Acorn Motorsport Division
Acorn have entered the world of the ever more popular sport of drift car racing. Now despite common belief, this does not mean that we hang out late at night burning rubber in the local Tesco carpark. No... Drifting is one of the fastest growing professional sports in the UK right now and we're extremely excited to be a part of it. Check out this short video taken from our last outing at Teesside Autodrome:
Our last event was the British Drift Championship - Round 3
With the forecast of excellent weather the team left HQ late on Thursday(4th July) heading for Teesside Autodrome. After what can only be described as a difficult start to the season we were looking forward to proving what we are truly capable of. The one negative we had to accept was that sadly Ian Waddington could not get his car ready in time and had to miss the event. Sad, but Ian has vowed to come back stronger than event at Round 4 in August.
On arrival we were greeted by some glorious weather which we were told would be in for the weekend. Cars unloaded and pit’s all organised it was time for Semi Pro practice so Martyn Lowe set about some much needed seat time. In his first competitive season Martyn has struggled to get to grips with high level competition so was keen to improve.
There were few spins but generally a good session. After Pro Class had finished Mark Lappage and Steve Biagioni went out for Super Pro practice. 2 broken gearboxes later on Steve’s car and we were ready for qualifying but Steve only had 2nd gear for the rest of the weekend. Surely an impossible task at this level......
A huge field of 47 top level drivers from all over the world in the Super Pro class alone meant we knew we were in for a tough challenge. With Steve in 19th, Mark in 23rd at Super Pro and Martin 21st at Semi Pro, it was not the best start but all qualified and in the big show on Saturday.
Martin won his first ever battle to progress to Top 16 but lost out. Huge congratulations to him as its slowly coming together.
Onto Mark & Steve in Super Pro Top 32.
There was a sense of huge pressure on both to show what they could produce.
As luck would have it, Steve was drawn against Paul Smith, his ex Maxxis-Japspeed team mate, current BDC Champion and one of the favourites for the event. Incredibly, Steve won with only 2nd gear and moved onto top 16.
(Left: Steve Drfiting, Right: Steve and Paul Smith)
Mark was up against James Fuller who is a great entertainer and crowd favourite. Despite this, Mark won, joining Steve in the top 16.
(Above: Mark beating James Fuller)
After all the excitement so far, our cars then took to the track for crowd parade lap so they could meet and greet the drivers, which was a nice time to gather our thoughts for the afternoon’s top 16 battles.
The draw for the top 16 was made and Steve was drawn against yet another ex-team mate, Shane Lynch from Maxxis-Japspeed in his 750BHP V8 Monster, whilst Steve still only had 2nd gear. Astonishingly, Steve won and was through to the top 8.
Mark was then drawn against 2010 BDC Champion and drifting legend Phil Morrison in his iconic Driftworks Nankang Tyres Skyline R32. Despite this tough ask Mark, was victorious and marched on to the Top 8.
We were asking ourselves, can the day get any better? Well, sadly Mark & Steve were drawn against each other in the Top 8. Unfortunately, this meant we had to lose one of our drivers, but who would it be? In what was probably one of the most entertaining and toughest battles of the day, Mark finally won.
(Left: Steve vs Mark in the Top 8 Draw, Right: Steve & Mark after their drift battle)
Mark was now in the Top 4 of the Super Pro Class. We had to pinch ourselves but the whole team were focused on helping him in any way we could. Overheating was an issue and the car had water injected into the cooling system at regular intervals.
Mark was drawn against the most powerful and heavily funded cars in the UK. The Lucas Oil Supra driven by Mark Luney. Believe it or not we came through this battle with a little luck as the Supra experienced slight engine problems. Mark reached the final.
We were now in wonderland. The final was against the wonderfully engineered, if not quirky Volvo Estate of Mark Huxley. The battle took place but there was no
announcement until we were gathered together at the end of the day. Breath-taking stuff.
Overjoyed, every driver and spectator joins the judges at the centre of the track to hear the announcement. “Mark Lappage of Acorn Infinity Motorsport Is The Winner Of The British Drift Championship Round 3”
An absolutely fantastic achievement for Mark and the Acorn Infinity team.
(Above: Mark Lappage - The WINNER of British Drift Championship Round 3)