King of the Ring: Round 3 2018

 

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It’s time for King of the Ring Round 3! Where has that past month gone?

I tried out a few different things this round. Some of them worked out ok, and you will see those in the post below, and some of them didn’t work out so well.

I’m going to start today with one that didn’t work out so well. I turned up to Arena about 4:30. Which, thinking about it, was pretty late for what I wanted to do. I thought it would be good to jump in one of the cars and get a few on board videos. The level of driving is getting really really good at Arena and I wanted to try to get you guys a good POV view of the proximity that the drivers are maintaining now.

I asked to hop on board with MAPT Motorsport’s Mark Chapman. As I did so the marshall started waving the cars onto track and announced that this would be the last practise round before qualifying. It was now or never! I jumped in and threw my helmet on and the cars rolled up the path towards the track.

Before I got a chance to put my harness on I cursed myself remembering I needed a jacket to cover my arms and dived into my bag to get my coat out. As we passed the entrance barrier to get onto the track I’d just gotten my coat. The zip was jammed shut though! We rolled around the back corner towards the start line and I had freed the zip and was just slipping my jacket on as we pulled to a stop.

Jodie, one of our wonderful track marshalls for the evening, wandered over to make sure I had a jacket and to hold up proceedings for half a second whilst I got my harness on. Thanks sister! I owe you one and sorry for being such a trouble maker! Also, sorry to Mark for being an embarrassment haha!

So then, I was in the car safe and secure and we were on the line! I’d made it! I could get some footage and it would all be worth it. Nope! The cars rolled off the line and I opened my camera up which kindly displayed the message “SD card corrupt”. Bugger! I wouldn’t have minded so much if it was a bit of a lame run but Mark absolutely killed it! Running the walls and we were right on the door of an E36 touring for most of the session. Like, so close you could reach out and touch it.

Next time, I’ll get there early afternoon and I’ll try to get some footage with someone haha! Lesson learnt there and another lesson to be learnt, for like in general really, is always check your equipment before you go to use it!

With a new SD card inserted and qualifying about to take place I wandered up to a spot to get some videos. My theory is, KOTR live stream the battles so I thought I’d have a go at videoing the qualifying so the drivers can watch it back and see how they did from an outsider’s point of view.

Most of the usual suspects were present but we also had a couple of different drivers out who were fun to see.

This handsome chap on the left is Mr Stephen Blanchard from Team S1.

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I first heard of Steve a couple of years ago at the Team S1 takeover of Santa Pod. Since then he’s had a couple of cars for King of the Ring and other events. This is the E46 coupe he borrowed for this event.

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I think someone may have some explaining to do!

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Anyway here are his qualifying runs!

Andy Arnott also popped down in one of his school’s (Learn 2 Drift) Lexus IS200s. He didn’t get an awful lot of seat time before qualifying and Arena is a track that gets a bit of getting used to.

Mark and Steve “Stiggy” Evans in the commentary booth were having great fun with him as you’ll be able to hear haha!

We had two girls out drifting which was cool to see! The first was Fliss Spinks in her E36 BMW. I don’t think she’s been drifting for long but she seems to have really got the hang of it! Nice and smooth!

The other was Hollie Haney with the 300ZX. Her first run, as the kids would say, was banging! That run scored her enough to qualify in 10th which is amazing!

Team MAPT were present, unfortunately short of Alex. I managed to video everyone’s runs but Tom’s thanks again to another SD card moment. (Wouldn’t have had this issue in the 1920s!)

Boss man Paul Parnell did well! *spoiler alert* he actually went on to win this event which was awesome!

Top chap Mark Chapman killing it with the wall runs as per usual.

Jamie Stanton isn’t featured as much on the blog but he is another awesome driver.

The final MAPT driver is Jon Hudd. Jon is also working closely with Zestino Tyres this season and he also does his own write ups of KOTR on EverythingDrift.com. Check them out! It’s interesting to see the events from a drivers perspective. I’d love to give it a go but someone will need to lend me some space and some talent!

I always love seeing Nerijus’ R33 Skyline. It’s a nice bright colour which is always good and it’s quite unusual to see a Skyline at Arena now they are getting collectable.

More bright race cars please!

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Aurimas Vaskelis is a BDC driver. There was a BDC round in Teeside this weekend but Aurimas came to KOTR first to get some seat time in before plodding up to Teeside early in the morning! Dedicated man! I value my beauty sleep too much to do something like that!

Rhys Gamble also used to compete in the BDC. Rhys is such a great driver to go out as a passenger with. Commitment to attack is off the scale!

Peter Spinks had to re-shell his car after the last round. He didn’t have the best of luck in the first qualifying run but the second seemed to go better.

Alex Mackenzie is another driver I love watching. I’ve never really found a way to properly show it but the lock on the E46 touring is insane!

Nice to see Leon Smith back out! Again this is another driver I haven’t really featured too much on the blog and really should.

The final car I got on video was Christopher Monkhouse of Team F.M.L. I’ve seen the car about for quite a while but never knew the driver’s name. Hopefully I’ll be able to put a face to that name soon enough!

Following Qualifying there was a break to allow the sun to go down. When it’s hot and sunny the track has to be constantly wetted to make things consistent and fair as it obviously dries out really quickly when warm. It’s understandable but it would be quite cool if we had a break like that to maybe demonstrate another form of motorsport held at Arena Essex. For instance in the break there could be a practise race of stock cars or lightning rods. Just a thought!

The break did give me an opportunity to go and have a look around the rest of the activities going on at track. There were trade stands from DriftHer Clothing (Who I’ve never really featured on here which is a sin), Final Form (more on them later) and Dirtee Detailing/ Dirtee South who also organise the Show and Shine.

I think I’ve said every round that Dirtee South always get together a good, varied mix of cars for the Show and Shine but this time they really excelled themselves! A monster truck E30 cabriolet is certainly something you don’t see everyday!

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Along with a monster truck full of speakers! Why, you ask? Why not!

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This red tube bit was full of speakers too!

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Talking of mad audio, this Vauxhall built by Car Audio Motions was car of the show for me. The clarity of this sound system was amazing! I gave a business card and a couple of stickers to the young lady with the car haha! Hopefully they get to check this out!

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Harriet’s VW was back! This was my car of the show last round.

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Ted Curtis’ E36 is a regular on the Show and Shine. Always looking smart!

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Parked next to Ted’s car was this E36. I wish my freehand skills were that good!

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Dirtee South is a super popular club with it’s members. A few of the member’s cars are sporting full Dirtee South liveries.

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Stanced Civic

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Track Civic!

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Airtec make looks of cool stuff!

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You can’t improve on the perfection of a Benz. It’s cool to see a standard, clean W204 on show and shine as then perhaps my W202 will have half a chance of getting in?

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As per usual the creme de la creme was parked at the front of the show and shine area. I just cannot say no to an old school Cadillac. 50’s and early 60’s American cars just look so good!

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There were two Mk1 Escorts. It was a nice surprise to see them as it’s the 50th anniversary of the Ford Escort this year and there’s a show, I just can’t remember where, celebrating that milestone.

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Mk4 Cortina. Getting rare now!

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Porsche Cayenne with the Xclusive Customz body kit.

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A nice, smart looking BRZ. Blue is the best colour for this platform hands down.

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Beau Bateman’s Starlet has changed colour! Looking good with the sparkly grey!

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Beau is good friends with Luke and Warren who run the Final Form stand. Final Form is an exclusive sticker brand which is really beginning to establish it’s style and place in the market. They also now have their own website which you can check out here: Final Form

Both the Lexus and RX8 were on display. I’d not seen the strobes on the RX8 before!

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The RX8 also has a cool new sticker!

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Both cars were also sporting new liveries. Luke had stars and Warren had hearts (because nothing says bad-ass VIP car like glittery hearts I guess). It does sound a little bit weird, even typing it it doesn’t sound right but the liveries do match the 90’s Japanese aesthetic they are going for. I’d imagine it gets a lot of smiles on the road too!

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The Final Form stand is also the DJ booth for Luke who provides the evening’s music.

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I hung out here for most of the evening to be honest with you. It’s cool hanging out behind the DJ. It makes me feel like one of those cool people that stand the DJ in music videos, which is interesting as I’ve never been in a music video… I’ve never been cool either.

Anyway, he kindly taught me a little about his craft.

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The equipment looks super complex but like an aircraft it’s all divided into manageable sections.

The two turntables are your A & B tracks which are also represented on screen. In the centre of the table are a cluster of dials and sliders. Each column of dials controls the characteristics of that track the slider at the bottom is for volume. “Why are there are four columns though?” I hear you ask, well you can have it so you can have an additional two tracks for even more complex mixes!

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It’s like any instrument I suppose. To use it and to make noise is easy but to use it and create music is an art and it’s there that Luke is extremely talented. I can’t profess to know much (or anything) about music but I know it takes someone pretty special to mix Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke and Skrillex’s Reptile’s Theme and make it work!

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All in all it was another superb night. The list of people who make these events special for me gets longer and longer each and every round. Thank you to you all. You guys are the greatest!

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By Richard Francis

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