Piotr Więcek secures back-to-back victories with a win in Lithuania

Extreme Drift Allstars Round 5 – Lithuanian Drift GP Results

The city of Kaunas, Lithuania, played host to one of the most unique and daring street circuits in drift history. Looming concrete walls, a fast transition across a narrow bridge over the river and a technical switchback section in front of the crowd made for spectacular viewing. Fresh from a victory in Estonia earlier in August, Poland’s Piotr Więcek drove without fault, pushing current champion James Deane to a tense ‘One More Time’ in the Final. Więcek was on top form, and narrowly edged the win, making this his second consecutive Extreme Drift Allstars victory.

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If ever there was a circuit that took no prisoners, this custom-built street venue in Kaunas, Lithuania, was it. The Extreme Drift Allstars team constructed the track in the heart of the city during Friday evening, working through the night to ensure that the venue was ready for Saturday morning’s practice and qualifying event. Fans flocked from all over to see Europe’s best drivers put it all on the line in the name of vital championship points.

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This high-risk and technical track would challenge even the best, and Saturday saw competitors using practice time to get a feel for the circuit. Come qualifying, it would be front-runner James Deane in the Falken Motorsport Nissan Silvia who would take P1 with two textbook runs. Poland’s Piotr Więcek followed suit, securing P2 in his Budmat Auto Nissan S14, and Australia’s Luke Fink tore up the tarmac in the Tri-ace Tyre Nissan PS13 to take P3.

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Come Sunday, and with the circuit boundary lined with fans, the competition didn’t disappoint. Tri-ace Tyre driver Nigel Colfer had an unusual coming together with James Deane in practice, leaving Colfer’s car in need of some serious repairs. It was all hands on deck, but Colfer’s team, with help from Deane and his crew, managed to get Nigel back in the fight, where he would progress to meet Piotr Więcek in the Semi Finals.

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In a David versus Goliath battle, Luke Fink took a surprise early exit during the top 32, losing out to local driver Ignas Daunoravicius. Finland’s Juha Pöytälaakso, on the other hand, found a return to form, progressing as far as the Great 8 where he met James Deane. Deane out-drove the Finn with style, taking the Irishman into the Semi Finals.

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Deane’s battle with Pöytälaakso was the first of several tricky pairings in his quest for victory. He would face Latvian champion Janis Eglite in the Semi Finals, however an uncharacteristic error on initiation by Eglite saw his BMW make heavy contact with the wall. The damage was irreparable, propelling Deane into the Finals yet again.

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As Więcek disposed of Colfer in the other Semi Final, the crowd was in anticipation of an amazing conclusion – Więcek versus Deane. After a pair of runs the judges couldn’t call it, and a ‘One More Time’ was demanded by the Lithuanian fans. James followed Piotr at close proximity before the two switched places and Piotr returned the favour. A slow-motion video replay was called for, with the judges awarding the narrowest of margins to Więcek.

With two wins in a row, and going into his home event in Poland for the final round of the season, can Piotr Więcek upset the standings further as we approach a grand championship finale?

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This was an amazing victory for me,” commented Piotr Więcek. “At first I felt confident about the circuit, as it is similar to our training layout, however during practice I realised that it was quite a difficult layout. I’ve always dreamed about beating James Deane in battles so to face him in the Final was incredible. This is a very emotional time for me! I can’t wait to drive in my home country next and push for another victory.”

The sixth and final round of the 2015 Extreme Drift Allstars European Series sees the championship head to Turin stadium in Poland on 17-18th October for the Polish Drift GP. See you there!

Final results from the Lithuanian Drift GP – Round 5:
1. Piotr Więcek – Poland – Budmat Auto Drift Team
2. James Deane – Ireland – Falken Tyres/Level One Qatar
3. Nigel Colfer – Ireland – Tri-Ace Tyres
4. Janis Eglite – Latvia – Tr-Ace Tyres

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