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DRIFT RACERS

By PTA News Bureau

Drift is right on top, says Steve and Ian nods his support. It’s a real hot testosterone sport, the best on the road and way ahead of Formula 1 in thrill, the champion drivers push the message pedal right down to the floor. They should know because Steve ‘Baggsy’ Biagioni and Ian Waddington have left some very heavy tyre smoke and tread marks across the European tracks. Behind the wheel with the Acorn Infinity Motorsport (AIM), sponsored by Infinity Tyres, both the Pros have enviable fan following among Europe’s drift lovers.

“Look at the guys with the Play Station or any mobile or computer game. They are stuck to drifting all the time. Have you seen any of them playing Formula 1? That’s it. Drifting is the most popular among youngsters. All those screeching and breaking and drift smoke deliver pure thrill,” Steve told Polymers & Tyre Asia resting his arm on Ian’s Nissan S13 – the new 2014 race car for the British Drift Championship – at the Infinity booth at Reifen Essen. Steve’s own car was inside the special tent, attracting fans.

“Every time I race, the engine vibes,” says Ian. The 2014 season of the British Drift Championship has been quite a challenge, both said. The weather was bad and the tracks changed. But both are looking forward to better the performance.

The year 2013 saw Steve devour competition throughout the UK and Europe. Rattling his Nissan Skyline and Nissan PS13, he made the tyres scream in the Gymkhana GRiD European Gauntlet series, as well as making himself a feature in the top spots of the King of Europe Drift Pro Series. He is back this year in his freshly built 500bhp Nissan S13 for the King of Europe Drift Pro Series.

Steve started Karting at the age of four and graduated to the highly competitive Cadet series. After racing in the British Championship for three seasons, he switched to motocross. He hit the British Drift Championship in 2008 as a Semi Pro.

Ian has been driving and building drift cars since 2006. He gained the British Drift Championship licence in 2008. Ian says he first drifted in 2005 “when a good friend showed me some videos from D1 in Japan. I was hooked straight away and wanted to learn more about this creative style of driving.”

Both are now locked among some of the best drivers in Europe. They are also doing a lot of promotion for the sport they love.

Drift is one sport where tyres are most tortured for grip and control. The cars are driven sideways at high speed, the aim being to drive with as much speed and angle as possible while driving the line as instructed by the judges. That itself has made tyre makers to tag onto the sport to test and promote their tyres for durability and stability. Infinity and West Lake, which supports Steve, have proven their worth admirably, the racers say.

(Full Text in PTA Aug/Sep issue)

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