M it up to 200 kilometers per hour, the participants thunder on the first right turn this weekend to. What happens then is like a controlled crash. Because instead of steering normally to the right, the gas is briefly lifted and simultaneously steered to the left for a millisecond. Fortunately, the next step shows that there are no Kamikaze pilots on the road in up to 750 hp driving cars. Because instead of flying into the left limit, you turn briefly to the right and the vehicle of the brand BMW, Nissan Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes or Toyota begins with the long drift towards the Mercedes-Arena and thus precisely in the direction of the celebrating spectators.
It's even better with two people!
Anyone who now believes that this alone is life-threatening may not even want to imagine what happens when two drift masters drift through the curves in parallel flight. 'Drift battle' is the keyword here, which is not translated as battle for nothing. In this case, it is not the fight against, but rather the coordination among each other that leads to a lot of sweat and even more adrenaline. With a distance of a few centimeters, the opponents shoot across the asphalt - of course, if possible across. For the spectators one of the highlights of the weekend.
Three judges (almost) one opinion
But not only the spectators see countless heroic deeds in drift form on these days. Under the six eyes of the three judges Rohan van Riel from Luxembourg, Lars Verbraeken from the Netherlands and Florian Zimmermann from Switzerland, the drifters try to get the maximum number of points.
But to get 100 points, everything would have to go perfectly - which is almost impossible is. After the first training and the completed qualifying the pilot of starting number 10 has at least almost reached the magic 100. Sebastian Frontijn achieved an almost perfect one in three runs with a whopping 96 points, three points ahead of starting number 3 Chris Nigemeier. 'The perfect 100 is maybe every four years', estimates the third in qualifying Uwe Sener.
This is what matters when drifting
'We pay particular attention to the line, followed by the corrections made. The rule here is: the less, the better. As soon as the participant leaves the course, there are zero points, 'explains Florian Zimmermann. “The pace is negligible, by the way. At least for us. The viewers love high speeds, ”adds Lars Verbraeken. In the course of his long career, Uwe Sener has formed his own opinion: “You rarely drift that fast. Usually we initiate the drift at almost 100 km /h. It takes a little more courage than usual. But if you feel your way around slowly, you will get it. '
Drifter Denise Ritzmann (21st place in qualifying) has her experiences with Made quick corners: “Somebody once said to me on a race weekend: For this corner there you need a couple of eggs to take it so quickly,” reveals Denise Ritzmann seriously and continues with a smile on her face: “That sentence got me busy until the next morning. Because where should I, as a woman, get a pair of eggs so quickly? That's when I noticed the breakfast eggs. So, I took two into the car, mounted them on the center console and off we wentJourney. The two eggs have been with me for four years now. ”
The Big Entry competition was won by Jens Hommer (BMW M3 3.0, model year 1994, 286 hp) ahead of Jan Blaser (BMW E46, model year 2000, 490 hp) and third-placed Uwe Sener (BMW E36 M3 Kompressor, model year 1997 , 550 PS) decide for themselves. In the Drift Challenge 2018, three completely different drivers are on the podium. Mario Kubrian (Nissan S14, manufactured in 1996, 646 hp) won ahead of Sebastian Fontiyn (BMW E36, manufactured in 1997, 650 hp) and Philip Jäger (BMW 2002tii touring, manufactured in 1974, 440 hp).
Marshals ensure safety
So that such a race weekend can go its safe way , it takes more than just the participants and the judges. Countless helpers and marshals scurry around the route during these three days. A nice couple with experience can be found this time both in the Mercedes-Arena and in the Sachskurve. Lisa Kippenhan and her friend David Hagenbuch watch over their curves (those of the track!) “I'm usually the section manager of the Sachskurve, but today I help out at the Mercedes-Arena with my loved one. The event here is by far more exciting than any Formula 1 race, ”the 29-year-old gushes out. And his girlfriend, who is eight years younger than him, also reveals: “It's amazing how they fly around the corner. Really great! '