The Finals! King of the Ring: Round 7

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7th October 2017. The KOTR championship was in the sights of three men; Dan Tyler, Jon Hudd and Rhys Gamble. 31 points separate Mr Tyler and Mr Gamble in the standings, to put that into perspective 120 points were there for the taking at round 7. In the history of King of the Ring the championship has never been closer at the final round.

Despite the distinctly autumnal feel of the day everyone came out to see the season off in style. Over 50 cars arrived for drifting, Propper Droppers was jam packed and Dirtee South had once again brought out a fine array of show cars.

For most of the day I was having to check the day’s proceedings on my phone at work. Sadly the cogs within the mighty machine that is retail do not stop turning when everyone else can rest and play. 6 o’clock soon came around though and I was able to make a move, already loosing a race with the setting sun.

By the time I’d arrived the sun had well and truly set. Thick clouds overhead stopped any natural light from coming through and much of the pits, Propper Droppers area and show and shine area were swathed in total darkness. I’m not used to night time photography but I’m not one to shy away from a challenge! However several photographers were on hand throughout the evening with more experience and better equipment such as Angela Wilsher (ACW Photos) and Aaron Hawes who, I have no doubt, will provide much higher quality photos haha!

We’ll start with the Show and Shine once again organised by Dan Harle (nice to finally meet you) and Dirtee South. As always he brought out a nice variety of cars. I’d like to start with the Skoda Fabia owned by Bradley Reynolds, super nice chap who we also saw at the last round. I was chatting to him for a while by the Dirtee South trade stand but it didn’t click in my mind exactly who it was until I was driving home. I’m sorry dude I’m terrible at faces haha!


Dawn Smith and partner who have shown their Cortina estate and Triumph Herald at KOTR before brought out their Sierra Cosworth. The Sapphires are cool. I’m not the biggest Ford fan so don’t know much about them but you can normally tell a Cosworth Sierra by the huge wing, the Sapphire doesn’t have that so it’s a little harder to tell apart from your normal Sierra. Especially not being white (which most Cosworths seem to be) I sort of payed it no heed until Mr Harle told me what it was, who owned it and when I got a look under the bonnet. Awesome sleeper!


Another classic Ford we have seen before is this Capri owned by Pietro!


Mark Anthony Clarence is another King of the Ring show and shine regular in his S14a. Here supporting the DriftHer stand.


Luke Paul was once again providing the tunes from his Monster booth in front of the club house. (Sorry for the terrible photo!)


Since getting into pre-war cars I’ve become a bit of a fan of MG. Although a little different to the K3s and TAs normally featured on this blog it’s nice to see the more modern generations of cars represented in car shows too!


Another W202 with Designo interior was also on display. My interior is black and blue where as this one is red. I’m also doing my best to retain the originality of mine where as this one is clearly modified. Clearly our end goals are very different but it’s nice to see another out and about!


Underglow seems to be making a bit of a come back! I actually really like it and support it’s return haha! I’m just hoping the owners of this particular black Civic with green lighting don’t try to steal a lorry full of DVD players to fund Race Wars!


The young owner of this Polo GTI also asked me to take a couple of photos of his car. Dude seemed to be super proud of it and rightly so! VW have kept the heritage of the GTI marque alive with the red stripe and chequed seats. This is the best photo I could get I’m afraid.


Around the front of the club house was this VW Beetle with a tribute to The Godfather airbrushed around the body. The detail and skill of the artist is unreal! Looked amazing in person!

Very clean Team S1 Nissan S13.


Along with a Mk2 Escort rally car.

Around the front of the club house was this stunning VW Golf with a tribute to The Godfather airbrushed over the body. My photos most certainly don’t do it justice it was beautiful in person.


Renault 5 by Luke Paul’s stand with period correct modifications. I bet this is a tonne of fun to drive! I’d love a hit hatch from the late 80s/early 90s.


This Mk7 Fiesta was a bit of a weapon. Fully caged inside hopefully it is taken on track from time to time.


This E36 touring was also very nice!


The car of the show for me had to be this E36 saloon. I can’t quite put my finger on why I liked it so much but it was just… right… Really nice car!


I could only get a couple of photos from the Propper Droppers sound off. It was very dark up there and most of the area was lit by car headlights. That means there are a lot of low shadows and it was hard to get photos without my elongated self being portrayed on the floor.

I believe this Escort is owned by a chap called Jason and I believe it’s a bit of a weapon in the sound system world.


Gen 2 Protons are quite a rare sight on the roads of the UK now. It’s even rarer to see one modified!


Now onto the main event! As I mentioned earlier I got here kind of late and qualifying was already underway. I managed to sneak down to the pits during drivers briefing for top 32 to get some pics.

Sadly it’s the end of the year and a lot of these cars will be pulled apart and their shells sent to the big oval track in the sky. Robbie Yates just just said on Facebook he is breaking his 2.8 Touring. Get in touch if you need any bits!


This will also be the last outing for Johnny Smith’s touring in his ownership. It will be going to a new home though and hopefully we’ll see it out again soon!


MAPT Motorsport’s Tom Frewin-Clarke might have to consider a new shell. I’m not sure what happened here but it looked nasty! The car soldiered on though and not only get Tom through qualifying but also Alex Chapman who’s car unfortunately dropped a valve earlier in the day.


Light for this photo kindly provided by Jon Hudd’s new LED strips. Thumbs up from me!


Tom Yates’ M3. Weapon. This car never fails to impress me!


I did my best to get some on track shots. You can see the kinds of proximity these guys have to each other now. Darrel Smith was able to get right on the door of this blue MX5.


Paul Parnell was also happy to sit on Johnny Smith’s door.


Shots of their individual vehicles:


Hollie Haney/Kidney was doing it for the girls.


Then some more from throughout the evening:


Now I’d just like to say a massive thank you to Adam and Steve not only for hosting these awesome events but for supporting the blog and allowing me to do what I do. The series has come on leaps and bounds in the past couple of years and I’m really looking forward to seeing what next year and the years after bring. You are super stars!

I’d also like to thank Ron, Dal and Jodie from Essex Transit Specialists along with all the other King of the Ring staff, St Johns Ambulance crew and Arena Essex staff for making this all possible along with all the drivers! There wouldn’t be a whole lot of drifting without your efforts!

Kris Morris, Danny Grundy and others have all made a great job judging this year. As far as I can recall there haven’t been any decisions I’ve turned me nose up at haha!

Also, sadly, I hear that Mark Lappage is going to take a step away from the commentary tower. He did an amazing job at edging the drivers on and getting the crowd hyped. I wish you the best of luck in whatever you do as long as it isn’t covering Bon Jovi songs!

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed! Although the King of the Ring season is now over I still have lots to write about! If you would like to help me make even better quality content on a more regular basis please donate via paypal through the button at the top or paypal me directly at

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Author: Richard Francis

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