In what was a gripping spectacle from start to finish at the picturesque Ferropolis circuit here in Germany, Polish driver Piotr Wiecek clinched a hard-fought victory as we whittled down 51 drivers to find a winner at Round 5 of the Drift Masters European Championship (DMEC), amidst a flurry of dramatic twists and turns over the past 2 days.
Rising to the occasion for the second time this season was Wiecek, who fought harder than anyone, outclassing Irish maestro and now championship leader Conor Shanahan, in an adrenaline-pumping finale, which even required a One More Time battle to crown a victor.
In the lead up to taking top spot on our Round 5 podium, Wiecek showed us just why he’s our reigning champion, dispatching Finnish driver Juha Poytalaakso, Czech driver Michal Reichert, Estonian Oliver Randalu and fellow Estonian Kevin Pesur to set up a dream finale against Shanahan. However, it was his two battles against the younger Shanahan bother that will be etched into the memory of every Drift Masters fan for years to come.
Securing the third and final step on our Round 5 podium, and taking a well-deserved first ever Drift Masters podium was Estonian driver, Kevin Pesur. Pesur has gone from strength to strength so far on his first season in DMEC, and he showed his intent as he pushed Finnish championship contender, Lauri Heinonen around the German circuit to take a first taste of silverware home to his native Estonia.
However, one of the shock moments of the entire weekend came in just the 12th battle of the day, during our Top 32, where then championship leader Jack Shanahan would suffer a huge dent in his championship hopes at the hands of Israeli youngster, Itay Sadeh.
Sadeh would prove just why he deserves his place on the grid, as he overcame Shanahan to set up a Top 16 battle with younger Shanahan brother, Conor. On this occasion, Conor would take the win in that one, but rest assured Itay Sadeh is a name to watch for many years to come.
So, with the dust and smoke now well and truly settled here in the City of Iron, the championship fight comes down to what is now officially the biggest event the World will have ever seen – The Grand Finale of the 2023 Drift Masters European Championship, which takes place at the PGE Narodowy in Warsaw, Poland on September 15th & 16th.
With 5 rounds now in the books, and 4 different winners so far this season, the championship standings stack up closer than we’ve ever seen, to make sure our Grand Finale is the most exciting and explosive end to the best season of European, and perhaps even World drifting anyone has ever seen, as we prepare to announce our worthy champion on September 16th.
Current Top 5 Championship Standings:
– Conor Shanahan (IRL) – 351 pts.
– Lauri Heinonen (FIN) – 321 pts.
– Jack Shanahan (IRL) – 312 pts.
– Juha Rintanen (FIN) – 311 pts.
– Piotr Wiecek (POL) – 293 pts.