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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Super rookie RDS GP: he reached the final with a knocked out hand and a bloody jumpsuit

Date: June 18, 2024 Time: 07:57:39

Blood, work, tears and sweat. These historical words can well describe the second stage of the Russian Drift Series Grand Prix that took place in Nizhny Novgorod. Furthermore, if the hard work and sweat fell on all the drivers, then the RDS GP recruit Artyom Shabanov added his blood and tears – joy! – probably provided by the TimeUp team. This is because the athlete and his team became the main protagonists of the weekend at the Nizhny Novgorod Ring.

The autodrome has long been included in the calendar of the country’s main drift tournament, and with a high degree of probability it was possible to predict the winner of the stage, because Georgy Chivchyan won a record eight victories in Nizhny, but in 2024 All predictions turned out to be meaningless. First of all, because Gocha is still getting used to his new car. Secondly, because for the first time in the history of visits to the Nizhny Novgorod Ring, the organizers proposed a “reverse” configuration of the route. The evaluated area remained the same, but the traffic was organized in the opposite direction, which equalized the chances of experienced RDS GP drivers and debutants of the country’s main drift championship. It was necessary to find an approach to the refereeing task within the framework of official training and, as the qualifications showed, everyone coped with it brilliantly.

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Of the 29 participants, 20 athletes immediately broke into the unofficial “90+ club”! And if before a result of 92.5 points in the best attempt could well ensure victory in the standings, this time it was only enough for 20th place in the protocols: the results turned out to be so dense that not even everything was decided by points whole. , but by half of them. And even 99 points did not give Artyom Shabanov the victory in the standings, because Damir Idiyatulin reached the mark of 100 points out of 100 for the third time in his career! Prior to this, the Fresh Racing driver achieved it for two years in a row on the Moscow circuit, and the athlete’s current success became the highest first qualifying result in the history of the RDS GP at the Nizhny Novgorod Ring.

It was immediately clear that Damir would be the main contender for victory. The only question was who would give him the toughest fight: one of the RDS GP veterans or the season’s ambitious newcomers? It quickly became clear that in 2024 the trend of the previous season began to develop, when the debutants of the series immediately joined the battle for the top positions. And in the finale, Idiyatulin met TimeUp recruit Artyom Shabanov!

Damir Idiyatulin

Photo: RDS GP press service

In the top 16, Idiyatulin went through the “bye run” step in the absence of an opponent and there he defeated the leader of “Evolution Yuka ADV by Obsessed with Motorsport” Arkady Tsaregradtsev in a spectacular duel. In the top 8, the racing grid brought Damir together with TimeUp’s Maxim Grossman, but in this battle between two Siberians, Maxim gave the victory to his opponent with his own error followed by a setback.

In the semi-finals, Idiyatulin had an intra-team derby with his Fresh Racing teammate Evgeny Losev, who also made a 180-degree turn, ensuring Damir’s entry to the final. There he had to fight with the rookie of the RDS GP 2024, Artyom Shabanov: the TimeUp driver did not follow the example of his more experienced rivals and drove cleanly, without allowing contacts or spins. However, Idiyatulin also showed powerful performances as both a leader and a chaser. As a result, the victory went to the representative of Fresh Racing by decision of a judge.

Winning podium of the second stage of the RDS GP

Photo: RDS GP press service

Artyom Shabanov also has no reason to be upset: after going through a series of technical problems, the newcomer to the series on his way to the podium broke the resistance of two Carville Racing drivers, the more experienced Nikita Shikov and the runner-up of the RDS GP 2023. Anton Kozlov, and then won the confrontation with Timofey Dobrovolsky, representative of Takayama Forward Auto. Thus, Shabanov has already achieved two of the two possible podiums in the 2024 season: in addition to third place at the Moscow Raceway, the driver achieved second place at the NRing. So, if the trend continues, the victory of the TimeUp recruit can be expected in the next stage at Igora Drive.

And one should not think that all the successes were easy for the debutant. In the first stage, Shabanov and his team had technical problems; In the second, Artyom and TimeUp also had to solve numerous problems with the machine. And as if in his desire to properly test the pilot, fate threw additional difficulties at him. During training, due to a failure in the power steering, the athlete went off the track and, while studying the bumps and potholes on the side of the Nizhny Novgorod Ring, he hit his hand! The wound was treated, but then, as he removed the protection from his head and neck, the homeless man tore his finger and stained his snow-white jumpsuit with blood, adding drama to his own appearance during the interview.

In such an intense battle, the driver clearly demonstrated that in front of thousands of spectators the change of generations of drivers in Russian drifting is gaining momentum. Yes, Damir Idiyatulin was the first athlete who was able to score the maximum possible points in one stage of the GP RDS according to the new points system, but this did not help him become a leader in the personal competition. After two stages, at the head of the protocols is the series debutant Artyom Shabanov, who was the only one who could finish the last two weekends on the podium.

At the same time, the difference with Evgeniy Losev, who is in second place in the race for the championship, is very impressive – 60 points, while Arkady Tsaregradtsev, who is in third place, loses only seven points to the second position.

It was Losev who completed the awards podium in Nizhny Novgorod. At the first stage on the Moscow circuit, the Fresh Racing driver also reached the semifinals, but there he could not get into the top three, and in Nizhny Novgorod everything turned out in favor of the athlete. First, Losev defeated Leonid Schneider from TimeUp, then he defeated Grigory Gusev, a representative of the LUKOIL Racing Drift Team, and then became the strongest in a duel with Timofey Dobrovolsky.

Timofey Dobrovolsky vs. Evgeniy Losev

Photo: RDS GP press service

As for Tsaregradtsev, Arkady, having won the first stage, only reached the top 16 in the second, which affected the pilot’s final results. However, the stage also proved unproductive for the reigning champions, Takayama Forward Auto. Even though the entire team reached the top 16, then the defeats began one after another. First, Roman Tivodar lost to Anton Kozlov in the OMT race with an unfortunate mistake that caused a reversal. Then in the top 8, the grid reunited Timofey Dobrovolsky with team leader Georgy Chivchyan; the strongest in this duel was also revealed through OMT. And here a very rare defect occurred for Gocha: after touching with the leader, the four-time RDS GP champion made a U-turn, thus losing the opportunity to compete for a place on the podium.

This means that after two weekends of the 2024 season, the Russian Drift Series Grand Prix record holder is only seventh in the individual competition, and his team is only third. But the gaps are not that big and everything can change. In the team classification, Fresh Racing took a confident lead, already 168 points ahead of TimeUp, which, in turn, has an 86-point lead over Takayama Forward Auto. A productive stage, if the opponents have problems and the balance of power in the championship race can change dramatically.

Georgy Chivchyan

Photo: RDS GP press service

“The settings should be changed as frequently as possible,” said Dmitry Dobrovolsky, director of the RDS. — Both pilots and spectators get used to it. Another thing is that we do not have such opportunities everywhere. It seems to me that in Nizhny Novgorod we had even a slightly more spectacular setup: a classic Japanese setup with high speed at a large angle, then takeoff and descent from a hill, and the tires rolled over the years on the descent as well. It presented surprises to the pilots and did not always behave predictably. Everyone had to do a good job with the cars. Over the years of using the previous setup, all the settings were already written down in a book: for any weather, any temperature, turn it on and train. And now I had to work hard. All day Thursday and Friday, during practice, the teams were cutting, turning the wheels in different directions, looking for adjustments. “It was a very different engineering dynamic.”

It is difficult to argue with the words of the director of the Russian Drift Series. Considering that several more “reverse” configurations await us during the 2024 season, betting fans should refrain from making predictions: a change in the direction of movement along the evaluated section, multiplied by cool newcomers who constantly present pleasant surprises, he is able to make bets from stage to stage. The position in individual and team competitions is upside down.

Evgeniy Losev

Photo: RDS GP press service

There are five more stages ahead, each of which can bring surprises. If we take into account that another new configuration awaits us at the Igora Drive racetrack, it will surely not be without sensations. It’s obvious that drivers and teams are learning the lessons from last weekend and working on mistakes, so the fight will likely only get more intense from stage to stage. And that’s all the fans want!

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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