Michael Scherr and Philip Stegemann are the drift heros 2011


The IDS finals and the European Drifting Championship inspire the masses in the Müllenbachschleife of the Nürburgring

The Championship was very close and that was clear to almost everyone. But this weekend was so exciting and brought some surprises, which were not easy to guess and so the organizers of the IDS as well as the several thousand spectators were very happy and gave their full encouragement.

With a record attendance 80 drivers met in the Müllenbachschleife of the Nürburgring in the first week of October. With three bright sun days the Nürburgring presented itself to the 54 drivers from more than 11 nations from his best side. With the great weather a successful event was announced.

Thanks to the commitment and  the support of the Nürburgring Automotive GmbH, the participants had three full days of “track time” so that also the foreign drivers had the chance to get used to the course through the Schumacher-S and the subsequent short-loop “little Monaco”. For some drivers it was a very special challenge: in the international drift scene you’ve rarely seen such a challenging drift track like the Nürburgring, where you can reach a speed of 200km/h and drift through the Schumacher-S with 170km/h. The best of them could provide their skills in the training on Friday.

The Saturday was dominated by the qualification. The top 16 drivers from the Pro Class and the top 32 for the European Championship had to drive in a single drift. Three known, international and experienced judges (Faruk Kugay, Pl, David Kalas, CZ, Peter Basti, CZ und Axel Mack, D) assessed the drifters and so you could say that it was a fair and balanced assessment.

Like a phoenix out of the ashes Joe Hountondji succeeded with his drift monster and made the first place in the qualifying. Buffeted by a number of setbacks due to technical problems and finally a total loss at the beginning of the season, Joe was very happy about his qualification success. And so he was able to show his technical and also his driving skills as well as to thank all the volunteers who made a rebuilt of his car possible. At the same time he recommended himself as a favorite for the winner of the day in the Pro Class and also for the European Drifting Championship.

The finalist Michael Scherr and his team colleague Harald Müller from the Nissan/Alutec drift team were very shocked.  Both had to fight with technical problems and so Michael was not able to drift the qualifying with his 300zx. He was just able to drive normally and so he got zero points. So they had no chance anymore to influence the results and they were just able to get minimum points. So it was clear that they were not able to win the Championship. And so it depends on his rival Christian Koegler, who finished the qualifying with the 3rd place and had the best chances to get a good result in the end.  All the results you can find here.

On Sunday it was time for the decision of the 7th IDS run. After a short warm-up the top 16 drivers competed against each other, including the invited guest drivers. The first three best-qualified, Joe Hountondji, Christian Koegler and Markus Militzer won their first battles and made it to the next round. Christian had to achieve minimum the third place to win the Championship. Although he turned and got a zero Michael was able to get 2 points after 2 guest drivers pruned themselves. So Christian just had to catch up 15 points and this meant 3rd place with 16 points.

But after the battle with the Austrian drifter Alois Pamper he was out. He collided with the wall in the first battle and got zero points. Also in the second battle he wasn’t able to make it. He lost and finished with the 6th place. After the deduction of the guest drivers Christian was on place 4 and it was clear that Michael Scherr was the Champion 2011. Christian had to be content with the runner-up title.

Alois, AT, struggled even with his 260 hp strong BMW and reached the finals. There he met the Gymkhana king, Oliver Harsch. The top two, Joe and Markus met each other in the small final for the 3rd place, after they both lost their battles against Alois and Oliver.  Oliver Harsch could prevent the victory of the Austrian Champion 2011 on German terrain. Joe won the small final and was very happy with his 3rd place.

It was not so difficult for Markus Mueller to get the title IDS Champion 2011. It was just amazed that after a heavy crash in Monza 14 days ago, Markus was able to fix his car. He competed a sovereign event and finished it with the second place. With 20 points ahead it was clear that he would win the championship. For the next year he would be able to drift in the Pro Class. With appropriate motorized equipment Markus is also a candidate for the Pro title next season.

Dimitri Lust made the 1st place and Matthias Dietz landed on place 3. Both could gather lots of points in the end so that they were on the final seats.  Dimitri was not able to displace Hans-Jürgen Reiss from his 2nd place, but in the beginning nobody expected that Dimitri and his team-mate, Joerg Stoll on the 4th place would reach these places in the overall standings as newcomers.

For the big final the top 32 were also there. The best drivers arrived to face the competition. With Yves Farber, LU, Michu Sahli and Benno Frieden (both from Switzerland) and especially Juha Rintanen from Finnland drivers arrived who influenced the rating in recent years.

Right at the start of the Championship a re-run had to decide between Joe Hountondji and Philippe Guillod. For the first qualified Joe it was a big defeat, because it was not easy to win against Philippe. So in the end he landed on place 32.

Overall, the IDS drivers were very good compared to the international field and in the quarter-finals there were 5 IDS or former IDS drivers left. So you could look forward to how the IDS drivers would beat in the end.

Juha Rintanen, FI, Philip Stegemann, D, reached the finals after Benno Frieden, CH, lost against Juha and Todor Dunev, BG against Philip. The small final for place 3 was decided very quickly. Todor had damage to the steering and he was not able to fix it in the battle against Benno. So Benno won the 3rd place without drifting a battle. He was able to repeat his success from 2010.

Juha already had to struggle with heavy technical problems in the semi finals. His turbocharger, which gives his drift car about 600 hp, made problems and so he had to use his 5 minutes break several times to try to repair it. In the final against Philip Stegemann everything had to work so that Juha could defend his role as a favorite and win the finals.

But Juha didn’t count with the totally cool and hard-boiled Philip Stegemann, D, who was more than happy to be in the finals and so he didn’t have to care much about it. He was also not worried about the small residue of 2 points after his first run. And so he never expected it and then he succeeded, probably because of his serenity. He brought the Fins in distress so that he had to be content with a 7:3 and so Philip won with one point more.

Philip Stegemann of MPS Engineering is now called IDS Champion 2011. In addition to the voucher worth of 1000 Euros from RaidHP Philip could be happy about Oil of Meguin and some other prizes. To his own surprise he got standing ovations by his drift colleagues during the award ceremony.

With the new masters, Markus Mueller (Street), Michael Scherr (Pro) and Philip Stegemann there were three German riders each on the top step and so a very successful and enjoyable IDS season 2012 ended.

The organizers thank all their partners, sponsors and especially the drivers who made the development of the drift sport in Germany and Europe possible. The European Drifting Championship with lots of great riders and especially the enormous encouragement of the spectators are the proof that the efforts of the recent months were worthwhile and so everyone can look forward to the next season 2012 which will bring out some more surprises.

After the race is before the race and so the preparations for 2012 are in full swing so that there will not be any room to breathe. New ideas and impressions you will get when you visit the Formula D, USA. Maybe the new contacts can be used for new surprises.

In this sense, let’s “drift” again in 2012.

Photo: Lisa Linke, Fabian Linder

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