Round Four of the King of Europe ProSeries season saw drivers return to the legendary UK drift circuit, Lydden Hill.
Travelling from as far as Japan and the UAE to compete against some of Europe’s best drivers, it would be the perfect way to enter the half-way mark of the 2016 season as the competition gets closer than ever.
With a full weekend of track time for the drivers mixed with the unusually typically perfect weather conditions for the UK, it was the perfect recipe for the tyre-smoking frenzy which the fans got to witness as the drivers took it in turns to tear up the track during practice.
Despite impressing the fans with huge amounts of smoke during the practice session, Adam Frank would suffer a rare engine failure in his 2JZ BMW E46 right at the end of the practice sessions. This would leave him desperately seeking a car to use during the Qualification in order to achieve more vital points in the series.
Visiting from the UAE, Sultan Al-Qassimi, a competitor in both the King of Nations and King of Desert series earlier this year, would also fall victim as his incredible V8 powered S13 forced him to retire from the competition.
With drivers being blessed with the continued perfect weather conditions during qualifying, they would lay down impressive scores. It would be Mike Kauffmann who has shown continued improvement during his first full King of Europe series who would take the top spot.
Remmo Niezen would continue his incredible consistency that he’s shown throughout the series so far, taking second place.
With a 100% success record at Lydden Hill after winning both of the previous rounds at the UK circuit, Adam Kerenyi would take third place. Current King of Europe Champion Norbert Kovacik took fifth place as he seeks to play catch-up and collect vital points.
Japanese visitor Toni Arakaki, who featured in both the King of Nations and King of Asia series this year, would fall victim to car issues in his borrowed car, ‘The Mighty’, which sadly meant he would fail to qualify this time round.
The incredible weather continued to shine down onto the track as drivers approached the battles on the Sunday afternoon. Eddy Laissue’s bad luck continued with his brand new build for the 2016 season in the Top 32 battles, as more gremlins forced him out of the battle with Adam Frank, who had managed to borrow a car to fight for valuable points.
Top qualifier Mike Kauffmann would then end Adam Frank’s unfortunate weekend, continuing his fantastic form during his first trip to the UK circuit.
The Top 16 battles would also see local drivers Martin Wonnacott, Steven Donnelly, Ryan Cooper, James Matthewson and Scott Cartledge edged out by their opponents showing just how keen the visiting drivers were to fight for the podium spots.
UK driver Mike Marshall who has taken a podium spot during his last two visits to the Lydden Hill would have a fantastic battle against his local opponent Nick Brady. With incredible driving from both drivers it would force a one-more-time, where Mike Marshall narrowly edged out his opponent to progress.
Adam Kerenyi would fall victim to the UK track after a collision with the wall caused too much damage to his car to enable to him to continue in the competition, allowing UAE visitor Dany Neville to progress into the Top 8 in his new Rocket Bunny Boss kitted V8 S14.
After mistakes from both drivers in their initial runs, a one-more-time between French driver Mike Kauffmann and Jordanian driver Samer Khadra would see a mistake from Samer Khadra allow Mike Kauffmann to progress to the Top 4.
An initial evenly-scored battle between Massimo Checchin and Norbert Kovacik was sadly ended when a mistake from Checchin would see Kovacik also progress to the Top 4.
Andras Molnar continued his fight to return to the top of the series leaderboards after his bad luck in Austria, knocking out UAE driver Dany Neville despite some great driving from the visitor throughout the weekend.
A battle which was undoubtedly going to be an incredible one to watch was Remmo Niezen, who had shown incredible form throughout the year, against the local driver who has shown the best form over the years, Mike Marshall. After an extremely close chase run from Marshall, he would come to a sudden stop in turn two after a gearbox failure which has already plagued his season so far, leaving him with no option but to retire.
As we entered the Top 4 battles, Mike Kauffmann faced 2015 Champion Norbert Kovacik. A mistake from Kauffmann in his lead run would allow Norbert Kovacik to collect the points and head into the Final.
Two drivers who have been on fantastic form this year, Remmo Niezen and Andras Molnar would go head-to-head to fight for the remaining spot in the final. With Remmo taking a slight advantage on his lead run, the points would be even in the second run. Niezen would face Norbert Kovacik in the Final!
As the Small Final got underway, it would see an unfortunate ending where for the first time the series were unable to finish the battle due to Lydden Hill’s strict noise restriction times. Despite Andras Molnar being ready to race and Mike Kauffmann unable to reach the start line in time, 100 points were rewarded to both drivers in response to the unusual scenario. With Molnar being ready to race, it was decided that he would take the third place spot on the podium.
It was the battle that the fans had been waiting for as Remmo Niezen faced Norbert Kovacik in the final! With Remmo leading, an impressive run would see him take a 6-4 score, handing him the early advantage. Known for his impressive chase runs, Remmo stick to Kovacik’s door in the first corner, but unfortunately he went in too hard in the second, causing him to straighten to avoid a collision, allowing Kovacik to take a 10-0 score, handing him his first win of the 2016 season!
After another fantastic weekend, Remmo continues his quest to take the top position of the podium, which certainly looks like it will inevitably happen soon. His impressive consistency throughout the season so far has now allowed him to take the top spot in the overall season standings.