NIKOLASS BERTANS – NIKNAK (LATVIA)
I started drifting when I was 9 years old, for my first time, I tried drifting and learned to drift specificly on ice, competeing in ice competitions still at the age of 9. Slowly realizing that drifting is my sport, I started getting ready for the big races, at the age of 10 I practiced more and more on tarmack, to get used to speed and the way the car swings and so on... Also drove go-karts paralel to all of that, to learn how racing works and to get the spirit of that. Even managed to win my first race ever and since then, I fell for racing.
Age – 11 I tried my self in Street class and attended official practices with my practise car, and I realised more and more that drifting was meant for me.
For the 12th birthday I got my first Pro car from HGK, which me and my dad built and I was there every step of the way, after school and even on holidays. When it got finished, that meant that I had to move on and take it more seriously, becoming a SemiPro pilot. In my region, the Semi pro class is very strong, and the first year was not the most sucssesfull, athletes are coming from all around Baltics and competition is really tight. 2017 season was as a warm up for me, and in 2018 I managed to finish11th in the Semi pro season standings.
2019 season was a big one for me, with 1st place in the Semi pro class championship, I became the youngest Latvian Semi pro class winner at the age of 14, and yet to this day no one has achieved better results.
2020 was exciting - at the beginning of the year I participated in OIDC (Oman International Drifting Championship), where I also won my first 2nd place in the competitionas a PRO pilot at the age of 15, but in the overall rating I finished 5/6 place. Then the season in Europe started, and I drove, competed almost every weekend. Expierienced new tracks and drivers, enjoyed drifting as a sport and in the overall rating of the season I became the youngest winner of the Baltic Drift Championship, the Latvian Drift Championship and Livonia Drift Championship. 3X Champion titles in one year!
2021 season. Was strange after everything that happened globaly, we finally had our first races and one of them was the FIA World Drifting Cup, where I get second place – making me the FIA IDC youngest VICE CHAMPION in 2021. After this performance I recieved the invite/opportunity to be part in the Aimol racing team, where my teammate is the worlds most famous drifter James Dean (2021 FIA IDC CHAMPION). I accepted the offer and continued my 2021 season in RDS GP. My first debute event was Rd.4 in Ryzan where we were really surprised with the ammount of fans and support, the talanted drivers, and organization level of RDS GP. First time out on the tack was challenging, I think I spent like 50 tyres only in practice to get in to the groove and only then was ready for the race it self. Fast forward through out the event, after beating strong opponents such as previous RDS champions and also a Japanese Legend Masato Kawabata, I ended up winning my debute event, causing a big shock to the championship and getting recognized even more. Turns out that in my first stage I became the youngest winner who has ever won the RDS GP stage, FIRST TRY! After that we just continued participating in the rest of the championship. With great sucsess Me and my Teammate fought strong and finished the season with me super happy about the debute, him in 3rd place in the championship and our big gratefull team in 3rd place. I was really looking forwards to coming back.
2022 season. Everything didn't go as planned, because of the situations again, so we had to let go of one big contract... but we adapted quickly, we finished building my practice car, took that car and started driving all around Europe, attended all kinds of events, races and championships such as Gatebil, Drift Masters GP, NEZ championship and Iron Drift King, and in the end of the season we won two tittles.
- Iron Drift King and NEZ Champion
Not bad for a spontaneous season.
2023 season. We first head back to Oman OIDC to begin the season there, got two podiums there and finished 4th overall before the season back home even started.
When I got back home, I got invited to participate in IRT team (International Racing Team) based in Lithuania
The main goal was to attend and compete in Lithuanian Drift Championship and do some other events which are note overlaping the Lithuanian races.
Season started out great, car was the lowest powered car on grid but somehow I managed to keep up with everyone. But then the engine gave up and shatered in to pieces. We had the 2nd event in 2 weeks and we had to find a solution fast. Thankfully we found an engine from the US near to us and put that into the car. Got it dynoed and headed straight to the next race.
I also attended a few Drift Masters events in Finland, Riga and Germany, Riga was the most succsesfull since it was my home track regardless to the weather conditions that were changing all the time, In this event I had a lot of fun driving with friends and superstars, also my previous teammates and in the end I managed to finish 2nd in the event.
To sum up the season, I attended 13events and podium finished in 9 of them.
Again a very spontaneous season but with results too:
- NEZ Drift Champion 2023
- Lithuanian Drift King 2023
- IRT Lithuanian Drift team Champions 2023
This is almost the whole story of my career, but if you ever ask me what I do besides Drifting then this is the answer:
I study in 12th grade in a Home School
Im an instructor / teacher at Drifta Halle for Children
I do ride alongs for people / parties in tracks and Drifta Halle indoor tracks also
I work with social media as much as I can, making content for the fans / supporters
I work on my own car before events to get it ready for battles
I work on my own merchandise shop (niknakdrift.com)
BMW 3.SERIES (E36 M3)
BUILT BY HGK MOTORSPORTS AND COVERED IN THEIR CARBON KEVLAR BODY KIT.
CURRENTLY A 630HP POWER PLANT BY BLUEPRINT ENGINES (USA) , THAT IS ATTACHED TO A SAMSONAS MOTORSPORTS, 5SPEED SEQUENTIAL GEARBOX THAT IS LIGHT AND STRONG, BUILT TO PERFORM (LTU)
THE CARS SUSPENSION IS IN BLUE COLLOR, AND BY BLUE I MEAN THE BEST DRIFT SUSPENSION/ANGLE KIT AVAILABLE KNOWN AS WISEFAB. WISEFAB (EST) FRONT AND REAR ANGLE KIT IS COMPLIMENTED WITH FEAL SUSPENSION COILOVERS (USA)
TO BE ABLE TO STOP THE CAR AND ADJUST ITS ANGLE MID DRIFT, WE HAVE BOLTED ON WILWOOD BRAKES, WHICH ARE REALLY LIGHT WEIGHT AND HIGH PERFORMACE QUALITY.
ON THE CAR YOU CAN SEE A LOT OF STICKERS LIKE, VIADA,LUCAS OIL, MEK SPORTS, PROTUNING, SPEC... LET ME INTRODUCE YOU WITH THEM.
VIADA - IS ONE IF NOT THE BIGGEST CAR FUELLING COMPANIES THAT HAVE A WIDE RANGE OF FUELS TO CHOOSE FROM, LIKE, 95 AND 98 OCTANE, DIESEL FOR ELDER AND NEWER CARS, MULTI FX WHICH IS THE HIGHER PERFORMANCE LABEL AND ALSO E85 WHICH IS COMMON IN RACE CARS. PERSONALLY I USE THE RELIABLE 98 OCTANE FUEL, BECAUSE ITS AVAILABLE EVERYWHERE WE GO AND ITS REALLY CONSISTENT UNLIKE OTHERS.
LUCAS OIL - A BIG OIL COMPANY THAT PRODUCES ALL KINDS OF OILS AND ADDITIVES FOR STREET AND RACE PERFORMANCE VEHICLES, TRUCSKS, BOATS AND SO ON. I USE THEIR RACE LINE ENGINE OIL, GEARBOX AND DIFFERENTIAL OILS, POWERSTEERING AND BRAKE FLUIDS, TO KEEP MY CAR UP AND RUNNING WITH NO HEADACHES.
MEK SPORTS - ARE LIKE MY BROTHERS, TWO BROTHERS, THAT BUILD AND MAINTAIN RACE CARS IN MY HOMETOWN RIGA, LATVIA. ALWAYS LIKE TO SEE THEM GROW AND BUILD. NEW PROJECTS.
PROTUNING - IS A BIG TUNING COMPANY IN LATVIA, THAT OFFER A WIDE RANDE OF STYLE AND PERFORMANCE PARTS FOR ALMOST ANY CAR, VAN OR TRUCK, GO SEE FOR YOURSELF (PROTUNING.LV) . I USE HEADLIGHTS AND TAILLIGHTS MOST OFTEN, BECAUSE DRIFTING INVOLVES CONTACT AND CRASHES WITH WALLS AND OTHER CARS, THE LIGHT REALLY COME IN HANDY.
SPEC - SPEC CLUTCHES, ARE TAKING CARE OF MY POWERFUL ENGINE, GEARBOX, DRIVETRAIN, COMBINING INTO ONE, TWIN DISC CLUTCH, THAT THEN ENGAGES AND DISENGAGES ALL THE POWER AND TOURQE IN SPLIT SECONDS,M TO LIGHT UP THE WHEELS AND TYRES WHEN WORKING WITH THE PEDALS AND SHREDDING THROUGH THE TRACKS.