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sport auto-High Performance Days 2012: Review of the DriftChallenge

Rossen Gargolov
sport auto-High Performance Days 2012
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What is drifting? Drifting describes the controlled, unstable driving condition with a 'slipping rear axle'. This driving technique was used by various racing drivers in the past to minimize or eliminate understeer. Today this technique is only used almost exclusively by rally drivers in hairpin bends and tight bends.

So much for the sober theory. From an emotional point of view, drifting is the most beautiful or at least the most fun way to move a vehicle through a curve or combination of curves. sport auto recognized the fun of drifting early on and introduced it as a competition for the first time in 1999 as part of the sport auto tuner GP. The s port auto DriftChallenge now aligned to international standards in drifting.

DriftChallenge calls for victims

This year started on the Friday before Pentecost on the Hockenheimer Ostkurs. The demanding and fast route with drift speeds of over 100 km /h claimed its first victims during training - battle marks on bumpers, fenders and technical defects. sport auto driver Uwe Sener, who was unable to take part in the races after breaking a wishbone, was not spared. The supercharged BMW was not ready for the show until the next day.
After qualifying, which are individual runs that are evaluated according to speed, drift angle, line and style, the twin battle follows. The best 32 from qualifying fight for the title here in the knockout system. Two drivers at a time compete directly against each other, with the driver in front setting the line. The one behind tries to drift as aggressively as possible to within a few centimeters. In the best case, he can even overtake.

Flying Dutchman cannot be shaken off

This succeeded, as in the Last year, Remmo Niezen from Holland was best. After an engine failure on his 450 hp drift car during training, he demonstrated with his 320 hp BMW E30 M3 replacement car that performance is helpful, but not everything - at least engine performance. Still ranked 7th in qualification, he fought his way through the top 32. In the semifinals againstPatrik Ritzmann in the 600 hp BMW E46 2JZ had to pull out all the stops. Remmo had fewer angles, but sat down next to his competitors with centimeter precision and went into the final. Alexander Gräff was waiting for him there in his newly built BMW E92 GT2 V8 with 505 hp, which did not make his life any easier. But here, too, Remmo could not be shaken off, he literally stuck to Alex's bumper and won the title by a narrow margin. Third place went to Englishman Matt Carter in his 500 hp Nissan 200 SX in the small final against Patrik Ritzmann.

Back to the roots to production cars

After the morning drift taxi rides on Whit Saturday, the drifters moved into the Hockenheim Motodrom punctually at 2 p.m. At the 'Back to the roots' challenge in the style of the drift beginnings with near-series vehicles without special modifications, the spectators played a key role in the evaluation. Whoever receives the most applause wins. Dennis Köhler was able to prevail here. After two spins, he put a spotlessly clean drift on the asphalt in his only 133 hp Mazda MX-5, thus securing the status of the crowd's favorite. He left sport auto boss Horst von Saurma in a Porsche, Patrik Simon in a Corvette and Tommy Winkelhock in a BMW M3 CSL behind him.

Drift show with the King of Europe Series

Afterwards, 50 professional drifters offered an action-packed drift show with up to 10 vehicles in a team drift. The well-traveled drifters of the King of Europe series competed in the Hockenheim Exhibition Match at the end. Benjamin Boulbes from France was able to assert himself against nine competitors and took the trophy home with him.
“The performance and the strong field of the sport auto -DriftChallenge was clear to see how far the drifting sport has developed. Many spectators now find it difficult to distinguish the differences between the drivers, ”said Andy Jaenen from Belgium, an internationally experienced drift juror. So it remains to be seen whether someone will drift the old master Remmo Niezen from the throne in 2013.

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