James Deane back on top at the Swedish Drift GP

Extreme Drift Allstars Europe Round 2 – Swedish Drift GP Results

Europe’s premier professional drift series, Extreme Drift Allstars, landed in Scandinavia this weekend as the Eskilstuna MotorSport Arena, near Stockholm, played host to the Swedish Drift GP and round two of the 2015 championship.

Following his third-place podium finish at round one in London, defending champion James Deane from Ireland was out for victory, piloting his 2JZ-powered Falken Motorsport Nissan Silvia into top qualifying position and then on to take overall victory at the event. His toughest battle would be against fellow countryman Nigel Colfer in the Tri-Ace Tyres 180SX. Ultimately it would be James who would edge the victory, sending him to the top of the points table going into round three in Riga, Latvia.

The Extreme Drift Allstars team selected the Eskilstuna MotorSport Arena for this year’s Swedish Drift GP due to its challenging and technical nature, with large elevation changes, tricky transitions and a solid wall which the drivers would have to drift within inches of for maximum points. The series has always been well-received in Sweden, and this year was no different as a large number of local drivers threw their hats into the ring to test the Drift Allstars regulars.

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A driver search on Friday thrust several local swedish drivers into the limelight, allowing them to compete in the main event. On Saturday, the drivers made the most of the generous practice time to get to grips with the circuit and scope out the competition.

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Scorching temperatures throughout the weekend made conditions challenging for both man and machine, with Saturday afternoon’s qualifying event setting the scene for the finals that would follow on Sunday. After a below-average first run, James Deane pulled a near-perfect run out of the bag on the very last run of the day to snatch top qualifying position from Latvian Janis Eglite. Third place was awarded to local Swedish driver Fredrik Sjödin who impressed a team of top international judges with a precise and aggressive run in his Raidopower S14.

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Come Sunday’s main event, following a small number of retirements, 29 drivers remained in action. Drift Allstars regulars Dmitriy Illyuk and Joachim Waagaard both took surprise exits from the competition in the first bracket, and were soon followed by Janis Eglite in the Tri-Ace Tyres E46 during the Top 16, as he lost out to Slovakian driver Roman Kolesár. Norwegian Fredrik Øksnevad was on form in his SPY+ supercharged V8-powered Toyota Soarer but was ousted in the Top 8 by Swedish driver David Skogsby.

In the third place playoff, Skogsby would meet fellow Swede Alexander Granlund, with Granlund putting on a consistent show in his 750bhp BMW M3 and taking third place on the podium.

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When it came to the final, James Deane would meet friend and rival Nigel Colfer in an all-Irish head-to-head. The drivers have spent a lot of time together on- and off-track, and neither concedes an inch when it comes to fighting for silverware. After a solid chase run by Colfer, it was Deane’s turn to follow. After an almost-equal chase run, the judges reached a tough decision – Deane had just done enough to claim his spot back on the top step of the podium, putting him at the top of the points table going into round 3.

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“My goal for round two was to get a podium finish,” commented James Deane. “Qualifying in first position and winning the event amongst such stiff competition rounded off the perfect weekend for me. It’s a great feeling to be leading the championship going into round three. Bring on Riga!”

The third round of the 2015 Extreme Drift Allstars European Series sees the championship head to Bikernieki Circuit in Riga, Latvia on 31st July-1st August for the Latvian Drift GP – one of the most popular and highly-anticipated events of the season. See you there!

Final results from the Swedish Drift GP – Round 2:
1. James Deane – Ireland – Falken Tyres/Level One Qatar
2. Nigel Colfer – Ireland – Tri-Ace Tyres
3. Alexander Granlund – Sweden – No Coast Racing
4. David Skogsby – Sweden – BRL Racing

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