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King of Europe:3rd title for Dotz teamrider Adam Kerenyi tags: Motolife , Action & Sports , drifting , drifter , KoE , motorsports , King of Europe , video , race , Dotz Drifter , Adam Kerenyi , dotz wheels
Drift Champ Kerenyi with horrible crash into new season
For the first time the circus of pro drifters made a stop in Austria. The best tamer performance showed Frenchman Benjamin Boulbès. Adam Kerenyi made it into the quarterfinal where a hard battle with Francesco Conti awaited him. After a recall Kerenyi had a violent crash right at the first turn, with a total loss his racing weekend was over.
In Greinbach, Styria, at the PS Racing Center the Monster Energy King of Europe-drifters held court last weekend. Around 3,000 fans came to see the sideways artists at their first visit to Austria. At the same time the racers were excited about their first reunion at the season opener after a long winter.
King of Europe-sponsor Dotz was the main reason why the pro drifters burned their tyres for the first time on Austrian soil. Traditionally, the tuning company has built its booth including the chill-out area at a prominent place at the event.
First eyecatcher there: the Dotz BMW E92 DD1. The 550hp racer just came from Dotz Kings of Sideways filming. In Greinbach he then had, with Dominic Tiroch driving, ...
... his first public drift appearance.
With so much action even the little ones become large Dotz fans.
Before the drivers turned serious on the track, King of Europe chief Mike Proceur invited them as usual to the briefing. The main issues were the eternally long first drift and the hairpin in the middle of the track.
Qualifying for the Sunday race won Italian Francesco Conti with his BMW E92 V8 with around 650hp ahead of Israeli Adam Frank and Amerigo Monteverde from Italy.
Conti even had the best data in several segments: the average angle (29 °), at the points for his drift-line and for his show-effects, according to the judges.
Dotz teamrider and defending King of Europe champion Adam Kerenyi finished the qualification with his BMW E36 with M5 engine and 650hp ranked 8th.
Kerenyi was the fastest driver at the first drift with 115km/h - 15km/h faster than the rest of the field, but he missed a couple of degrees in the drift-angle to place himself further ahead.
Roman Kolesar took 20th place in qualifying. The Slovakian, since the beginning of the year new Dotz drift-teamrider, couldn´t cope with the track as desired and was angry with his own performance afterwards.
There were also initial difficulties for Romanian Ciortan Calin (rank 18) ...
...and Benjamin Boulbès from France, who finished qualification ranked 11th.
Local hero Alois Pamper landed with the BMW E36 M3 in 17th place.
Mike and his team are working with a telemetry system which’s data is life analyzable by the judges and now even accessible for everyone with the KoE mobile application: www.kingofeurope.net/live
Roman Kolesar clashed with hard riding Italian Cristian Martelli in the first battle round. After a draw in the first duel and a 6-4 lead Martellis in the first run of the recall, Kolesar was able to bring out a 5-5 in the second run with a better drift angle of 2 °, which was, however, too little and the Slovak had his car parked in the box.
Dotz teamrider Adam Kerenyi in turn could confidently move into the second round of battle and met his great rival from last year, Francesco Conti. A thrilling battle was imminent - and the expectations were met. Kerenyi fell slightly in the first heat (4:6), but leveled in the second run. So there was also a recall. Both changed the tires.
Then in the first run of the recall Kerenyi had a violent crash right at the first turn, probably the worst in the whole King of Europe histroy. The tires were still cold, his drift line too far outside, he slid into the gravel and then into the tyre stack. "The Beast" was a total loss, Kerenyis racing weekend was over.
His opponent Conti was one of the first at the accident scene and comforted Kerenyi who fortunately left the car without serious injuries. Conti even brought him back to the box on his passenger. A scene you won’t see at many other kinds of motorsport.
The other quarterfinal pairings also saw some early hit duels. The Slovak Norbert Kovacik met Zoltan Lakatos. The Hungarian could ultimately qualify in two tight races for the semifinals.
The Italian Amerigo Monteverde met with his BMW E46 M3 the Frenchman Benjamin Boulbès in a BMW E36 M3 with around 500hp. The first two battles brought a tie at 6:4 and 4:6. In the first race of the following recall Monteverde prevailed with 7:3 and so had all the aces in his hand. However, in the second run it came to a touch and the Italian suffered a 0:10. Boulbès was thus in the semifinals.
The fourth duel of the last eight saw Ukrainian Dmitry Illyuk meet with his the end approaching engine drift instructor and owner of Myway Drift School, Adam Frank from Israel.
After the first round with his around 700hp strong BMW Frank has done his homework - the run ended after a mistake by Illyuk with 8:2 for the Israeli. The second run was therefore a matter of form and Frank so in the semifinals.
The first semifinal was Conti against Lakatos. Conti did not hesitate and secured his place in the finals with 7:3 and 4:6.
In the second semifinal, there was a hot battle between Boulbès with his 500hp and much more motorized Frank. However, after the first run, which ended 7:3 for the French, it suddenly came to a loss of cooling water in the BMW of Frank.
What happened? Boulbès as leader has swirled a stone that brought the cooler of chaser Frank to burst. The mechanics of Frank filled the BMW with water and he was back on track. Frank took advantage of all his power and managed to make the 7-3 equalizer. So again a recall.
But the crew of Frank and he himself wanted the machine to be upgraded in the near future with a new compressor to 1,000 hp and threw in the towel to protect the engine. Boulbès so went on and Lakatos at this point already has secured his place on the podium.
Mike had a tough job as head judge this weekend. A lot of close battles caused a lot of reruns and wrought-up emotions. Some drivers even stopped their cars next to him to discuss about decisions and review the videos the judges are recording.
Next to him Charles Ng WTCC driver and drifter with Formula D experience enjoyed the exciting race he couldn’t be part of because of technical defects.
Conti and Boulbès showed the crowd a thrilling final duel. This ended after two runs with a draw.
After the battle the two drivers jumped out of the cars falling into each other’s arms just happy about the great and hard battle they just drove not even knowing who won.
The judges decided nobody won so far, again a recall had to decide. Immediately both drivers were 100% focused again and ready to push their cars to the limits.
Neither the French nor the Italian were able to pull out a decisive advantage in the first turns.
Then, however, Conti got problems with his fuel pump and had to park his car in the hairpin in both runs. Understandably he was quite disappointed, this is not the way such a great battle should end.
Winner of the first race of the Monster Energy King of Europe in Greinbach is Benjamin Boulbès, second was Francesco Conti and third Zoltan Lakatos from Hungary. For the French, it was also the first victory in the European Drift Championship.
Some more impressions from a great King of Europe season opening weekend: