It was less than 6 hours since we’d got back to the hotel to rest up and we found ourselves back at the circuit for the main event. Sunday played host to KD European Drift DNY Racing 2010, throwing 40+ drivers from 5 nations into the mix to battle it out for the title and the €6850 prize fund. Qualifying positions decided we head straight into the twin battles after the jump….
First up we have Sam Holt (Car 3) vs. Gem Synott (Car 14). Synott has a bit of a front end rub on the wall on the un-judged practice run but goes through to the top 4. Tough close driving by this pair.
Next it was Matt House (Car 34) in the MPH Customs V8-powered Mazda FD against Christian Lewis (Car 35) in his Red Oxide R33 Skyline, Christian had been going great all weekend considering what little time he has spent behind the wheel. Unfortunately with Matt chasing Christian took a very tight line round the hairpin which left him no space to recover and continue on down the short straight. Matt takes the place in the final 4.
Another Synott in the top 8. This time Mark Synott’s black Silvia (Car 13) was up against Nuno Silva (Car 10) in another s13. Again a very close run battle but unfortunately Mark took out a few of the clipping points trying to stay close to the lead car and it was Nuno who went through.
Then Oscar Lopes (Car 39) in the BMW E30 coupe vs. Danni Murphy (Car 9) in the green WKD Garage S14a. Danni had been on top form all weekend and took a well deservied place in the final 4.
First battle in the Semi Finals was Gem Synott (Car 14) vs. Matt House (Car 34) in the MPH Customs FD. Matt had been pushing really hard all weekend not affraid to rub both the front and rear ends of his beautifully prepared Madza along Lousada’s armco.
Matt smashed the rear spoiler from its mounts on the first clipping point and then managed to put the front and rear of the car into the bank that ran down the left of the short straight. It was Gem who would be going through to the finals whilst the various bits of Matt’s car were loaded onto a trailer and taken back to the pits.
Next battle was Nuno Silva’s S13 vs. Danni Murphy in the green s14a. Danni pulled a good distance over Nuno when leading and pegged Nuno when chasing in the second run. It was going to be Danni Murphy and Gem Sinot in the AM Finals.
So we had an all Irish AM Finals. With both drivers going at it hard it was a tough call for the judges to make. It was Gem Synott who took the win after the closest battles of the day so far. Matt House and Nuno Silva battled out for 3rd and 4th place and the final standings were as follows:
1st – Gem Sinnott (Car 14)
2nd – Dannielle Murphy (Car 9)
3rd – Nuno Silva (Car 10)
With the AM competition completed there was a small rest break for the organisers and drivers. I took a moment to enjoy some coffee and a quick snack at the cafe next to the track. Sitting outside the street was a hive of activity with spectators and drivers wandering by. Every so often the would be a surge of induction noise as one of the competitors came out of the pits and up the hill peeling into the local traffic to go and re-fuel at the local garage. It was a strange sight seeing drift cars stuck in traffic jams with the locals who were having to take an alternate route through the town with the main road closed for the event.
The first battle of the Pro Top 32 saw Firmino Peixoto (Car 48) up against Lourent Prudent (Car 4). After taking first place in Saturday night’s grudge match Firmino’s Orange AE86 was knocked out by the little BMW Compact.
Next up we had Benjamin Boubles (Car 42) E36 V8 Coupe against Lourent Cousin (Car 26) in the E46 supercharged M3. Both extremely potent machines and equally talented pilots but it was Benjamin who secured himself a place in the final 16.
The next battle involved two British Drivers, Tom Yates (Car 11) in the purple Team Twisted s13/S14 hybrid against Team Japspeeds Steve ‘Baggsy’ Biagioni (Car 28) in the Blue s14 spare car. With Tom spinning out on the first battle it was a straightforward pass into the top 16 for Baggsy.
After a 4th place finish in the early sunday morning grudge match Luis Lopez (Car 2) was back at it again pairing up with Team Dark Dog’s Yani Delhae (Car 15). Lopez on a mission progresses into the Top 16.
Wesley Keating (Car 12) in the WKD Imports s13 vs Roger Cooling (Car 36) in the Team Green R33 Skyline. Unfortunately Rodger gets a bit too close to the first clipping point and doesn’t score on the first run. Whilst Roger manages to get the car into second battle the damage is (quite literally) done and Wesley takes the win.
Next we have Team Japspeeds Danny Eyles (Car 29) in the RB25 powered S15 vs. Jose Lopez (Car 46). Danny cleanly takes both battles and progresses forward into the Top 16.
Then it was Kevin Kiwdkegam (Car 16) Vs. Team Falken/Team Greens Alan Green (Car 41) in the Nissan s14. Alan scores well in both runs and advances into the Top 16.
Lourent Groupil (Car 22) in the red Nissan s14 had to battle Seic Muharem (Car 25) in the S-TEAM93 E30 BMW Coupe if he wanted to progress into the Top 16…and he wins both battles and continues on int the competition whilst Seic has to watch from the side lines…once he had completed a massive burnout for the ever increasing crowd.
Sebastien Anger (Car 23) in the green Toyota Soarer had drawn to battle Dan Adams (Car 18) in the Blue BMW E36 Coupe. After a close first pair of battles that resulted in a One More Time it was anyones victory until the very final battle where Sebastien took the advantage and a place in the Top 16.
Next we had Hugo Fernandes (Car 31) in his now heavily battle scared Toyota Soarer up against Sabastien Geofrais (Car 21) in the yellow Ford Sierra Cosworth (now theres a potent car you don’t often see involved in drifting). Hugo took top score in both battles (even having the time to flip the bird to the spectators on the first clipping point!) and he and his car continued onwards into the Top 16.
Brendan Stone (Car 7) in the WKD Imports Yellow S15-fronted S14 vs Benjamin Boffard (Car 47) and his CA18-powered white S13 – Brendan Stone goes onto the Top 16 after Benjamin spins out in the second battle.
Michel Castano (Car 20) in the BMW E36 Coupe vs Andre Silva (Car 43) White Nissan R33 Skyline. Castano goes to the final 16 as Silva fails to score on the second run after cutting the first corner too close and clipping the tyres, taking to the air and landing hard.
Isac Pedroso’s 7M-GTE-powered AE86 (Car 33) was now to battle Carlos Veiga (Car 6) in the BMW E36 – Pedroso progresses into the Final 16 as Veiga fails to score in the final battle.
Ashley Stevens (Car 30) vs Hugo Cunha (Car 44) in the BMW E30 Touring. Its nice to see some more estate cars in competition. Ashley Stevens progresses onwards into the next round after Hugo unfortunately spins out in the second battle.
Vito Mota (Car 5) in the Turbo-Charged E36 4Door vs. Frederico Ferreira (Car 24) in the stunningly well prepared M5. The super potent car and driver package that is Vito Mota takes the place in the Top 16.
Matt Carter (Car 1) vs Stuart Hansford (Caer 37). Matt Carter was on a mission and unfortunately Stuart Hansford span out on both runs giving Matt a fairly easy route into the Top 16.
Lourent Prudent (Car 4) in the BMW compact now has to battle it out with Benjamin Boubles (Car 42) in the extremely potent E36 Coupe. Its a close run thing but its Boubles that has the slight advantage across the to runs and he progresses into the top 8.
Steve ‘Baggsy’ Biagioni (Car 28) in the Team Japspeed s14 and Luis Lopez (Car 2) both wanted a place in the Top 8. Baggsy’s day was cut short as Luis put in a stunning final run securing him a spot in the Top 8.
The third Top 16 Battle was between Wesley Keating (Car 12) in the WKD Imports 180sx and Team Japspeeds Danny Eyles (Car 29). Shockingly good skills shown by both drivers but after a OMT its Danny that continues on into the quarter finals.
Team Falken/Team Greens Alan Green (Car 41) vs. Lourent Groupil (Car 22) – After a tough battle and a OMT Lourent Groupil is into the quarters whilst Alan Green has to sit it out from this point onwards hoping his team mate Matt Carter can carry the Falken flag further into the competition.
Next we hard Toyota Soarer vs. Toyota Soarer – Sebastien Anger (Car 23) aginst Hugo Fernandes (Car 31) . Hugo had driven incredibly well all weekend but it was the green car of Sebastien Anger goes into the quarter finals.
Brendan Stone (Car 7) in the WKD Imports Yellow S15-fronted S14 vs. Michel Castano (Car 20) in the BMW E36 Coupe – Its Castano’s BMW that continues on to the Top 8.
Isac Pedroso (Car 33) vs. Ashley Stevens (Car 30) – Ashley makes it into the quarters.
Vito Mota (Car 5) vs. Matt Carter (Car 1) – an on form Carter goes through. Can this be a re-run of last years event ?
Benjamin Boubles (Car 42) vs. Luis Lopez (Car 2) – Lopez is into the semi finals! The sky darkened over and it begins to rain.
Team Japspeeds Danny Eyles (Car 29) vs. Lourent Groupil (Car 22) – Lourent Groupil knocks out Danny after a straighten on the final straight and earns his sport in the semi finals.
Sebastien Anger (Car 23) Toyota Soarer vs. Michel Castano (Car 20) in the BMW E36 Coupe. Unfortunately for Anger he spins in the second battle giving Castano a place in the final 4. Lousada’s surface was now far less grippy with the rain still coming down.
Ashley Stevens (Car 30) vs. Matt Carter (Car 1) – Carter rules in both battles and is one step closer to victory. Massive changes in grip level catches Ashley out on this occasion.
Luis Lopez (Car 2) vs. Lourent Groupil (Car 22) – Lourent Groupil takes a spot in the finals.
Michel Castano (Car 20) in the BMW E36 Coupe – Matt Carter (Car 1) – Carter can smell victory now and cleanly gets his spot in the final.
Luis Lopez (Car 2) fights it out with Michel Castano (Car 20) for third place – Lopez takes third place.
Lourent Groupil (Car 22) is going to have a hard time pulling an advantage over Matt Carter (Car 1). Both drivers put in consistent run after run after run after run. After 2 OMT’s its finally decided and Matt Carter wins KD Drift Lousada for the second year in a row!
1st – Matt Carter (Car 1)
2nd – Laurent Groupil (Car 22)
3rd – Luis Lopez (Car 2)
With the competition running a little later than expected we ended up leaving Lousada much later than anticipated. Jord and I quickly gathered up all our gear and jumped into the back of a minibus to find Danny Eyles on board ready for a quick blast to the airport and making check in 5 minutes before the gate closed. Having witnessed amazing driving all weekend and very vocal and passionate crowd we wouldn’t get to see the drivers take their trophies and the showers of champagne which was a real shame.
Once on board the plane and up in the air there was no chat or banter as it was the first time for nearly 3 days any of us had nothing to be thinking about. iPods were powered up and we gave other passengers the impression of sleep – but there was none as the weekends events were still buzzing through our brains.
By the time we had cleared immigration at Stansted and played the ‘where the hell did we park’ game we were back on the road to Peterborough. With about 5 miles left to go Jords 330d was showing we had 1 mile of fuel left so we did a quick splash and dash before finally parking up and parting company.
By the time I got onto the M1 near Leicester the ‘Tiredness Can Kill…Take A Break’ signs were starting to make a lot of sense so I pulled into a deserted Leicester Forest services and fueled myself back up with a Large Mocha for the final 30 or so miles…by 4:30am on Monday morning I was finally home in Derby.
At the start of the weekend Sweeps told us Lousada would be like nothing we had ever seen and he was so right. People from many different countries converging on one small Portuguese town for 2 days of solid drifting was just immense. An amazing Ebisu-esque circuit with a rich history in rallycross, a mentally passionate crowd, a diverse range of cars and driving styles, darkness, flying cars, flying bodywork, fire, smoke, smells and rainbows were the perfect ingredients to create drifting nirvana.
Maybe next year you will make the trip and witness Lousada for yourself? There are far worse ways to spend 3 days of your life thats for sure.
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