|The second round of the King of Europe in Spain was dominated by a team battle Italy against Japan. France and Slovakia finally ended up on the podium
The second round of the King of Europe drift series was marked by the appearance of Japanese guests Daigo Saito (center), Tetsuya Hibino (2nd from left) and Mitsuru Haruguchi (r). The guests from the land of the rising sun made their mark in the world's top drift series, D1, and followed an invitation of Mike Proceur, owner of the King of Europe-series, to the Spanish circuit Castelloli. Saito was 2008 winner of the D1 and thus clear favorite in Spain.
Only the Japanese had their technical problems after the long journey but were able to fix them. Saito had to import an enginge from France on short notice to get some practice at the track.
But Europe's drift elite was obviously not willing to leave the field to the Japanese without a fight. Above all, the two Italian Dotz teamrider Diego Quaranta, King Of Europe champion in 2011 and ...
..2011 King of Europe third placed Marco Blasutta. Blasutta recently made his first experience in the D1 Street Legal class and thus already knew the tricks of the opponents in Spain.
Just before the race near Barcelona, the two Italians signed their contracts with King Of Europe-co-sponsor Dotz and mounted the Fast Seven alongside with the new team graphics. Mental support came from Julia, Dotz Girl No. 1.
Before the drifter got serious on Saturday with the qualification, Dotz invited the drivers to relax in his chill-out base, where some ideal conditions for relaxation were found.
In contrast to Central Europe the summer near Barcelona also earned his name, so jumps into the cool water all day were a welcome change for sweating in the racing suit.
At the same time standing ready was Julia, who screwed the heat back up.
Then it got serious with 41 riders, who came to the three-year-old course, where the King Of Europe made his second tour stop.
Due to the technical problems of the Japanese guests a, compared to D1, different regulation, the Europeans argue consistently in the qualification. Winner was Dotz teamrider Diego Quaranta...
... ahead of Romanian Ciortan Calin, who is the best driver of his country and supported by the local partner of Dotz.
Third was Frenchman Benjamin Boulbès, who reached his top form this year already with his BMW E36 M3 with around 500hp.
The best-placed of the Japanese guests was Hibino (pictured) with ninth place. Saito finished eleventh, even though had to qualify without a single practice run due to the delayed arrival of the last replacement parts. Haruguchi finally finished 13th.
In the first round of the Top 32 duel all the favorites moved on into the Round of the last 16.
In the second round started the hot phase. Daigo Saito had to surrender at the duel with Amerigo Monteverde: due to a second engine failure the Japanese at an early stage out of the competition and could watch the rest of the race from the stand.
In the upper half of the draw came a showdown between the Italians Quaranta and Blasutta with the Japanese Hibino and Haruguchi. Quaranta was in the first battle ahed of Hibino, winning 6-4 (picture). The re-run the jury then decided however to 7:3 for Hibino, who thus qualified for the semifinals. Quaranta was ultimately good fifth place overall.
Blasutta won the first race of his battle against Haruguchi even with 7:3. In the re-run, however, the engine of the Japanese stalled in of the last drift transition at a high-speed curve. Because of the speed loss Blasutta had to avoid a crash and had to interrupt his drift. Due to the regulations the run score a 0:10-rating from the perspective of the Italian.
In the lower half next to the Slovak Roman Kolesar Boulbès also qualified for the semifinals. Kolesar had to give in to the Frenchman in their semifinal-encounter, but with a surprising victory in the small final against Haruguchi Kolesar finished at 3rd place.
Boulbès in turn, despite his top form, could not quite compete in the finals against an unleashed moving Hibino.
Tetsuya Hibino finally won the laurels of victory in the King Of Europe race in Spain ahead of Benjamin Boulbès and Roman Kolesar.
Reason enough for the Japanese to say goodbye to the audience with his trademark victory finger.
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