Round 2 of the 2018 Drift Masters Grand Prix took place at the Rabocsiring, Máriapócs in Hungary. Both Matt ‘Doorhunter’ Carter from Team Japspeed and Steve ‘Baggsy’ Biagioni with support from the team at SB Motorsport put in strong performances. They missed out on podium finishes; however, both could depend on their gearboxes; the Quaife QBE69G.
With a less than ideal start to the 2018 Drift Master Grand Prix, hopes were high for Matt ‘Doorhunter’ Carter and the team as the week began in the run-up to round 2 – which saw the series descend upon Rabocsiring, Máriapócs in Hungary.
After the spectacle of the first round shook the drifting world; the sweeping bends, high speed sections and perilous elevation changes of the Rabocsiring would certainly up the stakes and present a challenge for even the most experienced of drivers on the Drift Masters grid.
Nevertheless, on a high from the exhilaration of what was to come, the week began with Matt and the team at Garage-D filming for an upcoming documentary at the illustrious Santa Pod back on home soil. With no rest on the schedule, Matt and the team set off from the UK around 8pm on Tuesday 12th June; arriving in Dover only 2hrs later for an overnight ferry to Calais and the start of their continental road trip.
On the road at the break of dawn, Matt and the team spent an arduous day driving through Germany and Switzerland, (taking in the sights), before heading for their overnight stop in Vienna. With 24hrs to go, Thursday saw the team head through Budapest to arrive in Máriapócs to setup as the evening drew in.
Early next morning, Matt was keen to get out on track and ensure the R32 was setup perfectly for the challenge ahead. With plenty of seat time through the available practice allocation, the team were confident they had it nailed.
Come qualifying, Matt played things safe to begin with. Making the most of the fine-tuning of the car’s setup perfected earlier in the day; Matt put in a solid run to give himself a safe place from which he could push harder on his next run to further strengthen his overall qualifying position – at least that was the plan. An electrical issue struck just when Matt left the line on his 2nd qualifying run, leaving him with only 1 qualifying run and 25th place overall in qualifying.
The team worked tirelessly to track down and resolve the issue which was soon fixed with relative ease. It was then time to look ahead to the main event and Matt’s first battle against Janis Eglite in the top 32 the next day.
Saturday morning came and several hours of allocated practice time before the main event saw spirits high once again as Matt pushed harder with every run. Unfortunately, with only 1hr to go before the main event; mechanical issues began to present themselves – only this time it would be a little more serious.
Following some investigative work, a solution was soon in place and Matt was back out for the remainder of the practice session. Unfortunately, the mechanical gremlins would come back before the top 32 battles were due to start.
With no time to resolve the issue, Matt was left with no option but to withdraw from battle; bringing an altogether premature end to the weekend. Matt and team were left with no choice but to sit back, reflect on the weekend and take in the spectacle of the event before a 25hr / 1400 mile drive back to Calais, plenty of time to make plans to repair the Skyline and come back bigger and better for Round 3 in a few weeks.
In the end, Grzegorz Hypki, Juha Pöytälaakso and James Deane took the podium at the event. Our congratulations to all…
After taking on quite a bit of damage during round one, Baggsy’s S13 V8 had spent the previous weeks in Poland being rectified by the guys at G Garage, with the SB Motorsport team putting the finishing touches on the car before the event started in Hungary. Teammate Nigel Colfer had also suffered diff failure in Poland. Armed with the necessary parts, the team got the car back on form and ready for battle.
After a day of practice on Friday, it was time to get underway with the 60 strong grid of qualifying. With the Rabócsiring starting to take its victims early, mother nature would throw more drama into the mix by bringing the rain to the second half of qualifying. This would make an already dangerous and tricky track even more unpredictable for the drivers.
After an eventful qualifying session, Baggsy’s second run would score a 76, putting him in the 21st position. Nigel Colfer took a 77.7 on his first run, putting him in 17th position. With qualifying done and both drivers in the top 32, sundown over Máriapócs would bring heavy rain and thunderstorms leading into the main day’s event.
Saturday morning gave the drivers twin battle practice. The Friday night rainfall, and varying weather during battle practice left the track very greasy. The team were kept on their toes changing set ups for the unpredictable track conditions. Baggsy would suffer a power steering issue during the practice session, but with the team quick to react, the S13 V8 was back out on track and ready to go to war.
First up for the Top 32 battles was Nigel Colfer against Cypriot driver Enver Haskasap. With nearly a million online viewers across three platforms, and five thousand spectators, the stage was set and ready for battle. After a phenomenal two runs from both drivers, the judges would award the win to Haskasap, unfortunately ending Colfer’s weekend early.
The Top 32 would bring Baggsy to the line against Polish driver Grzegorz Hypki, in his LSX V8 powered BMW E30. Baggsy took the chase position on the first run. Knowing Hypki was fast, Baggsy gave everything he had to put in a solid chase run. Swapping over, Baggsy took the lead position for run two. Hypki would make contact with Baggsy on initiation, causing Baggsy to come off line, but he would continue the run, getting himself back on the qualifying line and fighting to the finish line. After much deliberation from the judges, and a few replays of the live-stream, they would award the win to Hypki, finishing Baggsy’s Round 2 journey.
Baggsy sums up by saying, ‘Round two of Drift Masters GP was another awesome event. I love the track here at RabócsiRing. It really tests you as a driver, especially with the continuing weather changes we experienced. The S13 V8 was back on form after the repairs from Poland, and I was feeling confident after Friday’s practice and qualifying. We had a slight power steering issue on Saturday, but the team at SB Motorsport were quick to react and rectify it. Going into the Top 32, I knew I would have a fight on my hands with Hypki. He’s a very solid driver and his car is super fast. After my chase run I felt we were in a good position. Leading in on the 2nd run, Hypki made contact with my car. I had to make a correction after it impeded my line, but quickly got back into the battle. Coming back to the start line, I wasn’t sure which way the judges were going to go. Unfortunately for us, they awarded Hypki the win. It was great to be back in Hungary, and the fans were amazing as always. But for now, it’s back to HQ to get the new PS13 build ready for round three in Riga. I can’t wait’!