Alice Ene from Romania might only be 14 years old, but already she’s blitzing a trail in the world of drift. Recently, she was crowned “Drift queen” at a European event in Serres, Greece. Supporting her all the way is her father Sorin, himself a professional drifter and the founder of Romania’s first drifting school a decade ago.
Alice, how did you get into drifting?
I was attracted to drifting from a really young age. My dad says from when I was in my mum’s tummy [laughs]. I was hearing the sounds of the engines from before I was born. I started driving a car when I was seven years old and began drifting at 11.
How difficult was it to start drifting at 11 years old?
It was very difficult and hard at the beginning. In the car, the conditions are not very good. I didn’t know a lot about drifting. I was also short, so I would have to sit on pillows to reach the steering wheel and pedals. It’s okay now. What was also hard was getting up at 6am on the weekend to practice.
What’s your drift car?
I drive a BMW 3-Series, E46, with a 2.8-litre turbo engine.
Your dad is a professional drifter and even has his own drift school. Was it helpful having your dad as your teacher?
Yes, my dad helped me a lot. He’s my teacher, my coach, my trainer. He’s my idol.
Can you tell us about a recent success that saw you move from competing in national championships to a European level?
Yes, my European debut was two weeks ago. It was in the Drift Queen series at the Serres Racing Circuit in Greece. It’s a really difficult track. Fast (with speeds up to 150km/h) and the layout is quite tricky. But I managed to come first place! I also drifted in the national drift championship in Romania, finishing 11th. My dad was competing, too. He finished second, and was beaten by one of his students, which was a big honour for him [laughs].
Where would you like to get to in your drifting career?
I love drifting from the bottom of my heart. I definitely want to make a career from this and compete in the Drift Kings championship on an international level.
Motul is a partner. What difference does this make to your drifting?
This is the most important thing. When you are competing at a competitive level, your partners’ help is the most important thing. Without this, it is very hard, if not impossible, to be a good performer. When you know you have a strong partner behind you, it’s good mentally.
Drifting is mechanically tough on cars. How does Motul’s products help here?
Drifting is very hard for a car’s engine and transmission. The engine is always working at a high rpm. Our drift cars have been running Motul for six or seven years, and we’ve never had any problems with the gearbox, diff, or engine. This is the biggest proof I have to anyone who asks how good Motul quality is.
© Pictures: CG Media Product, Valle B