MARK WEBB: From Two Wheels to Four - Ride UK BMX

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MARK WEBB: From Two Wheels to Four

Drifting from one to the other.


Words: Seb Hejna
Photos: Jordan Bareham


We’ve partnered with Microsoft Studios ahead of the release of Forza Horizon 3 to look at what happens when the worlds of action sports and motorsport collide, and how the “leave your limits” attitude crosses over between the two.


 Mark Webb is a name that has become synonymous with BMX competition. In my opinion, he is one of the most influential riders in recent history. Over the years, Webbie has carved out a style of competition riding that not only included groundbreaking tech moves, but also huge World first tricks such as the decade to 360. And I believe this aggressive and focussed approach changed the face of competition riding for good, especially within the UK. Webbie is no spring chicken these days, but he shows no signs of slowing down, he is still competing at the very highest levels of BMX, and still showing riders 10 years younger than him that he is still a force to be reckoned with. But it doesn’t end there, he has been progressing with his brand ‘The Webbie Show‘, plus helping develop the Total BMX team and parts, arguably one of the strongest BMX competition teams ever assembled. And if all this isn’t enough, he has just been crowned the 2016 Driftcup drift racing champion. We thought is was about time we asked him a few questions to find out how he keeps at the top of his game in one career, whilst then ‘leaving his limits’ to succeed in another, and why did he make the decision to drift from Two Wheels To Four.


– So then Mark, what on earth got you into drift cars? And after picking up another huge injury, with a very long recovery period, did you consciously think, “I need to consider another potential career option here” or was drift racing something to keep you amused and focussed?

“I’ve always loved cars. My dad raced cars and my mum was also really interested by cars, so I spent most of my younger years at a race track or in a garage, at least until my parents split. I feel in some way that I subconsciously crave it, but it is definitely something I just love to do. When I am into something, I have to give it my all, that’s the only way I know how”.

 

Driver and pit crew. Mark’s not afraid to get stuck in.

 

– Do you think focusing on drifting helped your recovery?

“No not at all. It was just another passion, and I needed to continue to do both. Drifting costs a lot of money to do and with BMX these days (if you do it as a profession), if you’re off your bike, then you’re not earning money, so it was just necessary for me to get back on my bike as soon as possible. If I wasn’t riding, I wouldn’t have been able to drift, I needed both”.

 

– You’ve said before that you never thought of BMX becoming a career, but it obviously became a very successful one for you. Was it the same with drift racing?

“I’ve made a name for myself from BMX and I love the sport, it’s amazing being a professional in this sport, it’s like no other, but there was no huge financial success, but that’s not why I did it. As for drifting, I would say I’ve still got a lot to learn behind the wheel of a car. I’ve just won the AM series “Drift cup” which puts me into the Pro Am for the BDC (British Drift Championship), so I guess we will see where it goes from here, but it will certainly be my future – With age comes a cage”.

3 months of hard work at Southsea Skatepark to film The Webbie Show 3

– How does it compare to BMX? Does it share any similarities?

“I think yes, it’s pretty technical sliding a car and keeping it sideways, it’s a similar spatial awareness, the skill of balancing the steering and power and judging your speed and distance. I mean, you have to take similar calculated risks, and the bigger your balls and the faster you go the better chance you have. But you have to keep it stylish, I have to admit, I have much better style in a car then I do on a BMX, but hey, we didn’t all grow up at the trails. LOL. So yes, are a lot of similarities”.

Pedal firmly to the floor.
Loading up to the next race stop.
I wonder how many tyres he goes through?

– Tell us about your latest title in drift racing…

“So yeah, as I said, I’ve just won the Driftcup Championship, which is a feeder series for the British Drift Championship, the ‘BDC’. The Driftcup is essentially 5 events up and down the country. We’re now 4 rounds in, I’ve had two 1st places and a 3rd, which is amazing, but a streak of bad luck that only saw me get into the top 8 in the last round, but with the other placing’s, it was enough to clench the Championship. We have got one round left, but no one can take it from me now, the title is already mine, so I’m looking forward to hitting next round with no pressure, just simply drive the wheels off the car. So my winning title right now, is “Driftcup Champion” And next I’ll be pushing hard for British Drift Champion for next season”. 

Before the series is even over, Mark has scooped the title.

– Do you prefer a BMX podium or a drift podium?

“Both are goals, both are achievements, what’s not to love”.

Well in. Photo: Adam Lievesley

– Does anything you’ve learnt in BMX help with Drift racing?

“Just when someone’s got something negative to say, which sometimes happens. You just need take it on the chin and let the riding/driving do the talking, but there will always be that stuff in judged sports, especially when involve an element of individual style, which is all subjective”.

Wild racing at its best. No numberplate necessary.

– At one point I thought drift racing might take over, but you’ve managed to balance the 2 at the very highest levels, how do you fit both in at such an elite level?

“Well, as I’m getting older, I can’t physically ride my BMX as much as I would like, so I ride a few days back to back and a soon as I feel a bit to beat up, I’ll chill and drive the car. To be fair, in order to ride my bike well these days, I have to go to the gym, keeping fitness levels up with age is helping me more than the connection time on the bike, I’ve been doing it long enough now that I know what I’m doing, I just need to make sure the body can keep up. That fitness obviously helps with drifting too, driving takes it out on you mentally and physically”.

 

Webbie has incorporated his cars into his BMX projects. Below was during the Ride UK Warehouse Project. 

 

 

– On the subject of things being hard, which is bigger, a BMX party or a drift party?

It’s like any party that involves BMX or Drift, it more depends on the people you’re with and where in the world you are. I do enjoy a party though”.

Mark comittied to painting his car during the Ride UK Warehouse Project. Photo: Fooman

– The latest Webbie Show once again blew people away. How stoked are you with it? And how important was this one compared to the others? Especially with everything that’s happened in between?

“I’m over the moon with the latest edit, me and my friend Jordan Bareham worked for 3 months flat out and we’re both really happy with the outcome. This one in particular was hard, I didn’t have my own facility like the GS days, and based on that, I said lets just do the whole edit at Southsea skatepark. Giving the park some good exposure is the least I could do, as they have always supported me. But filiming there became a challenge in itself, as we were limited with the lines and setups, but I think we made the best of it. It took 3 months to complete, which really pushed me to my limits, as in that time I competed in 3 Driftcup rounds, had 3 Team Extreme demo shows, travelled and competed at Fise Montpellier and Nass. I had to have a few days out here and there, because of beating myself up flairing in to the Satan’s toilet at Southsea for the opener of the edit. So as you can imagine, filming was full on every time I had a chance to do it. This edit was Jordan Bareham’s first real filming project, which I find amazing, I can’t thank him enough, he did an incredible job didn’t miss a thing, a big thanks to him”.

– The Webbie Show brand has really accelerated recently. What’s next for the Webbie show? Is it part of drift too or just BMX?

“I guess I’m just going with it at the moment, the brand has cost me at this stage, because I’m terrible at it. But I’m trying to give back to the people who support me and I’ll never stop putting on a show as long as there’s an audience, it’s not why I ride BMX or drift but I like to put on a show. The Webbie show is just me”.

– You show no signs of slowing down on a BMX or in a car! Can you feel yourself slowing anytime soon?

“No, not at all! My mind set for both is strong, but with BMX, sometimes my body lets me down, my shoulder is terrible shoulder these days, which gives way a lot, but gym has been helping me. With age and injuries I can never guarantee that waking up in the morning the body will be as good as it was when I went to sleep, but as for the driving, my body works good enough for that all the time”.

Huge Thanks to and go follow: www.instagram.com/Jordan.bareham

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