The BMW M GmbH is extending its support of the Motorsport team to include the spectacular sport of drifting and will be sponsoring the Red Bull Driftbrothers. This year, the two brothers Elias and Johannes Hountondji will enter the Drift Masters European Championship driving two new BMW M4 Competition models (combined fuel consumption: 10.2 – 9.9 l/100 km according to WLTP, 10.2 l/100 km according to NEDC; combined CO2 emissions: 233 – 227 g/km according to WLTP, 234 g/km according to NEDC), which they themselves, along with their team, will optimise for the special demands of drift sports. In addition to the five racing weekends during the world’s leading drift series, show appearances are also scheduled for 2021 at the MotoGP races at the Sachsenring and the Red Bull Ring, the Austrian Formula 1 Grand Prix, likewise at the Red Bull Ring, as well as the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring.
“BMW M has always stood for motorsports at the highest level and in all of its diversity, whereby we are also open to disciplines such as drift sports. The Red Bull Driftbrothers belong to the absolute top group of the scene in terms of driving skills and technology. The BMW M4 Competition is an ideal new competition vehicle for both of them to achieve success during the 2021 season,” says Markus Flasch, CEO of the BMW M GmbH.
The Red Bull Driftbrothers, Elias Hountondji (35) and Johannes Hountondji (40), are not just drivers. They also prepare their vehicles themselves and optimise them for the special demands of drift sports, the BMW M4 Competition providing them with a perfect basis. “We were very positively surprised just how much effort BMW M has put into optimising the vehicle’s stiffness. Therefore, we were able, for example, to use most of the front end without modifications,” says Elias Hountondji. Apart from the installation of a safety cage and the adaptation of aerodynamics to the special conditions of drifting, the Red Bull Driftbrothers also optimise the engine. “I have never seen an engine like the one in the BMW M4 Competition, a more or less thoroughbred racing engine in a road legal vehicle. The oil supply even functions at centrifugal forces of 1.5g and more. We consider this very important,” Johannes Hountondji explains.
From the outset, the BMW M4 Competition’s straight six-cylinder engine with M TwinPower Turbo Technology was designed by the BMW M GmbH for use in motor sports and will also be featured in the BMW M4 GT3. The Red Bull Driftbrothers adapt the 375 kW (510 hp) high-revving power plant used in the production vehicle to the demands of drift sports, whereby a high degree of torque is particularly crucial. In order to access
power during longer transversal movements, the brothers also optimise the engine, providing it, among other things, with an additional second cooler at the rear.
For many years now, Elias and Johannes Hountondji have been up there with the top drift sport drivers, their successes including 2017 King of Europe Champion and Vice Champion. In 2016 and 2017, they also seized the team title there and have been active in the Drift Masters European Championship since 2018. The best 45 drivers from Europe, the USA and the Middle East participate in this invitational series, 2021 in Austria, Norway, Poland, Latvia and Georgia. At drift sport events, on road sections of just a few kilometres, the driver with the best handling skills, the most intelligent strategy and the best equipment setup is chosen as the winner. Driving time is not the decisive factor, but four criteria assessed by a jury: Speed and drift angle, the more the better in each case, the chosen line and driving style. The decisions are made at the end of the battle according to a knock-out system.
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