We reckon Steve Baggsy Biagioni must have taken some inspiration from watching the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team dominate in the desert last weekend. Because in similar style to their recent Grand Prix win in Bahrain; from the minute Baggsy set foot on the Yas Marina Island blacktop, to the flag dropping on the final battle, he owned drifting in the UAE.
The season opening round of the 2016 EXTREME Drift Allstars Championship, hosted under the glittering floodlights of the Yas Marina Circuit, couldn’t have gone any better for the 28 year old. Coming armed with a revised version of his trademark stealth black Nissan S13 – now boasting a fire spitting LS-3 V8 engine – Baggsy converted a dominant first place qualifying result, into a fast, smokey and aggressive event win.
Beating a huge lineup of talent, including eventual second place finsher Ahamad Daham, and series regular Nigel Colfer (third), marks a long awaited return to the podium for Baggsy; after he endured a challenging season last year. “The win means everything to me,” explained a delighted Baggsy. “It’s been a long road back to the podium – we spent 2015 with a lot of gremlins in the car and bad luck, and I said to myself that 2016 would be our year. It’s got us off to a fantastic start – I hope we can continue at the same pace.”
The revised power unit in his Nissan S-bodied chassis, finally also gave Baggsy the horsepower he needed to take the fight to competition, having spent much of 2015 racing with up to 50% less power than his rivals. “I think I’ve learnt to drive around not having a lot of power, so for the last couple of years using the SR block engine, with only around 450bhp compared to everyone else having up to 800bhp I had adapted my driving style – but still managing to make things work against the big powered cars. So now finally having the big power available from the new engine myself, things just seemed a lot easier and felt I was a lot more competitive straight away. Without having to use every last bit of power I could squeeze out of my car.”
“The circuit at Yas Marina is fairly elevated, it’s got a pretty good downhill section too, so the first turn is blind, and you basically initiate and hope you’re on the right line to the first set of clipping points. Overall there were 10 clipping points, so it was very technical. For me though it was all about the stadium and atmosphere – it was absolutely amazing, and the most incredible place to come drifting. I want to say a huge thankyou to all my team and sponsors who have supported me and helped me get to this point.”
Check out our exclusive images below, and keep it locked on MonsterEnergy.com to find out where Baggsy will be bringing his trademark on-the-lock-stops sideways-style to next.
Courtesy of Monster Energy