The Third Place Battles You Missed in Formula Drift 2014


Due to a rule change in Formula Drift this season the series no longer has a battle for third place to determine the last spot on the podium. In fact, third and fourth place now both get 64 points for the weekend and one driver is guaranteed a podium once he wins his Great 8 battle. Here are the seven battles you missed this year due to the rule change:

Long Beach- Justin Pawlak vs. Michael Essa
Atlanta- Chris Forsberg vs. Robbie Nishida
Miami- Kenneth Moen vs. Matt Field
New Jersey- Odi Bakchis vs. Charles Ng
Seattle- Chris Forsberg vs. Fredric Aasbo
Texas- Chris Forsberg vs. Forrest Wang
Irwindale- Chris Forsberg vs. Forrest Wang

I attended my first drift event at Road Atlanta in 2005 while shooting for Import Racer Magazine (RIP). Since then I have produced drift content for PAS Magazine, Modified Magazine, Drifting Magazine (RIP), and many more publications. I was the producer of the movie Slide America and then helped found this website in 2007.


  1. JBONE427 says:


  2. SliderS15 says:

    Yes Formula D because missing out on these battles (4 of which involved the eventual Champion) is much better for “The Show”…

  3. greddy2die says:

    Seriously, this is one of the main rule changes that i thought was ridiculous this year in FD. with the time thats wasted for tire changes so the 1st/2nd place battle can commence they could have had the 3rd place battle going on. what are they saving, 5 minutes?


  4. Dan says:

    To be fair, the third place battle isn’t ALWAYS 5 minutes. As a matter of fact, statistically speaking, the 3rd place battle will often be one of the more drawn out battles in a competition. The fight for the last podium spot is never an easy one, and there’s plenty that can happen to make that battle go longer than a simple 5 minutes, whether it’s because someone crashed, something broke, tires need to be changed, one more time gets called, etc. etc. On the one hand, yes it is one of the best battles of the comp, there’s no denying that. On the other hand when a promotion is trying to take out as many of the ‘wild card’ things that can happen in an event to have it run more consistently to a tight schedule, the third place battle immediately becomes an “extra” that just takes time and isn’t totally necessary. And don’t ask me why they might need to fit a tight schedule, that should be obvious. Just some food for thought, is all!

  5. Blaze1 says:

    Keep the way competition timeouts are currently ran.

    Bring back third place battles and go back to a Top 16 format.

    Knock drivers who crash on their own accord out of competition no matter if its the first or second run.

    Knock drivers who caused other drivers to crash out of competition no matter if its the first or second run.

    Simplify the judging criteria.

  6. Tie Fighter says:

    Would have been some great battles. Go to Top 16 format and bring back the 3rd place battle.

  7. Samurai Sam says:

    make it no OMT’s or competition timeouts for either consolation or championship battle, and bring that battle back!!!!!

  8. apieceobacon says:

    @Samurai Sam If there are no OMTs then some battles will just have replay after replay. In my opinion if they have to go more than two standard replays when they are looking for a zero then it shouldn’t be a zero because they spend alot of time trying to figure out if a second tire went off. Perfect example: Daijiro Yoshihara in top 32 of Round 6. They spent a good ten minutes trying to decide if dai got a zero or not. when he went wide. the rules state that azero is awarded if two tires are clearly off course. If it takes more than two repleys then its not clear enough to constitute a zero.

  9. shanevasquez says:

    Good job at robbing us of good battles Formula D… Poor Chris… lol, at least he got to win this year. Hope aasbo wins next year.

  10. otis says:

    Fix this shit Ryan Sage

  11. JDub says:

    @ Blaze1- so basically like D1. Love it.

  12. Kids Heart says:

    What Blaze1 said. I’d also like to see them get rid of outside clips during tandem and keep the strong emphasis on constant proximity.

  13. Use your brains says:

    here is why you should be happy about no more 3rd place battles. I’ll finish what Dan said.

    If there is an incident during it that causes delay (crash, OMT), and there will be since it is a go-for-broke situation, track cleanup can prolong an event 5-10 minutes. And they can’t run other battles if someone calls 5 minutes or OMT tire changes, since all that is left is the 1st/2nd place battle. It is a bottleneck.

    Now think about who is FD’s main customer. It is not the fans. It is the sponsors. And the sponsors need people to look at the ads. Preferably people that are targeted (sorry dudes in russia, discount tire doesn’t care about you).

    The best ways improve the ad viewership is to increase the fanbase (more longterm viewship, more livestream) or improve the accessibility to see the event (= more viewership, and easier to target). If only there were a magical box that displayed moving pictures while you sat on your couch and consumed…

    Shows on this box would probably need to fit into a time schedule…and be entertaining until the end…

    And it would be smart for FD to practice filming/broadcasting the events to work out logistical issues (like timing, video overlays, camera angles, lack of connection at road atlanta when it is cloudy, etc)…

    Remember, FD is an entertainment business. They want to make money. Their decisions are based on this, and it is not a bad thing.

    More viewership = more sponsor money for teams and drivers too, and a larger fanbase for drifting, so more local events that kids can crash their miatas at.

    I’d love to see those 3rd place battles. But I’d much rather have more sponsors to grow the sport.

  14. Tomoe says:

    its a fuckin drift car! beiseds that camaros probably got a big bad ass v8, if the 350z had the same motor itd be a bullet =P its a sick ass 350z, id drive it over that camaro=)