Given the circumstances, it was expected that less drivers than usual would make the trip to Tököl for RD1 - Danger Zone. Nonetheless, a spectacular night race was written in the stars.
A simple, yet challenging course layout awaited the drivers on Friday's practice session. The impressions around the paddock were highly positive, with the drivers very happy to finally get some racing action after a long pause. Abundant time to practice and setup the car made them especially glad, but in conjuction with high air and track temperatures, this became a problem for our young talent Christopher Böhm, who was unable to start the race due to technical issues. A similar story was unfolding in Lukas Dobias' pit, his Toyota AE86 suffering from servo pump failure.
A third Austrian, Alois Pamper, dominated qualifying and finished on top, closely followed by Hungary's Csaba Cselotei in a Nissan 350Z. 3rd place qualifier, Bilik Bertalan (BMW E36), proved huge horsepower is not a must, and proved it again in Top 16 by eliminating fellow Hungarian Andras Hermann (BMW E30). Clemens Kauderer (Hgk Eurofighter BMW E92) finished qualifying in 4th place, ahead of Markom Racing Team teammates Arpad Dr. Turoczi (Nissan S14A) and Tamas Magyar (Mercedes-Benz W201). Struggling Dobias qualified 7th, just ahead of Robert Petri's 800hp BMW E92 and Peter Rona's 1000hp Nissan S14 Rocket Bunny.
The only Slovenian driver, Aleš Pogačar (BMW E30), qualified 10th and was up against Lukas Dobias in the Top 16. The Slovenian made an error and Dobias took full advantage. In other Top 16 battles, Magyar eliminated Ferenc Cserep (BMW E46 M3 turbo), Kauderer beat Peter Hodorics and Markom teammates Dr, Turoczi and Jugovits went head-to head, with the former coming out on top.
Some 5,000 spectators were especially eager to see the last Top 16 battle - a Hungarian battle of 2 drivers, 2 cars and just short of 2,000 horsepower! Peter Rona came out on top against Robert Petri, but faced Alois Pamper in the Great 8, who proved to be too much to handle. 3 Austrians managed to get into the Final 4, as Kauderer followed Pamper's example and eliminated Turoczi and Dobias bettered Cselotei. The only Hungarian left in the running in the semi-finals was Tamas Magyar with his newly-built turbodiesel Merc W201.
Two tightly contested semi-finals ended in a win for Clemens Kauderer and Lukas Dobias, while Alois Pamper and Tomi Magyar had to settle for the 3rd place battle. An all-Austrian podium was guaranteed after Pamper won 3rd, whereas mistakes by Dobias, who had been struggling with lack of servo the entire race, soon decided the winner of RD1.
Clemens Kauderer took the vicotry in the season opener, last year's vice-champion Dobias took second and Pamper 3rd. The Hungarians showed some spectacular driving - and insane builds - and we can only hope they will make the trip to Racing Center Greinbach in Austria, where RD2 will be held on September 26 and 27.
Adria Drift Series General Manager, Klemen Grilc, said he was very happy with the drivers and their teams, who really showed a lot of dedication and left everything on the tarmac. "Just standing in parc ferme, surrounded by spectacular cars with some of Europe's finest drifters sitting in them, makes all the hardships of this crazy year worthwhile." He also complimented the judging team, which consisted of the renowned drifter Adam Kerenyi and former Adria Drift Series race-winner Simon Csaba, along with head judge Anže Sedej.
"It was just a great team effort. Race Director Dejan Hercigonja kept everything running smoothly and on time, the judges were flawless and the atmosphere was excellent. A huge thank you is due to Drifted.hu for organising the event at such a high level and I'm sure Adria Drift Series will be returning to Hungary soon. Now, it's all eyes on our next stop - RD2 in Greinbach."
We are very grateful to LIQUI MOLY for enabling us to maintain our high standards and for supplying additional awards for the race winners. The latter also took home some brand new tires, provided by Zeknova Tires Slovenia.