To round out an incredibly exciting and unpredictable 2022 season of the Drift Masters European Championship (DMEC) Welshman Oliver Evans came out of the woodwork to become the fourth driver to stand atop a DMEC podium this year, defeating newly-crowned and back-to-back champion Piotr Wiecek to do so. Here’s what happened at the Moto Arena in Łódź, Poland:
Heading into Saturday’s main event day, three title contenders would remain in Wiecek and both Shanahan brothers, Jack & Conor. In a cruel twist of fate though, youngest Shanahan brother, Conor, would be unable to reach the line for his Top 32 battle versus Poland’s David Karkosik due to power steering issues, handing the win to the Polish driver and putting Conor out of the title fight.
Wiecek would then go on to take down Ukraine’s Rostyslav Rarahovskyi to progress through to the Top 16 stage of competition, keeping his title hopes alive – Much to the delight of his home Polish crowd.
On the other side of the bracket, the only other remaining title contender, Jack Shanahan, would defeat Hungary’s Norbert Zamecz to keep him in the fight, while Welshman Oliver Evans would put on a masterclass against Sweden’s Christian Erlandsson to progress.
Despite what every DMEC fan would have wanted, the rain began to fall right from the start of the Top 16 stage, which would in the end see Polish driver Wiecek be crowned champion, as he overcame the challenge of Finland’s Mika Keski-Korpi, whilst a crash from Jack Shanahan on the other side of the Top 16 bracket would put him out of competition, leaving him second in the championship and making it mathematically impossible for any driver to catch Wiecek.
It also looked like Oliver Evans’ weekend might end at the Top 16 stage after a huge crash in the chase position versus Portugal’s Diogo Correia, but with Correia deemed at fault by the judges and Evans making it back for his bye run, Evans would progress to the Top 8.
Hoping to put the icing on the cake by taking a final round victory on home soil, Wiecek would defeat Hungary’s Kevin Piskolty in the Top 8, before overcoming good friend Dawid Karkosik to take his place in the final battle of the season.
Evans would then overcome Finland’s Juha Rintanen at the Top 8 portion of the competition, setting up a mouth-watering battle with Irish driver James Deane in the Top 4. On this occasion, it would be Evans left grinning ear-to-ear, as he progressed to his first ever DMEC final guaranteeing himself his best ever finish regardless of the outcome.
With 2 very on-form drivers ready to put it all on the line for one final time this season, the crowd were ready for an incredible spectacle to unfold, but unfortunately that wasn’t to be the case. The tricky track conditions would prove too much for newly-crowned champion Wiecek, as a spin on the first corner, which then caused damage to Evans’ car, would see the Polish driver deemed at fault and the win handed to a very deserving Evans.
Irishman James Deane would then round out the final podium of the year, overcoming Polish driver Karkosik in the play-off, giving him fourth place in the championship overall just 4 points behind Conor Shanahan in third, whilst also cementing a win in the Nations Cup championship for Ireland, just ahead of Poland in second.
So after a nail-biting, exciting and outright crazy DMEC 2022 season, our Top 3 championship finishers have been crowned, with Piotr Wiecek taking top spot, ahead of Irish brothers Jack Shanahan in second and Conor Shanahan in third.
Congratulations once more to not only our Top 3 championship finishers, but to our Irish drivers on their Nations Cup victory, Oliver Evans on his first DMEC round victory and of course to each and every one of our DMEC drivers for an incredible season of amazing driving all the way across the grid.
We already cannot wait to bring you all more information on what we have in store for 2023, but trust us when we say, we’re going bigger and badder than ever before!