Tom Hutchison has been involved with drifting since 2007, when he first discovered that there was actually a name for having fun in rear wheel drive cars and a whole sport dedicated to it!
Having found that other people in the UK were also devoting their spare time to driving sideways, Tom started regularly attending practice days at Santa Pod's 'Drift What Ya Brung' and other drift events around the country. In 2008, a suggestion from a friend led Tom to taking his Ford Sierra to Teesside for BDC license day, where he successfully gained his Semi Pro license on his first attempt.
A return to university as a mature student in Motorsport Engineering allowed Tom to apply new technical knowledge to his drift projects. Still an active supporter of the sport, drifting the Sierra at practice days and watching competition events provided Tom with an insight into the growth and evolution of drifting in the UK & Europe.
2011 saw a fresh lick of paint on Tom's 2936cc Ford Cosworth Sierra and a trip to Donnington Park, where, despite the car suffering an intermittent misfire and breaking the differential, Tom still managed to achieve Semi Pro and regain his BDC license immediately after his break from competition.
Within the next year Tom competed in 5 rounds of the BDC, limited by reliability issues, running gear problems and lengthy development work on the Sierra, not to mention a very tight budget. Despite this, he went on to beat many more capable and powerful cars to qualify 17th at Teesside. By this time it had become clear that despite considerable development, the Sierra was never going to be the most dynamic chassis! This led to a decision to retire the Sierra from the championship and focus on building a more competitive car in order to return to BDC.
In the meantime, Tom continued to use the Sierra at local events and competitions. Achieving 2nd place at the first ever 'Run the Wall' event in Birmingham, in a very close final by the now-Driftworks Pro driver, Richard Grindrod. A trip to Essex Arena saw Toms first time on the (very wet!) tracked oval, where he drove brilliantly to qualify in the King of the Ring competition, only being knocked out in the final rounds by 2013's BDC Super Pro class champion Mike Marshall.
Having been asked to work as a drift instructor for both Drift Racing and All Stars Driving Academy at Birmingham and Brands Hatch, Tom began passing on his experience and knowledge in the art of drifting several times a month, in addition to working in the garage in between. He quickly realised the fulfilment and enjoyment of being an instructor as well as sharing his passion for drifting.
2013 was a year of travelling, including trips to Scotland, Wales, Poland, France and Madrid, supporting team-mate, Luke Fink, and gaining invaluable knowledge regarding the progress of drifting around Europe. Inspired by the steps forward the sport was taking, Tom returned to the UK with a fresh passion for competition and immediately got stuck in with plans to build a competitive car for BDC.
Tom is now a partner in the Flatout Factory Team and its Drift Academy. He intends to return to competitive drifting in the very near future, in a Nissan S13, which is currently being prepared in the Flatout Factory speed shop. There may also be a return of his 3 door Mk1 Sierra into the Retro Drift Challenge in the near future.
Opportunities for sponsorship are now available, so if you would like to work with Tom and the Flatout Factory Team, please get in touch.