Driver Feature: Polish Drift Queen Karolina Pilarczyk
Hey DI fans today we talk to the Polish Drift Queen Karolina Pilarczyk. She has an amazing story to tell and we cant wait for you to read it, so lets get right into it.
1. Tell the Drift Illustrated fans about your first drift experience? What was it that got you into the sport? My adventure with drifting has a long history and started by coincidence. I don’t have any motor sport background in my family. After doing my driving license, I wanted to improve my driving skills and I went to the Driving Academy. On slippery surface I was learning how to control the car. I felt in love with that! I started with rally, because drifting in this moment was unknown in Poland. I had quite good results in this discipline, but I was overusing the handbreak. My co-driver hated this, and was all the time screaming at me. I told him that power slides are more exciting and I prefer to drive that way, even if it was slowing me down (I was driving FWD ). Few years later drifting was introduced to Poland , so I changed the discipline – it was more natural for me. 2. What was your first Drift car build? And what competitions did you enter? My first Drift Car was BMW E36 328. I had a small budget, so I only hardened the suspension, welded the differential, installed the hydraulic handbreak, put sport seats and that’s all. My first experience with drifting was during the first drifting competition organized in Poland ! so, you can imagine what happened. I didn’t know what I am doing ;) But it was fun! I had a dream and I was striving for it. I think that, if you really want something, you will find the way to achieve it.
3. If you could go back to your very first drift event what kind of advice would you give your younger self? As I mentioned, my first drift event was my first drift ever ;) right now it should look a little different. To everybody, who feel ready to start with competition, my advice is to have fun! Fight for your dreams and do not be afraid of criticism! Competitions are connected with a huge stress, which very often impacts the car control. I am always trying to convince people, that they should have fun, learn and try to get used to stress. Not to try to win this competition. Such aspiration very often gives a really bad results. The most important thing is the fun and the sense of achieving realistic goals.
4. What was you very first sponsor for your drift team and how did you land it? My first Sponsor was YATO – a polish tool producer. I asked my colleague, who is working for this company, to contact me with the marketing director. I asked the CMO for a really basic support, because I told him that I want to proof that it’s wort to invest in me. In those days it was almost impossible to find a Sponsor - I wasn’t a famous drifter, and he had to take a risk and trust me. I had a good plan how can I promote the company and I was really determined. We are together for 5 years now, the cooperation is really successful we plan to continue it J The most important for me is when, after the drift season, the Chief Marketing Officer or the Chief Executive Officer are coming to me to tell that it was a great season and my team did a great job for the Sponsor.
5. Tell us about your first Pro competition and what series you run in? It’s difficult to answer, because I started to drift when it all started in Poland. There was only one competition. No split to professional and unprofessional. In 2008 in Poland the organizers decided to make a kind of exam for professional drift license. During the exam, we just had to maintain the slide. Nobody cared for the precision and clipping points. I passed the exam and I was allowed to take a part in a pro series. Unfortunately I had no budget for this, but - as you see - I didn’t give up. We have to believe that our dreams will come true, if not immediately, then in a while.. I believed in myself, therefore I reached my goals and since 2012 I take a part in drift competitions regularly.
6. Do you have any advice for the lady drivers of the drift world trying to get into the sport?
Yes!! Go for it! It’s amazing and beautiful motorsport! Have fun! Don’t worry about haters. People will comment you. Very often they will criticise you. As a woman, they will not forgive you mistakes but don’t worry! Woman are as good drivers as man and they have to believe in it. Drifting does not know the gender , only the better and the worse drivers. Dear Ladies, do not let yourself be told, that you are worse. You are wonderful and on every field you can prove it. You are doing this for your pleasure and fun. J
7. What are your thought on the US based Formula Drift series? I love it! Great show, great drivers, amazing audience! I really think that it’s very well organized and it’s doing a great job for this discipline. I will not hide that I would like to take a part in Formula Drift. This is my next dream and I will be very happy when I will achieve it. 8. Who is your favorite Drifter of all time? I don’t have only one driver. There is a lot of them. I think that amazing is James Deane – my teammate from European Falken Team. I like to watch most of top Formula Drift drivers - Vaughn Gittin Jr, Dai Yoshihara, Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis, Daigo Saito, Jeff Jones … I admire also Japanese drifters f.e. Naoki Nakamura . As you can see – I like a lot of drivers ;) 9. Do you have a favorite drift story that you can tell the fans? There is a lot of them! One of my favorite is situation from Japan. I took a part in one round of King of Asia, which had place on Nikko circuit. After this competition came to me Zamurai and told me that he really likes my drift style. It was a really big compliment for me. Zamurai continued – “but don’t tell anybody your secret”. I was surprised, because I don’t have secrets. I asked him – “what kind of secret”. And Zamurai answered: ”that you are a man” ;) hahaha I hear quite often that I have a “big balls” ;)
10. Tell the fans more about were they can watch your drive and were to find you online? We are still working on the budget for next season. We are looking for Sponsors, who will support us in different countries, but also on different continents. Right now, for sure I will take a part in European drift championship – King of Europe. We plan to drift also in UAE and.. in USA. We have also plans to take a part in a competitions in China J so , as you can see – we have very ambitious plans. Please, keep the fingers crossed for finalizing all the contracts and make this happen. All news and updates we will publish on our fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/KarolinaPilarczykProfessionalDriftDriver/ or Instagram: karolinapilarczyk
Bonus section. Tell the fans 5 things that they don’t know about Karolina Pilarczyk. 1. Example ( You play the Piano) - My business background is IT (Information Technology)
- I am doing a PhD in IT, - I am a double Champion – I won a European ladies league “Queen of Europe” in 2016 and 2017, but in Poland I am called “Queen of Drift” since 2007 - My street car is a pink Chevrolet Camaro, which brings a lot of fun to everybody who sees it - My second love (before or after drift ;) ) are animals. Especially dogs. I am an ambassador of a Foundation, which rescues Pitbull like dogs (Pitbulls, American Stafforshire Terriers, Bullterriers etc).
- I am also an ambassador of a Foundation, which supports children with cancer.