When Jörg Söhner of International Drift Series got on the phone to me early Friday asking me to bring enough warm clothes, I already knew that my day covering the event would be not the most comfortable job in the world. We were headed to that famous racetrack, originally called Lausitzring, now the Eurospeedway Lausitz. Even though the track was built to extremely high safety standards, the history of the track is punctuated with mishaps that send a chill down the spine. The track has previously taken the life of the ex-F1 driver Michele Alboreto while testing an Audi R8 Le Mans Prototype and it’s also the same place where the two time American CART series champion Alex Zanardi lost both his legs in a freak accident.
This did get some drivers shaken up a bit before the safety briefing, but as the day went on and the sun shined through, the drivers began pushing themselves on the subsection of the track that was used for judged drifting. The biggest hurdle was pushing the car more towards its limit on the round 800m long main stretch while at the same time keeping the speed reasonable. Drivers were warned during briefing not to go full pelt on the main straight, but despite that most cars had entry speeds of around 180-200 km/h.
Here is clip of the current championship leader and Falken driver Lars Verbraeken throwing his E30 around the track.