In Poznan, Poland the first round of the King Of Europe-2012 season took place last weekend. The local drifters dominated the race.
A record starting field of 67 cars came to the western Polish city of Poznan past weekend to battle for the first race of the new King of Europe season at the high-speed course. The Polish drift scene, which is considered one of the best in Europe, presented some 50 participants.
But not only at the start were the masses, also the audience exceeded drifting enthusiasts standards: It is estimated that on the final day alone about 8,000 drift fans attended the race. The high level attracts the masses.
On Saturday ist was training first and qualifying afterwards. Since it had rained in the morning and the driver set up the car voted to this conditions,
...it was drying up later on and after a few problems everybody was set.
After the sun has dried up the track, the local drivers used their abilities and demonstrated the power of their cars: many of the Polish drifters hit the road with around 700hp.
The RB drift team for example had not only a professional presence in the paddock, but had yet some saying during the rest of the drift weekend.
The qualification for the top 32 was clear in Polish hands. At a high competition-level Pawel Trela sat with his Nissan 200SX S13 with 540hp and 780Nm on top.
Behind him was his compatriot Bartosz Stolarski from the RB team. The driver of the Nissan Silvia S14 with LS2 600hp then said that it was important for him to have fun at the races. Fun for Stolarski should later be continued.
Third in the qualification was with Marcin Mospinek another guy from Poland. Mospinek who said self-critically after the qualifying, that his drifting capabilities "could be better," drove his more than 400 hp BMW E30 with an E39 engine from the M5 with a somnambulant security around the curves.
There was less collateral for the Dotz team. The first race with the tuning company as a co-sponsor of the King of Europe series went without the two Dotz teamrider into the second day. Adam Kerenyi, runner-up of the series in 2011, had some ...
...technical problems with his car and came to Poznan with his training car with 320 hp and had virtually no chance against the heavily armed opponents. Kerenyi as 34rd missed the finals of the top 32 narrowly.
Even worse was the weekend for Sebastien Cornec. The Frenchman, also with a spare car in Poland ...
... ende the qualification only on 51st place and was also forced to watch on the second day.
Meanwhile Dotz Girl Anna had her performance: during the race breaks the fans poured into the paddock to get posters with her autographs at the Dotz stand, which attracted with deck chairs and giveaways numerous fans.
Sunday afternoon the drifters got serious: the best 32 racers of the weekend were briefed from King Of Europe-organizer Mike Proceur before they went off with the knockout rounds.
The next Dotz teamrider was about to get out of the challegen. The Italian Diego Quaranta, King of Europe champion 2011, brought a new car, a BMW 1 series with around 340hp with him and slipped in the first round of the battle.
Despite a good performance in the re-run, Quaranta, after finishing 19th in qualifying, had no chance to move on.
While the winner of the qualification, Pawel Trela, had bad luck in the second round when he touched a stack of tires and then destroyed his radiator, the elite were still almost exclusively Polish. Another example of the extremely high drift-level in the country. The first semi-final was a pure polish with Maciej Bochenek (Nissan Skyline R33 with 450hp) against Maciej Jarkiewicz (BMW M3). Bochenek was able to prevail after two tight races.
In the second semifinals the Italian Francesco Conti (BMW M3 E92) had a lot to do to contain the 600 hp Silvia of Stolarski, but the race was relatively balanced. At the re-run Conti forced Stolarski into an error and thus moved to the final.
And while Stolarski was able to prevail in the race for third place against Jarkiewicz ...
... the final was Maciej Bochenek against Francesco Conti. The 8,000 spectators saw the two close battles and ultimately could loudly celebrate a home victory.
Maciej Bochenek prevailed and grabbed the first winners points in the 2012 King Of Europe season.
The podium in Poznan (from left). Second placed Francesco Conti, winner Maciej Bochenek and Bartosz Stolarski.