The 5th IDS run in the context of the DTM offered many surprises.
The drifters and organizers were able to experience a drift-weekend of a special kind. According to the plans the drift track of the Nürburgring in the Müllenbachschleife during the German Touring Masters- DTM was available for the drifters. The three letters stood for the terms: “drifting”, “taxi driver” and “championship”.
Because of the safety issues that arose from the parallel events of the DTM and the IDS, the DMSB shortly decided that the drivers had to drift the drift track against the normal direction of the Müllenbachschleife. So the starting area was positionated above the Schumacher-S and the IDS drifters were confronted with the challenge to drift the track hillside. This was the first time in IDS history.
After an additional safeguard of the track, the first steps of the drifters were understandably cautious. Amazingly both Street- and Pro-drivers were able to cope with the new track and during the whole weekend there no major incidents were reported.
On the contrary it was noted, that because of the higher requirements, the skills of the drivers increased a lot and in the end all drifters were very happy about the route change and their driving performance.
Particularly the foreign drivers in the IDS who already heard from the fast drift track of the Müllenbachschleife were additionally impressed of the new track layout. In Denmark the drifters are used to drift on parking area and so they already have the experience to drift in the second gear. So the four Danish colleagues had the chance to drift on the fastest race track in Europe which is also the same venue as the European Drift Championship.
The weather also worried the drifters. After a rainy experience in Lausitz with four days of permanent rain the drifters feared a repetition. But already the first day of practice on Friday was against the unreliable weather forecasts in the Eifel: There was a 90 % probability of rain but the first day of practice was dry and so the drifters were able to adjust the new track much better. For this reason the little shower on Saturday during the qualification didn’t take any influence on the event.
Also the drifttaxi quests who bought their voucher via Jochen Schweizer or Mydays were looking forward to redeem it for an exciting ride in a driftcar next to the DTM. All in all 130 taxi guests were transported by the IDS drifters. It was an absolute taxiguest record and the passengers were enthusiastic about the drift skills and left the taxi with a big smile.
For the Street-Class this weekend was very valuable, because they had the same track as the Pro’s and so they had to fight with the same degree of difficulty, in general with less power. True to the motto “what does not kill toughens” in the end the Street-drifters were as painless and placed their drifts in a similar accuracy as the Pro-drivers.
The best drifter was Ronny Thimmig who already has existing Pro proof qualities and with his win he underlined the first place in the Street Class again.
Sara not only looks good in her driftcar, she is also able to handle it very well what everyone could see during the award ceremony. Her drift curves catapulted the young Dane on the 2nd place in the Street-Class. This was also surprising for her, because she started drifting 8 month ago and didn’t expect such a good placement.
At least the drift pirate Matthias Dietz was also surprised about his 3rd place. Normally he was just placed in the midfield but now he took the chance and demonstrated his skills coupled with fearless maneuvers.
Of course the good ranking was celebrated in the paddock. Everyone who could not adapt to the lively atmosphere in the paddock or in the adjacent Eifelstadl was brought in party mood by the Danish drifters – sometimes also unwillingly.
After the last adjustment, warm up and several taxi rides on the early Sunday morning the final of the Pro drivers was on the program. Luckily the weather was good so that the drivers could do their run under dry conditions.
After consistently thrilling and thight twinbatte decisions the last four finalists were fixed and the qualification for the grand final was imminent. Niels Becker, DK and Joe Hountondji, D had to drift against each other. Joe was able to beat Philippe Guillod, CH, from the Drift Team Switzerland with only one point ahead.
Niels had to fight against Christian Koegler and won, though just barely. Christian was struggling with gearbox problems and lost his 3rd gear one day before. In a peer-seeking night action and in just eight hours, he removed the 3rd gear and refitted the gearbox. Equipped with a gear less, Christian Koegler managed it to win his first battle and in the end he made the 6th place and took some more points back home.
Tobias Welti, CH, of Team Speed Industries was dealing with the overall leader Michael Scherr. Tobias was able to prevail against the drift monster Alex Gräff, who didn’t had to fight with any technical problems this time and placed on the 4th place.
Michael Scherr won against Markus Militzer, who was back in the drift saison after a long time of reconstruction and showed the spectators that he didn’t lose his skills.
Niels was very hard to beat. He also had to deal with several problems in training and also in qualifying but in the twin battle he and his car were totally fit and so Joe had no chance to win against him.
Michael Scherr had to admit defeat against Tobias and so he met Joe in the small final and won, which only decided after a re-run.
The finals should be exciting again: Motivated by the spectators the two Judges were carried and could just decide after the fifth run to find a result.
Tobias Welti, CH, was very happy to win with a little support from the technical problems of Niels’ car; they decided for the team manager of Speed Industries Tobias and bestowed his first win of the season 2011.
In the drivers’ parade the last tires were depleted for the cheering spectators after a cool down with champagne.
A very exciting and successful weekend ended with many happy faces. Not only the drivers, also the organizers were finally very happy with the event and hope for a repeat of the event, especially since it showed that there is a big potential in the event as part of the DTM.