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IDS PRO Round 3, Sosnova: Walls of Steel

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For the third round of the IDS PRO drift series, the whole team decided to skip the round because Sosnova, CZ is like a million miles away from Zurich.

I on the other hand thought it would be a good idea to gather the most willing drift pirates I could find, get out there and see if the Czech drifters really are as mad as they all say. This is a log of our adventure. Thanks to Silverpics.ch and Lisa Linke for the photographs!

Thursday, 30. June

17:00 The pirate crew gathers. Aeppli from Silverpics and Chris from AC Lightaddicted take care of the photography side of things while Stefan Zollinger volunteered as the mechanic. So cool you guys decided to join in! We start off towards Czechia. 11 hours to go!

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The Aepplinator got Speed Industries glasses as bait for giving out his pics

19:00 Stefan takes over as the driver of the trailer. I sit in the back behind the tinted windows, smoking and chilling out. Feeling like a rock star.

23:00 Aeppli takes over as the driver. Me still sitting in the back being useless. Nice

Friday, 1. July

4:30 I wake up by the vibrations of the trailer car hitting the curbs of the racetrack. We arrived in the early morning, the sun just about to set. Why does it get bright so early in Czechia? Fuuck

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4:40 We sleep in the trailer car like a horde of stinking dogs and feed on candy from the petrol station. yeeeah

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Hiding my bloodshot eyes and black eyerings nicely there. Noone would think I'm clinically dead alrady

7:00 Woken up far too early by Philippe Guillod being loud outside the car. Feeling like crap but I crack open my first red bull. Suddenly feeling better. Nice.

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Guillod proudly showing what we all know: No Drift, No Life.

7:30 More and more cars arriving. Only 9 IDS PRO Drifters took the long journey to Czechia, plus some IDS Street drivers. But this is a “mixed round” between IDS drifters and Czech Drift Series drivers. They will all clash together in a extravaganza of Top32 drift battles. Even the Street class drive twin-battles here in Czechia, that’s mad cool!

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Stefan Brencher trying to cheer up his girlfriend who had to survive the horrible weather Saturday / Sunday.

7:45 We build up our small tent and unload our stuff. From Team Speed Industries, it’s just my own car so not much to do. We finish some work on the S14 instead like using duct tape to hold together bits that are falling off.

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The boss of the Czech Drift Series. Awesome awesome laid back guy!

8:00 Briefing. The boss of the Czech drift series plus his helpers, and the judges arrived. Really funny and cool dudes. All layed back atmosphere, awesome! Jörg Söhner, boss of IDS is there too. Good vibes. Judges are mixed Czech judges and Belgian (Andy Jaenen) so a very nice lineup.

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This czech girl was competing in the PRO Drift class as well!

8:30 Practice sessions start. Finally some smokey action! Feeling good, car running solid right now. First time since a long time the car produces proper smoke since the engine is running well! Weather is not too hot but pretty good with some clouds. The track is awesome with a maaad entry that throws you against a wall, then flick over a huge pile of tires, then back to a wall. It’s a double wall run, never experienced something like this before but it was awesooome!

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Wooo first Czech drift action of the day!! Car was working brilliantly for.. oh at least 20 minutes

8:55 Engine starts misfiring when hot. Fuck. Hustling ensues to find the issue, change spark plugs, coil packs, search for electric issues, etc.

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Guillod made the journey to Czechia too, trying to protect his 1st place standing in the championship

11:00 Misfire problem located, but can’t fix it on site. Wire of CAS broken. Use duct tape to fix it. Must replace melting duct tape every 6-8 laps or misfires start again. Nooo

11:15 Having a hilarious time with Stefan running some sweet practice laps. We weren’t allowed to do tandem battles with other drivers for some reason..

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More german drift pirates wanted to check out the Czechs! Arrrr

11:30 so we still sneak in full throttle when one guy launches off for practice to chase him down a bit and check out his line! wooo!

11:32 The track marshal gives me a lecture on what they call “safety”. We stop chasing people down

11:45 Suspension suddenly feeling funky. Right wheel has massive toe out, but tie rods are not broken. Started doing manual alignment with Stefans help. For some reason, right wheel keeps changing toe settings. Stefan is doomed to do at least 25 manual wheel alignments during the course of this weekend. Poor guy feeling the curse of the S14!

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I'm actually doing something on this pic. Even if it's just holding a string and shouting around!

12:00 By now, some cars already crashed. The track is hardcore since 2 clipping points *are* the wall! I’m loving it but some others don’t since their vehicles now look like crumbled rotten bananas after some nice car-to-wall contact.

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Patrick Ritzmann hides his car with some first class smoke bombs

13:00 More practice till noon. The track is a tire killer – already destroyed 6 new tires and it’s only afternoon of day 1!

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One of the hottest looking cars all weekend! A shame it never worked properly and retired after day 1

15:00 Managed to pull off nice runs, good speed, line and starting to get very close to the wall by now. Setup feeling pretty solid apart from the misfires and steering issues. Need to stop drifting now or I will run out of tires. Decided to continue practice the next day.

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Kögler doing a nice walltap! But the idiot tried to go "even closer" the next lap, crashing haaard :)

17:00 More crashes and madness happening. The boss of the czech drift series said he will give 100 Crowns to the person who does the first proper “wallrub”. Christian Kögler took this very seriously and rubbed the wall perfectly! Unfortunately he tried to do it again on the next lap and crashed hard into the wall. He was laughing loudly after it happened and applied about 3 rolls of duct tape to hold his car together again. What a brilliant man!

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When he wasn't busy crashing tough, he was pulling out his A-game!

18:00 Hanging out with the guys from MPS engineering. Such awesome dudes, having a nice BBQ and some music. More and more mad Czech drivers arriving. Even a full drift team arrives who takes it very seriously with a full tent setup, 4 PRO drivers and even a flatscreen TV showing their latest movies. Pretty sure they stole all these ideas from Team Speed Industries.

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I had to go up against both of these mad Czechs in the battles on Day 3...

21:30 Starting to feel like shit now. Tired, not showered since forever, not eaten properly except for dinner, been working on the cursed car all day. Must check into hotel and go to sleep early. No party, lame.

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Saturday, 2. June

8:00 Get up early. Briefing. Czech drift boss a bit more serious today. “NO BEERS IN THE CARS PLEASE!” he announces. Seems some people liked to drink & drift on the laid back practice day, or maybe it was just a joke. Thought it was extremely funny in any case.

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Epic bodyroll

9:00 More practice and drift taxi rides. Took a Czech taxi passenger, couldn’t communicate due to language barrier. However I understood his screams of fear when I almost scraped the wall full throttle at the limiter with mental entry speed. Must learn to take it easy on taxi rides or I’ll have a heart attack victim in my passenger seat soon.

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Cool Czech FC with standing lights and a wonderful rotary soundtrack

11:00 Weather getting worse. Still dry but freezing cold. At least the engine misfires are gone because it’s getting colder. Stefan still doing a new front wheel alignment every 10 laps on my car. Shit!

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Oliver Harsch took the trip to Czechia too. Will the epic battle between us continue?

13:00 Qualifying time! Despite the issues with the car was feeling very confident for qualifying, had some brilliant practice runs madly close to wall. Feeling good right now.

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Felt well prepared and confident right before qualifying..

13:15 Starting my qualifying. Track still dry. 1 warmup lap, 3 hot laps. Starting warmup lap…

13:16 The timing on this might sound unbelievable but: My rear brake line explodes right in the middle of the warmup lap, just before first hot lap. Nearly no brake pressure on both e-brake and foot brake. Cool. No way back, I’m already in qualifying now.

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but Qualifying itself reminded me of the Offspring song "No Brakes"

13:17 I decide to still try running quali since there’s still some brake pressure when pumping! However flying in towards the wall it turns out to be very scary. If I brake, it will either not brake, or lock up all four wheels! Trying best to somehow keep the car stable to put in at least one good qualifying run. Giving up after 2 terrible laps and an almost-accident at the wall. Rolling back into the pits. Not feeling good now. Aready had to give up at the JDM Allstars event in Anneau du Rhin during qualifying and now this.. Nooooo

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This is "Pyramiden", a mad Dutch man. His car has a built RB20 that needs NOS just to spool the turbo. On saturday night he did a huge burnout *inside* his tent. What an excellent individual

14:00 Problem located. Blown brake line from hydro-brake. need new brake lines

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Wertheim is last years Czech Drift Champion. He's only like 12 years old, but has epic skills already!

15:00 Trying to source brake lines on track while at the same time trying to properly fix misfiring issues, and somehow finding tires to burn since I’m practically out of tires. Very stressful, not enjoying at all right now. Cold as shit too and it starts raining. Nooo!

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Rene Ports from MPS Engineering. He put down really solid runs all weekend, but ultimately fell in the Battles due to a suspension problem. (snapped tie rod)

16:00 Driving to different towns and places to find somebody who can repair or provide new brake lines. All shops closed already. About to give up, pack my things and go back home.

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Philipp Stegemann, also from MPS Engineering put down really impressive runs! He also fell in the Top16, but it was a close call and his opponent was very strong

17:00 Decide to try fixing the brakes for one more hour. Luckily the incredible guys from a Danish team of “keep drifting fun” drifters who are sponsored by Falken are right next to our tent. One of their drivers turns out to be a mechanic ace with lots of spare parts in his huge truck.

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Drift it, break it, fix it, drift it

17:30 The dude just made new brake lines out of fuckin spaghetti or something -unbelievable. He even got the right connectors for my UK-brand hydro brake. This is epic!

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These danish Falken dudes saved my weekend and maybe my Chamionship? So many thanks for the spaghetti ghetto brake line!

18:00 Nearly installed the new in-prompto brake line.. soon to begin bleeing the system. Guy keeps coming over to ask if it’s working. So cool! Feeling much better already. Still lots of work to do on the car though.

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The other of the two danish Falken drivers, Niels Becker. Their cars were awesome too with epic smoke

19:00 We start another BBQ session with the cool MPS dudes. woooo

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Stegemann abusing his 4-door skyline

19:30 A mad “Rallycross” race starts on the same track! Everyone watching monstrous rally cars battling it out on the drift track. Just myself and Stefan trying to fix the S14 instead of watching. Too bad but it must be done!

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Aeppli was creaming his pants when he saw rallycross Subarus gone WILD!

20:00 Everyone coming over to ask if the car can be repaired. So nice to have this support from all the drivers and from our Crew!!

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the cars even jumped a small bridge during the rallycross races! awesomee

21:00 It looks like the car is finally fixed. Brakes have full pressure and no leaks any more. Can’t wait to test it on raceday.

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21:15 Qualification results are out. I sucked as expected – 18th place out of 27 in qualifying. That means I will have to battle in the Top32 before getting into Top16. The best 7 qualifiers will skip top32 battles and already in the Top16.

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Oli Harsch would be my Top32 opponent in the battles

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Sidepipes out the front fender are too awesome for words! BAM

21:30 The danish and Czech guys going mental in the pits! Loud music, lots of people, good mood. They start doing maaad burnouts right inside their tents! It was great until the boss of the track arrived and stopped the madness. He arrived just when one dude was doing a 60-second 2nd-gear burnout with his fully built R32 GT-S sporting a monstrous RB20 engine and NOS. The tent was filled with smoke for the next 5 minutes. The crowd went wiiiild. So awesome.

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One of my matchups on battle day. Don't know the name but he was a very strong driver..

23:00 Went back to hotel, we had a very stressful and cold day. Sleep relatively early and hope for good weather for competition day!

Sunday, 3. June – Battle Day!

8:00 Battle briefing. The judges explained very detailed what they want to see. Nice! Brilliant judges so far. Horrible weather, pouring down rain like there’s no tomorrow.

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9:00 Short practice session. Trying to find a setup that has some grip in the wet conditions. Only have Infinity tires left. Terrible terrible grip in the wet. Front semi slicks are also worn out, bad grip on front wheels. Reduced tire pressure massively, changed rear toe settings for smoother transitions. Car is a bitch to drive but starting to get used to it… feeling more confident again.

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The yellow line on the ground was the second Wall clipping point we had to cross

10:00 Street Class battles start. Went to watch. Cool to see street drivers going mad in 1on1 battles! No crashes and some cool battles could be seen! Some of these drivers should be in the PRO class.

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Russian skyline, fully built with only the nicest of parts! Just a tire is missing :)

12:00 Another practice session. Stole the front tires off my trailer car since I hoped they have better grip in the wet. Running very low tire pressure, car starts feeling better in the wet. Steering issues not so bad now in the rain, since there’s less force ripping around on the broken steering rack. Nice.

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weeeeeeeee! Right before my clutch died

13:00 Top32 driver presentations in front of the crowds. The S14′s clutch dies while waiting in line. FUCK! Feeling terrible again, not much time before my first battle; we must find a solution for the clutch.

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Philipp Stegemann battling it out with Wertheim. Stegemann unfortunately lost this battle...

13:05 Assuming it’s a leak in the clutch somewhere, it’s pissing out transmission oil. Air in the system. Trying to bleed the system manually. Seems to work at first but clutch starts acting up again after pushing a few times.

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Micha Scherr's Top16 matchup...

13:30 Time for the battle against Oli Harsch. Not feeling confident due to the clutch feeling weird. Luckily, stealing tires of my trailer car was a good idea – I have more grip than Oli and manage to win the battle! Lucky it’s raining, in the dry it would’ve been much harder to beat Harsch!

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Two - Zero for me, Oli! The rain gave me the edge I needed for this battle..

13:40 Stefan Zollinger bleeding my clutch and filling up the catch tank after every lap. He asks me to stop abusing the clutch. My reply: “How the fuck am I supposed to do that? Drift or Die!”

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Top16 against the first mad Czech dude. After a one-more-time I managed to win it

14:00 Top16 battle against a strong Czech BMW driver. Guy is mad, so close to wall. I copy his line as good as possible, clutch holds the abuse. Pulled a 5:5 draw in my chase run. Then I put down a very nice lead run but he copied my line perfectly. Another 5:5.

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Water-drop!!!!

14:10 One more time against the Czech dude. Going absolutely mental on my lead run, almost scraping the wall. Pulled a 6:4 advantage. In the chase run managed another 5:5 making me the victor by a very close margin. Couldn’t believe I won it, screaming in joy!

14:15 Bleeding the clutch again, trying to get air out the system. Clutch feeling worse and worse every time. Can’t get in gear often, clutch starts slipping. The new brake line also starts leaking again, less brake pressure than before but still driveable. Luckily it’s still raining!

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Top8 battle...

14:30 Top8 battle against another Czech guy from aforementioned Czech Drift Team. Very strong driver, watched him during practice. Mad close to wall. Must be mentally prepared to crash my car to beat this guy.

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Chaaaaarge!

14:33 My chase run was bad, struggling to keep up with the guy with the various issues on my car. 6:4 advantage for him.

14:35 Going mental on my lead run, but that guy is fast and chases quite closely! I already thought it’s game over but for the first time this weekend I’m lucky – he spins out right before the finish, handing me the win! OH YES Top4 here we go!

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14:40 Stefan wants to bleed my clutch again. But not enough time, must line up for Top4 battle already. Fuck!

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Patrick Ritzmann was also having issues. His wastegates kept overheating. He was my Top4 matchup

14:42 Top4 battle against Patrick Ritzmann. The guy had epic grip in the wet with his Uniroyal rain tires! This will be haaard. Can’t get into gear due to the clutch bitching around. Stall the car, ram it into gear before starting engine and launch off. Trying not to use the clutch now as it keeps sticking to the ground.

Feels like driving a flaming cannonball that’s held together by zipties and hope.

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Hope dies last! Trying to rip out one more run out of the dying S14

14:43 My chase run was crap but weirdly I could almost keep up with Patze’s epic grip compensating with later braking. I later heard his engine was also overheating so he couldn’t give full throttle out of the corners. Rain has stopped, track starts to dry up. Very shitty conditions for me – parts of the track very slippery, other parts are dry and grippy. Can’t clutch kick or clutch will stick to the ground. Fuck! I straighten out during the chase run. Nooo!

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No more battle pictures so here's a skyline instead

14:50 For my lead run decide to go super-mental since I knew Patze has the advantage. It’s either crash, spin or win.

14:52 Unfortunately, it ends in a spin from me since I overdid it with my entry speed after the wall section. Patze being cool as usual – clapping and laughing and having a good time right after the battle.

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In the small finals, I was up against Wertheim. Could've given up from the start since...

14:55 Wanted to bleed clutch again for the “small Final” against Wertheim, the Czech Drift champion of last year’s Czech drift season. Not enough time to bleed clutch, must drive again without using it too much. Shiiit

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... the track was almost fully dry now

15:00 Chase run against Wertheim – he’s driving very well and precise. I had enough grip to keep up but couldn’t really control the car by now. No e-brake / clutchkicks in the semi-dry conditions resulted in a very very weak chase run. Score is 8:2 for him.

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But the S14 fought until the end... not that it made a difference..

15:05 Must step up my game to have a chance now. Tried to go mental one more time, but straightened out various times during my lead run in the dry sections of the track, just couldn’t stay sideways with mad grip on the rear and the slipping clutch. My car is finished now. Too bad, but still feeling happy.

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Micha Scherr went on to take the win! Congratulations man

In the end, Michael Scherr takes 1st place, with Patrick Ritzmann taking 2nd place. Wertheim who beat me in the small final got 3rd place and me 4th overall.

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First time he get's 1st place, he looks very happy about that!

However since Wertheim is no IDS PRO drifter his score didn’t count for the IDS trophy. That meant I was still in 3rd place for the IDS cup, woooo!

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the usual shenanigans ensued after the battles

Congratulations to all of you, awesome to see Michael Scherr and Patze on the podium. Great drivers, cool dudes and they’ve been fighting so hard for this.

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Wooo third place! Many thanks for supporting me in fixing the car!

Wertheim and all the other Czech drivers were also so laid back, it was very cool finally connecting with the drift scene up there! So many thanks as well to Jörg Söhner from the IDS commitee, and everyone involved in the organization. It was an unforgettable event for me, even though we were just repairing the car most of the time.

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Hope to see everybody soon at IDS Round 4 in Lausitz. Just 3 weeks to go until then, so I better get my car fixed.

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Philippe unfortunately dropped out in the Top16 battles against the mad Russian in the R34

So until then, goodnight.

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And some bonus pics :)

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