The Drift Child

  1. On The Track
  2. The Interview
  3. Drift Away
1. On The Track
The smell of burnt rubber, on a cold winter’s day, the screeching sounds of cars twisting and turning in ways that might seem unnatural for a normal car, with a normal driver, these are the sensations we cherish the most and why we get up in the morning and spend hours in the blistering cold or unbearable heat. To capture the most authentic car-related experiences and get to meet some of the most interesting people, and of course, their cars.
Some of these people are the Ene family, which were already on the track, waiting for us, in the windy morning, already warming-up the cars. Dedicated, hard-working, talented, and most of all, proud. Proud as they can be about their little girl, Alice. Because this kid, hailing from Romania, but with dreams of conquering the world, is the youngest drift pilot in Europe, and most likely, on the planet. Yes, your read that right. She got her professional license when she turned 13 years old, and she never looked back.
At an age when most girls her age are more interested in various other activities, Alice puts on the racing suit, grabs the steering wheel and spins around like a true artist, making the impossible seem like an easy task. Watching her drift was definitely a unique experience and we’ll make sure to attend an official event, later on this year. Stay close for that material, it’s a promise.
2. The Interview
Before her demo drifts, we got some quiet moments alone with Alice, and that’s when we did the interview, which you will find, in full, below:
Q: At what age did you make your first contact with motorsport?
A: I started from a very early age, ever since I was born, I was taken to all types of motorsport events.
Q: Was the fact that your family has a history in motorsport a decisive reason for you to pursue this passion?
A: Yes, I consider it the main factor for me, to pursue this path.
Q: What cars have you used and what are you using now?
A: Right now I’m competing on a BMW E46 2.8 Turbo, that has 450 hp, but I learned to drift on a BMW E36.
Q: What car would you like, in the future?
A: None, for the moment, the Bimmer suits me just fine.
Q: Generally, racing drivers get involved in the mechanical and technological parts of their cars. Does this happen with you, too?
A: All racing drivers must know their cars, but I'm still in the learning phase.
Q: Who works on your cars?
A: For events, we have a dedicated staff, but some of the work is done by my father. We also rely on third-party mechanics, when we’re in the off-season.
Q: What are the next steps in your career?
A: In 2021 I will attend all drift events from the national championship, and I will also attend Drift Kings, the biggest drift event in Europe. So, 2021 will be my first year as a pro drift pilot, fingers crossed.
Q: How did this passion impact your personal and social life?
A: Drifting impacted my life in a good way, I made a lot of connections, but it hasn't affected me at school or with friends, both the teachers and the colleagues understand and support me.
Q: Given the chance to drive for a team in Europe, would you leave Romania?
A: We will see what the future holds, but for now I am focused on what I am doing in Romania in the present.
Q: Do you like cars in daily life, too? If so, which ones?
A: I don't have street cars as favorites, drift cars will always be my passion and my main favorites.
Q: Are you willing to build a career as a professional racing driver?
A: I don't see myself doing anything else.
Q: How hard is it to find sponsors?
A: Not hard, I have the necessary exposure, and sometimes they reach out to us, sometimes we reach out to them.
Q: Will you sign an autograph for us? We’d like to showcase it in the Tunedside collection.
A: Of course!
3. Drift Away
What can be said after such an amazing experience and seeing this kind of passion, this outstanding dedication? Not a lot, apart from the fact that the newer generations need more role models like Alice. Strapped in the driver’s seat, focused and confident, ready to rumble, Alice is slowly turning into a national phenomenon, and we can’t wait to see where her career leads to.
A child born and raised between engines and tire screeching could not have had a more natural relationship with the racetrack, and we’re sure her name will be heard over the years. Because hard work always pays off and while the car keeps on drifting, she will never stop.
Written by Mihai Dumitrescu / Instagram
Photographed by Anna Dumitrescu / Instagram
All materials that are not branded with the Tunedside logo have been used courtesy of the Ene family and pertain to their personal archive. Thank you!