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Wexford, Ireland 28/08/2012

Nigel Colfer wins rd4 of the European Drift Allstars Championship, Constanta, Romania

The NCDrifting team travelled to Romania for the 4th round of the Drift Allstars Championship which took place in Constanta, Romania on the 19th of July. The team were hoping to improve on Nigels position of 3rd in the Championship after having some issue’s with the car at rd3 of the championship in Ireland.

From the beginning of practice Nigel was laying down some amazing runs proving to the locals that he was one to watch for the weekend!

The night before the main event the cars travelled through the main streets of Constanta in an amazing prade grabbing attention and bringing the streets to a standstill.

Nigel qualified in 3rd position and as the darkness fell over the port of Constanta Nigel put on his game face for the twin battles. The irishmans speciality.

First up was Martin Richards in the pure performance, Altenzo tyres Toyota Soarer. With 2 solid runs against the English driver, Nigel advanced into the Semi Finals to face Spains Lluis Lopez.

The Spanish driver took Nigel to a one more time, but couldn’t keep with the consistency and speed of the Irishman and Nigel would advance into the final against the championship leader and fellow Irishman Alan Sinnott in the Nexen tyres S14.

The Nexen tyres were no match for Nigel’s Marangoni’s and could not compete with Nigel’s pace throughout the course handing Nigel his first win of the 2012 championship and putting him right in contention for the Championship with 2 rounds remaining.

After the event Nigel had this to say, “This means a lot, we’ve been unlucky with some car issues at the start of the year but now we have the car working 110% we are defiantly in contention for the championship. Our sponsors have been a vital part of the team and car being so competitive this year and this win was for each and every one  of those companies and people  that have shown faith in both me and the team. Romania has some amazing fans, these are as big a part of this win as anything else, they drove me to perform and it worked. Thank you for the amazing support and hopefully we can continue this success for the remainder of the year! ”

Drift Allstars European Series Round 3-Ireland

After many years in the running Drift Allstars would hold its very first Irish event. Round 3 THE INVASION Ireland would also see an amazing turnout from drivers with nearly 50 drivers entered and over 35 drivers entering for the Irish driver search on the Saturday. This would be a great way to find the talent and see the very best drivers from Ireland go through to Sundays events.

On Saturday it was quite evident a few drivers stood out and would be a force to be reckoned with at the driver search. All 2012 Drift Allstars Irish points scoring drivers were pre-qualified for the Sunday meaning the best 16 would go through to Sunday.

Richard Bradley stood out on the Saturday driver search with some great wall rubbing lines followed closely by Rob Barnet and 2009 Irish Champion Mike Deane. With 16 drivers going through to the main event there would be 30 drivers competing for the final 16.

With changeable weather conditions over both days it was the weather that caught out a few drivers .Spanish champions Lluis Lopez caught the wall very hard and had to do overnight repairs to make sure his new Nexen Tire Nissan S14 was ready in time. Drift Grand Prix Romania winner Brenden Stone would go out with engine issues also

From the start of qualifying it was evident James Deane wanted the win after going through his longest non-winning streak in the series. Qualifying points would be taken from the super lap. James would take P1. Damien Mulvey would make a return to the series after his exit at round 1 with a mechanical problem and would blitz the course taking P2. Richard Bradley again laid down the run of his life taking P3 after upsetting so many big guns on Saturday.

Dan Chapman would struggle again in the LBD Achilles Tire V8, Nigel Colfer would break a hub and have to change car for the qualifying and Juha Rintanen would spin out on his run. Alan Sinnot would also run into issues and qualify a lowly 11th meaning all championship contenders all had their fair share of problems.

TOP 16 Battles James Deane, Mike Deane would take easy wins over there rivals. Notable battles were Nigel Colfer fighting for the championship in a borrowed car. His title plans would remain in tack after defeating Dan Chapman in the LBD Achilles tires car

16 year old sensation Duane Mckeever would defeat Martin Richards in the Altenzo tires/Pure Performance car after a hard fought battle between the two. Second in the championship Alan Sinnot had to fight hard but would beat Barry Hennessey sending him through to the final 8 Championship leader Juha Rintanen would push hard again and defeat ex Irish champion Damien Mulvey in a very tight battle.

Newly licensed drivers Diarmuid O Connell and Richard Bradley would also progress to the final 8 after showing great form in the battles beating Brian Egan and Alan Farrell.

Great 8 James Deane Vs Nigel Colfer

First up was James Deane in the Falken Tire Mazda RX7 against Nigel Colfer in the Marangoni Tire S13. Both close 2011 Championship rivals. Nigel borrowed a car after breaking a hub in practice was in damage limitation mode and just had no answer to Deans speed and lines. Top 8 was good enough for Nigel to keep his championship hopes alive and Deane marched on to the final 4.

Mike Deane Vs Diarmuid O Sullivan

Local heros Mike Deane 2009 Irish champion against young gun Diarmuid O Sullivan would prove another close battle. Diarmuids day would end after running wide on the wet line and having a huge shunt with the wall. Mike Deane would march on to the final 4 making an all family affair in the semi-final.

Juha Rinatanen VS Duane Mckeever

Finnish Champion Juha Rintanen would face up against Europe’s brightest talent 16 year old Duane Mckeever. Both running 600hp 6 cylinder Nissans. Both drivers having a very scrappy run in the first leg.

Juha had the edge in the second run where he pulled enough distance to have a heavy advantage and took the win going through to the final 4.

Alan Sinnot Vs Richard Bradley

The final battle would be 2011 Irish champion Alan Sinnot against newcomer Richard Bradley No1 driver from the Saturday driver search. Both drivers would have a very close first run but in the second run Bradley while chasing Sinnot would shut off with a mechanical problem and finish his weekend.

Final 4 Mike Deane Vs James Deane

Not often do you get brothers battling in drifting but these ex Irish champions always go at it the hardest. James would have the edge on speed and lines, Mike would try to attack on the second run but the advantage was too much from James in both runs and James got the nod advancing to his first final of the 2012 season.

Alan Sinnot Vs Juha Rintanen

This battle would closely decide the already very tight championship. Sinnot would lead the first battle but a correction/ straighten by Rintanen while following, would give Sinnot a huge advantage. Juha would lay down the run of his life showing great speed and angle but it was not enough and Sinnot would progress to his second final of the season.

Third Place play off Juha Rintanen Vs Mike Deane

Juha would again show us why he is one of the best drivers in Europe right now laying down a flawless run against Mike and his speed /angle was too much for Mike and further sealing Juha’s third podium of the season.

Final James Deane Vs Alan Sinnot

These two have gone to battle so much it has been untrue. A Falken Vs Nexen Battle. Both ex Irish champions and James being the defending 2011 Drift Allstars champion everything was to play for. James was on top form all weekend and with qualifying first really was the man on a mission. The first battle James led and edged a small advantage over Alan. In the second leg Deane pushed hard and was just too much shadowing Sinnot around the whole track giving him a clear advantage.

After such a close battle James Deane would take the win and later said “I went into Round 3 of Drift Allstars with a go hard or go home attitude! I pushed as hard as possible all weekend and it paid off. Huge thanks to all my sponsors and supporters for being behind me all the way. I’m delighted!“ Next Stop for the tour is the first mainland european leg at Constansa Port,Romania August 18-19th.

In the Tire Battle it would be NEXEN again who climb back on top after Alans second place finish.

ABOUT Drift Allstars Europe

Entering its fourth season, Drift All-stars is recognized as the best professional drifting championship in the Europe. Established on the streets of Japan, drifting has evolved into a worldwide competitive sport that challenges each driver’s driving ability and vehicle control. Drift All-stars provides a Championship for professional drifters to compete in several events/demonstrations across Europe for the coveted Drift All-stars European Series. Drift All-stars has taken competitive motorsports to the extreme attracting fans and car enthusiasts from all walks of life and establishes itself as the national focal point for the Sport. For a race schedule and ticket information, visit:

Nigel Colfer Podiums at Drift Allstars European Championship Rd2, London

Drift Allstars Rd2 took place this past weekend (24th July) in Wimbledon Stadium, London England. Following some testing and car set up time after finishing 5th at Round1 the NCDrifting team we're confident of the cars performance and competitiveness going into Round 2. After some feedback from Nigel following the first round the suspension was sent back to suspension sponsors KW, Germany to fine tune their competition 2 way coilovers and following some alignment changes the car was working how it should and Nigel instantly felt more confident behind the wheel of the NCDrifting/Marangoni Tyre Nissan 180sx.

In London this confidence seemed apparent right from practice where Nigel was running the perfect qualifying line right from the start and resulted in a 2nd place qualifying position. With so many past champions from all across Europe and beyond it really shows how competitive the team are in 2012.

Nigel battled past both Sean Spetiri (Malta) and Matt Chiapa (UK) in the top 16 and top 8 respectively before coming up against 2011 Irish Prodrift Champion Alan Sinnott in the Semi final. Alan had won round 1 in Birmingham and had also just beaten the 2011 Drift Allstars Champion James Deane in the Top8, but Alan was no match for the Marangoni Tyres and Colfer's aggressive driving with Nigel taking a relatively straight forward win and moved onto the Final.

Juha Rintanen (Finland) in the Achilles Tyre Nissan s14 had moved along to the final on the other side of the draw and would face off against Colfer in the final. Nigel led first and pulled a small advantage over the Fin, leaving him sitting on the start line but in the 2nd run a small mistake from Colfer meant that the tides were turned and Juha took the win.

Following the second place finish Nigel had this to say, "Finally, its great to be back on the podium, we haven't been here since we won in Malta last year and we've missed it, the team worked hard to get the car to the position its at now and its making all the hard off season work pay off. The car feels great, such an improvement over round 1 and I feel the only way is up from here. The next round is back home in Punchestown, Ireland and we're really looking forward to being in front of the home crowd and hopefully we can get one spot higher on the podium."

Following the 2nd place in London, Nigel now lies 3rd in the drivers championship. Round 3 takes place in Punchestown, Dublin, Ireland on the 28th/29th of July.

The British Drift Championship 2012 Round 2: Norfolk Arena, UK

Following a month of successful demonstrations and touring across Germany, issues unfortunately plague the team at the second round of the 2012 British Drift Championship. Current British Drift Champion Matt Carter was forced to make the difficult decision to retire the car early to prevent further damage after several issues arose during morning practice. Paul Cheshire in the popular 2JZ G35 Skyline unfortunately failed to qualify, the small oval track not suited to the high power Nissan. Alan Green however continued his success from round one, qualifying in seventh position in the top-flight Super Pro class, but bowing out in the Top 16 to eventual second place finisher Paul Smith.

A busy month of touring and demoing in Germany saw the team and cars feeling a bit worse for the wear before the second round of the 2012 championship. The team were incredibly well received in Germany as always, with three consecutive demos at the Bodensee Tuning World, Nurburgring N24 and Hockenheim Drift Challenge in front of a cumulative 300,000 European race and tuning fans over the three events. After returning to the UK the cars were checked over at the workshop, however there wasn't sufficient time for testing before the event began.

Current champion Matt Carter's weekend was short lived, just a few laps into practice an intermittent misfired reared it's head. After a thorough check over of the car in the pits no diagnosis could be made, however back out on track the misfire returned. After managing to drive through the problem Matt's luck went from bad to worse and the gearbox thrust bearing collapsed towards the end of practice, leaving insufficient time to carry out repairs.

With Norfolk Arena being the smallest and most technical track in the calendar the 700bhp Falken G35 piloted by Paul Cheshire was proving to be handful. After getting to grips with the circuit in practice and putting in some consistent runs Paul stepped up for qualification. Unfortunately pressure got the best of him and he failed to make the Top 16 in the Pro class. Paul used the rest of the weekend to get as much track time as possibile, entertaining the crowd during Saturday's pre-competition practice sessions.

It fell to Alan Green to represent Team Falken going into Saturday's main event. A successful qualification run saw him snag seventh place in the Super Pro class. A great result considering the standard of competition at this top level! Alan was paired against Paul Smith in the Top 16 for Saturday's main event. In the first run Alan lead well, driving with speed and agression and building up a gap between him and Smith in pursuit. In the second run Smith was judge to be closer to the judged line and so the judges asked for them to be ran one more time. A mirror of the first runs ensued, however in the second run Alan was judged to have straightened marginally and so Smith progressed into the Top 8. Nevertheless in Alan's second event in the new car the proof is there that the chassis and driver combo has the ability to be incredibly competitive at the top flight.

Triple score for at tricky Thruxton

The team secured a hat-trick of points finishes on a challenging weekend of racing for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton.

Race day saw the Hampshire circuit battered by high winds and heavy rain, leaving the West Thurrock-based team to battle against the elements with its turbo-powered VW Golf.

Attleborough-based driver Ollie Jackson went into the weekend eager to bounce back from a tough weekend at Donington Park, and he secured 13th on the grid in what would prove to be the only session where dry tyres were the order of the day.

Despite visibility issues in the opening race, Ollie showed the pace of the Golf by posting the sixth quickest lap en-route to twelfth, where he then started race two.

Ollie was again on the pace in the second race of the weekend but his chances of a top ten result to match his speed were hampered by the fact he found himself boxed up behind the Honda of Jeff Smith. An off-track excursion across the grass then led to a quick pitstop before Ollie rejoined the circuit to cross the line in 15th and score the final point.

Ahead of race three, conditions seemed to be improving, leading to Ollie and the team electing to go with a combination of slick tyres on the front and wets on the rear of the Golf. Sadly, as the field completed the green flag lap before the start, the heavens opened and Ollie had no option but to pit at the end of lap one to fit wet tyres all round.

While that dropped him right to the back of the field, Ollie battled back into 15th to take his third points finish of the day, leaving him 18th in the championship and 14th amongst the independents.

"We were up against it in the conditions and it's a bit of a shame that we had such good race pace and didn't quite get the results to match it," he said. "Sadly when you are stuck behind a car that is quick in a straight line, it can be difficult to make a move stick even though we had more pace in the corners. The decision to go with the mix of slicks and wets seemed to be the right call in race three when we started the green flag lap but then it chucked it down and I had no option to pit. It was right to take the gamble though and we finished where we started, so we didn't lose anything by doing it.

"The race pace is the big positive that I can take away from the weekend, and I've also been able to learn a lot about driving a front-wheel drive car in those kind of conditions. They were the first real laps I'd had in the wet and they will also help with my car control in the dry. There are a lot of positives for us to take away."

Team boss Shaun Hollamby said he was pleased with more points for the team, even though there was some disappointment that the top ten pace displayed by Ollie wasn't reflected in the final results.

"After the disappointment of Donington, we've picked up three solid finishes and have shown good race pace in all three races," he said. "We took a gamble in race three which didn't pay off, but we had nothing to lose with where we were on the grid. It's been a steep learning curve for us with the conditions and we've tried a few things to see what what worked and what didn't.

"It's slightly disappointing that the pace Ollie showed hasn't been converted into some top ten finishes but there are plenty of positives to take away from the weekend and the fact we showed top ten pace is definitely one of them. Oulton Park is next, which should suit the Golf, and there are a few things we plan to look at in the month before then to get more from the car."

The British Drift Championship 2012 Round 1: Teesside Autodrome, UK

Challenging conditions at the 2012 British Drift Championship opening round put Team Falken's skills to the test. Pro class contender Paul Cheshire and 2011 Super Pro class overall champion Matt Carter suffered early exits from the competition, having failed to qualify after dropping a wheel off track in torrential conditions. Super Pro class contender Alan Green makes it as far as the Top 16 in his newly built 180sx.

A busy off-season saw all three of the Team Falken cars arrive at later than scheduled due to last minute tuning. Two of the 2011 cars have undergone extensive changes since last season and Alan's car is an all new chassis.

Paul Cheshire's Nissan Skyline G35 has undergone extensive weight-saving measures since it's last outing. The Toyota-powered Nissan has now been re-tuned to over 670bhp thanks to ceramic coating from Zircotec and parts from SFS Performance, HEL Performance and Pipercross Air Filters. The car now also boasts complete fibreglass one-piece front and rear sections, shaving some much-needed pounds off the total weight! Paul has also taken the off season to transform the car's cooling system, moving the radiator to the back of the chassis to improve weight distribution. Time restrictions meant that there was no time left for testing and Paul was straight into qualifying with the new setup. To make matters worse the heavens opened and the car received it's first wet-weather (and hail storm) test run during qualifying, unfortunately placing Paul outside of the Top 16. Paul made the most of the track time over the weekend to fully test the new setup and looks to head into round two in a competitive position.

2011 Champion Matt Carter also chose to take the off-season to improve on his Nissan Silvia S14.5. The car now sports the same rear-mounted radiator solution and ceramic coating as the G35 as well as an all-new turbo courtesy of CR Turbos and full wide-body conversion from EP Racing and Falken-coloured Rota Force Drift wheels. The result is now over 500bhp and 500lb/ft on tap! Matt went out and qualified on usual high form, however he unfortunately dropped a wheel off track during his run, and was heavily penalised by the judges, leaving him just outside of the qualification quota. Nevertheless after some vital track-time the off-season transformations to the car are a success and Matt will return at round two to defend his title.

Super pro driver Alan Green took the brave decision to change his 2011 car for something more competitive. His previous Nissan Silvia S14 had seen many years of competition and was suffering the consquences of old age as a result. The new chassis is a Nissan 180sx S13 which Alan has tuned to over 450bhp. A full bodykit was applied before the traditional Falken Motorsport colours were applied along with a set of Rota Wheels. In practice and qualifying Alan gelled with the new chassis right away and was looking very strong. He managed to qualify in 11th position in the top Super Pro class, much to the team's delight. A pairing against 8th place qualifier and eventual 2nd place podium Steve Moore saw Alan put up a good fight, but unfortunately the judges ruled in Moore's favour and an early exit for Team Falken. Some much needed early points on the table for Alan nonetheless and it's all still to play for at this stage of the season.

From here all three cars are being prepared for shipping to Germany for demonstration events at Bodensee Tuning Show, the world famous Nurburgring N24 event and an International Drift Series event at Hockenheim, exposing the team to over 250,000 European motorsports fans over the next three weeks.

Top ten the target as heads for Thruxton

The team will hope for a return to form this weekend when it heads to Thruxton for the latest rounds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

The West Thurrock-based team enjoyed a solid start to the 2012 campaign at Brands Hatch with two points finishes, but then hit trouble at Donington Park a fortnight ago, where it was forced to withdraw from the weekend after the opening race due to an engine issue with its turbo-powered Volkswagen Golf.

After that disappointment, the team will now aim to bounce back in style at the quickest circuit on the BTCC calendar – a circuit where it enjoyed its best weekend of the season last year with two top ten finishes.

Attleborough-based driver Ollie Jackson has previous experience of driving the VW at the high-speed Hampshire circuit having taken part in a successful test at the venue back in February while preparing for his first full season in the BTCC.

With more time behind the wheel of the car since then, and with the issues that halted his weekend at Donington having now been resolved, Ollie heads to Thruxton in confident mood as he looks to take steps back up the championship standings.

"I'm really looking forward to Thruxton," he said. "The team is well prepared and we have sorted the problems we faced at Donington, so the car should be in perfect condition. I tested the car at Thruxton before the season started which will be beneficial for me, but the conditions are likely to be different when we return this weekend so we'll still have some work to do on set-up when we get into practice.

"It looks like it might be wet which means it will be a bit of learning curve for me, especially at a high-speed circuit like Thruxton, but my aim remains to break into the top ten and that is what I'm going for this weekend."

Team boss Shaun Hollamby revealed that work to remap the engine following Donington Park had led to the team uncovering a number of improvements that should help improve performance during the weekend ahead.

With the Golf having run well at Thruxton previously, and with Ollie's test seeing him close to the race pace displayed by former driver Tom Onslow-Cole during last season's meeting, Hollamby insisted that top tens are a realistic aim for the third meeting of the campaign.

"We spent two and half days testing the engine on the dyno after Donington Park to make sure that everything is working as it should do," he said. "The problem we had was the difference between a very worn old engine that had done a full season and a brand new engine. If we'd kept running the new one as it was, we risked damage that would have prevented us racing at Thruxton. Instead, we've got the engine sorted and found some improvements that set us well for this weekend.

"After the disappointment we suffered last time out, I expect to see us knocking on the door of the top ten this time around and I see no reason why that won't be the case. Thruxton was our best weekend of the season last year and with the changes we have made to the car since then, I'm feeling confident. Ollie set some encouraging times when we tested there before the season started, and if we can replicate the kind of pace we showed in the opening rounds at Brands Hatch, I think we'll be on for a good weekend." chasing more points at Donington Park

The team will aim to secure more championship points when the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship heads to Donington Park this weekend for the second round of the season.

The West Thurrock-based team has fond memories of the East Midlands circuit having picked up its maiden BTCC top ten finish at the venue last year, with its turbo-powered VW Golf taking its best result to date with seventh place in the second race of the weekend.

Already this season, the team has secured two points finishes in three races, with Attleborough-based driver Ollie Jackson having taken 13th and eighth place finishes at Brands Hatch before he was caught out by oil on the circuit in the final race and was forced to retire from while running inside the top six.

Ollie goes into the weekend sitting just two points away from a place inside the top ten in the championship standings and having impressed throughout his first weekend at the wheel of the Volkswagen, he will now hope to fight towards the top ten again in his second outing with the team.

"We had a test at Donington Park before the season started which went well, and I'm feeling good about the weekend," he said. "I think we showed a good level of performance at Brands Hatch even though I feel I could have done better in qualifying, and the aim is to be pushing towards the top ten again.

"I don't feel the same amount of pressure as I did going to Brands Hatch and am more at ease with the car now I have a race meeting under my belt; I just need to be consistent throughout the weekend and make sure I qualify better so we can push on for points. The Golf showed good pace at Donington last year and having found more grip and improved the high-speed handling since then, I think we're on for a good weekend."

The accident in the final race at Brands Hatch, which saw the Golf hit by a number of other cars that had also gone off on the oil dropped by Mat Jackson's Ford Focus, has led to plenty of work back at the base over the past week.

With the car now fully repaired, team boss Shaun Hollamby said he was optimistic that the level of performance shown at Brands Hatch can be maintained this weekend despite the differing nature of the circuit.

"The car was more heavily damaged than we thought after the accident but its been on the jig and the guys at Legend Vehicle Solutions managed to turn the bodywork round quickly for us before the Easter weekend, so we're more of less ready and raring to go for Donington," he said. "Brands Hatch was a good start for us and the race pace in particular was good. Ollie did a good job and without the accident in race three, I genuinely think we'd have been on for a top six finish.

"Now we have to try and more forwards from where we were at Brands Hatch and Donington is a circuit where we have gone well for the past two seasons. It's a circuit where people say it is all about power, but you also need a car that handles well and that is one of the strengths of the Golf. Having worked on both the chassis and the engine to get more speed out of the car, which we showed at Brands Hatch, I feel top ten finishes are achievable this weekend and I have a good feeling about our chances."

Strong start for at Brands Hatch

The team made a solid start to its 2012 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season with a top ten result and two points finishes on home soil at Brands Hatch.

The West Thurrock-based team went into the season-opener keen to build on the encouraging performance shown during pre-season testing with its turbo-powered Volkswagen Golf with newly-signed driver – Attleborough-based Ollie Jackson – looking to finish inside the BTCC points for the first time.

Having performed solidly in Saturday's two practice sessions, Ollie qualified 16th on the grid, just 1.1 seconds away from pole position around the tight and twisty 1.2 mile circuit. Making forward progress when the opening race got underway, he crossed the line in 13th place having set a best lap time just 0.6 seconds down on race winner Rob Collard.

Under the revised scoring system in place in the BTCC this season, Ollie also scored his first points in the series in the process.

Race two saw another impressive performance from the Golf as Ollie worked his way into the top ten to secure a fine eighth place finish; which then resulted in him being drawn on pole for the final race of the weekend.

Aware of the need to stay out of trouble at the start, Ollie slipped back to fourth on the opening lap but was keeping pace with the cars ahead until the Ford of Mat Jackson dropped fluid on the run-up to Druids on lap three.

Unable to stop the car when he hit the brakes, Ollie slid off into the gravel and although he managed to keep the car out of the barriers, he was then collected by two of his rivals who went off at the same time. The resultant damage prevented him from taking the restart after the race was red-flagged.

Despite that, Ollie ends the weekend twelfth in the championship standings and tenth amongst the independent drivers.

"It's a bit gutting it ended as it did, but overall it was a good weekend," he said. "We should really have been in the top ten in qualifying but I just didn't get the lap in. I made progress in race one and to then get my first top ten finish in race two was a great result.

"From pole, I didn't expect to stay at the front in race three but I felt we could have finished in the top five or six. I was keeping pace with the guys ahead but then when I touched the brakes on the way up to Druids, I was a complete passenger. I kept it out of the barriers and could have taken the restart but other cars followed me into the gravel and that was what did the damage.

"We've scored points in two of the races and shown what the car can do, so now we have to just push for more at Donington Park."

Although sharing the disappointment of race three, team boss Shaun Hollamby was also pleased with a weekend that ends with sitting ninth in the HiQ Teams' Championship and eighth in the Independents' Team Trophy.

"We've ended the weekend with a lot of damage but overall we can be happy with the performance we have shown," he said. "We've had good pace in the car and there is still a load more to come. We've scored points and picked up a top ten finish, and the accident in race three is just one of those things that unfortunately happens. We've got two weeks to repair the damage and come back fighting next time out.

"The whole team has been buzzing this weekend, and Chris Tweed and the boys have done a fantastic job on improving the Golf over the winter. We wanted more reliability and more straight-line speed and have shown both, so I think we can hope for plenty more points from this little Golf as the season goes on."

Byford for AmD Milltek Golf

AmD Milltek has named Martin Byford as its new driver for the remainder of the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.

Byford, from Colchester, will make his BTCC debut in the outfit's VW Golf at his home circuit of Snetterton in just over four weeks' time (6-7 August) with sponsorship from personal backer Eurocell as well as team partners AmD, Milltek and Tesco Momentum 99.

The 39-year-old has an excellent reputation in the BTCC's supporting categories. He was a front-runner in the Renault Clio Cup as long ago as 2002 and won the crown in 2007. He was also a title protagonist in the SEAT Cupra series.

Byford told "Firstly, a big thanks to all those sponsors for putting their faith in me. It's the opportunity I was looking for some years ago when I was scrapping in Clios and SEATs. When the chance to drive his Golf came up I put everything into making it work – it's been well documented he had a lot of enquiries so to be 'the chosen one' is good for the confidence!"

The Essex racer believes he'll fit in well with the BTCC's bumper-to-bumper action after a decade of competition in saloons. He also arrives with good technical know-how having won the British Formula 3 class B title back in 1995. He also proved more than a match for Tom Onslow-Cole when, after several years out, he returned to race in the Clio Cup in 2006. It was Onslow-Cole of course who raced the Golf during the first half of this season before leaving to join Team Aon.

AmD team principal Shaun Hollamby, who raced the car as a one-off at Croft last month, added: "I'm really pleased with our choice. We had massive interest from potential replacements for Tom and then it really came down to a shortlist of four. Martin ticked all the boxes for me – he's no nonsense and just a thoroughly decent and easy bloke to work with which is exactly what we want in our team.

"His CV speaks for itself and bear in mind I had the Golf up to 12th place in one of the races at Croft and he's much better than I am! Seriously, he perhaps should have got his chance in the BTCC a few years ago. We're delighted he's making his debut with us."

Byford for AmD Milltek Golf

AmD Milltek buoyed by Croft display

The AmD Milltek team enjoyed a solid weekend at Croft as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship reached the half way-point with its annual trip to the North East.

The West Thurrock-based team made the long trip north with team principal Shaun Hollamby returning to action at the wheel of its Volkswagen Golf for the first time since the 2010 season finale.

After a brief test at Brands Hatch prior to the weekend, Croft marked Shaun's first opportunity to race the VW since it underwent drastic changes over the winter, which included the fitting of a new turbo-charged engine.

Following mixed conditions in practice, Shaun qualified 21st on the grid for the opening race of the weekend but was quickly making progress when the lights went out to get the first race underway. In tricky wet, but drying conditions, Shaun had taken the Golf up to twelfth place before being tipped into a spin by James Nash, which dropped him back down the order. Shaun was however able to recover to take the flag in 17th place.

Shaun once again made quick progress through the field in the second race to run in 13th place before slipping back to 17th after running off track at the opening corner while avoiding an incident for another car. By the end of the race however, Shaun was able to climb back up to 13th, which would be his starting position for the final race.

Despite a number of quick cars starting behind him after early problems, Shaun was able to fight with the pack throughout the final race of the weekend, with the highlight being a battle for position with the Chevrolet of defending champion Jason Plato. Finishing the race in 15th place despite contact late on with Paul O'Neill, Shaun posted his quickest ever BTCC lap around the Croft circuit to end the weekend – and his time behind the wheel of the Golf – on a high.

With a six week break before the next round of the season at Snetterton, Shaun and the AmD Milltek team will now evaluate a number of possible options in regard to who will be at the wheel of the Volkswagen for the remainder of the campaign.

"Race three was the first proper race I feel I've had in the BTCC as I was able to fight with people on track and I wasn't just running around towards the back," he said. "Earlier in the day, Nash fired me off in the first race and then in race two, I went off in sympathy when Frank Wrathall had a problem and was suddenly slow in front of me. I think some of the boys tried to push me around on track today but I wasn't having any of it and even though I didn't manage to get into the points like I hoped to, I feel I can go away from Croft with my head held high.

"However, now the weekend is at an end, that is my time behind the wheel done. I'm happy with how the weekend has gone and I feel I've done myself justice, but now its time for us to look at the options and choose another driver for the future and the get the Golf regularly in the Top 10."

Acting team manager Rhea Beauchamp, who stepped in for the weekend to allow Shaun to focus on his on-track role, was also full of praise for the performance of the AmD Milltek team throughout the weekend.

"Shaun has done brilliantly this weekend, especially when you consider the pressure he was under getting back behind the wheel at short notice," she said. "The whole team has worked hard and three solid finishes are a good result for them and for the sponsors who continue to support the team. I've thoroughly enjoyed being part of the AmD Milltek team for the weekend and I think Shaun has gone out on a high."

AmD Milltek buoyed by Croft display

Hollamby Back in the Driving Seat!

Team principal Shaun Hollamby looks set to race his AmD Milltek outfit's VW Golf in Croft's round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship (Sun 19 June).

Hollamby says he's been inundated with calls from drivers wanting to replace Tom Onslow-Cole who left the team at Oulton Park last weekend.

"We must have had at least 45 serious individual enquiries – I have been quite astonished," Hollamby told "However, we want to get this right so instead of jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire we've decided on a known quantity for Croft – me!"

Orpington's Hollamby, who raced the Golf in its debut BTCC season of 2010, will test at his squad's home circuit of Brands Hatch tomorrow – the car is now a much more competitive machine after being fitted with a turbocharged engine for the 2011 season. Prior to his departure Onslow-Cole had raced it to three top ten finishes and qualified it sixth fastest at Thruxton.

Hollamby added: "We will see how I get on at Croft and then decide on the next course of action during the lengthy mid-season break. With Croft being so close we decided to holdfire with a final decision on who will be driving the AmD Milltek VW Golf until we can properly evaluate all the driver options, of which I am only one.

I will test at Brands Hatch on Thursday this week and unless I have personally lost a second a lap since last year I will race the car at Croft. My target at Croft is to beat Toms average qualifying result (15th) and race finishing position (12th).

My ideal driver would be a young up and coming driver who had a massive budget who I can sign to a 10 year contract but he or she didn't call! A number of names from the recent BTCC past are being considered but also some younger guys who maybe deserve the break.

"I would like to say a big 'thank you' to all our sponsors but especially Phil Millington from Milltek and Christian Osborne from Tesco Momentum 99, without whose support the last few days would have been much harder!"

Hollamby Back in the Driving Seat!

SFS Help Karen Phillips To A Flying Start!

Karen Phillips has begun her season in the Nippon Challenge and Subaru Cup with two podiums in two races in her SFS-equiped production specification Subaru Impreza WRX!

You can keep track of her performance in the race series through or in Japanese Performance magazine, who will be covering the series.

All the best to Karen throughout the season!

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