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 Infinity tyre demo day:
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- Autosport International Date: 12-15th January 2012
- 2012 British Drift Championship
- Round 1 - Teeside Autodrome (TS6 6XH), 21st-22nd April
- Round 2 - Norfolk Arena (PE34 3AG), 2nd - 3rd June Acorn Motorsport Division arrived bright and early on a bright and sunny Friday morning full of enthusiasm and high spirits. The full team were present and quickly set about establishing the pit garages. The morning practice sessions went well and the INFINITY Tyres were working well on the very dusty track which was causing many teams traction problems. Ian Waddington had been travelling back from his honeymoon overnight from Hawaii and Mark Lappage seemed to be adjusting well to the track conditions. The morning practice seemed to be going well and the cars were performing faultlessly. Ian had a particularly difficult qualifying session as the track conditions worsened and sadly missed out on qualifying for the Top 16 battles. Mark Lappage was hooking the track up well and put some very steady qualifying laps in as the second on 32 runners going out. The remaining 30 qualifyers went out after Mark as track conditions improved. We had a nervous wait on the judges decision which ended up in heartbreak as Mark missed out on qualification by 1 solitary point. The entire team were extremely disappointed after the exceptional efforts we had all gone to leading up to round 2 on the back of a good round 1 performance. It was decided to make the best of Saturday morning practice sessions and make some improvements to the cars during a live session. Both Mark & Ian benefited hugely from this and both they and the cars were fantastic in open practice. Sadly we watched the competition unfold from the sidelines on Sunday afternoon. We are now preparing in earnest for Round 3 at Teeside Autodrome at the end of June, the scene of our Round 1 success and hope for greater results Ian stands 7th in the Semi Pro class and Mark stands 6th in the Pro Class currently so positive results at Round 3 will see us climb the table. We will leave no stone un-turned in our preparations for the next round and hope for better results accross the board.
- Round 3 - Teeside Autodrome (TS6 6XH), 30th June - 1st July The team arrived at a rain soaked and windswept track on Thursday evening in an attempt to establish the pit area. Extreme wind and rain made it difficult but after a long day we were set up and off to the hotel to prepare for a busy weekend.After taking the time to extensively test both competition cars at Santa Pod earlier in the week we had a feeling the cars would go well.Practice started in earnest on Friday at 9am with the AMD cars looking good with Ian & Mark at the helm. Both classes were full to the brim with 32 cars and drivers fighting over the top 16 qualification spots so we had a big challenge on our hands. Throughout the remainder of practice and the judged qualifying runs the cars and drivers were really on it and pushing to the limit. At the end of a hard day and some indifferent weather we gathered around the grandstand for the qualification announcements which are in reverse order from 16th upwards. To our delight Ian bagged 5th place and Mark managed 1stwith 3 bonus championship points earned. Both Mark and Ian commented that “Even with constantly changing track temperatures and conditions the tyres performed brilliantly and gave consistent feedback allowing us to be extremely committed into every corner and braking zone”. Saturday morning saw 2 separate practice session to get ready for the top 16 battles in the afternoon. Luckily for us all the sun made an appearance and the track was drying every minute. Ian Waddington made it through to the great 8 beating Nick Spickett convincingly. Lawrence Taylor was Ian’s next victim as he moved into the Semi Final – Ian’s first ever top 4 finish was guaranteed. Ian’s top 4 battle was against Owen Taylor who is riding high in the championship standings. The first battle was too close to call and went “One More Time” and the second battle was also impossible to separate. They were going to have to battle again in Sudden Death. A slight correction meant Ian missed out by the narrowest of margins and would fight for 3rd or 4th but the crowd showed their appreciation to some fantastic driving by both men. Ian faced championship leader in Gaz Taylor in the 3rd/4thBattle. As is normal the results of the top 4 battles are not announced until the end of race day. Then we moved onto Professional class where Mark Lappage had qualified 1st!!! In his first battle he swept aside Anthony Mortley in the Skyline R33 and progressed onto the top 8. He then faced Nathan Chivers and the heavens opened. A huge advantage to Mark due to the lightweight construction of his handbulit S13 and the huge lock produced by AMD’s in house modifications allowed him to go through to the top 4. Could he eclipse Ian’s success earlier? His top 4 battle saw him face Mark Huxley who is a top contender. Mark’s superb lines and speed forced Huxley into an error on both runs and Mark was in the final where he faced Christian Lewis in his Nissan Skyline R33. A mistake on the first run by Christian meant that Mark only needed to drive conservatively to bag the victory which he did with ease. We all flooded the judges announcement area to hear the news we had all wished for. Ian Waddington a podium place with 3rd and Mark Lappage claims top spot with his first ever win. Ian stands 3rd in the Semi-Pro standings with 2 rounds to go whilst Mark stand 2nd in the Pro class. A truly memorable weekend which will be hard to top. Scott quoted “The results from round three are the culmination of months of hard work away from the track. We left no stone un-turned in pursuit of trophies and on this occasion its paid off. We now move on to Round 4 of The British Drift Championship at Lydden Hill Race Circuit in Kent on 12th/13th August with high hopes of making yet more progress”. Scott went on to say “Without the support of Acorn Insurance and our other partners these successes would be nearly impossible so we cannot thank them enough for the ongoing support they provide”. Mark quote “To get my first ever win under my belt is truly inspiring. It’s given me the confidence to know the car is good enough to beat everyone so I will keep pushing to match these results in the future”. Ian quote “I’m truly overjoyed at my first ever podium in a car the team built in 4 days. It is testament to the whole teams dedication and support that I was able to pull this off for us all. I cannot wait for Round 4 so I can try and progress further.
- Round 4 - Lydden Hill (CT4 6RX), 11th - 12th August The 4th round of The British Drift Championship descended on Lydden Hill Race Circuit in Kent on 11th & 12th August with a lot riding on the outcome. With both drivers were sitting pretty in the Championship standings it was essential to put in a good performance and ensure their competitors stayed behind them. On a beautiful sun drenched Saturday morning the drivers began practising in earnest and getting to grips with the fast and technical track. With nearly 100 cars competing the challenge was very tough but the whole team relished the task ahead. As always the two Acorn Motorsport Division(AMD) cars were turned out impeccably having their war wounds from previous events touched up. Battle scars are very much a part of Drifting as you can see although it was good of Mark Lappage to get a nice tyre print of his INF-05 on his front bumper after he ran over it. Going into qualifying the team were really up against it as the conditions were getting tougher by the minute. They both put in their runs for us to wait until the close of play for the judges feedback. The paddock was hugely tense and the announcement were read in reverse order. Mark qualified in 15th place and Ian’s name never came out of the hat!!! Disappointment ensued so we politely asked the judges where Ian had finished. 17th was the answer. So close and yet so far and with no free practice on Sunday morning it was unlikely that any cars in the top 16 would fall foul on reliability issues. A chink of light was that one car had some engine issues but the team would be up all night trying to fix their problem. The team turned in for the night not knowing the outcome. Another beautiful morning and the tension in the pits was lifted when we found out that the valiant effort by Tom Bilverstone and his team had failed. Ian had now qualified in 16th place. It is true testament to the team that both cars have been faultless throughout the year whereas many struggle with the level of reliability required. Time to battle. With Ian making it at 16th place the rules dictate he was up against Max Marshall in the Verticle Trix BMW E30 as he had qualified 1st. The first run was a tight affair with Ian sticking to his bumper the whole circuit but no clear advantage. The second run saw Max chasing Ian down the best he could but with Ian’s superior speed he was forced into taking a very late breaking line and ended up crashing into Ian’s door. Ian completed his run calmly and Max was eliminated. Into the great 8 for Ian with yet more battle scars...... In the top 8 Ian faced Lewis Cracknell who had qualified 3rd and was driving extremely well. In a very tight affair Lewis just edged the battle by the smallest of margins so a top 8 finish for Ian which was a great result and kept Ian title challenge well and truly on. Time for Mark Lappage to show what he could do in the Pro Class. As 15th qualifier he was up against the highly rated Brian Egan in the Corolla AE86, an iconic drift car steeped in history. The first run was a very close affair with Brian hugging Mark’s rear bumper for the entire lap but with great lines and speed from Mark the first run gave no advantage to either driver. The second run saw Mark following Brian with superior straight line speed. Sadly for Brian he overcooked his entry into turn one and buried it in the gravel trap. Mark finished his run and took the win. Another AMD car in the great 8. With Mark’s car showing many battle scars he went on to battle Paul Cheshire in the Team Falken G35 smoke machine. Both drivers were on each other’s door but Paul took the win with Mark making a small error on the last exit. So two top 8 finishes is a huge success for AMD and builds on the high’s of round 3. The Championship is poised for a fantastic finale at Knockhill, Scotland at the end of September. Quotes. Mark Lappage – “A truly testing weekend with much adversity thrown our way. We came through it and rose to the occasion and achieved some great results. I cannot thanks the pit crew enough as the extreme heat conditions made it very hard for them. As always the INF-05 tyres were exceptional and helped us perform to the best of our ability. Roll on Scotland” Ian Waddington – “After the low of qualifying 17th and then to get in as 16thand finally finish top 8 I am overjoyed. The support from the boys and out Partners is invaluable and helping me achieve my ambitions of promotion this year. A good solid performance at Knockhill and we go up. I cannot wait for the final round. Scott Brandon – Team Principle – The whole team, drivers included, did a truly fantastic job in very pressing conditions. The season so far has been a revelation and we should all together be very proud of our results. That said, the job is far from complete and we go to Knockhill at the end of September very determined to finish what we started. As always we a thankful for the support of our Partners. Without Acorn Insurance, we would not be where we are today.
Championship Round Round Round Round Position Driver Driver Total 1 2 3 4 Name No Points Points Points Points Points 1 Jay White 63 63 8 0 27 28 2 Owen Taylor 67 55 0 19 28 8 3 Ricky Emery 41 52 11 8 15 18 4 Lewis Cracknell 33 50 0 8 18 24 5 Ian Waddington 15 49 18 0 21 10 6 Lee Barry 4 45 24 0 0 21 7 Max Marshall 80 41 8 14 8 11 8 Jay Green 73 39 10 21 0 8 Championship Round Round Round Round Position Driver Driver Total 1 2 3 4 Name No Points Points Points Points Points 1 Christian Lewis 73 81 28 21 24 8 2 James Fuller 38 62 8 14 18 22 3 Mark Lappage 77 59 18 0 31 10 4 Matt Campling 31 35 8 27 0 0 5 Jamie Kenyon 79 33 0 19 14 0 6 Paul Cheshire 44 32 0 0 8 24 7 Kevin Corsius 64 31 0 0 0 31 8 John Glaister 68 30 14 8 8 0
- Round 5 - TRAX, Silverstone (NN12 8TN), 2nd September
- Round 5/6 - Knockhill Circuit (KY12 9TF), 29th - 30th September