Richard "Chunk" Newton
Hi!! My name is Richard Newton, or more commonly known in the drift world as "Chunk". Since I can remember I have been into cars and motorsport. I passed my driving test in 1991. The first car I bought was a Vauxhall Chevette, which of course is rear wheel drive. This set the tone for the future!!!
I discovered drifting in 2005 when there was a D1 (Japanese drift series) demo at Silverstone. I already owned a Nissan Skyline R32 GTS-T, but having been on a few track days before (and received a few black flags for sliding!!) I wanted to initially learn in a lower powered car. With the options available, I ended up buying a Volvo 340 1.4ltr. With the help of my friends we welded the diff, lowered the suspension, and stripped out the interior – and there I had my first drift car!
I looked on the Driftworks forum to find the next available drift day and get myself book on to it, as at the time Flatout Factory did not exist!!!
My first drift day took place at an old airfield where there were three areas laid out. With me being a newbie, I started off in the beginners play pen, soon to realise that, although it was very drift-able, the Volvo needed more power and I was missing my Skyline. It was a great day, learnt loads and met loads of people, some of whom I'm still good friends with today. And that was the start of my journey into drifting!!!!
Over the next couple of years, having swapped back to my Skyline, I did many practice days and got to a level were I was being asked to do passenger rides and demos. In 2007, I took part in a demo at Japshow, Santa Pod, with Mark "Sweeps" Buckle, who convinced me to enter the, then, Eurodrift series. So, at the next licensing day, I earned a 'pro' class license. I then took part in the fourth round of the 2007 Eurodrift series at Teesside Autodrome, where I qualified 4th and finished 6th overall – not a bad result for my first ever drift competition!!! This set the tone for the rest of the season.
I continued to compete and take part in demos for the next two years, all across the UK, in the British Drift Championship, often qualifying at the top of my class, and got to battle against some of Europe's best drivers. Towards the end of the 2009, I had stop competitive drifting due to an old leg injury received from a motorbike accident in 2003. "Sweeps" approached me and asked if I wanted to help out with doing the judging, instead of being judged!! I said yes, and continued judging for the British Drift Championship, until the end of 2013, with the last two years as Head Judge.
During my time as Head Judge, my leg injury continued to deteriorate which resulted in the above knee amputation of my left leg towards the end of 2012. In 2013, having adjusted to life as a monoped, I wanted to get back behind the wheel and into competitive drifting again! I was asked to take part in some minor demos in a converted road car, and did as many practice days as I could!! Later that season, the British Drift Championship organised an event at Anglesey Circuit, North Wales, called Drift Matsuri where I was asked to drive in the Driftworks Night Battles, against some Europe's top drivers.
The aim of 2013 was to get back behind the wheel of a drift car and have as much fun as possible with my drift family, which included attending the official opening weekend of Driftland, in Scotland, and winning the prize for the highest entry speed at 71MPH, a record that still stands!
In 2014 I had hoped to get back into competitive drifting and take my place in front of the judges again, in my Mazda RX7; however due to mechanical issues this was not possible, so instead concentrated on having fun.
Mid 2014, I was approached by my good friend, Tom Hutchison, to get involved with Flatout Factory. I could see Tom's enthusiasm and love for the sport, and wanted to be a part of it!!
I will be back in competition for the 2015 season of the British Drift Championship, in my, now, Toyota powered Mazda RX7, as part of the Flatout Factory Drift Team.
Within the last ten years, drifting has become a huge part of my life, and led me to meet some outstanding people, and allowed me opportunities such as to work with stunt driver Terry Grant and the Mission Motorsport team, who promote motorsport for injured service personnel.
Being a part of the Flatout Factory team allows me to share my passion for this sport, and the great people involved, with so many new people and start them on the own drift journey!! Happy Skidding!!