Normally, RC car drift competitions take a break this time of year. Not satisfied to sit out the winter — and wanting a return to the skill-driven competitions of the past — I and my Wreck it Sideways teammates decided to organize a three-round event series that would become the RealGood Wintercup 2018. Shapeways was kind enough to sponsor the event, and last Saturday, a group of almost 50 RC drifters from all corners of the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium made their way to Waalwijk, the Netherlands for the first round of racing.
After seven years of competing in the Dutch RC drifting championship, I quit the series last year. I missed the “good old days” when it was more about style and precision, and less about speed. After hearing similar comments from other regular competitors in the Dutch and other series, I knew it was time for a change. I figured that if the perfect event doesn’t exist, why not try to organize it myself?
Together with my team, Wreck it Sideways, I’ve been organizing RC drifting events under the name RealGood since 2016. The aim of our RealGood events has always been to make sure people are enjoying RC drifting, improving their driving skills, and growing the hobby. With the Wintercup, we wanted to bring back the classic drift competition format to our local scene. The individual qualifying sessions will make all drivers focus on style and precision, with less attention to only speed.
Despite the strict rulebook and judging, plus the clear push for improving skills, we want everyone to enjoy the event as much as possible. We welcome any level of driver, and no matter what the qualifying score, anyone can battle for the top. Next to a great competition experience, there are tons of cool prizes raffled off amongst all competitors, thanks to our generous sponsors.
Speaking of sponsors, since Shapeways sponsored the event, we could give away some awesome 3D printed prizes too, all designed by people from within our own community. This sense of supporting the community is our theme for all of the sponsors. No big-name manufacturers, just small businesses founded by RC drifters making handmade and custom-made accessories for our little cars.
With the first round fully booked, we started off the day with great success already. It was clear that all the competitors were in great spirits because half an hour before the official opening time, almost everyone was already in. The circuit we chose for round 1 was the amazing Drifted Circuit in Waalwijk, Netherlands.
The top qualifier of the day was Sven Malcherczyk from Germany with an 87/100-point score. He put on a great show throughout the day, but unfortunately for him, he got knocked out early in the top 16 battles. Second-place qualifier Bauke van Wieren also got knocked out earlier than he hoped in the top 8 battles. In the end, it was the German Manuel Jumpertz and Dutch Stephen Leegwater who made it into the finals after a series of very clean battles.
Both Manuel and Stephen were bringing their A game all day. The final was a great battle to watch with the guys truly pushing their limits. It was nice to see that all the other drivers had also gathered around the track to watch and cheer on the remaining competitors. In the second lap of their battle, nerves seemed to get the better of Stephen and he made a mistake, handing the win to Manuel. Third place went to yet another German driver, Michael Guder.
With the first round in the bag, Manuel is now leading the Wintercup championship. For the next round, we’ll move to a different venue, Drift Arena Geldermalsen. With a much smaller and slower track, it will be a challenge for all competitors to alter the setup on their cars. Let’s see if Manuel can stay on top or if someone else will step up.
Next month we’ll dive deeper into the customization culture of RC drifting and show you some examples of 3D printed parts. In the meantime you can find all news and footage on the RealGood Facebook page. Stay tuned for more of the RealGood Wintercup 2018 presented by Shapeways!