The following is a guest blog post written by the Midwest Drift Union owner Nick Swann:
Midwest Drift Union’s Round 1 of their 5 event competition series was held on Saturday, April 12th. MDU hosted their season opener at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, IL just outside of St. Louis, MO.
With many cars not quite ready yet and others suffering from pesky troubles of insufficient time to test, the field was whittled down to a Top 8 instead of the usual 16 that MDU has done for years prior.
Gateway is a fast course and requires precision and commitment, so that’s exactly what the judges were looking for. Even though the competition wasn’t as full as it usually is, the level of excitement was at an all-time high. Seasoned MDU drivers such as Mike Feiock, Brian Peter, and Nick Thomas were out in full force and clearly focused on the first place trophy.
Chris “Gonzo” Gonzalez made his trip down from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Brian Peter debuted a new look on his tried and true 2JZ powered FC RX7 along with some helpful drivetrain upgrades to make sure less time was spent in the pits and more time was spent in the drivers seat.
St. Louis local Chris Hanley was looking solid until an unfortunate collision with the outer tire wall putting an early end to his day.
Rolando Alfaro was in his backup car for Round 1 but had no issue using his relatively stock 350Z to keep up with the rest of the field.
Another St. Louis local (and youngest MDU competitor at age 18) David Mesker, also resorted to his backup car due to his 2JZ powerplant still receiving it’s final touches before it goes into his S13. He picked up this 1JZ powered E36 3 Series only one week prior to the event.
Once qualifying concluded, the 13 drivers that received points stood in this order and were announced in the post-qualifying drivers meeting:
13.) Mike O’Mara
12.) Alex “Aled” Ledbetter
11.) Eric Moen
10.) Kyle Wentz
9.) Hooman Rahimi
8.) Paul “Budweiser” Beiswenger
7.) Rolando Alfaro
6.) Chris “Gonzo” Gonzalez
5.) “Danger Dan” Sommer
4.) Evan Steiner
3.) “T2” Mike Feiock
2.) Kyle Crangle
1.) Brian Peter (fastest entry of the day at 82mph)
Brian Peter advanced onto the Top 4 after defeating Paul Beiswenger due to Paul racking up consecutive 0’s. Dan Sommer automatically advanced to Top 4 due to Evan Steiner not having a car eligible for competition. Rolando Alfaro beat out Kyle Crangle shortly before Mike Feiock edged out Gonzo rounding out the Top 8.
Going into the Top 4, Brian Peter battled Dan Sommer and even after closing the gap created by Brian, it was a too little too late for Dan and Brian moved on. Former Formula D competitor Mike Feiock got paired up with Rolando Alfaro in the last battle of the Top 4. After a very close first battle, the drivers were set at 0 advantage so they both knew it was all or nothing. Rolando seemed to put the gas pedal of the nearly stock powered 350z through the firewall as he put a huge gap on Feiock, securing his place on the podium.
Dan Sommer had his work cut out for him in the battle for 3rd after Mike Feiock lead the first battle and had a slight advantage. Knowing this, “Danger Dan” dropped the hammer and put a much larger gap on Feiock, sending “T2” Mike home with a 4th place finish.
The battle for first was definitely worth the wait as it was David vs Goliath. Even though Rolando had a few setbacks to work through during practice, his 350Z was dialed in. Brian Peter seemed to run each pass all throughout the day with no issues and great consistency. After both runs ended in 0 advantage, the only “OMT” called all weekend was used and the drivers would face each other again.
After feeling the heat of Rolando, BP knew he had to put down more power from his 2JZ and in doing so, put a huge gap on Rolando. The gap was so great that Rolando was unable to make it up and ended up in 2nd place for the weekend leaving Wisconsin’s own Brian Peter atop the podium in 1st place.
MDU Round 2 is next month in Pacific Junction, Iowa at MidAmerica Motorplex on Saturday May 17th. All event information for drivers, spectators, and sponsors can be found at MDUdrift.com!