BDC put the spotlight onto hot new star Christian Lewis.
The Maxxis British Drift Championship has made plenty of recent rule changes; all are in the pursuit of making a level playing field which breeds talent and rewards exciting driving. It’s what everyone who’s passionate about drifting wants to see!
One of these changes was deemed to be controversial when it was revealed; basically if you finish in the top four of the Semi Pro or Pro class., you’ll get the chance to qualify at the next round in the higher class. But why? It’s simple; this is to help bring talent up through the ranks and fast track them. If the driver qualifies in the higher class twice in a season, they have effectively proved their talent and will automatically stay in the higher class to compete for glory.
While this change was originally met with some sceptism, the reason behind it makes perfect sense. It ensures for an evenly matched field and rewards skill. One such driver who seemingly has the skills and is using it to his full advantage is Team Dorihero’s Christian Lewis. But where did it all begin? We had to put some questions to Christian about where it all began. “I’m from Boston, Lincolnshire; where corners are rare!” Christian laughed “I started drifting in October 2010 and with hardly any seat time I drove the Skyline to the KD Drift event in Lousada, Portugal” Wow! Nothing like full on commitment! For a relative newbie, that is a seriously daunting task, but he kept cool and tried his hand. You have to give full respect for that!
This ballsy move proved to return a respectable result and kick-started Christians’ drift career; he continued “I entered the Semi Pro class in Portugal; I qualified 6th and finished 8th overall! Not long after that I was invited by Team Green to drift for them in the 2011 BDC.” Christian recalled.
Christian competed for the whole 2011 season with Team Green, it was a real eye-opener. “I didn’t qualify for the first three rounds” he sighed “I did manage to land myself two 3rd place finishes and overall I came in at 4th place for the season” Not a bad show with all things considered. This set the scene for the next move with an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“After 2011 season came to an end, I was offered to drive with Team Dorihero! They helped me out with the car an awful lot in the off-season; without them, I wouldn’t be here this year” You sense the pride Christian has as he continued “All the Team are truly amazing people! Its been a great start to the 2012 season, holding the top spot in the Pro Class at Round 1 made it all worthwhile and I’m happy to bring back some good results for the people and sponsors that are backing me. Without sponsors and amazing friends, I’d just be at home drifting on Forza 4″ Christian joked.
This backing and support has really spurred Christian on, while being just 27 years old and having a relatively short drifting career, he is racking up some great seat time and experience. This experience is certainly starting to bare fruit too! Having stepped up a class from Semi Pro in 2011, Christian now finds himself battling in the Pro class. He’s not out of place either; playing part in arguably one of the closest and most exciting duels in the first round of 2012 at Teesside against Marc Huxley.
Christian is not the only one to benefit from the fast-track system and being given a chance to step up. Marc also recently achieved this for himself, after coming in 2nd place in 2011. As fate would have it, they both ended up paired together, the results speak for themselves, this really was as tight as it gets! Driver progression is evident and drift fans lapped it up.
The step up in class has certainly allowed Christian to blossom and feel at home. This particular run to the final capped off a fantastic weekend for Christian and Team Dorihero, the judges had a difficult task to separate the two in the all important final, being forced to call “OMT” for One More Time.
The action really was door to door, after some flawless driving, Christian bagged a deserved first place and climbed up into the hallowed first place on the podium. It has been a meterioric rise for Christian in a short time-frame, now he’s found his home in the BDC and leapt forward in class thanks to his ability behind the wheel and the new ruling, can he do it again?
The BDC actively encourage skilful drifting and acknowledge and reward skills, so he certainly has the potential to push on and make it into the elite Super Pro Class. He’ll be the first to achieve this landmark feat it if he does! On what we’ve seen so far, Christian and Team Dorihero are certainly going to be ones to watch out for.