Piotr Wiecek triumphs in Drift Masters European Championship opener

Piotr Wiecek triumphs in Drift Masters European Championship opener

Reigning champion Wiecek victorious at DMEC season-opener

Polish driver emerges victorious in Ireland as 2023 championship begins.

Piotr Wiecek showed that he will once again be the man to beat as the defending champion secured victory during round one of the 2023 Drift Masters European Championship (DMEC). Here is all you need to know:

- After a long off-season, the DMEC roared back into action this weekend at Ireland’s Mondello Park as a field of 50 drivers from 19 nations made the journey to the circuit in County Kildare.

- During Saturday’s qualifying session it looked as though Wiecek might not have things all his own way after he finished in seventh place. But his first battle of the season saw him show when he is a two-time champion as he proved too strong for Dutch driver Clint Van Oort.

- This would set up a contest with fellow Pole Kuba Przygonski and the Top 16 battle would be one to remember as both drivers gave it their all and showed plenty of aggression. However, Wiecek would ultimately prove too strong and he moved on to a dream Top 8 meeting with hometown favourite Jack Shanahan.

- Wiecek would edge a tense battle with Shanahan and next faced Jack’s younger brother, Conor, who placed third in the overall standings last year.

- Shanahan would barely put a foot wrong but Wiecek showed his class as he produced when it mattered to earn a spot in the final against the blisteringly fast Finnish driver Lauri Heinonen.

- The Finn had overcome Sweden’s Christian Erlandsson, Ireland’s Dylan Garvey, Hungary’s Kevin Piskolty and Ireland’s Duane McKeever to claim his first final place. However, he would push too hard in his lead run, going off the track and gifting Wiecek victory.

- Wiecek, 32, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have taken the win here. It was a really difficult weekend and the competition was tougher than ever, so to come out on top is an incredible feeling. I have to give a huge thanks to my team and partners, who have worked tirelessly to keep the car at its best all weekend long and ensure that we were in the best possible position to compete.”

- Irishman McKeever would round out the podium as he fixed a clutch problem with minutes to spare and eventually overcame fellow countryman Conor Shanahan.

- After an exciting start to the championship, attention turns to Round 2 which will take place at Sweden’s Drivecenter Arena on June 9-10.

2023 DMEC driver standings (After 1 of 6 rounds)
1. Piotr Wiecek - 102 pts.
2. Lauri Heinonen - 88
3. Duane McKeever - 77
4. Conor Shanahan - 70
5. James Deane - 56

Related Motorsport Articles

84,751 articles