The Drift Kings International Series: A Glorious Journey from 2005 to 2023 and Beyond!
In 2005, our drifting adventure kicked off at the Belgian Speedway Warneton, featuring the debut of the renowned flying Dutchman Paul Vlasblom and his iconic E36 touring car. Since then, our tireless expedition has traversed the globe, culminating in the eagerly anticipated 20th season slated for the upcoming year.
From humble beginnings with a solitary event in 2005, our expansion gained momentum, blossoming into a comprehensive series by 2006, ultimately having the renowned Spa Francorchamps F1 circuit as the final. A mere few months later, we marked our first international demo outside of Europe, igniting the scorching tracks of the Dubai Drift Challenge during the 24-hour Dubai opening in January 2007. While touring around Europe for the regular series, the following year saw us embarking on yet another thrilling escapade, showcasing an exhibition race at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium in 2008, a testament to our unwavering thirst for action and adventure, as we brought the art of drifting to every corner of the globe.
In 2009, our journey brought us for the first time to the beautiful Serres Racing circuit, an occasion that crowned Adam Kerenyi for the first time, a record still unbroken with an impressive 3 Drift Kings Titles. The ensuing years were marked by unforgettable events, including the electrifying opening round in Serbia’s Kragujevac streets in 2010, the emergence of Italian drifters in 2011, which saw Diego Quaranta clinch the first-ever title for an Italian driver, and the visit of Japanese legends Daigo Saito and Tetsuya Hibino to Spain and Slovakiaring in 2012.
Our aim to diversify led us to split our events in 2013 into three categories: Pro, Pro2, and Queen series, with the latter being the world’s sole drifting series exclusively for female drifters. The madness continued in 2014 as we introduced the Touge series, navigating the most treacherous mountain layouts across Europe, with Karpacz reigning as one of the most thrilling locations. The culmination of our “10 years” season concluded with a thrilling superfinal in Malta, only to find ourselves falling in love with the island, unaware that another island would captivate us a decade later.
The momentum of 2015 was further fueled by our new tire partner’s global branding initiative, propelling us to new horizons, including a momentous Japan exhibition match at Nikko Circuit, where we had the privilege of collaborating with the legendary Keiichi Tsuchiya. Our tireless pursuit of the sport’s global presence saw us continuing to foster relationships with the vibrant drift communities of South Asia, particularly in Malaysia. In 2016, our endeavours led us to the scorching tracks of the Middle East, marking our inaugural venture into the United Arab Emirates. However, the madness reached unprecedented heights in 2017 with back-to-back events at the Yas Marina and Bahrain F1 circuits, a testament to our relentless commitment to the sport’s global growth.
Our efforts culminated in the inaugural King of Nations Tour in 2017, spanning the Middle East, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Brazil, cementing our position as a force to be reckoned with in the international drift scene. Even as we ventured globally, Europe remained the bedrock of our operations, witnessing the crowning of legends such as Norbert Kovacik in 2015, Remmo Niezen in 2016, and Joannes Hountondji in 2017.
The following years continued to witness the rise of new champions, with Marco Zakouril’s extraordinary triumph in 2018 and Rick van Goethem’s stellar performance in 2019. However, the global pandemic of 2020 brought unprecedented challenges, halting our momentum and leaving a profound impact on the global motorsports landscape. Despite the trials, our resilience shone through, with 2021 marking our first event without spectators, a poignant testament to our unwavering dedication to the sport. Giving up will never be an option! During the tumultuous period of closed borders and stringent PCR requirements, Steve Leiber exhibited remarkable courage as he fearlessly traversed Europe, claiming a well-deserved championship crown, race after race!
As the world slowly regained its footing, 2022 saw us return to form, with thrilling events and the crowning of the first-ever Pole champion, Piotr Kozlowski, culminating in a breathtaking Superfinal on the enchanting island of Cyprus. The year 2023 unfolded as a remarkable chapter, with Cyprus assuming a central role in our narrative. The journey reached its pinnacle with the historic crowning of Giorgios Christofou as the inaugural Cypriot champion at our momentous ProSeries final hosted at the Achna Speedway, a testament to our commitment to nurturing local talent and fostering global camaraderie.
Reflecting on these 19 years of exciting adventures, we’re fueled by a passion that has transcended boundaries and forged lasting memories. As we gear up for the monumental 20th season, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to our loyal fans, dedicated spectators, talented drivers, resilient teams, and invaluable partners. Join us as we commence this milestone 20-year celebration, with a season presentation scheduled for December 15th, 2023. The road to our 20th season promises to be an exhilarating ride, filled with unforgettable moments that will undoubtedly etch themselves into drifting history!