First Championship Wins of the Season!-Drift Allstars, BDC, BTCC, MLR/22B, FIM Drag
As of the weekend we have our first Owen Developments boosted Championship winners of the year! Congratulations to James Deane and Steve Venables on their victories. Meanwhile the British Drift Championship and were at Silverstone for the Trax show, Shane O'Sullivan is homing in the BDC Championship as is Rich Marshall in Time Attack Pro. Elsewhere Luke Francis was competing in the Woodpecker Stages and the MLR/22B Sprint Series were in action.
Drift Allstars – Title Victory for James Deane!
It took him a little bit longer than last year, but once again James Deane (ODGTX3582R-M) is the first Owen’s boosted driver to take a Championship Victory in 2014 in Lithuania! Deane took the win in convincing style, qualifying second before winning the final round of the Championship beating Championship runner-up and his closest competitor all season, Piotr Wiecek, in the final battle of the year.
Deane’s metronomic consistency on and off track, including being the only driver to win more than one round, won him the IDC last year and has done the same for him in Drift Allstars. He now has to be rated as one of the best drifters in Europe, if not the world. Congratulations from everyone here at Owen Developments!
FIM European Super Street Bike – Venables comes from Behind to take the Championship!
You spend all season waiting for a Championship win, then two come along at once! This weekend the top Drag Racers came from across Europe to Santa Pod for the final event of the year; the Euro Finals. Owen’s sponsored racer Steve Venables (ODGT3586HTA-M) was in attendance with an outside chance at the Championship, some 26 points adrift of the lead.
Steve’s Hayabusa was running well, taking him all the way to the final against another rider with Championship aspirations, Garry Bowe. This time Steve would have enough running a 7.2034 at 200.65mph to take the win and the 2014 FIM European Super Street Bike title. Well done Steve, congratulations from everyone here!
BTCC – Turkington Edges Closer to Title at Rockingham
In the Owen's boosted Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship leader Colin Turkington extended his advantage at the top of the standings with a double victory at Rockingham; ,before Rob Austin went on to score a hugely popular win in the final race.
eBay Motors driver Turkington came into the weekend having never won at the Northamptonshire circuit but immediately banished that record in an exciting opener. The 2009 champion got the jump on pole-sitter Sam Tordoff off the line and despite coming under intense early pressure from the MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save racer, he eventually pulled clear to win by a comfortable margin. Pole-sitter Tordoff held on to second from team-mate Jason Plato until the finish. Most of the action was behind the lead trio, with fourth place changing hands several times before the Chrome Edition Restart Racing VW of Alain Menu took the position late on, completing an impressive drive by the Swiss star.
Turkington doubled up with a dominant lights-to-flag victory in the second bout. MG duo Plato and Tordoff again filled the remaining podium positions but this time it was the double champion who led home his younger stable-mate. 25-year-old Tordoff was gobbled up by Plato initially and then lost out to the fast-starting Menu. He managed to squeeze his way back past the VW man on lap three, however, and went on to score his second podium of the day. Gordon Shedden put in a solid recovery drive after skipping across the grass early on, but he couldn’t match the pace being shown by the Exocet Racing Audi A4 of Austin and the soft-tyre shod Honda Civic of Andrew Jordan. The reigning champion scythed past both Menu and Mat Jackson’s Airwaves Racing Ford Focus to take fifth before Austin repeated the trick late on to round out the top six. When the dust settled it was Turkington who won comfortably from a fading Plato and Tordoff, with the latter having to act as the MG rear gunner as Jordan closed in at an alarming rate. Austin took fifth ahead of Menu with both then benefitting from the race three reverse grid draw, which saw them line-up on the front row for the final bout.
Austin made a blistering start and immediately jumped by pole-sitter Menu before the 31 Owen boosted flame-spitting cars were even halfway towards the infamous turn two hairpin. From there Austin managed the gap back to the VW for the remainder of the contest, scoring his first win of the season while Menu took a first podium since his 2000 championship-winning campaign. A huge race-long battle ensued for the final place on the podium, which eventually went to Pirtek Racing’s Jordan after he fended off a gaggle of cars for the entire 16 laps. Honda Yuasa Racing’s Shedden endured a short and rather miserable final race after his Civic Tourer was damaged beyond repair in a first lap collision. The incident has also seriously dented Shedden’s title hopes as the 2012 champion now lies 64 points behind standings leader Turkington and nine back from second placed Plato.
Honda’s difficult day was further compounded as the squad relinquished the lead in the manufacturers’ standings, with MG now holding a 22-point advantage with six races remaining.
British Drift Championship – Owen’s Boosted Drivers Now 1-2-3-4 in Title Race!
The British Drift Championship was at Silverstone for the Trax festival, though due to limited track time only the Super-Pro class would be competing. Last time out at Teesside JapSpeed’s Shane O’Sullivan (ODGTX3076R-M) extended his points lead and could win the Championship here, though second and third placed Steve Biagioni (ODGT3076HTA-M) and Matt Carter (ODGT3586HTA-M) would be doing their best to deny him.
Shane had the best possible start, taking the top spot in qualifying and the bonus points, with Baggsy and Carter in 7th and 14th respectively. However, lurking in the field was Spanish Champion Lluis Lopez who would show that he was to be respected by the top UK drifters.
There were some surprises early on, including Baggsy being eliminated in the Top 16, which could eventually spell the end of his 2014 Championship Challenge. Matt Carter was under great pressure to close the gap to Shane, and started well eliminating fellow Owens boosted driver Simon Perry (ODGT3586HTA-M) before drawing Lopez. His battle with Lopez was one of the closest of the day, eventually being decided on a tiny mistake from Carter allowing Lopez through, ending his 2014 Championship hopes and giving Wez Keating (ODGTX3071R-M) a chance at an overall Top 3 finish.
Keating would progress to the final at the expense of Team JapSpeed’s Danny Eyles (ODGTX3076R-M), in the other Semi-Final Shane O’Sullivan was knocked out by Lluis Lopez in a very close battle which could have gone either way setting up an all JapSpeed 3rd/4th battle. The final was won by Lopez, denying Keating his first BDC win of the year though this result moves him back up to 4th in the overall standings. O’Sullivan was able to score crucial points by beating his team mate and further extend his Championship lead with just one round to go, he’s literally 3 points from taking the Championship!
British Drift Championship 2014 Super-Pro Championship Standings
Team WKD Imports
Also having a Round of the Championship at Trax was , a chance to see some of the fastest cars in the UK at the home of British Motorsport!
Making a one-off return to the Championship after swapping to Dutch Time Attack was Bo Nielsen in his Owens boosted and mapped Astra VXR (ODGT2871HTA-M). He quickly showed he’d lost none of his speed while racing in Europe, making it through qualifying on only three cylinders (!). He would eventually be the fastest FWD all day once some issues with his car’s wiring were fixed giving him the full potential of his car.
In Club 4WD Championship leader Dave Coe (ODGT3586HTA-M) had a tougher day than he has been used to recently, eventually finishing third in his Impreza. He is very much still the favourite for the Championship in Club 4WD. In Pro Rich Marshall (ODT04-88HTA-M) continued his dominant run of form; this is the fourth round in a row where he has been on pole, set the fastest lap in his class taking the win and taking maximum points. While undoubtedly the favourite going into the final round he’s already taken his dropped round earlier in the season and can’t afford to let off the pressure or the Championship could be lost at the last gasp.
Welsh Rally Championship – Giant-Killing Performance
Last weekend Owen’s supported driver Luke Francis (Evo IX Grp. A) put in a giant-killing performance on the Woodpecker Stages, part of the Welsh Rally Championship. His Owen’s boosted and mapped Evo IX was entered in what, on paper at least, is the second fastest class behind former World Rally Cars, nobody let Luke know that though.
By the end of the rally, he was over a minute and a half ahead of the rest his class and the only non-WRC car on the overall podium, within 30 seconds of 2nd place, and ahead of two WRC cars including an ex-works WRC Lancer! This was his fourth class win of the year, putting him comfortably in the lead of his class as well as putting him the overall lead of the Welsh Rally Championship, with just one round to go.
The MLR/22B Sprint Series was at Teesside Autodrome for the 6th round of the Championship. Owen’s are strongly represented in the S2 Class for Subarus, including former Championship runner-up John Felstead (Twin Scroll Special).
In the end victory went to Fred Walton (GT3582R), his first of the year ahead of double winner and Championship leader John Felstead and triple winner Graeme Jeram (GT35), with Dan Lewis (Twin Scroll Special) finishing 5th. Owen’s supported drivers are now 1-2-4-7 in the Championship with only one round to go.