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Gocha Chivhyan: a Lada is actually a good drift car!

21.02.2019

What happens when you get a group of international drifting stars join a local Russian competition in Siberia? Well, you create a show event in your backyard and call it ‘the Motul Zimkhana’. Oh, and by the way, did we mention they race Lada’s?

That was exactly what Russian drift ace and recently crowned FIA Drift Champion Gocha Chivchyan had in mind when he organized the 2019 Motul Zimkhana. The event coincided with the appearance of world renown drifters such as Masato Kawabata, Charles Ng, Daychapon “Pond” Toyingcharoen and Kristaps Bluss (famous from Formula Drift and D1 drifting the the US and Japan) in the penultimate round of the Winter Drift Battle at Krasnoyarsk’s Red Ring. The Winter Drift Battle is a drifting championship that mostly fields a huge amount of Lada’s. No, we’re not making this up. So of course, the Zimkhana had to be contested with Russia’s finest automobile as well.

To know more about the event there was only one man to ask and that is Gocha Chivchyan himself.

Gocha Chivhyan: a Lada is actually a good drift car!

Gocha, What a crazy event. Tell us more about the idea behind it.

The whole idea of Zimkhana is just to have a really cool show event I can share with fellow drifters, friends and partners. I hosted the event at my workshop here in Krasnoyarsk where I built a single but very long drift corner, almost a parabolical. I invited 32 drivers to join me on this event and we made a big show we had a lot of fun and last but definitely not least we had an amazing party afterwards.

Gocha, What a crazy event. Tell us more about the idea behind it.

Almost all of the cars on the start grid are Lada’s, why?

Lada’s here are everywhere and they make unless what most folks think, good drift cars. They are rear wheel driven and are easy to control. They also cheap to buy, maintain and modify. We also race normal tires as well so there are no specific studded tires. With also keeps the investment low.

Almost all of the cars on the start grid are Lada’s, why?

You say modify, so these cars are definitely not stock? How modified are they?

They are purposely built drift cars and are modified in every way possible. Mostly the modifications are cheap, that’s part of the idea behind the series. Most of the cars have a different engine and drivetrain, brakes, upgraded suspension and steering. The main idea is to keep the series affordable because in Russia most drifters don’t have the budget to buy a Skyline, BMW or S15 drift car.

You say modify, so these cars are definitely not stock? How modified are they?

What makes winter drifting so special to you?

I love it. I think it’s the perfect winter training. It’s very different then drifting with high-power cars that have a lot of grip. Here there is no power and no grip. So, it’s all about finding the right balance and rely on your technique.

What makes winter drifting so special to you?

There were a few big names in the Winter Drift Battle and at Zimkhana. How did they perform?

They are very experienced drifters so of course you can expect them to do well. As I said earlier, drifting here on ice during the winter is very different then drifting with an 800bhp drift machine on a dry track with sticky tires, which is what they are used to. Most Russian drifters have tons of experience drifting these kinds of cars in perfect conditions. When it comes to winter drifting, it was clear the big guys still had a little more to learn! (laughs)

Picture credits: AirJek Production

There were a few big names in the Winter Drift Battle and at Zimkhana. How did they perform?

Check out the full drifting video here:

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