10 Things I Learned at Formula Drift Seattle Round 6

FredricAasbo
10. Fredric Aasbo Falls for a 6-1 Record
It almost seems like beating Fredric Aasbo this year is worthy of a trophy itself. Odi Bakchis all time before this weekend was 0-6 against Fredirc Aasbo. In fact, his most recent loss was last round at Formula Drift Montreal so surely that was fresh on his mind before they met this past weekend. These two drivers faced off against each other in the Great 8 and Odi Bakchis finally got his first career victory over Fredric Aasbo on the seventh attempt. The first time the two met was actually at Evergreen Speedway in 2013. Odi took that victory and momentum of beating Aasbo all the way to his second career victory.

OMT.FormulaDrift
9. Make Up Your Mind Already Judges
The judges played it way too safe this weekend when it came to making tough calls. Instead of really thinking about a run we got the OMT show. I found myself chanting No More Time towards the end of this event. We had around 10 OMT battles which means 33% of battles got a One More Time call. Sorry guys, the margins are just not that razor thin in this sport. Two battles that didn’t deserve an OMT call off the top of my head if you want a talking point are (Tyler McQuarrie vs. Ken Gushi in Great 8) and (Jhonnattan Castro vs. Tanner Foust Top 16)

VaughnGittinJr.S550Mustang

8. Vaughn Gittin Jr. Beat Dean Kearney in My Eyes
My other “shot” at the judges comes in the form of the Dean Kearney vs. Vaughn Gittin Jr. battle in the Top 16. I was doing a battle by battle recap for Driving Line this weekend and all of my notes favored Vaughn Gittin in this tandem run. I just felt like the overall impact of Vaughn Gittin’s follow run had to carry more weight than just focusing on outer zone one. If OZ1 is so important, why did they bother drifting the rest of the track? This was my big head scratcher of the event and sadly my #JUSTICE4VAUGHN hashtag got no traction. This call really hurt him in his championship chase to make the decision even worse in the big picture of things.

PatMordaunt
7. Poor Pat Mordaunt 
This season has been very hot and cold to some teams and drivers. One minute Pat is sending Aasbo to OMT and the next he is crashing in practice at Seattle and not making a qualifying pass. It was a tough break for Pat Mordaunt because this event did have 33 drivers and he was the only one to not make a pass. He does have a good record in Texas in the past so hopefully he can make a good comeback.

MattCoffman

6. I Need to Start Paying More Attention To Matt Coffman
WOW! What a performance Matt Coffman put on this weekend. If you missed this event, you need to watch Matt Coffman’s lead lap against Chris Forsberg in the final four. If he didn’t have that huge mistake in his follow run that lead lap might of brought him into the finals for his first career podium. Not a bad showing from the Pacific Northwest driver who I really thought had a fair shake at podium this weekend. Evergreen Speedway always seems to let a new guy hop on the podium but Matt Coffman just missed it this weekend. As a driver he is clearly progressing and moving in the right direction. Can he repeat in Texas?

AlexHeilbrunn
5. Track Changes Didn’t Create Any Positive Outcomes
The track changes seemed to make the course a little more simple than years previous. On the other hand… it didn’t really seem to help the tandem be more exciting than years past as well. I did like them pushing back the entry cone but otherwise the changes were kind of irrelevant on the weekend in my opinion. The lack of track difficulty could be attributed to the extra OMT battles perhaps? I think that is something we should explore before sticking with this new course layout. On the other side of things I do feel the same number of cars left the Evergreen Speedway damaged as years previous so it wasn’t exactly a cost reducing layout to help save vehicles.

ChrisForsberg
4. Chris Forsberg’s Second Place Finishes Could Be A Problem
The last three events in a row Chris Forsberg has finished in second place. That has helped him jump into first place in the championship for now with two events left but losing those three battles also cost him a total collective of 60 championship points. Even if he won two of those events (one being Montreal) he would have a 65 point lead against Aasbo instead of a 5 point lead. Oh, the drama as we head into Texas!

OdiBakchis
3. Odi Bakchis Still Not in the Championship Chase
What Odi Bakchis did this weekend in Seattle was super awesome but it is far too little and late for him to make a championship run. I understand it is statistically possible with two events left and a 54 point deficit for him to win but we are all adults here and know that won’t happen. I know it makes the narrative more interesting but with Gittin, Aasbo, and Forsberg in front of him you just cannot see all three of those guys missing the podium the last two rounds of the series to give him a really fair shot. I do like he has let go some of his more conservative drifting style and turned it up this season! Keep that up please Odi Bakchis!

TannerFoust.VWPassat

2. No More Top Gear Could Mean More Tanner Foust?
I would cheer for about anything that meant Formula Drift got more Tanner Foust. He is such a world class athlete and driver and watching him understeer up the bank against Chris Forsberg was no way I ever want to see a legend of this sport perform. Can we get him some more seat time and practice in this Volkswagen already? I just want to see Tanner Foust run a full season campaign again and start bashing all four of his doors in.

TylerMcQuarrie.Camaro
1. Tyler McQuarrie Drove Out of His Mind
Nothing in the world seems to motivate Tyler McQuarrie more than feeling left out or down on his luck. A few seasons ago he was fired from Falken Tire before Irwindale Speedway and then won the event in the car he was being kicked out of. Something about being the down and out man really motivates Tyler McQuarrie to drift out of his mind. You got to see some of that this weekend as Tyler hit everything except the pace car on his way to a 5th place finish. The Tyler McQuarrie vs. Kenneth Moen battle is worth going back to watch in case you missed the event. Can McQuarrie keep up that insane energy in Texas?

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.

14 Comments

  1. TVC says:

    Agreed with all.

  2. Mr E says:

    Agree with #8. As a fan from the beginning, student of the game I had JR winning that round. Was it close? Nah.

    Disagree with #6. He’s been getting lucky. The car is awesome but daddies money can’t fix everything.

  3. Eddi Hughes says:

    More tanner foust! I thought he did fairly good this past weekend, I was expecting him to wedge himself into podium with his past standing record at evergreen! I hope he comes back strong in 2017!

  4. Pat Goodin says:

    You’re crazy if you think Coffman just got lucky this weekend. He’s on another level this year. His performance in Seattle was incredible. Really pumped to see him really getting into the swing of things with that car.

  5. PNWisbest says:

    Coffman was on point all weekend. Had the best wall rides hands down all weekend. No one else could match him. Hope he keeps the momentum from this round going into Texas and irwindale.

  6. Jabroni says:

    Coffman was practically at his home track so id hope he would throw down lets see how the momentum carries the rest of the season.

  7. PNWisbest says:

    I still don’t get how everyone says it’s his “home” track. He only competed in pro am there once 3 years ago when fd let the pro am run during pro.

  8. penorwagon says:

    #TurnYourHeadAndCoffman

  9. Agree, I felt like the judges were scared to make the hard decisions because of all the prior bullshit this year. The judges are right, and doing their best to make a fair show and should trust their own judgements.

  10. Curtis says:

    #9 If you’re going to blame anyone from the OMT’s you can blame the fans on social media. Since all the social media backlash from fans on judge decisions it seems that they won’t make a decision unless its clean cut who has won.

    Close matches are going OMT and the fans are the one’s at fault. Not to mention fans constantly asking for OMT’s or complaining about battles they think should have gone OMT. FD are getting too caught up in pleasing the fans that they now struggle to make what could be controversial calls that they would have made in the past without hesitating.

    No one complains about decisions made in D1 like the fans of FD do. In Japan they respect the decisions made by judges. The western world however, the judges make a decision the fans don’t like and a social media flame fest ensues.

  11. OGLarry says:

    Well D1 uses the DOSS with judges as a second set of eyes when needed so its different.

  12. Curtis says:

    @OGLarry Regardless, You still don’t get back lash from fans in D1, same goes for IDC which uses human judging only. FD need to make big changes

  13. isho says:

    @Curtis, completely agree. People that watch FD are so quick to act like they know what theyre talking about to people who’ve been doing this for years. Ive seen alot of weird calls in D1GP, but never have I ever heard any outrage over it even before the DOSS system. I’ve also noticed a difference on how the Canadian and FD crowd reacts to some calls. There was much more tolerance and respect given by the crowd in Montreal, whereas in most US events they’ll start boo-ing almost every veteran that beats an underdog.

    Social Media after an FD event is just the worst experience ever aswell. Just watch one of Network A’s videos and check the comment section for example. Such a shame unfortunately.

  14. Jeff Harper says:

    @isho: I don’t know why everyone qualifies it. I’ve been everywhere and Montreal has the best fans. Period. I’d personally rather watch an FD event at St. Eustache than Irwindale. It’s amazing what fun-loving, good-time-having fans can do.

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