Team Nexen drivers Alan Sinnot from Ireland, Luke Fink, Australia, and Lluis Lopez, Spain joined a host of European drivers at the Drift Allstars Europe season opening event in Birmingham at the weekend where Team Nexen threw down the gauntlet to their competitors with an impressive 1-2 victory.
With the team just launching on Friday and a short time to test the new N8000 tyres, it was a weekend where every second of track time would count.
It was evident from the outset in qualifying that Luke Fink in his Nissan Silvia S15 was out to prove that he is a force to be reckoned with in 2012. Equipped with his Nexen Tire N8000s, he talked about the massive advantage he had over some of his competitors: “The forward traction I have with the Nexen Tire allows me to put a good distance between myself and the other car exiting the first turn. Also the smoke I can produce with the power of my Toyota 1JZ engine makes me a favourite with the local crowd”. Fink qualified fourth with reigning Irish champion Alan Sinnot in seventh and teammate Spanish champion Lluis Lopez taking 10th spot in his spare car.
Lluis was first to exit the competition after a small spin in his top 16 run. Sinnot and Fink progressed through their battles, picking off the competition one by one. There were some casualties along the way – Sinnot had a big impact with Finnish champion Juha Rintanen in the semi-finals before a mechanical problem ended proceedings for the flying finn. After a quick repair in the pits, Sinnot took the advantage and progressed to the finals where Fink was waiting in an all Team Nexen final.
The battle between the team mates was hard fought and a tough call for the judges. Their first and second runs were neck-and-neck, forcing a decider where Sinnot edged out Fink to take the win.
After the podium celebrations Alan Sinnot spoke to the press and said: “This has been an amazing event for the team on its debut and we couldn’t be happier. I have won the Irish title and I want to challenge the best drivers in Europe now. This has been the perfect start to our 2012 campaign.”