You’ve no idea how long I’ve waited to write that sentence. I can’t even begin to appreciate how it must feel for James and Piotr to finally realise their dreams of competing across the Atlantic at what is considered by many as the pinnacle of competitive drifting. It’s been a long time coming, although it was certainly inevitable.
At 25 years of age, James has already enjoyed nearly a decade of success at the fore of European drifting. He’s now a five time European champion, having won the Drift Allstars series for the last three years running, and, being honest, I’ve lost count of the number of times he’s been crowned Irish champion.
His team mate, Piotr Więcek, is one of the only drivers that I know of that can match James in battle. They’ve faced off regularly over the last couple of years, but more so this year as James joined Piotr on the grid for Drift Masters, the premier Polish drifting series. It’s an impressive sight when they end up against each other. Piotr, despite being relatively unknown outside of his native Poland, has an equally impressive resumé and is a multiple Polish champion. Both Deane’s and Więcek’s driving styles are aggressive and consistent. There’s no gamesmanship with either of them, so you can expect to see them put up a proper fight.
I found out about their plans for 2017 and beyond over a casual Facebook conversation with James, which ultimately brought me to Poland for the final weekend of the 2016 Drift Masters series. Both James and Piotr have purposely kept this news quiet as they didn’t want to share it until it was confirmed. They also wanted Speedhunters readers to be the first to know and not for the news to be leaked or posted as a rumour somewhere else. They’re both taking this planned FD campaign incredibly seriously, right from the off. Their plan is ambitious; they have no interest in being one season wonders and are focused on a sustained and long term championship challenge.
I wanted to catch up with both drivers, so why not see how they work as a team? I’ll bring you a look at that along with more details of their 2017 campaign later in the week.
Needless to say, this is very big news and is sure to cause a stir in the Formula D paddock. Who’re you looking most forward to seeing them battle?