After a long and incredibly successful career in Formula Drift, Polish wheel ace Piotr Więcek is returning to European soil to compete in the Drift Masters European Championship. With two rounds under his belt already, Więcek couldn’t have hoped for a better result, taking the top step in both rounds.
PIOTR WIĘCEK: “DRIFTING IN THE US AND EUROPE COULDN’T BE MORE DIFFERENT”
Piotr, first, congratulations on your double win in Austria. What a performance to celebrate your European return. Talk us through the weekend!
The conditions were very tough. We expected mixed conditions, but we ended up dealing with heavy rain and oil on the track. On top of that, we were using a new type of tyre for the first time, so there were many new parameters to get used to. Once we went through qualifying, we noticed we were on pace and our confidence grew. This was a big relief and lead to this great result.
The last years you competed in Formula Drift, now you’re back in Europe entering the Drift Masters GP Championship. How was your European return?
Last year was a very tough year for us, as for everybody probably. We decided not to compete anywhere, which was a tough decision. But it gave me the opportunity to take a break and relax a bit. This was a welcome change. However, when I felt the stress for qualifying, I was ready to go! Coming back to Europe felt like a homecoming and it’s great racing with friends I’ve known for years.
You’ve been racing with your infamous Worthouse Nissan S15. Can you tell us more about the car?
It’s a car we’ve been developing for a long time. It’s very straightforward. The car is powered by a 3.0-liter 2JZ engine. We installed Wisefab suspension, Quaife sequential gearbox and a Winter's Quick Change differential. The car is constantly evolving and we’re always changing the setup parameters, trying to make it more predictable and reliable.
In terms of reliability, you recently teamed up with Motul. How are the products impacting your driving performance and the final competition result?
To team up with Motul was a great opportunity for us. We’re extremely happy with the products and support we get. Drifting is hard on the mechanical parts and the Motul Lubricants keeps them in great condition. Every time we check the oil parameters, the results are good, even to a point we don’t worry about it anymore and sometimes we even forget to check them. Our mechanics were also impressed when they saw the condition and wear of the engine internals.
How is drifting in Europe different from the US?
The main difference is the surface and the way the tracks are laid out. In the US most surfaces are very smooth, and the corners keep their radius throughout the bend. You drift up the corner, nail the transition and the is rest is just flat out on the throttle. In Europe everything is different. There can be different surfaces on the same track and every corner is unique, so it’s a matter of constantly adjusting. It’s a more technical driving style.
What are your goals and plans here in Europe?
For now, we just want to grow here. This year is a complete reboot for our program. As long as we’re moving forward it’s ok. We want to take bigger steps but it’s hard to tell which ones are on our horizon.