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King of Nations & King of Europe Grand Final - Serres, Greece
October 11, 2018
After an epic encounter in Greece, it was the perfect conclusion to both the Federal Tire King of Nations and King of Europe season. Two extremely worthy winners stepped up in front of the huge crowds, with Japan's Daigo Saito being crowned the 2018 King of Nations Champion, and Marco Zakouril also becoming the 2018 King of Europe Champion!
The final round just wouldn't be the same without taking advantage of the epic Greek sunset on the Friday night, with the drivers being treated to huge amounts of seat time throughout three days of non-stop tyre shredding, much to the fans delight!
Last years winner, home hero Christos Chantzaras, threw down some fantastic laps in practice before eventually throwing down the best lap of the day in qualifying to land the P1 spot.
Yves Meyer also put on one of his best efforts of the season as he too placed above the International drivers in P2, just two points behind Chantzaras with 89.02 points.
It was the two drivers that everyone would expect to land the top spots that were forced to settle with P3 and P4, as Japan's Daigo Saito took third position in his 1300bhp Lexus SC430, and King of Europe leader Marco Zakouril in fourth.
As the drivers lined up for the Top 32 battles, the capacity grandstands roared on their heroes as the Greek drivers prepared to once again push for the win on home soil against the competition, joining them from as far as Kuwait, Japan and Australia.
Unfortunately for the Greek drivers, disaster struck early on as two favourites, Stavros Grillis alongside top qualifier and last years' winner in Serres, Christos Chantzaras failed to progress past their first battles, with car issues ended Chantzaras' weekend early.
After a Top 8 one-more-time battle against fellow Cypriot, Christos Eleftheriou, Andros Antoniou found himself up against King of Europe series leader Marco Zakouril in his Top 4 battle. With an initial 10-0 score in Zakouril's favour, it would secure his spot in the final battle of the season!
Gerson Junginger undoubtedly had his highlight of the year as the German driver found himself up against Japanese legend Daigo Saito in the remaining Top 4 battle. After a 10-0, 6-4 scoreline in Daigo's favour, it would mean the ultimate match-up between Saito and Zakouril in the final round!
As the crowd eagerly awaited the small final, the anticipation was building among the fans before the final battles of the year were concluded.
As the small final got underway, there was no mistakes from Andros Antoniou as he left Gerson Junginger in his thick smoke clouds to land the third spot on the podium.
It was the moment the crowd had been waiting for as the two remaining drivers, Daigo Saito and Marco Zakouril left the start line for the final time. After throwing down a great lap, Saito edged Zakouril with a 6-4 advantage.
Zakouril pushed his M5 to its limits on his lead run in a desperate attempt to claw back points to secure the win or force a one-more-time, but the judges had made up their mind, and it was Daigo Saito that took the top spot of the podium! Marco Zakouril took second place with Andros Antoniou in third.
This meant that Marco Zakouril's incredible performances throughout season had done enough to land him the 2018 Federal Tire King of Europe Championship with Rick Van Goethem in second and Axel Francois in third.
In the Federal Tire King of Nations series, Japan's Daigo Saito becomes the 2018 Champion, Czech Republic's Marco Zakouril takes second and Kuwait's Nasser Almutairi lands third!
For the Pro2 series exhibition match, Pavlin Penev secured the perfect victory as he took the top spot in qualifying, before eventually taking the win in the final battle against Greek driver Labros Petropoulos.
The final trophies of the 2018 King of Europe Pro2 season went to Pavlin Penev in first place, Labros Petropolous in second and Australian guest Matt Harvey in third!
Federal Tire King of Europe/King of Nations Grand Final & Pro2 Exhibition Results
That's it! An epic ending to two amazing seasons as both the Federal Tire King of Europe and King of Nations championships come to an end! With huge changes coming for the 2019 season, The Revolution begins as all of our series become one name, 'Drift Kings'! We have no doubt that this is going to be the most incredible year of our 15-year history and we can't wait to share it with the world once again!