King of Europe conquered by Poland
Halfway through the season, and what better place to go to after the challenging event in the United Kingdom other than Poland? Two years after the last event in Poland, the 2014 Monster Energy King of Europe Drift ProSeries has decided to return , this time on the newly built race-track at Tor Jastrzab, not far away from the city of Warsaw.
As expected, a large contingency of polish drifters registered and came to the event, and all of them were eager to go up against the King of Europe veterans, and show them what they’re made of.
Bartosz Stolarski, who had managed to get several podiums in King of Europe over the years, was also onsite, in his nearly 1000 horsepower Nissan S14, which is powered by a Turbo LS engine. The whole STW team was actually at the event, and this meant only more stress for the King of Europe drivers. Marcin Mospinek, back in his LS E30, Adam Zalewski, the wonder kid, now with a 500 horsepower 2JZ engine under the hood.
Also, a first ever in the world, a BMW powered by a Golf 5 R32 engine, a 3.2 liter VR6, turbocharged, under the hood of Gozdziewicz’s BMW E36. Maciej Jarkiewicz made a surprising return to King of Europe, but now behind the wheel of an ultra-wide, 600+ horsepower Toyota Supra. Bartosz Ostalowski also made his first ever appearance in King of Europe, driving a custom built LS3 powered Nissan Skyline R34. For those of you who don’t know him yet, Bartosz unfortunately doesn’t have any arms, which means he actually drives using his feet. And he does an amazing job! Although far from over, the polish group also included the 2013 Queen of Europe vicechampion, Karolina Pilarczyk, in the Supercharged LS powered Nissan S14. No event would be complete without ukrainian drivers, and this time, two of them decided to come over for Poland. Alexandr Grynchuk in the Turbocharged 350Z, and Vladymyr Marchenko in the LS S14. Calin Ciortan also brought back to life his old Turbocharged BMW E30, now with some serious upgrades, although still in an initial testing phase. The usual lineup of King of Europe veterans was of course onsite, ready to take on the polish challenge: Adam Kerenyi and Steve Biagioni, Francesco Conti, Amerigo Monteverde, Nicolo Rosso, Massimo Checchin and Stefano Alessandri, Norbert Kovacik, Roman Kolesar, Gabriel Koczas and Rene Alexander from Slovakia, Nikolett Szanto and Arpad Enekes with a new Ford Turbocharged engine, Adam Frank in the 2JZ M3 GTR and the list just goes on. To add to the overall excitement of the weekend, a special guest was brought over from Japan to compete: Masashi Yokoi, who was handed over a SR20DET powered Nissan S15.
The weather proved to be rather difficult on Saturday, with heavy rain falling down on the Tor Jastrzab race track, making the qualifying session a bit tricky. Even though the drivers got plenty of practice throughout the day, you can’t help but being a bit nervous when you’re pushing the limits of your drift car on a wet surface, and on a rather challenging track. Vladymyr Marchenko from Ukraine made his team proud, by taking 1st place overall in the qualifying session, proving once again that he is a strong competitor for the ProSeries. Bartosz Stolarski came in 2nd place, with Marcin Carzasty and Marcin Mospinek right behind him in 3rd and 4th. Monster Energy Athlete Steve Biagioni, who had just recovered from the engine failure in the UK, got an impressive 5th place, with him being probably very used to drifting on the wet. Norbert Kovacik drove the rather big M6 to 6th place overall, just slightly ahead of the japanese legend Yokoi. One more polish driver in Top10, Kozlowski Piotr, with Nicolo Rosso in 9th and Francesco Conti in 10th. Young Adam Zalewski seems to have gotten used to his new setup quite fast, and so he came in 11th place overall, just ahead of the much more experienced Marek Wartalowicz and his famous 2JZ powered BMW E21. It came as a surprise to see Amerigo Monteverde and Benjamin Boulbes in 13th and 14th overall, as they usually qualify inside Top10. Philippe Guillod managed to better his performance from the UK, and now he was inside Top32 for the battles on Sunday. Adam Kerenyi, who is known as an expert in the wet, did not fare very well in the qualifying session, and so he was only 21st overall.With the new setup not working very well for him, Calin Ciortan struggled to do well in the qualifying session, and so he finally finished 32nd overall, just barely making it to the battles on Sunday. For the first time in his career, Adam Frank did not even manage to make it to the start line for the qualifying session, after some serious issues with his engine. Arpad Enekes, who came with a new Turbocharged Ford engine under the hood of his ultra-light-weight Ford Mustang, did not qualify either, ending up 39th overall. Same story for Karolina Pilarczyk and Stefano Alessandri, who both drove really well, but somehow did not manage to make it to the Top32.
Judging the detailed results given by the telemetry system, Vladymyr Marchenko had the highest attack speed of any driver, with a total of 72kph. As expected, the Best Attack Angle was recorded by Marcin Mospinek, in the ex PUZ BMW LS30. Matt Campling is starting to get noticed in King of Europe, as he pushed hard and managed to score the best average angle of any driver in the qualifying session. Conti continues to be a really fast driver, and he recorded the best average speed of 71 kph. While Marcin Carzasty was awarded for the best line, Vladymyr Marchenko got the best show award, reinforcing his position as the leader in the qualifying session, and showing some hope for all ukrainian King of Europe fans across the globe.
In the first battle of the day, Calin Ciortan did everything he could to move on to Top16, but a fatal error in the first run against Marchenko had cost him the race. Massimo Checchin is becoming more and more agressive everytime he gets out on the track, and for sure we will see more of him in future events of King of Europe. Still, after 2 rounds aganinst Roman Kolesar, he was knocked out of the race, much to the joy of the slovak fans. Piotr Kozlowski automatically got a bye, with Michal Rzoska not coming to the start line due to technical issues. For the first time ever in Poland, Nicolo Rosso pushed as hard as he could for the victory of this Round, and he started off on the right foot, by winning the battle against Piatla Michal. All polish battle between Marcin Mospinek and Wojtek Gozdziewicz. Marcin Mospinek needed just 2 runs to clarify the situation, and send Wojtek home after the race. Amerigo Monteverde was knocked out by the young STW driver, Mateusz Fijal. Both Steve Biagioni and Adam Kereny won their battles and moved on the next step. Bartosz Ostalowski drove amazing indeed, but in the end, the score from the first run was enough to give Marcin Carzasty the win. Really tight and exciting battle between Benjamin Boulbes and Matt Campling , which needed an One More Time for the winner to be decided. Eventually, the French Drift Champion was moving on to the Top16. Norbert Kovacik managed to win by just 1 point worth of difference against Rutyna Kajetan. Adam Zalewski managed to get revenge for his loss in Slovakiaring against Nikki Szanto, and now he was going on to the next battle. Masashi Yokoi made an extremely unexpected mistake, which had him end up with a big disadvantage against Slawomir Grausam, who was eventually deemed the winner of the battle. Up next the Ukrainian Drift Champion and the Italian Drift Champion. Aleksandr Grynchuk versus Francesco Conti. Even with the telemetry in use, it all came down to 1 point of difference, after a total of 4 runs betweent the two, and the 2013 European Champion was advancing to the Top16. In the last two battles of the Top32, Philippe Guillod had it easy, seeing as his opponent had a serious technical failure, while Bartosz Stolarski merely completed the formality of eliminating Rene Alexander.
The situation was not about to become any easier for Vladymyr Marchenko, who now had to go up against King of Europe veteran Roman Kolesar. With Roman having more power and more experience, Vladymyr was definitely more ambitious for the weekend and he eventually moved on to the Top8, after a total of 4 runs. The underdog of the race, Piotr Kozlowski made a shocking impression by also knocking out Nicolo Rosso in The Top8. Mateusz Fijal has improved considerably over the past couple of years, but there is still some more practice to go through before defeating the likes of Marcin Mospinek. Early end of the weekend for Benjamin Boulbes as well, who lost against Marcin Carzasty after just two rounds. Adam Zalewski continued to prove his potential, by also taking out veteran series driver Norbert Kovacik and the big M6. With Conti winning his Top16 battle, it looked like he was on a mission to win the event itself. Philippe Guillod gave it his best shot at beating Bartosz Stolarski, and he lost the battle by just 1 point, even though running on a half the horsepower.
Things were really heating up for the Top8, and everyone expected to see Vladymyr Marchenko claim another victim for the weekend. But the underdog from Poland, Piotr Kozlowski thought differently. After a 5-5 in the first run, Marchenko made a critical error on the second run, basically knocking himself out of the race. With 3 more battles to go, it was all up to Francesco Conti and Steve Biagioni to keep fighting the polish drifters. But both of them would be knocked out of the race after two extremely difficult battles against Bartosz Stolarski and Marcin Mospinek. In the last battle of the Top8, Adam Zalewski had to bow down to the experience and agressiveness of Marcin Carzasty, who drove his 2JZ powered Nissan S14 to victory.
Moving on with the semifinals, now with 4 polish drifters left in the race. Piotr Kozlowski was doing phenomenally good all weekend, and it looked like Marcin Mospinek could be one of the few people that could stop him. And so he did, after just two runs, with a lead of 2 points overall. In an all Nissan, all STW battle, Bartosz Stolarski took on Marcin Carzasty. Both drove phenomenally good, but in the end, Stolarski, with the upper hand in terms of experience, and car level, took the win, thus advancing to the final. But before the final, everyone was keen on seeing the small final between Piotr Kozlowski and Marcin Carzasty. Of course, Carzasty drove his car to the absolute limit, and thus managed to win both runs against his opponent, giving him 3rd place overall at the event. On to the final battle of the weekend. Bartosz Stolarski would take his 900 horsepower Nissan S14 against the 500+ horsepower BMW E30 of Marcin Mospinek. Both cars fitted with LS engines, both with extremely skilled drivers behind the wheel, but with a clear advantage in terms of horsepower for Stolarski. It all ended in the first run , when Mospinek spun right before the finish line, while chasing after Stolarski. Even though he managed to get a 7-3 in the second run, it was not enough to make up for the lost points, and so Stolarski became the winner of Round 4 of the Monster Energy King of Europe Drift ProSeries in Poland.
After the outcome of this event, the championship rankings have changed quite a bit. Adam Frank is now down in 6th place. Nicolo Rosso is up in 5th, with Francesco Conti in 4th. Steve Biagioni is 3rd overall, just 7 points behind Benjamin Boulbes. Adam Kerenyi’s lead has been diminished to less than 100 points, and with 4 rounds to go, anything can still happen with the rankings. In the team rankings, Dotz Drift Team is still leading the championship, with Drift Dream Team in 2nd, and Monster Energy Team in 3rd. Benjamin Boulbes is currently leading the Motul Tech Challenge, with 16 points advantage over Adam Kerenyi. The Dotz Speed Attack Challenge will be a close one, with Adam Kerenyi in 1st place, with Francesco Conti just 2 points behind, and Benjamin Boulbes just 7 points behind. Steve Biaigioni is still leading the MyWay ProSeries Rookies Cup, and with Christian Lewis not making it to the event, his getting closer and closer to the title of Rookie of the Year. Last , but not least, Adam Kerenyi is also leading the Federal Tyres ProSeries Cup, with Francesco Conti and Nicolo Rosso in 2nd and 3rd.
For Round 5 and 6 of the 2014 Season, Monster Energy King of Europe Drift ProSeries will be heading to Hungary, to the Belko Touge and to the renown Tokol Airport, so a lot of hungarian drifters are expected to attend and use their experience on the tracks against the King of Europe drivers.
More info and photos from round 4 can be seen on the official King of Europe Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/koedrift
Stay tuned for the Official King of Europe Event Videos and TV Show, which will be broadcasted through all of our partner channels, covering more than 72 million people worldwide.