So this is it! The 2012 Hell King of Europe Drift Series has come to it’s final round. The season had begun in april , on the high speed track of Poznan, in Poland, and now it was going to end in a similar fashion, in Slovakia, but stakes going up way higher than ever before.
This was basically going to be the second time in Slovakia for 2012, after the Piestany event in July, and the second time the japanese drivers would fly over to compete against Europe’s finest. Judging by this and by the fact that SlovakiaRing is one of the most interesting racetracks in Eastern Europe, it was obvious for everyone that quite a lot of drivers would show their interest towards coming on the 6th and 7th of october.
Going into this round, 5 drivers had the chance of winning the championship: Francesco Conti from Italy, Adam Kerenyi from Hungary, Roman Kolesar from Slovakia, Benjamin Boulbes from France and Calin Ciortan from Romania. All 5 have gotten some very good results this year, finishing on the podium several times. Adam had managed to get 2 victories, while Calin and Roman each had one victory under their name. All 5 drivers have had their ups and downs this year, facing both mechanical and logistic issues, and also showing some amazing driving skills and passion for the sport. And, while the result for the championship was still open to any of the 5 drivers,the Team Rankings situation was more than obvious even before this round, with the title being reserved for the Italian Squad made up of Francesco Conti and Amerigo Monteverde.
As earlier stated , a lot of drivers showed interest in coming to this event, and by following the registration list you could count a total of about 60 drivers, coming from a total of 21 countries. A true international event! Alongside the usual drivers of the series, it seemed like a lot of other new ones wanted to get the feel of the King of Europe Spirit. Drivers from countries like Russia, Belarus, Latvia and the Czech Republic. Going into the event it was not hard to notice that almost 15 drivers were strong enough to be capable to win this final round! A big surprise came from the japanese part as well, who decided to fly in not 3 drivers like they did in Spain, but 4 of them, with the 4th being Saori Ishikawa, one of Japan’s top female drifters! Daigo Saito and Tetsuya Hibino were already in good shape , after claiming 1st and 2nd places in the most recent round of D1GP, and Mitsuru Haruguchi had shipped his own 326Power S14, which for sure was going to be very appealing to everyone at the event, because of its looks! Saudi driver Abdulhadi Alqahtani was also joining in at this final round, this time with a much better prepared car, after struggling in Hungaroring. He quickly found the option of renting a LS powered , full carbon-fiber body Ford Mustang, a machine pretty similar in specs to his own car back home.
The paddock area of the race track was a pretty amazing place to see, with KW, Motul and Dotz stands being surrounded by drift machines, and by quite a few other GT cars like Porsches, Lambos, SLRs and so on. A really big motorsport event all in all!
The sheer diversity of machines and engines used was enough for anyones taste! Sebastien Cornec came with his LS powered R324 Skyline, and it seemed like the car was now functioning properly and ready to race. Also from the french side you could notice Frederic Ferreira, with his abominal 730 horsepower M5 E39, which we also saw in Spain at the beggining of June. In the Italian camp, next to Amerigo Monteverde and Francesco Conti, you could also see the orange M3 E92 driven by Stefano Alessandri, and the brown twin turbo 350Z driven by Graziano Monticelli. It seems like all 4 italian drivers will be joining in for the full 2013 season, and rumours are even more of their fellow countrymen will be doing the same. Poland was also well represented in the paddock area . Team BudMat, usually seen with 5 cars, only brought over two, as all the other 3 machines in the team had their own unsolved issues , after some very hard battles all season long. Still, everyone was keen on hearing Stolarskis’ compressor whine and seeing Karkosiks’ huge trails of smoke! STW Drift Team also brought in two of their best drivers: Marcin Carzasty in the JZ powered S14 and Marek Wartalowicz in his amazing V8 compressor E21. Maciej Jarkiewicz, Wojtek Gozdziewicz and Mateusz Wlodarczyk have also become quite regulars for the series, and everyone expects to see more of them for the next season. Jakub Tatara and Krzystof Terej where two other polish drivers to come over. Other than Saori Ishikawa, three other women registered and showed up for the race: Sara Hageman from Denmark, driving a 600 horsepower Supra, Nikkolet Szanto from Hungary, driving a 400+ horsepower Z4, and Karolina Pilarczyk from Poland driving a 400+ horsepower E36. Surely more and more women are getting involved in drifting, and the plan is that 2013 will have its own King of Europe Ladies League-generically named Queen of Europe, which should be pretty interesting to follow! A total of 4 drivers came in from Russia, with the famous Evil Empire team bringing 3 top-spec machines : Felix Chitipakhovyan and Sergey Kabargin driving Supras and Max Tvardovskiy driving a R34 Skyline, and with Nikita Shikov also driving a Toyota Supra. Ukraine also dispatched some “troops” in SlovakiaRing, with veteran KOE driver Dmitriy Illyuk also bringing along a few other drivers like Alex Golovnya (RB powered RPS13) and Vladymyr Marchenko (LS powered S14). Two drivers with cars built by HGK Racing came in from Belarus (Sak Sergey with his JZ46) and from Latvia (Kristaps Bluss and his Turbo E36). Also travelling from quite far was Dotz Tuning Wheels driver, Stian Jacobsen, who made the trip over from Norway, along with his 1JZ PS13. Strolling around the paddock area you would also notice the Bezouska brothers from Czech Republic with their big rig truck, and Adam Frank from Hungary, who was sharing space with Ali Atacik from Turkey. Adam is one of the head instructors at MyWay Drift School, and it seems that next year he might be bringing a new, more powerful and better prepped machined, while Ali is still trying to find a solution for the 2013 season, seeing as transporting a car on such long distances can sometimes be a very difficult thing to do.
While the japanese had already flown in since wednesday, to make some last minute settings to their cars, all other european drivers started coming in on Thursday and Friday. Altough it was already the beggining of october, the weather was looking good, and everyone had high hopes that it would be the same throughout the whole weekend, even though the track weather forecast stated diferently.
Friday was dedicated entirely to registration and to the setting up of the paddock area. All the new to the series drivers received their mandatory sponsor stickers to be applied to the cars, and everyone was keen on getting in touch with new people. You could see drivers studying eachothers’ machines and thinking about how the race was going to unfold.
At the end of the day, after the GT cars cleared the track, all of the drivers decided to have a look at the track, by walking from the start line to the finish line, almost 1 km in total! Each and everyone of them were already trying to figure out the lines they should take and the aproximate speeds they would reach in the following two days.
Saturday was the long awaited moment. The Final Round of Hell King of Europe 2012 was about to officially begin. As spectators were coming in, in the paddock area you could hear engines being started and revved up, in the final preparations before going on the track. The weather was ok, and judging by the size of the track and the speeds, for sure it was going to be one smoky day!
Team WiseSquare was also ready, with all four cars, and everyone was having a great time. Daigo Saito and Tetsuya Hibino were going full out as usual, and also people were suprised to see how good the 326Power S14 was doing, seeing as it basically looked more like a show car than a drift machine. Also, people were anxious to see a professional japanese female drifter in action, and Saori Ishikawa jumped behind the wheel of the red SR20DET S15, which she got very quickly acquainted to. The movement of the car was so natural , and indeed you could see a big difference in driving style between the japanese drivers and the european ones.
For Saturday, everyone knew they had to try and squeeze in as many practice runs as possible, seeing as almost 50 drivers were waiting in line to do so themselves. Of course, pushing the limits of their cars did send a few drivers off the track and into the gravel pit, but this was not something that was going to stop any of them. Well, unless any serious mechanical failure would have occured.
Francesco Conti, with a broken leg (the left one), was doing pretty good in his M3 E92 GT4, and it seemed like his electrical-clutch-invention was working just fine for him! Also keeping an eye on the drivers that could win the title, it looked like Adam Kerenyi had made a visit to Tomi Workshop a few days earlier, and increased horsepower levels on his car, just to be sure he would have enough for the final battles. Roman Kolesar and Benjamin Boulbes were doing just fine in their machines, which were working flawlessly as always. Things were not looking so good for romanian driver Calin Ciortan though. He has been facing engine problems all year long, and even though he hoped he would be ok for this final round, bad luck struck, and by the end of saturday he was desperately trying to find a solution to fix his machine. Even though some of the drivers at the event tried to help, he later on discovered that there was nothing left to fix, at least not in that short amount of time and with no available spare parts, so he was basically out of the race, unless a miracle would happen.
Saudi driver Abdulhadi Alqahtani also seemed very comfortable behind the wheel of the Al-Jazirah Racing Ford Mustang, and he was constantly leaving huge trails of smoke behind him each time he’d go out on track. The two polish Budmat Auto RB Team drivers soon became one, as Dawid Karkosik also suffered an engine failure on his extensively built 700 horsepower RB25. He left Bartosz Stolarksi to do the job, in the Compressor LS powered S14, a machine which never ceases to impress because of its amazing , specific , compressor whine!
Drivers enjoyed saturday as much as they could, until the track announced it will be closing for the day. Motul and Dotz were awesome enough to throw a party afterwards, and everyone could sit down and chat, get to meet eachother, take photos and so on. Also there was quite some activity at the KW booth, where even Saori Ishikawa went on to have some fun on the race simulators available.
Early sunday morning, things were not looking good at all. As feared, the track forecast was very accurate, and it was already raining from dawn. Following Calin Ciortan, he had been proposed to drive Francesco Conti’s E92, but he did not want to endanger Francesco’s shot at the title, so he turned down the offer. Calins’ last hope came from danish driver Sara Hageman, who also kindly said she would lend him her 600 horsepower Toyota Supra, offer which he agreed upon, even though fearing he might not be able to drive the car properly, seeing as it was a very different machine to his own (especialy considering the steering angle). Every driver managed to get a few practice runs and afterwards they were ready to hit qualifying. Both the telemetry system and the judges were in place, and anxiety levels were skyrocketing! While some drivers were already used to the telemetry system, some were still very curious about how it works, and have only seen infos about it on the internet. Run after run, drivers struggled with the wet surface, even though speeds were still going up pretty high, and while some of them seemed to be very comfortable with the given grip levels, some would just go off track in the first corner , ending up in the gravel pit.
A total of 47 drivers had ran the qualifying session, and while some were aware of the fact they were not going to make it to Top32, others were still hoping for the best. With this being his second King of Europe event of the year, Dmitriy Illyuk displayed a great set of driving skills, as evidence of his good runs in Odessa back in July. Thus, it did not really came as a shock that he qualified the highest of all drivers, with a total of 93,21 points. Adam Kerenyi, who is quite the specialist when it comes to drifting in the wet, took 2nd place, with 90,61 points in total. The difference between Adam and new to King of Europe driver, Felix Chitipakhovyan, was so small that it would had been almost impossible to notice without the telemetry system. Felix was sitting in 3rd,with just 0,31 points behind the 2009 champion. The polish drivers couldn’t have missed out from Top5, they almost never do, and both Stolarski and Wartalowicz, running V8 compressor setups were fairly close to getting 90 points. More ukrainians inside Top10, and it seems like Europe is going to have more of them in 2013: Alex Golovnia took 6th with his RB25 powered RPS13, and Vladymyr Marchenko took 8th with his LS powered S14. In between them was Dotz Wheels driver, Stian Jacobsen, who came all the way from Norway with his 600 horsepower 1JZ PS13. Back to BMWs for 9th and 10th place, which were occupied by italian Stefano Alessandri in the M3 E92 and Frederic Ferreira in the monster 730 horsepower compressor M5 E39. While to some it came as a surprise, others were beggining to think that Saito has his own tactics for qualifying, as he is always somewhere in between 10th and 20th place. This time he was 11th. The Chaser was behaving just fine, and with 600 horses coming from the 2JZ , it really seemed that Daigo had much more to offer for the battles. The Hungaroring round was not a very good event for Saudi driver Alqahtani, because he did not have a competitive enough car at hand. But now, driving a fully carbon fiber , LS powered Ford Mustang, he seemed much more natural, as this is the same chassy he is driving back in his home series. Considering the given situation, he took 12th place overall with a total of 81,67 points. From Saudi we go all the way to Latvia, with Kristaps Bluss taking his turbo powered E36 to 13th place, with an unbelievable small difference behind the Mustang driver. Monteverde, Haruguchi and Boulbes were the other three drivers inside Top16, with all of them scoring slightly over 80 points. All three drivers have had their fair share of car issues throughout the weekend, otherwise for sure they would have qualified much higher. Next up , two drivers from Russia and one from Belarus, for their very first event in King of Europe, showing that they can be extremely competitive and bringing over some pretty interesting machines. Both russian drivers were part of Team Evil Empire, with Max Tvardovskyi driving a RB26 powered R34 and Sergey Kabargin driving a Toyota Supra MK4. Team EvilEmpire has built itself quite a strong reputation in Russia, both because of their driving skills, and because of their awesome looking and built cars. This might just be the first time Francesco Conti doesn’t qualify inside Top10 or very close to Top10. Still, with a broken left leg, and with so many amazing drivers all around, he really did an amazing job, and he really proved to everyone, for the utmost time that he is such a dedicated and professional driver! STW driver number 2, Marcin Carzasty was right behind Francesco Conti in 21st place. You might remember Wojtek Gozdziewicz, from his initial run in King of Europe Presov back in 2011. It was raining back then as well, and Wojtek just managed to qualify 32nd at the time, only to be taken out of the race in his first battle. Another contender for the title up next, Roman Kolesar. He was seemingly a bit nervous on his home turf, and qualifying 25th was not a very happy moment for him at the time. Redbull Sponsored driver, and vicechampion of the Russian Championship, Nikita Shikov also managed to get inside Top32, and he was not far behind Roman Kolesar. Having given the wet surface, this meant that power was not going to weigh as much as it would have, and more driver skills would come into play. This is the perfect explanation for how MyWay instructor, Adam Frank, managed to get inside Top32 with probably the most underpowered car at the event, an under 300 horsepower BMW E30. For sure Adam will come back strong in 2013, as rumours have it he is building something a bit more menacing to compete with! Nikki Szanto was the only woman to make it to Top32, in her V8 powered Z4, as she was 30th overall. Both Czech drivers, the Bezouska brothers also qualified for the battles , as one of them was 27th and the other 31st. The last driver to make it to the last Top32 of 2012 was polish driver Mateusz Wlodarczyk, who was also driving a slightly underpowered machine in comparisson to a big part of his competitors. As earlier stated , 3 of the female drivers did not succeed in reaching Top32. Sara Hagemann was the highest qualified of the three, and people were really dissapointed that car issues prevented Saori Ishikawa from giving her best out on the track. Probably the most surprising results of the day were that Calin Ciortan (broken engine) and Tetsuya Hibino(broken transmission) did not manage to qualify for the battles. This surely has to be the first time in years when such bad luck occurs to them, and for sure the battles would had been even more exciting with them as well.
Having given the marvellous specs of the telemetry system, drivers now had the opportunity of getting a more indepth analysis of their results. For instance, the best attack speed was of 138 kph, and it was recorded by Francesco Conti. Again we remind you that he has been driving all weekend long with a broken leg, but still he was out there pushing as hard as him and his car could go. There were two drivers that came pretty close to Conti. Stefano Alessandri pushed his E92 M3 up to 134 kph and Felix Chitipakhovyan, even though running slightly more horsepower, got 133kph. Marek Wartalowicz has totally reached a whole new level in comparisson to 2011. And his 550 horsepower, tubeframed E21 is a true statement of dedication and hard work! Marek was the best driver in both Attack Angle and Average Angle. Marek got 29degrees of attack angle, and the closest competitor to him was Daigo Saito with 28. His average angle was 42 degrees, and you could tell that by watching him slide through the corners, seemingly spinning from time to time. Adam Kerenyi and Felix Chitipakhovyan were the only ones to manage to get at least 40 degrees. When it comes to average speed, Dmitriy Illyuk was the man to beat, as he recorded 76kph along the track. While there were a few other drivers to get close to the same value, the only man that got the same result was Stefano Alessandri. Another polish driver got a qualifying best, and we’re talking about Marcin Carzasty, Marek’s team mate, who took the best line with 28 points out of 30. Two ukrainian drivers(Golovnia and Illyuk) were considered to be the best showmen of qualifying , and got 10 out of 10 points for show.
After qualifying it was time for another briefing session, and a last checkup of the cars. The final moment of the final Round of the 2012 Hell King of Europe Drift Series was about to begin. 5 drivers came to SlovakiaRing hoping to get the series title, but now only 4 would have to try and figure out the best way for getting on top of everyone else. At a slight glance upon things, about 16 drivers had a solid chance of winning the race, so you can imagine what was about to unfold. Added to the mixed emotions everyone was going through, the clouds were looking very menacing above SlovakiaRing, and it didn’t look like it was just rain that was about to fall. So the decision was to quickly move on with things, and try to mix two pairs one right after another, just to save some more time. First pair of the day, ukrainian Dmitriy Illyuk versus polish Mateusz Wlodarczyk. Mateus has been driving the same car with the same setup for quite some time, while Dmitriy has done some really serious improvements to his machine over the past year or so. Both of them have had their fair share of drifting experience, but you could say Dmitriy was more of a veteran than Mateusz. On the track, the difference between the two was not really that big, and it was their first run to seal the result, in favour of Dmitriy, after they got a tie on their second one. Up next, Benjamin Boulbes knew he had to push hard and not get stopped to early in the race, as this was his chance of getting the title at stake.In the first run , his opponent, Sergey Kabargin from Russia, driving one of the two EvilEmpire Supras, went into the gravel in corner one, so Boulbi was given the advantage.Things turned around for the second run, with Kabargin winning 8-2, which was still not enough to see him through Top16. Up next, hard battle for Roman Kolesar. Obviously with some pressure on his shoulders, with the event being held in his home country, Roman straightened pretty bad while chasing after Vladymyr Marchenko and his LS S14, so the ukrainian was awarded 9-1. In the second run Roman gave it all he had, and even though he was leaving Marchenko quite far behind, this was not enough for him to recover for the lost points, so all hopes of winning the title were just swept away. Italy versus Poland, Alessandri versus Jarkiewicz. Both driving BMWs , both with V8 M3 engines, with an added compressor for Jarkiewicz. The italian driver was pushing really hard all day long, and it seemed like he wasn’t about to stop. Coming into the first corner, he went a bit over the edge, and almost entered backwards. Still, with him drastically slowing down, Jarkiewicz had nowhere to go but hit him. The polish driver was awarded 10 points, and seeing as the impact was only a minor one, no cars had any problems in functioning properly. Jarkiewicz went up front, and it was clear that his extra almost 200 horsepower came in quite handy, as he was leaving trails of smoke behind and Alessandri struggling through them. We are sure we are going to see much more of Stefano actively competing next year!
Big surprises can always happen in drifting, and it’s not uncommon to see a David versus Goliath like battle. This was one of those situations. Adam Frank , driving his under 300 horsepower E30, was now facing Bartosz Stolarski and his 650+ horsepower S14. Adam managed to get a tie in the second run, but Stolarski displayed more speed, angle and smoke in the first run, so he was awarded the win. Big battle up next. Francesco Conti, also aiming for the championship title, would have the rather difficult mission of taking up Kristaps Bluss, in his ~600 horsepower turbo E36. The battles were pretty close, but in the end Francesco just managed to win by an inch , getting 6-4. Razvan Fratianu was going up against Marek Wartalowicz, and you could see from the very beggining that there was a huge difference in between the cars.Going into the first corner, on the practice lap, Marek Wartalowicz was driving typical polish style: flat out. Of course , seeing as the surface was pretty wet, he overshot the corner and stopped in the gravel pit, with some damages to his machine, Razvan was more than fairplay, and decided to wait for Marek until he fixed the problem. Even so, Marek was unforgiving, and won this match, setting him on for Top16. The battle between Marcin Carzasty and his 1JZ S14 and Abdulhadi Alqahtani and his LS Mustang looked like it was going to be very interesting. Both of them pretty fast, both of them heavy smokers. In the first official run Abdulhadi pushed things a little too far, and he flew straight into the gravel pit, apparently doing some serious damage to the car, seeing as he was unable to get back in the race in the 5 minute allocated time. Nikkolet Szanto is known to have gotten as high as third place in a King of Europe event. She is no novice driver, and she is not afraid to go all out against any man. Felix Chitipakhovyan had to go through a one more time, and in the end, he was going the progress to Top16. Good result also for the other EvilEmpire drivers in the race, Max Tvardovskiy, who won against Amerigo Monteverde, who was been facing very annoying car issues all weekend long. At this point it was already raining, and there was no smoke coming from the rear tyres. Alex Golovnia seemed to be a natural on water, and he took on one of the Bezouska brothers, which lost the battle because of a few corrections he made. There were quite a lot of drivers that were hoping to be pitched against Daigo Saito in the battles, just so they can see how they matchup to the japanese superstar, and if he is as good as he seems to be. Daigo seemed to be untouched by the rain or by anything else, and he maintained his calm throughout the whole day. Wojtek Gozdziewicz was the “chosen one”, to compete against Daigo in Top32. Now, Wojtek is running a 4.8 liter V8 with NOS, which is slightly underpowered compared to the 2JZ Chaser. Wojtek did everything he could , but it looked like Daigo was going for the win this time, trying to make up for the problems he had to face in Spain . Dotz Team Driver Stian Jacobsen was facing a rather equal opponent, with him being paired up against Nikita Shikov from Russia. JZ power for both of them, both running about 600 horsepower. Even though Stian seemed to be a bit faster,the overall decision was granted in favour of the russian driver , who was now moving on further in the battles. High horsepower can sometimes even become a disadvantage on a wet race track. Frederic Ferreira was struggling to drive his 730 horsepower M5 against Graziano Monticelli, but Graziano wasn’t having a good time either. In the end, Frederic was the one to grab the win. Mitsuru Haruguchi had shipped his 326Power S14 from Japan to drive for this event. The car was leaving the impression than it was more show-ready than drift-ready, and it indeed it did not have as many mods as the other professional drift machines around. Even though Mitsuru is almost a legendary japanese drifter, from the times he would slam around in his FC Rx7, he couldn’t do much in fighting against Sak Sergey, who took the victory in both runs, behind the wheel of his 2JZ tubeframe E46. In the last battle of Top16, nobody expected Kerenyi to lose, and he wasn’t expecting or planning that either.
The storm was really getting worse by the minute. The wind was blowing like mad, it was raining, the sky was more than dark, and it looked like the race wasn’t going to be finished. The King of Europe giant gate was almost taken by the wind, and everyone had to flee for some cover in the main building. The SlovakiaRing operating team came in and said the weather should calm down in one hour, which would mean some ligthing would have to be put out on the track, so that the drivers would see where they were going. What had begun as a difficult race was just about to become even more difficult, as some drivers didn’t even have any headlights. Benjamin Boulbes was hoping to make it at least to Top8, but he was now facing the difficult task of taking on Dmitriy Illyuk. Dmitriy has won pretty much every series he has actually been competing in this year, and this seems to be a very good year for him indeed. Benjamin made a big mistake in the first run, which awarded him 0 points. Event hough he won the second one 7-3 , this was not enough to see him through. This was the end of his hope for getting 1st place. Ukrainians came really well prepared to this event, and another one was going to move on to Top8, Vladymyr Marchenko, after defeating the polish Maciej Jarkiewicz.This was not the first time for Francesco Conti to go up against a Budmat Auto RB driver. He has sometimes won and sometimes lost. Stolarski took advantage of their first run, getting a 7-4, an preserving the outcome until the end. By this, Francesco’s chances of still winning the series were really diminished. A battle between teammate can hardly be seen as a happy thing. Still, the two STW drifters seemed to be very relaxed, and maybe most people expected to see Wartalowicz moving on. The winner was Marcin Carzasty! Team battle again, this time between the two EvilEmpire drivers. Felix pushed the Supra hard in the first run, and this was enough to secure him the win against Max and his R34. Yet another european driver would take on Daigo Saito. This time, it was Alex Golovnia to match his strenght with the D1 driver. But Saito was doing better than ever, and he won both of the two runs! Looks like racing in the dark, in the wet was kind of natural for Daigo! Frederic Ferreira lost both runs against Nikita Shikov , who seemed to have found new strenghts in the Redbull Supra. In the last battle of Top16, Kerenyi looked like he had an aura around him, and he won both runs against Sergey, giving him some hope that he might become King of Europe champion for the second time in his career.
Moving on to Top8, it was bound to happen that drivers from the same country would clash forces. Dmitriy Illyuk would have to race against Vladymyr Marchenko. They were tied in the second run, but the Monster Energy Driver (Dmitriy) got a big advantage in the first run, and so he was going to the semifinals! Now, few people expected Bartosz Stolarksi to be taken out by Marcin Carzasty. Marcin is still rather new to drifting, as Bartosz has been doing it for years and years. Carzasty is a very enthusiastic and agressive driver, and he only needed two runs to make the best of it, by defeating the Budmat RB Team driver. DriftMonkey versus Drift Monkey. Russia Versus Japan. 2JZ versus 2JZ. Felix Chitipakhovyan would be Saitos’ next match-up. Felix had raced in Japan in 2011 where he won one round of G1GP, but this did not pose a threat to Daigo. He won the first run 10-0, and even though Felix took the second one 6-4, the result was already sealed. In the last battle of Top8, Kerenyi was really pushing hard, and with good luck on his side, he managed to defeat Nikita Shikov in his Supra , which was giving out a rather weird sound from the engine! At this point, it was unofficially obvious that Adam Kerenyi had become the 2012 King of Europe Drift Series Champion, managing to take over the lead from Francesco Conti. Adam went into the semifinal against Saito knowing this , and being happy already, but he was still going to do his best in trying to defeat the japanese driver. They needed to go to a one more time in order for a winner to be established, and in the end, Adam was going to have to settle for going to the small final. On the other side, the darkness on the track was literally blown away by the two drivers Illyuk and Carzasty. In a 1JZ versus SR-VET battle, Carzasty managed to get on top of things, and he was moving on to the final battle.
In the battle for third place, this looked like the reedited version of Ukraine, with Dmitriy facing Adam. And Adam was victorious once more, taking 3rd place overall at this SlovakiaRing final round!
In the final, nobody really knew what to expect. Sure, Saito is a wordclass driver who has proved himself manytimes. But Carzasty seemed to be driving on a rampage, and he seemed to care less about who he was driving against. They were tied in the first run, 5-5. Daigo was mislead by the darkness and he stopped in the middle of the track, not realising where Carzasty is. So, by just a minor mistake, Daigo had lost the race, at least from the official point of view, as nobody could tell what would have happened if it all went on to the end.
This final round in SlovakiaRing was indeed a memorable event, which will go down in the King of Europe history, as being a clash between the best drivers from all over Europe, and from Japan and Saudi.
We have to congratulate all the drivers that competed in the series this season, a total of 170 professional drifters, from 30 countries! Adam Kerenyi has proved himself well, coming back in the game, after missing out on two rounds of the series, and winning a total of 2 events. This is his second King of Europe title in his career, after the victory he got in 2009. Ever since, he has reached the podium in both 2010 and 2011, but both times on the second place. Adam has made huge steps in developing his machine for 2012, and for sure he will be one of the drivers to look after in 2013. Congratulations to Francesco Conti and Amerigo Monteverde, who have won the team championship this year! We expect to see more hard battle in the Team Rankings for next year, as more teams have expressed their intentions into getting involved in the series! Congratulations once again to Francesco Conti for winning the Motul Challenge, for having one of the most reliable cars in the series and for taking overall 2nd place! Also congratulations to French driver Benjamin Boulbes for winning the Dotz Challenge, for being the best looking car in the series throughout the year! Well deserved round of applause for Roman Kolesar too, who is for the first time in his career on the podium at the end of the season. Calin Ciortan cannot be forgotten either. He’s had so much bad luck this year with the car, otherwise for sure he would had been fighting for the number 1 spot until the very last second. For next year for sure we will be seeing some amazing machines at work in King of Europe, a lot of drivers coming back to the series , a lot of new rising stars, and for sure some ultra-exciting battles for the people to watch!
This year King of Europe has really grown a lot, thanks also to the much important help of the sponsors Hell Energy Drink, Motul Oils, Dotz Tuning Wheels, KW Suspensions, Wisesquare, Dixcel, Ultra Racing, Mishimoto and MyWay Drift School. The series has sparked interest in drivers from all over the world, and living proof of that are the two japanese invasions of the year, which are bound to happen again in 2013, and also the coming of the Middle East drivers. Many good things are being developed for next year, starting from the implementing of 3 new concepts: Street Legal Series, Queen of Europe and King of Europe Grand Prix, and moving on to the promotion and marketing activities that we be undergone in order to promote the championship, the sport and the drivers involved.
Remember to follow us on MotorsTV, Arab Motors, Eurosport and on the official Hell King of Europe Facebook pages : www.facebook.com/onlydrift and www.facebook.com/koeseries , where about 450.000 drift fans are together in one place! Here and also on the website www.kingofeurope.net you will be able to find official photos and videos from each and every event, details and news about the series and about the competing drivers and much much more! Hell King of Europe Drift Series- definitely the drift place to be! See you in 2013!