Keeping the dream alive is a phrase often used and abused, but we – and Steve Baggsy Biagioni – genuinely couldn’t think of a better way to describe his zero to hero winning performance at the final of the 2016 Drift Allstars Championship in Hungary this weekend.
Off the back of a shock crash, which temporarily put his season on hold, Baggsy bounced back, packed up his brutal V8 powered drift ride, and set course for a blistering and sun-scorched Máriapócs in Eastern Europe. The 2,000km road trip from his workshop in the UK did little to dent his resolve, as the 29-year-old racer slayed tyres and bossed the tight clips of the RabócsiRing from the very first outing on track.
Qualifying 11th was just the start. Tearing through the battles, Baggsy dispatched all challengers in trademark smooth style. His off-the-wall weekend culminated with the ultimate takedown of the reigning series champion, during the nighttime grand final.
Lets just put that in perspective for a second. Under floodlights, and on a circuit, which he had never seen before, Baggsy took down the current and reigning series champion, James Deane.
“It’s really amazing – I’m just so happy,” an ecstatic Baggsy said from the podium. “I think that this is what I imagine James Deane has felt like for the past five events. After everything that has happened, I’m just so happy to be here. Once I got to the final, the stress was gone; I was really able to enjoy the event.
“James and I have never battled in competition before; he’s been incredible all season, but I felt like this was the opportunity to get the result I wanted. I knew the car was good enough; it was just a mental psych-out with myself in my head. I had to give it absolutely everything from the very start, and first initiation, because I knew if I gave him an inch he would get away. I threw everything I had in – it was so close on the entry that I thought I was going to hit him, but it all paid off. Dreams come true, and I’m standing on the top step of the Drift Allstars final.
“I want to say thank you to all my team; Ricky and Corbin; they’ve helped every step of the way and got me here – without them I wouldn’t have made it all the way out to Hungary for this event. Of course a very special thank you to all my sponsors for believing in me and keeping this dream alive!”
While Dmitiry Illyuk wasn’t able to tear it up in the final alongside Baggsy, having been eliminated out of the top 32, he was pumped for his M-Claw team mate, and is looking forward to shredding the tread again soon in his fire-spitting 1100bhp ride #thedrako.
“The event here in Hungary finished earlier than expected, with a Top-32 loss by judges decision,” explained Dmitriy. “I want to say a quick thank you to all everyone that has been onboard and supporting us this weekend. The season isn’t finished though, and The Drako is feeling really good; stay tuned. Congratulations to Baggsy on the win!”