|Action, tire smoke and hard battles in the country of bats and Dracula
With the known ingredients of the season – extreme heat, roaring engines and aggressive battles - the sixth round of the King of Europe took place in Constanta at the Black Sea in Romania. This time even the established Dotz Air Bridge air busted.
The place for drifting in Romania was a parking lot at a new, very modern shopping center, the Maritimo Shopping Mall. Starting point has been here on a lower level with acceleration until the initiating point on the main surface.
The course was marked primarily by two very long curves that provided lots of space for maneuvers on a wide track. Although Constanta is not a high-speed course, the advantage of a powerful engine was not to be underestimated.
The hard core of the title contenders was also there as well as the elite of the country and a 16-year-old rookie: Christiano, the son of drifter Amerigo Monteverde.
Roman Kolesar was unstoppable during the qualifying race.
Even record winner and Dotz teamrider Adam Kerenyi had to acknowledge the superiority of the Slovakian.
Third after qualifying was Amerigo Monteverde in front of Boulbes Benjamin, who was second in overall standings together with Ciortan Calin (image) ahead of the event. Behind Boulbes Marian Croitoru was bestplaced Romanian and in sixth place was the big surprise of the weekend, Christiano Monteverde.
The current King of Europe-leader Francesco Conti had to settle after the qualification with the 14th rank.
Training and qualification were marked by some aggressive driving Romanians, who were driving without regard to the material. That included the Dotz Air Bridge which collapsed three times after a collision with a drifter. The local Dotz team had to repair the Air Bridge with needle and thread before it was brought in for repair.
About 3,000 visitors watched the finals beginning from last 16. The course favored very tight battles. And it also came to one or the other overtaking maneuver.
A large part of the top 6 overall survived the first knockout round and entered the quarter-finals. Only Calin had to cancel due to a technical problem. It could not even be prevented through the fair play and the spirit in the King of Europe, as Benjamin Boulbes, in a tie with Calin 2nd placed overall, was borrowing the Romanian his car. However, the change was too big.
Kolesar then again was again in top form this weekend. Although it didn´t look to good after the qualifying as Kolsar broke the semiaxis in his last qualifying round. Without further ado, the team around chief mechanic Tomi, who is also responsible for the car of Kernenyi, performed a small miracle. The semiaxis war removed from the car of a non-qualified counterpart and replaced in Kolesars car. Kolesar moved into the top half of the panel to the final.
Along the way, he was able to defeat Benjamin Boulbes in the semifinals.
In the bottom half of the panel Kerenyi made his way. He had nobody less than Francesco Conti on the list in the semifinals. But he could show the Italian with 7:3 and 4:6 his limits. Decisive in favor of the Dotz pilot was the greater drift angle and the large distance between Conti and Kerenyi in the first run.
The battle for 3rd was very exciting then. Boulbes the leader and the follower Conti. And both with small errors that led the jury to a 5:5.
But in the 2nd run happened something which you do not often see at this level. Conti made a very good introduction of a high speed drift. Boulbes almost could not follow. However, this speed was then also the reason that Conti lost his line at the apex of the first corner. Boulbes knew how to take advantage and overtook the Italian. A clear 10:0 for the French, and thus the 3rd place in the result list.
The final between Kolesar and Kerenyi was also the duel between the first two of the qualification. The drivers, also good friends in private, showed hard fought battles and the first two duels were balanced and each ended with 5:5.
Thus, a recall and again two runs had to decide. This time, the Slovak won the first race and was able take an 6:4 advantage. The second race was decided again on the last groove. Kerenyi pulled all the stops to turn back the advantage. But a 5:5 was ultimately too little for the Hungarian.
So Roman Kolesar won in Romania - at the same time his first triumph in a King of Europe race. Second, and for the fourth consecutive time in the top 4: Dotz teamrider Adam Kerenyi.
In the overall standings Francesco Conti (image) is still ahead with 550 points. Second is Boulbes with 470. Third in a tie Kerenyi and Kolesar, who in addition to the points for the victory also got 20 for winning the qualification. Both are now at 450 points. Two laps to King of Europe are pending: in Croatia at the beginning of September and the final on Slovakia-Ring, 5-7. October.
Who will drift to the King of Europe championship 2012?
Conti? Boulbes? Kerenyi or Kolesar? Or none of these four? What do you think? Let us know…
King of Europe