The 2011 Drift Worlds Championship held at Moto Arena over the August Bank Holiday was a great success, though team UK may disagree! The 4 day event, managed by D1RC, ran like clockwork and with so many new faces this year from counties far and wide the language barrier never arose, the common language of drifting overcoming all, although the Russian translation of angle as angel did cause a smile or two! Sure, it was a very serious competition, but it was also a party with so much to catch up on since last year at Snetterton, closed this year for redevelopment. Speaking of closed, so was Moto Arena! Just 4 weeks before the event the news emerged that the facility had ceased trading but with much sensitive negotiations with the parties involved, we were able to go ahead – cancelling bookings for flights, ferries, hotels and cars would never have been an option. Hopefully we'll see Moto Arena rise again.
Team HPI UK were there in the shape of myself and current World Champion Pete Gray but, like the rest of the small UK team, we all had full time duties running the show so practice for us was minimal and maybe we just never became as focused as we needed to be as, although our qualifying results were respectable, most making the A or B finals, our performance in the battles of the 2 car finals saw us drop out in the early stages with silly mistakes being made after taking an early score lead. Even so, our spirits were high and we resigned ourselves to letting another country take the lion's share of the fabulous D1RC Trophies and superb HPI Europe donated prizes. The country in question was Norway who brought along a 8 strong team who dominated the meet with eventual winner Petter Midtskogen driving a drift-modified HB TCX – at least I had the pleasure of seeing an HPI product winning! The next five places were all taken by dedicated drift chassis designs with 2nd place going to Edwin Pols of the Netherlands and another Norwegian team member, Bjorn Arild Retterasen taking 3rd. A single newly released HB TC-FD drift chassis claimed 6th place in the expert hands of Martin Fjeld, again from the Norwegian team. As with all D1RC events, a single control tyre type is used, the slick HPI T-Drift #4406, which as ever proved perfect for the closest of drift competition. The tyres also proved to be very wear resistant despite the vast majority of drivers using programmable ESCs with high boost levels set – good news as 4 days of continuous completion can otherwise become rather expensive! With the spoils handed out and the farewells exchanged, we all headed off on our long journeys home but as soon as we got home the forums were burning brightly with the fun tales and fond memories with everyone looking forward to 2012 when we'll all be getting together to do it again. Catch the full report and many more pictures in an upcoming issue of Radio Race Car International! Visit www.D1RC.eu to keep up with the world of RC drift. John Turner