This is the third year HGK drift challenge is happening. As one of the main idea’s authors said - it’s a race where you do not follow the general car build rules, you make the rules. Basically - a playground for custom cars and mad drivers, such as Sergey Kabargin (ddKaba), who hasn’t missed a HGK challenge yet.
HGK challenge is famous for bringing drivers from FD. This one is no different - Matt Field and Aurimas (ODI) Bakchis were the two guys running the track as a main event starts (if we are not counting the fierce Kristaps Blušs). Matt got to drive the HGK kit car - E46 and Odi was lucky that 13 y/o Nikolass Bertans was kind enough to borrow his E36, that literally got the engine put in the night before the qualification.
Sadly, I had to skip the Friday’s practice and qualification. All I got to experience was a Facebook livestream while on a train trying to make it to my flight for Saturday - the main competition part. But I still have a little recap for you guys about Friday’s qualification. The local driver Janis Eglite proved again that this is his home track landing in on the first place at the score board. Kristaps Blušs first appearance on the home track got him a 5th place on the qualification table, while Aurimas Bakchis was 7th and Matt 19th. Whilst the mad Russian ddKaba ended up qualifying 14 with his crazy carbon kevlar Toyota Supra.
Saturday started with a little morning practice for couple hours, allowing drivers to warm their feet up. After that the Top 32 parade took place in front of the grand stand.
Btw this is Clemens Kauderer. Clemens is Australian and a proud new dad, I mean owner, of HGK Euro Figher.
Starting tandem battles 10 drivers got a straight pass to Top 16, since after Friday only 22 drivers remained in the competition. The rest 6 TOP 32 tandems battles had some serious drama. ddKaba met Matt Field, which meant losing one of the top tier drivers at the very beginning and it was unfortunate end for Sergey Kabargin. Dmitriy Illyuk - fire spitting Monster energy driver, had to fight his way to the Top 16, Ukrainian champion Sergiy Kremets had to give up after OMT battle against Latvian driver Edmunds Berzinš.
Top 16 had an unfortunate battle for two Lithuanians - Aurimas Bakchis met Benediktas Čirba. As everyone would suspect Odi’s experience won against young talent Čirba, thus it needed a OMT to clear things up.
Another interesting Top 16 battle was Pawel Borkowski vs Matt Field. Raising polish talent vs granted skills driver. The battle could’ve gone anyway, thus after a major mistake Pawel made, Field claimed the victory. Janis Eglite was another drivers suffering a lost in Top 16 while driving against Kristjan Salmre.
The TOP 8 battles had even more fun stored! The top 8 best have met to prove that they can win! Harold Valdma - last year winner was knocked out by Kristaps Blušs and had to watch the rest of the competition from pits.
Who do you think is better driver - Odi or Matt? Well, at least at Bikernieku Matt was able to prove his advantage after Odi made a tiny mistake on his chase run and in the further competition was to battle for 3rd place against local driver Eriks Ulass.
And let me tell you.. What a final… Kristaps Blušs vs Matt Field, the atmosphere was just as you’d be in FD grand stands watching it happening.
Matt Field claimed the HGK drift challenge winner’s tittle, leaving Kristaps in second and Odi in the third places. Would you ever suspect - all FD podium ;D
And you know what’s the best thing about drifting - it’s like having a big family, which you see rarely and get to make silly photos of it!