The second race of the series took place at Karting center Blažon in Belica, where the starting grid contained 26 drivers of 7 nationalities. Quite a few of them were new names, making their debut in Adria Drift Series, however all the best-ranked drivers from Round 1 were also there.
After a rainy season opener in Logatec, where Croatian prospect Marko Brdek came out on top, followed by Lukas Dobias (Austria) and Ivan Višković (Croatia), we were greeted in Čakovec by dry and hot weather. The second race of the series took place at Karting center Blažon in Belica, where the starting grid contained 26 drivers of 7 nationalities. Quite a few of them were new names, making their debut in Adria Drift Series, however all the best-ranked drivers from Round 1 were also there. So
were most racers, considered as championship contenders going into the season, except perhaps Uroš Berdajs and David Barle, both still suffering technical difficulties on their respective S65-powered BMW E36s.
Visitors had a chance to hoppin on a passenger seat of a drift taxi, this time in a co-op between Al-in events and 32nd Drift Squadron where our series ambassador Drey Nitrous took control of BMW E36. Simultaneously with the drift race and in co-organisation with the Zagreb-based Auto Fučkan, a styling competition titled Stance Evolution, took place at the same venue. About 150 cars, coming from the entire region beautifully complemented the on-track action, where 10 drivers had to be eliminated through qualifications. Among them were attractions in themselves, Filip Maras with the only diesel race car on the grid, and Saša Žepačkić, driving an Opel Manta B.
Tony Višković achieved the highest score in qualifications, Marko Brkljačić took 2nd after his Chevrolet LS-engined BMW E90 finally seemed to be working as intended, while 3rd place went to Marko Brdek. Behind the top 3 Croatians, the foreign racers lined up - Stefan Bloder, Matjaž Podboršek, Lukas Dobias and Zoltan Szanto. Yet, already in Top 16, we witnessed quite a few upsets! First ranked Tony Višković lost to Urban Cvetko, who returned to competing after a 2-year break. The TTS team principal was behind the wheel of a V8 BMW E36, normally driven by Miha Petač, who did not take part in this race. The other Višković brother, Ivan, was eliminated at this stage as well, namely by his Italian namefellow Vogrig.
5th in qualifications was Matjaž Podboršek, but his Ford Sierra RS had to retire, handing a spot in the Great 8 to Ferenc Cserep (12th in qualifying). The rest of the Top 16 twin battles saw Stefan Bloder beat the first-timer Schinnerl, Lukas Dobias spoiled Böhm’s debut race, while a hard-fought battle between Zoltan Szanto and Aleš Pogačar was decided after an OMT, with the Hungarian progressing to Great 8. As expected, the biggest Top 16 twin battle was the one of Marko Brdek and Alen Gregorič, two excellent young drivers. These two went head-to-head already in Logatec, where the Croatian man eliminated the Slovenian and went on to win the race. However, Gregorič and his team built a new turbocharged engine since then, meaning he brought significantly more power to the fight in Čakovec. The judges called for one more time, but just before the re-run, Brdek suffered a technical problem and Gregorič took the spot in Great 8.
Two great V8 battles marked the Great 8 stage, with Ivan Vogrig and his Mercedes-powered BMW E30 eliminating Urban Cvetko, while even higher on the horsepower chart, Marko Brkljačić (BMW E90) clashed with Zoltan Szanto (BMW E92) in a V8 battle royale that involved approx. 1150 ‘horses.’ A OMT was neccessary, in which Marko unfortunately suffered visible car trouble once more, meaning it was Szanto who progressed to the semi-finals. Another Hungarian, Ferenc Cserep and his 600 HP BMW E46 M3 turbo couldn’t answer the questions, posed by Stefan Bloder’s 280 HP Nissan S13, while the remaining Austrian Lukas Dobias had no real trouble beating Gregorič, who too had technical issues. Lots of runs, many tight battles and the burning hot sun took their toll.
The first Final 4 battle resulted in victory for Bloder over Vogrig, while Szanto prevented an all-Austrian finale by sending Dobias into battle for 3rd. The latter did indeed finish on the podium, whereas Italian racer Ivan Vogrig came in 4th. The grand finale taught us once more that horsepower isn’t everything, especially on a technical track like this one, and his first ever Adria Drift Series race victory was in the end celebrated by Stefan Bloder!
Perhaps unexpectedly, but definitely not undeservingly, the young Austrian now finds himself in 2nd place of championship standings, only 3 points behind his compatriot Lukas Dobias. Marko Brdek is now down to 3rd, while Szanto and Ivan Višković round off the top 5.
Round 2: SHOWDOWN event results
Now, the summer break is upon us, but on September 20. - 21., the Series is back with a race at the high-speed Tököl track in Hungary for RD3 - DANGER ZONE. It’s going to be fast, dangerous, tight and smokey, so save the date and do not miss the penultimate race, before the traditional season finale night race in Krško!
See you in Tököl, Hungary on September 20. - 21.!