James Deane takes the world’s top drifting crown in Riga

Irish ace James Dean beat local 16-year old sensation Nikolass Bertans to clinch his maiden FIA Intercontinental Drifting Cup in Sunday’s final held at the Bikernieki track in Riga. Ukraine’s Max Miller rounded out the podium.

Following a downpour on Saturday, the second day of the 2021 FIA IDC greeted the Top 16 competitors with a dry track, allowing for several close fights. Irishman Deane, despite making his FIA IDC debut, once again proved that Riga is his happy hunting ground, having won at the venue multiple times, including his last year’s

DriftMasters triumph.

The multiple Formula Drift and DriftMasters champion started off his journey to the glory by a bye-run and then went against the likes Marco Zakouril, Alex Golovnya and Kristaps Bluss before facing teenager Bertans in the final.

The youngest driver in the history of the FIA IDC was nursing

several technical issues in his BMW E36 being forced to take a five- minute break for necessary repairs at one stage.

The young Latvian also started with a bye-run, then getting the better of Ivo Cirulis, Benediktas Čirba and Miller on his way to go against Dean.

Ukrainian Miller rounded out the podium following Bluss’ mistake in the semi-finals. The Latvian had a contact with the wall, which resulted in a broken rear suspension on his Eurofighter-based BMW, putting him out of contention ahead of the battle for third.

Despite damaging his BMW 4 Series in the morning’s practice session, Miller managed to put on a great show, starting with a bye- run, then going against Evgenii Losev in a Toyota Mark 2 and eventually forcing him into a mistake.

In the subsequent round, the Ukrainian went against the winner of the qualifying session Damir Idiatulin. The Russian crashed his Toyota Altezza and did not manage to have it repaired in time, retiring, and letting Miller through to the semi-finals.

The session was not short of surprises, with two-time FIA IDC winner Georgy Chivchyan not making it beyond the top Top 16, having been beaten by Bluss.

The 2021 edition of the FIA IDC was the first one with a separate Teams classification. Local outfit VIADA Latvija emerged on top, with AIMOL Racing coming in second and Liqui Moly Team rounding out the top three.

FIA IDC-2021. Drivers. Top 3: 1. James Deane (IRL)

2. Nikolass Bertans (LAT) 3. Max Miller (UKR)

FIA IDC-2021. Teams. Top 3:
1. VIADA Latvija (Nikolass Bertans/Kristaps Bluss/Ivo Cirulis) — 341 points
2. AIMOL Racing (James Deane/Charles Ng/Daigo Saito) — 315


3. Liqui Moly Team (Max Miller/Benediktas Cirba/Michal Reichert) — 296

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