The crazy driver complete his run anyway and carried on competing thereafter!
Drifting legends like Ken Block and Vaughn Gittin Jr. know how to put on a spectacle. They make sliding around tight courses in absurdly powerful cars look easy, but it takes a lot of skill, practice, and precision to pull off. High-powered drift cars are designed to take a lot of punishment since drift competitions require torturing the rear tires until they beg for mercy. But as this video from Russia shows, sometimes they can be pushed too hard.
Russian drift star Arkady Tsaregorodtsev was qualifying in round seven of the Russian Drift Series in Sochi when the round quite literally heated up. All of a sudden, the tires on his Nissan 370Z drift car burst into flames, putting on a fiery display for the crowd.
But Arkady wasn't going to let this minor mishap stop him from finishing the qualifying lap, despite the obvious danger as the flames spread to the back of the car. Luckily, he escaped from the burning 370Z just in time after crossing the finishing line before flames engulfed the car. We think Tsaregorodtsev should have been awarded maximum points for that heroic run, especially since drifting is partly rated on your showmanship.
You would think he would be shaken up after the car caught on fire, but as soon as the flames are extinguished, Tsaregorodtsev jumps back in the scorched 370Z to have another go. Miraculously, it starts up, but the 830-horsepower drift car is badly damaged and comes to a halt after leaving the starting line. You've got to admire this drifter's determination.
In case you were wondering, Tsaregorodtsev was awarded 88 points during qualifying but we think he should have been awarded maximum points for that epic run. The exact cause of the fire is unknown, but this is not uncommon - this is the third time Tsaregorodtsev's car has caught on fire this season. It looks like the car was repaired swiftly because he was back competing in the finale and finished fourth overall in the 2021 Russian Drift Series with 1,061 points. There's even some sweet footage of his burnt car tandem drifting later on in the event. What a badass.
We assume that next year, he may be looking for something new. If he is, we'd love to see a new Nissan Z go sideways at insane speeds, as long as it remains flame-free,