Gregory Chivchyan, or more widely known as Gocha, engraves his name firmly into the history books as one of the best winners in the world. He won the FIA International Drifting Cup for the second time in a row. The event was organized for the third time. It was time for a drastic change in venue by moving from a non-permanent track in the Odaiba area of Tokyo to the famous permanent Tsukuba circuit, on hour away from the Japanese capital.
Gregory, you won two out of three FIA IDC championships, this one was a little different than the previous editions, what do you remember from this event, apart from a big cup?
The new track was a really big change and added an extra challenge to the event. Because this is a permanent racetrack, the speeds are a lot higher. We had initiation speeds of more than 160 km/h. On top of that, there were a few long straights on the track which you also had to pass while drifting. The lap ended up being so long the tire barely lasted two runs.
Did you changed much to your car compared to last year?
It looks the same, doesn’t it? (laughs) Although the outside looks very similar to last year’s car we changed a lot in the setup and introduced a few new parts to improve the power output and adapted it to newer regulations. Our car is currently putting down around 800 horsepower.
How has the event evolved throughout the years?
In its current setup the event isn’t that much different than any other international drift event I’ve attended. That’s a good thing because it’s still a very young series. This year more big names attended versus the past and that made it a stiffer competition.
How important for the Russian drift world is your win in Japan?
It’s a big deal. As a Russian Drift Series champion, I represent the RDS and it only reflects on the level of drifting in Russia. It also attracts more international attention to the championship. There is a lot of talent in Russia and especially in Siberia and we welcome drivers from all over the world to compete in the RDS.
Is it a big deal that the FIA is involved in drifting?
Yes, of course. There are big series like Formula D, D1 GP and Driftmasters that don’t really need a governing body what to do or organize the competition, but it is nice to see that the organization behind the WRC, FIA GT also acknowledges drifting and wants to get involved. Also, you get a nice cup and you’re invited to the big Gala at the end of the year.
What are your plans for winter, Winterdrifting and another Zymkhana?
Yes, the Lada’s are almost ready. We are in the process of preparing five cars in total so it will be in interesting winter season. There will also be a new edition of Zymkhana. We’re currently in the process of looking for partners but things look good for a new edition.