HGK DRIFT CHALLENGE 2017
HGK Challenge is a homage to HGK Motorsport’s home fan base. It’s a one-off event on their local Bikernieki circuit in Latvia, where some of the World’s best drifters compete. Last year Ryan Tuerck, Chelsea Denofa and Matt Powers were invited to represent USA, but Polish drifter Piotr Wiecek (now top 2017 Formula D rookie) came out on top. This year Kristaps Bluss and the team kept the momentum going by bringing Chris Forsberg and Daigo Saito to mix with Sergey Kabargin, Janis Eglite, Calin Ciortan, Dennis Häggblom and other drift stars from the Old World.
Weather was hot and sunny, track layout didn’t change from last year - mainly because everybody loved it. It mixes road circuit’s high speed initiation into the blind corner, so familiar to European drifting fans, with FD styled layout with concrete wall towards the end of the course.
Battles were taking drivers further in the tournament, Daigo Saito started his climb calmly and even a bit cautiously in Top 32, but already in Top 8 his BMW "Croco" E46 kit car was eating body panels on Ivo Cirulis car.
Chris Forsberg's carbon kevlar E36 wasn't the most powerful car in the field, but he was giving it the most. Top 8 finish was the best he could do, losing to Harold "Estonian Express" Valdma.
Janis Eglite battled with Pawel Borkowski for third and came out on top. Final battle was between Daigo Saito and Estonian young talent, where it looked like Daigo will be able hold off the young gun, but a nasty 3-wheel off in the second turn cost him the win.
Podium was shared between three HGK E46 BMWs, even though one of them was a tubular framed kit car.
1 Harold Valdma 2 Daigo Saito 3 Janis Eglite 4 Pawel Borkowski
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