On the way up

May 09, 2017

Benalla's Alex Gouveia, 21, has shot up the leaderboard at the VicDrift Championships after a stellar run on the weekend.

Drifting into a wall at Calder Park Raceway did not hinder Benalla resident Alex Gouveia’s progress in the VicDrift Championship.

Gouveia, 21, excelled in wet, slippery conditions during the second round of the statewide championship, which was held on Saturday.

He finished a career-high fourth place in the second round of the championship after winning four consecutive drift battles.

The second of those battles was against last year’s winner, who spun out during his battle with Gouveia.

‘‘I qualified in eighth place and went into first battle when it was just pouring down with rain,’’ Gouveia said.

‘‘Calder Park is horrible and slow in the wet, but I managed to not spin out for four battles on the day. I think every time I was in a battle the opponent spun out.’’

Gouveia said in his second battle the car he was following spun out and crashed into the racetrack wall and he followed.

‘‘I followed him into the wall unfortunately, but his car was written off and mine was fine thankfully. It’s not the first time it’s happened, but it wasn’t too bad,’’ he said.

‘‘A lot of the good (drifters) got knocked out in the first round because of the conditions mainly. But beating last year’s winner in the second round was pretty good.’’

Gouveia said he was firmly in contention for a top-three finish come the end of round three, which is being held in July at Calder Park Raceway.

‘‘Hopefully I can go top three — why not? The car was running great all day, but we were chewing through a lot of tyres, just because in five rounds of drifting there is a lot of tyres in that — so if there’s a business out there that wants to help out with that, then they should get in touch,’’ Gouveia said.

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