Kristaps Bluss: seat time is the best gift there is!

21.02.2019

Kristaps Bluss, a pro drifter from Latvia, is most commonly known in the drift world as the man behind the maniacal BMW Eurofighter drift machines.

Last year Bluss drifted a fire breathing, carbon-fiber bodied, V8 powered 900bhp drift monster around the USA in the Formula Drift series. Last weekend however, he found himself behind the wheel of a much less ferocious Lada on a frozen racetrack in Siberia.

While the Eurofighter BMW and Bluss’ HGK racing team is taking the drift world by storm it’s big surprise to see a drifter, like Kristaps, who is so affectionate toward high output engines in a car that’s not even putting out 150bhp. Obviously, we wanted to hear his story.

Kristaps Bluss: seat time is the best gift there is!

Kristaps, how did you find yourself drifting Lada’s in Siberia?

One of the local drifters, Sergey Kabargin “ddkaba”, invited me and a few other international drifters such as Masato Kawabata, Charles Ng, and Daychapon “Pond” Toyingcharoen to participate in a Winter drift Battle event in Krasnoyarsk a local competition in Russia. I thought: cool why not? So, we flew over here, and we had a really warm welcome. We met great people and enjoyed great food. They set us all up with the Lada’s and we just had a lot of fun on the snow and ice at the track.

Kristaps, how did you find yourself drifting Lada’s in Siberia?

Tell us about your car and how was it to drift it around in the ice and snow.

It was a classic Lada, I believe they called it a series two which is very famous in winter drifting. Apparently because it has a different geometry, so it has slightly better traction. It was heavily modified, but it was by no means a fast car. However, it was fun and easy to drive. The tires had limited studs so there wasn’t a lot for grip so that made it very technical. On top of that, the track conditions were changing constantly so you had to judge the surface corner by corner.

The thing I liked most was that they were really relaxing to drive. I mean, the drift machine I race in the US can be physically very demanding and after a few heats your knackered, whereas in these cars you can go around all day long and just enjoy yourself.

Tell us about your car and how was it to drift it around in the ice and snow.

What about the competition?

Oh, that’s a whole other story. I mean we were here just to have fun but for those guys it’s a very serious competition. Needless to say, the level and experience they have in these conditions is something else. To be honest, I didn’t even qualify for top 32 but I still had a blast.

What about the competition?

Is there something you gained or learned from this experience?

On a technical point of view, not really but every minute of seat-team you get is a gift. It’s wintertime so there aren't any big-league competitions, so it’s a lot better to go to Russia and to swing a Lada around a track then to sit on your couch and do nothing.

Is there something you gained or learned from this experience?

Gocha Chivchyan called winter drifting the perfect training, but it seems to be a mostly Russian thing. Do you think there is a place for this sort of competitions in Europe or stateside?

Back home, in Latvia, there are already similar competitions. Participants don’t compete in Lada’s instead they’re usually using cheap old BMW’s. The biggest difference with those events and winter drift is that in Latvia we use spiked or studded tires and they provide a lot more speed and grip. I do think it’s a good idea to do things like this in more places as it’s just a good way to train in winter and like I said, to get more seat time.

You can follow Kristaps adventures on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hgkracingteam/

Picture credits: Alex Arriva

Gocha Chivchyan called winter drifting the perfect training, but it seems to be a mostly Russian thing. Do you think there is a place for this sort of competitions in Europe or stateside?
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