Today, and for the very first time, the Drift Masters European Championship (DMEC) fired into action in Finland for the third round of 2023 season, and it’s safe to say the action and drama did not disappoint. Right from the off, crashes galore would see us heading for another unpredictable qualifying result and Top 32 battle bracket, but nobody could have predicted the drama that would unfold.
After the sun shone from morning to evening, a thunderstorm rolled in over the backdrop of the rollercoasters of the Huvivaltio PowerPark, wreaking havoc for our drivers and crew alike and putting a halt to proceedings. However, after looking like it might put an end to the day, the amazing team here in Finland cleared the water allowing us to complete the final runs of the day.
So after all of the dust, smoke and rain had finally settled, it would be Irish driver Conor Shanahan emerging top of the table having laid down a 97-point run on his first run and gaining himself a cheer from the Finnish crowd.
However in securing himself a first place finish, Shanahan will now go up against reigning WRC-champion and Finnish superstar, Kalle Rovanpera, who just managed to creep into the show in 32nd position after having a big crash on his first run and just about getting back out in time for his second.
Coming in just behind Shanahan in second place was reigning DMEC champion, Piotr Wiecek, who would pull out not only a top score of 96 points on his first run, but almost even more impressively, a 95-point run in the wet on his second. Having done so, Wiecek has now setting himself up a battle against Estonia’s Oliver Randalu in the Top 32 tomorrow.
Taking home the last of the Top-3 Qualifying positions was none other than Finnish fan-favourite and current championship second-placed driver, Lauri Heinonen. Much to the delight of the adoring home crowd, Lauri would overcome his fellow-Finn wildcard driver, Jarkko Jylhä on the second last run of the day to claim third.
So with our Round 3 qualifying session having come to an end, we now move our attention towards tomorrow’s Top 32 Battles – the final battles of the first half of the season – as we get ready to see who will lead the charge heading into the second half of the season, which kicks off in Riga on July 29th & 30th. Make sure you’ve got your alarm set to tune in live to all of tomorrow’s battle action from 12.45pm, when we return to broadcasting exclusively live on Red Bull TV.
Now check out today’s overall Top 32 Qualifying results and tomorrow’s Top 32 battle bracket below, to whet your appetite before the action gets underway tomorrow.