A car power-sliding enthusiast whose antics on Kent’s roads have sparked outrage is now launching his own “drift” track.
Warren Lees, from Sandwich, admits he has “been a naughty boy” in the past, having lost his licence three times.
The 34-year-old made headlines last year when he appeared on a popular YouTube channel drifting his modified BMW on the A256 near Sandwich.
The footage even captured the moment he was stopped by police before having his beloved car seized.
But now Mr Lees hopes his new advanced driving school on land owned by Manston Airport will be a safe place for him and others to indulge their passion.
“I have been a naughty boy in the past but this is me trying to get people off the road like I’ve wanted to do for a while,” said Mr Lees, who has spent almost £40,000 on the project.
“Drifting on the road can cost up to £100 a night. You’ve got the worry of the police taking your car as well as being seen as a public nuisance.
“The track offers a safe place for people to come and get involved.
“You’d be surprised how many people will take this up. The drifter community just want somewhere safe to do it without the stress.”
Mr Lees says he’s had an “excellent response” so far to his Skidz Advanced Driving School which is set to open on March 16.
It is located north of the runway at Manston Airport, next to the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum.
Mr Lees says they are “respectful” of their neighbours and have told museum bosses the driving school can close on a Saturday if an event is being held there.
“We want to be totally cooperative,” he told KentOnline during a test day at the site.
“It’s been tough trying to keep everyone happy - there have been concerns - but we hope a gentle introduction can ease those worries.”
Mr Lees estimates he has sunk about £38,000 into the scheme so far in order to make sure everything runs smoothly.
The school has signed a three-year lease with its landlords, with scope for an extension of the same length if all goes to plan.
Track days will be hosted on Saturdays, with cars only allowed to drift between 11am and 4pm. Spectators will have a dedicated safe space on site.
Cars will be given two-minute slots, though there will be multiple opportunities for motorists to give it a go.
Drivers must wear safety helmets and prove their vehicles are safe to use. They must also have a fire extinguisher in the car.
A single driver and car can expect to pay £110 for the day, with extra drivers adding £40 to the bill. Spectators will be charged £10 at the gate.
Mr Lees will also offer weekday lessons for aspiring drifters, though these will be limited to one hour per day and will be hosted during normal working hours.
The engineer, who has a business modifying drift cars, has previously been banned from the road three times and fined a total of £7,000.
When he previously insisted he wouldn’t stop drifting on the roads until there was a dedicated space, he faced a barrage of criticism from KentOnline readers.
Many branded him an “idiot” and a danger to others, as well as calling for his BMW to be crushed.
However, he argued he was “perfectly safe” and in control of the car.
He originally called on “the council” to provide a dedicated drift track, before launching a petition on the issue which was signed by 577 people.
“It’s sad but it’s taken breaking the law to get noticed,” Mr Lees added.
“I’ve been trying for five years to show how the lack of a dedicated track is an issue.
“Before I would get nothing back except maybe an email. Now we’ve been able to start something that’s safer and less of a nuisance.
“Cars can reach five-figure sums and people don’t want to see them impounded.”