Meet the drifter Part 36 Karolina Pilarczyk
Our first woman drifter to be featured all the way from Poland!
Sarah: So Karolina for those who don't know you can you introduce yourself to DriveTribe!
Karolina: My name is Karolina Pilarczyk I am a professional drift driver from Poland. I’m a double champion: Queen of Europe 2016 & 2017. I take a part in Polish Drifting Championship and European Drifting Championship – Drift Kings until this year know as King of Europe. Next year, I will also take a part in USA in Formula Drift Pro 2 .
Sarah: How old were you when you first took notice of drifting?
Karolina: My adventure with drifting has a long history and started by coincidence. I don’t have any Motorsport background in my family. After doing my driving test, I wanted to improve my driving skills and I went to the Driving Academy. On a very slippery surface I learnt how to control the car. I fell in love with that! I started with rally driving, because drifting was unknown in Poland. I had quite good results in rallying, but I overused the hand break. My co-driver hated this, and was always screaming at me. I told him that power slides are more exciting and I prefer to drive that way, even if it was slowing me down I was driving FWD at the time. A few years later drifting was introduced to Poland, so I changed to drifting as it felt more natural to me.
Sarah: What age were you when you got behind the wheel of a car for the first time?
Karolina: I was 13 when I first drove a car as I don’t have any Motorsport background in my family, so my father wasn’t interested in teaching me how to drive a car in the early years of my youth. I have to admit – it was a fun, but then I didn’t think that my future will be connected with cars.
Sarah: What was the first car you ever owned?
Karolina: The first car I owned was a Tavria which is a Ukrainian car, which I had constantly problems with. I had two choices: I could call the mechanic each time when I had some issues or learn how to fix it, because I had everyday problems with this car, I decided to learn how to fix it. I think that this car contributed a little to my interest in cars.
Sarah: What first caught your eye about drifting?
Karolina: I am always laughing that this was love from a first slide as I mentioned , I don’t have any motorsport background so nobody showed me beauty of it. I just didn’t want to hear “woman driving”, so I went to a driving academy to improve my driving skills. When I started to practice, how to control the car on a slippery surface, I felt that this is something what I want to do. It was in 2000, so I didn’t know that drifting exists, so I started my motorsport adventure with unprofessional rally.
Sarah: What was your first competition car?
Karolina: My first drift car was a BMW M3 with LS1 engine.
Sarah: Why did you pick the car you have now?
Karolina: I think that this combination is perfect for drifting. My drift car is based on Nissan 200sx S14a – a very typical and common used for drifting. It’s a pleasure to drift with it and there is a lot of ready-made kits for drifting. The heart of this car is LSX 6.2 V8 with Vortech supercharger (750hp+). This engine has a lot of torque and is reliable. The transmission is G-force GSR, differential Winters Performance, Wisefab system, OMP fire extinguish system, RECARO carbon Kevlar seats etc, as you can see every part and piece of this car is modified – this is a real strong machine for drifting.
Sarah: What are the best aspects about drifting for you personally?
Karolina: Everything!! Drifting is amazing!! It gives so much pleasure and adrenaline! There are no words that can describe how amazing I feel when I am on the race track, with the car – sliding with 150km/h close to the walls!
Sarah: If you could change one thing about drifting what would it be?
Karolina: The only thing, which I would change, is the judging system. In most cases it is based on subjective opinion of judges. Sometimes the results are controversial.
Sarah: What do you think about drifting in Poland compared to abroad?
Karolina: I think that we have really great drivers. They are very ambitious and they like to risk. Thanks to this, very often, when Polish drivers are taking part in competitions abroad, they finish on high positions.
Sarah: What's your favourite drift event?
Karolina: Drift Kings and Drift Open. The first is European Championship. Great competitions, well organized and I admire the passion and hard work of Mike Procureur – the owner of this league. The second is a Polish Championship. I love the atmosphere of this competition. It’s really organized in a spirit of “Keep drifting fun”
Sarah: If money was no object what car would you choose?
Karolina: Nissan S15 with LSX engine. Or a car from HGK. Such Eurofighter E92, which has over 900hp – this car looks amazing and is insane!
Sarah: Any advice for someone wanting to get into drifting?
Karolina: I always recommend to those who want to start with drifting, to go first to a drift academy. Drifting looks really easy from outside but when you are trying to do this, it’s not so easy.. I saw very often, how people were investing a lot of money, building drift cars, and then they didn’t have patience for this discipline. It’s better to check, if you really want to do this, before you will start to invest.
Sarah: When it comes to retirement what do you want to be remembered for?
Karolina: Retirement? I hope that I will drift till end of my days , after my death I want people to remember me that I motivated a lot of people to act, I showed that there are no barriers and that everything is possible - just have to be patient and work hard.
A very big thank you to Karolina for taking the time out of her busy schedule to do this interview, also to Polettor Angelo, Mix and Eyedea Media for the awesome pictures.
If you would like to follow Karolina, you can through her social media listed below!