With a return for 2017, the Swedish Drift GP has been one of the highlights of the season so far, with another capacity crowd attendance and a busy line up of international drift drivers, all culminating in record breaking live broadcast figures…
After the short break between Ireland, all the focus was on the Scandinavian teams, keen to prove their skill against the international drivers. With the Series points leader, Jack Shanahan, taking advantage of his 1 drop score event, it was time for his rivals to gain some ground and make their mark, as the Series heads further towards the championship fight…
Taking place at the custom built drift circuit for Drifting GTR Motor Park in Eskilstuna – a short drive away from Stockholm – the new circuit layout again tested the drivers to limit, especially being the 4th different style of track this season.
With many new drivers showing form this season, qualifying signalled a shift in podium results again, with just 3 points separating the top drivers. Ireland’s Nigel Colfer was keen to get his championship chase back in order, locking out in P3. UK’s Steve ‘Baggsey’ Biagoni was back for redemption, after taking an event off with his Goodwood appearance, and was keen to lock out a top performance – taking P2. Finally local driver – Rickhard Ivars – rose to the occasion on home soil and stole P1 with awesome control and skill showing he was not here to just make up the numbers!
The Top 32 showed the Swedish drivers were not messing about, with 7 of the nation’s best placing in the Top 16. Top 16 – One of the slowest battles was between championship rivals Sebastian Fontijin and Fredrik Okksenvad, with both drivers trying to make an impact and score more valuable championship points.
Things for serious in the Great 8 with local driver Rickard Ivars knocking out Cyprus Champions Enver Haskasap.
Latvian Champion Janis Eglite would face off against the Europe’s biggest prospect and rising star Sebastian Fontijin. With Fontijn having a huge horsepower disadvantage to the multiple champion from Eastern Europe, Eglite pressed forward using all his power and grip available knocking Fontijn out of the running.
Steve Baggsey would face off against Finland’s Juha, and another super close battle would ensure. Going down ‘one more time’ Biagoni finally pushed too hard going off the track and ending his weekend.
Swedish Driver Jen Stark Juntilla faced off against seasoned driver Nigel Colfer, but despite Colfer’s experience, Jens showed much more speed and commitment, giving him a heavy advantage and the win, ending Colfer’s battle.
Rickard Ivars faced off against Janis Eglite, both in high horsepower cars. In a true battle to the end, Ivars lost ground on Eglite, giving the Latvian champion a slim advantage on the win.
The other semi final would be an all Scandinavian fight, with rising Swedish star Jens Stark Juntilla up against Finnish champion Juha Poytalaasko. After a one more time – Jens’ car would sign its own ending, breaking a drive shaft and finishing the battle.
Final 2000 horsepower would line up in the finals with the top guns of European drifting fighting it out at GTR Motor park for Round 4 Swedish Drift GP.
Latvia’s Eglite raised his game again for the final and held a good advantage on his lead, pulling a gap on the Finnish driver. In the return leg, Eglite would push again and make slight contact with Juha, before putting down a textbook chase run, which would award him the win.
On his close battled win, Janis Eglite commented ‘It’s great to be back on the podium again after our early season break, it was a tough day but we got through the battles, keeping things consistent and then bringing our game for the final’
Drift GP Round 4 -Swedish Drift GP
1- Jannis Eglite -Latvia -Traice Tyres
2-Juha Pöytälaakso – Finland – Westlake Tyres
3- Rickard Ivars – Sweden -StreetWheels
The points standing is now super close and has totally changed with just 27 points seperating the top 5.With the high speed German event coming up it could be anyones championship yet.
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 here >>