-builds/76140-joe-s-onevia-bdc-street-legal-carloan4u-co-uk.html
    FWJ photography page - https://www.facebook.com/ffionjonesphotography