For 2017 the German Drift GP would again return to collaborate with the Reisbrennen show, where over 30,000 fans would get a chance to see some of the best drift drivers in Europe. Eurospeedway Lausitzring, just south of Berlin, serves as the perfect central location for all European teams to travel to, while it’s high speed layout would provide another interesting addition to the tour.
With the Swedish Drift GP still fresh in everyone’s minds it was business as usual and with a change in the top of the points standing it was all to play for. Drifting has come a long way in Germany but the German Drift GP in just its second year and provides a great platform for the drivers and media to get exposure at what is Europe’s biggest meeting of the Japanese Tuning scene.
In qualifying again this season we would see some upsets. Andrius Vasilauskas would debut his new BMW E92 and in prompt fashion take P3 showing it’s potential on it’s first outing.
Sebastian Fontijn would scream his 450HP MPO Racing BMW into P2 showing that although this was a ‘power’ circuit, driver skill was still the most important factor. The high speed yet very technical track was taking no prisoners and was catching out a lot of drivers.
Nigel Colfer would take a zero in his first run, raising tensions, but went on to smash out a huge run in the second leg to take P1 showing he was hungry for the win.
When it came down to the battles a small burst of rain was enough to suddenly turn the event, and the results, upside down with some major upsets which no-one could have predicted.
German Driver Axel Mack would be revelling in the conditions marching through the Top 32 to the great 8 after dealing with Federico Scerrifo and Sebastian Fontijn who both making mistakes and exiting early.
After his misfortune in Sweden where he failed to even make it on track after car troubles, Ukrainian Champ Dmitriy Illyuk would stamp his authority early on and dispatch championship contender Nigel Colfer, putting the Irishman on the boat home.
Andrius Vasiliauskas led strongly in his first run against local driver Andy Wichnewski but the slippery conditions caught him out and he made contact with the German during his chase run after making an unforced error and exiting the competition much earlier than expected in the top 16.
Highlight of the Great 8
Ukrainian Dmitiry takes out another top German, Max Heidrich after contact.
Triace Team mates Oksnevad and Eglite would do battle and after two super close runs Fredox, the Norwegian, would move to the final 4.
-Andy Wichnewski would have a close battle but in the end could not match the pace and savagery of current Championship leader Juha Poytalaksso.
Final 4 with more upsets
Fredox vs Dmitry was a battle of the seasoned regulars. The two have faced each other several times before and each would be charging hard. Fredox has an amazing lead in the first run but in the second run there would be contact between Dmitry and Fredox as the Ukrainian led into turn one, sending him off the track and handing him a large advantage and thus a pass into the final
In the second semi-final, Finnish driver Juha Rintanen would end Axel Mack’s day. After the local driver’s run of great luck in front of his home crowd, the points leader was just too strong for the German Driver and would advance to the final as the certainty that he would be increasing his championship lead.
Dmitry Illyuk vs Juha Poytalaakso would turn out to be incredibly intense. With conditions now starting to dry up very quickly with wet/dry patches appearing and visibility dropping quickly as the sun set, this final would come down to the very last run. A superior lead by Juha with no mistakes was enough to dispatch the Ukrainain and end his run in the event. Juha takes the win and extends his points lead in the standings going into the next event in Hungary.
Juha Poytalaksso later added ‘This was a huge win for our team at a crucial time. It was a very tricky event with the dry/wet conditions but it was great to put the Westlake Tyre BMW on top of the podium. We extend our points now going into the end of the season and are in a great position to lead instead of chasing for top spot like last year.’
Drift GP Round 5 -German Drift GP
1-Juha Pöytälaakso – Finland – Westlake Tyres(Finland)
2- Dmitriy Illyuk -Monster Enery (Ukraine)
3- Fredrik Oksenvad -Triace Tyres (Norway)
Watch the Top 16 finals Below
Again live viewership was north of 1.7 Million viewers across 5 pages, with reach going to over 11 million fans globally showing the social media power of this millenial motorsport. The biggest motorsport to be distributed at scale across social media distribution. The main show on UNILAD grossed 1.1 Million views alone which can be viewed below
In just under 3 weeks the tour moves to the Famous Hangaroring F1 Circuit for the Hungarian Drift GP. Just being held outside the capitial at Bucharest this all new high speed layout will be another great test for the drivers.Friday make sure to check in with the International parade when we bring 40 Professional drift cars to Heroes Square in Budapest city centre.