Oxfordshire motorsport team’s ‘drifting’ success

By Emma VardyBBC News

For most racing drivers, the number one priority is speed. But the motorsport known as 'Drifting' is all about style and grace.

Drivers are judged on how well they can control the car to make it 'slide' around corners, with this technique for travelling sideways - or 'Drifting' - reflecting the sport's name.

The Buckinghamshire-based Team Falken were formed in 2010 and have been competing in Drifting competitions in the UK and abroad.

They train at Finmere Airfield in Oxfordshire where there is a wide open space of tarmac, the perfect setting to practice their skills.

Driver Matt Carter is the current British Drifting Champion.

"It's a very different motorsport to any other," says Carter. "You're on the edge, on the balance of no control. It's a good rush when you're doing it."

Drifting as a competitive sport is thought to have begun in Japan, but in recent years events have increasingly been held across Europe.

The film The Fast and the Furious 'Tokyo Drift' helped to increase the sport's popularity, according to Carter.

"More and more people are getting into it every year. When I tell people I'm a Drifter, they know what it is now," said Carter.

In competitions, judges will give drivers points for their style and technique as they race around a course.

Unlike other racing events, it is not the driver that crosses the finishing line first that will necessarily win.

The drivers leave clouds of smoke behind them as the rubber burns away against the tarmac.

The cars can each get through 20 or so tyres at an event.

Driver Alan Green said the feeling of travelling sideways in a car is "indescribable".

"Everyone that's been in a car pretty much gets hooked," added Green.

"We've accumulated quite a team and quite a good group of friends together. Pretty much everyone who sees it falls in love."

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