The 4th round of King of the Ring fell on June 3rd, a day which will be remembered as the day 3 men killed 7 people and injured 48 more. The third terrorist attack on the UK in three months. I’m not going to dwell too much upon this subject as that is not the purpose of this post but the hatred of other cultures and people comes (in part) from the misunderstanding of them. Having hobbies, be that motorsport or show cars, horse riding or football or going to music concerts, will introduce you to people of different cultures, faiths and ways of life. You learn to appreciate and understand the people who are different from you. If those “radicalised” into these cults and terror groups were to meet and befriend people who were like their potential victims maybe we wouldn’t get such a vast number of these attacks.
Of course I’m no politician or military expert. Cultists aren’t really a section of society that have peaked my interests in my psychological studies so really I know absolutely nothing. I can say that going to motorsport events including King of the Ring has brought me into contact with tonnes of different people over the years. I’ve been privileged to chat about cars to people ranging from multi millionaires to those in poverty, Eastern Europeans, Americans, Japanese people and people of Middle Eastern decent and we have all got along. Having things that unify us in this way is awesome!
Enough of that nonsense. On to King of the Ring!
I was at work for most of the day and got to Arena at about 6:30. The track staff and drivers had been there since about 9 in the morning drifting which makes it a long day at the best of times but June 3rd was a hot one! I think a special shout out should go to Ron, Dal, Jodie and Simon from Essex Transit Specialists and all the other King of the Ring staff for having to stand out in the sweltering heat all day making sure everything went smoothly and the staff of our host track Arena Essex who must have got through literal tonnes of water trying to keep that track slick throughout the course of the day!
Despite being such a lovely day only 31 drivers made it out. This was good in a way as every driver got to qualify and experience battle with the top driver getting a by run into the top 16. On a busy night some of the newer drivers don’t get through qualification which means they don’t get to push themselves and experience the pressure of battles.
Richard Legg was one such driver, it was only his 5th time out drifting and the first time he was able to qualify. The car is only a little 316i but seems to go really well! He does have a drive line upgrade planned in the near future so I’m looking forward to seeing him out there a lot more! Another really nice, friendly driver to add to the mix!
I was pleased to see Michael Herrington making his return to King of the Ring. He was the first driver I met at drifting at Arena many many years ago. A driver who deserves more coverage on this blog but has not been able to drive at the past few rounds. It was great to see him back out and skidding!
I met this little homie near Michael’s van. See what I mean about diversity? Me and this rabbit are quite different, we had a good chat about drifting and cars though. He thinks James Deane is going to take the championship at Formula Drift this year. To think in some parts of the country posh people in tweed would blow holes in him with shotguns!
All the regulars were there in attendance. MAPT Motorsport were back out doing there thing. It’s always nice to catch up with them!
I wandered over to their pit as they were cleaning the cars ready for top 32. Inadvertently I managed to get these shots of Mark and Paul showing off their physique! Firstly, Facebook suggests Mark is single so if there are any ladies out there looking for love and you like what you see let me know and I will put you in touch! Secondly, any modelling agencies, get in touch with MAPT. I’m sure they will make you a lot of money and a MAPT calander will surely go down well next year haha!
Team Twisted were back too! Tom Yates’ 3.2 M3 powered 323i is of particular note today. He has made some big changes to car including running a super wide and sticky pair of Westlake Tyres on the back of the car.
Those of you who follow Formula Drift or BDC might recognise the way the front wheels poke out of the car like this…
… That is because Mr Yates is now running Wisefab on the front of the car!
Plenty of guys are running modified knuckle and arm set ups at King of the Ring for more lock. The most extreme I’ve seen thus far has been the Team HD lock kit on Alex Mackenzie-Vaile’s E46 touring. Wisefab kits are big money though even second hand. The money going into some these builds now really shows the commitment that these drivers are putting into the event now and shows that King of the Ring is becoming more and more professional!
The car that always gets my up most support is Richie Gilbey’s W202 C230K. I’m a big Mercedes geek as many of you know and I do like the W202 platform. This car also sounds amazing with the super charger whine and it’s nice to see something a little different going around Arena Essex.
For a drift event Japanese cars are fairly few and far between at King of the Ring. It’s more than likely because parts for them are so expensive in comparison to their German counterparts. It takes a rich or brave man to run a Jap car at King of the Ring. Nerijus, however, is one of those chaps. His R33 Skyline (the black and yellow one not that mint white one) is a regular out here! He always does well and (touch wood) has managed to keep that car off of the walls!
Arena does unfortunately live up to it’s reputation from time to time though. Here we have an E36 looking very sorry for itself.
As you can see from the above pic Jamie and Martin Cheeseman from Garage Pandas were in attendance.
As was Darrel Smith of Team Overdrawn who’s car was also looking very clean!
Of course people wouldn’t be cleaning their cars for the top 32 if they hadn’t already qualified. Rather than write out how the qualification line works at this event I’ll talk you through it on a video whilst Mr Smith qualifies.
I always find it clever how the KOTR team manage to find so many clipping point potentials and track ideas from a simple oval. They always manage to keep it fresh for the fans and challenging for the drivers.
Normally I would now start a run down of the top 32 battles but King of the Ring already have that covered with their live footage of the event. Follow their Facebook page which can be found here: www.facebook.com/kingoftheringuk/ and have a watch from the commentary tower!
There is of course always more going on at King of the Ring than just the drifting. The show and shine area this evening was absolutely rammed with metal which was really nice to see! Mr Mark Clarence was present with his lovely S14a. Always nice to catch up to Mark he is one of the nicest people in drifting. Heart of gold.
Parked next to him was a lovely young lady who wanted a photo taken of her Honda Civic, who am I to say no?!
You can’t really see in this picture but she had cool purple dice valve caps too haha!
Up to by the Drift Her stand was Mark’s son Aidan’s Nissan S13 rocking a cool new livery! I really like this look!
On the far side of Aiden was this R33 Skyline.
Then a Golf on air ride.
Then what could possibly be the cleanest S14 engine bay I’ve ever seen. I’m a sucker for chrome lol, maybe this is why I love old Mercedes and American cars so much, anyway this looked amazing!
The show and shine area also continued around the back of the club house. The first car on display was this cool FC RX7. I have so much love for FCs, I would love to own one some day!
This wan’t the only rotary on display. Luke Paul’s RX8 was also here looking good!
Although not normally the sort of thing I would cover I really really liked this Mazda 3. The colour is absolutely stunning and it wears its modifications well.
Tucked right away on the corner was this stock 300ZX. I know as soon as most people buy cars like this they modify them but I think they still have a lot of appeal as a standard car. This has a lot of appeal to me as a daily classic.
If we head away from the show and shine area to the upper pit area we find the Proper Droppers sound off area. The first car I am confronted by is this:
I wasn’t really expecting to see this style of vehicle at King of the Ring never mind on Propper Droppers haha! I was pretty speechless! With that big square back though I reckon you could get quite the sound system in there!
It was also nice to see an E46 BMW not as a drift car. This one has had a lot of time spent on it! The stereo install is really clean!
The regulars were also there. Antonio with his Vauxhall Vectra.
As well as this mad little Fiat. This car is so loud!!
I think that’s just about it for the evening’s antics! I know I say this at the end of every KOTR post but it’s a really good night’s entertainment. Get yourself down to Arena on the 5th of August to see what all the fuss is about.
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