10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Irwindale

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10. Mad Mike Should Be Furious
The deal with Mad Mike was a mess. Ken Gushi was at fault for an accident and Mad Mike was limited to a ridiculous 10 minutes to fix his car and then a competition timeout to have his car running. I think the series needs to push for a “10 minute minimum time to fix car” this way we aren’t holding up the show for a final battle but if we have a 90 minute break. Let the damn guy fix his car, run, and entertain the fans paying a ridiculous amount of cash to watch drifting. Poor Ryan Tuerck fans got to see him run ONE tandem battle all weekend and he landed on the podium (more on that later). Anyway, Mad Mike threw his steering wheel out of his car on the Livestream and fair play to the guy. He should be beyond pissed off that the series made this ridiculous rule preventing him from running in the first place. A terrible way for him to wrap up a season of bad luck. He did release an awesome video of him drifting in South Africa today which seems much better than the fact that someone also stole his HARO BMX bike.

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9. Odi Bakchis Makes the Stand Up Move
Odi Bakchis finished this season in fourth place which was one better place than 2015 when he finished in fifth. During his battle with Forrest Wang his 240sx broke on entry on what was sent to be one of the best battles of the night. In fact, Odi Bakchis asked his spotter to tell the judges/FD staff that the contact was his fault because his car broke. An interesting and respectable move considering he could of finished third for the season by beating Forrest Wang in that battle.

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8. The Occassion Finally Got to Aasbo
Fredric Aasbo drifts lap after lap at track after track all year round at such a consistent level you could probably put a baby to sleep in his passenger seat. However, at Irwindale Speedway he made a huge error battling Matt Field that I cannot remember ever seeing before. He surged into Matt Field in tandem resulting in them having an accident that Aasbo was at fault for. This just shows how hard a back to back championship run can be.

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7. Tyler McQuarrie Hit More
Tyler McQuarrie was hit more this weekend in his poor Camaro but he didn’t have the Irwindale podium performance I hoped was coming. He has done a ton of driving this year in various motorsports and maybe it has hurt him more than helped him? I wonder if he has started to develop a little of a unique drifting style from his other driving skills that has resulted in him being hit over and over and over again. Not really sure but I want to see Tyler McQuarrie back in his super focused form next season with the Camaro. Did anybody count how many times this car got hit this season? Geez


MattField.Bank
6. Matt Field Has Come Good
I saw this one coming for a long time I must say and Matt Field has seriously come good with back to back wins at Texas and Irwindale. He finished the season in 5th place but the real test for him will be Streets of Long Beach 2017. He will need to come out of the gate strong and really put the pressure on early to make a serious championship run. If you look back into his 2016 season the Top 32 exit against Faruk Kugay really was the biggest make and lowest point total he brought in for the season. I think Matt Field could join the top ranks next season and shake up the championship even more.

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5. Track Layout Perhaps Made Drifting and Show Suffer
I think the track layout resulted in poor tandem this year and it needs to be adjusted again if Irwinadle Speedway survives another season. Inside clip one was moved a little bit and I think it should return to its old place to make drifting smoother. The other bigger mistake I think was inside clip two/finish line area that seemed to result in really non fluid drifting to the exit and broke up the cars in tandem. I would almost love if they cut across the center of Irwindale and drift the opposite way around the insane bank and finish the race towards the fans but just a thought. What they did to setup the course went in the wrong direction this year. Also, why can nobody drifting the bank all the way up on the wall anymore? Did anybody else notice that?

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4. The Judges Don’t Agree Anymore
An interesting observation I made this weekend is the judges cannot agree about anything anymore. At first, I thought the judges might have changed their view points but looking deeper into it I have found the driving levels are just that elevated with the reduced vehicle field. A quick example to look at this is championship points from 2016 to 2014. In 2014 Chris Forsberg won the championship with 561 points out of 700 and Fredric Aasbo finished second with 550 points of 700. In 2016 Chris Forsberg won the championship with 539 points out of 800 and Fredric Aasbo finished second with 502 points of 800. The points have been tweaked slightly since 2014 but not enough to really impact these results. This was an interesting data point I found when researching this. However, what the fans are getting is way more OMT battles in 2016 compared to seasons past.

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3. Chris Forsberg Is First 3 Time Champion (23% of Champions Are His)
Chris Forsberg has now won 3 of the 13 Formula Drift championships in history and 1 of the 2 World Championships. That is a pretty crazy record for anyone to wrap their heads around. Congrats to him and his team on the stellar performance.

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2. Dai Yoshihara Lacks Confidence Still
Dai Yoshihara looked really good this weekend but he still seems to lack some of the confidence needed to be a championship driver. Even in his interview with Formula Drift, he was like the car sucked and magically just before qualifying I kind of figured it out. He did navigate himself to a podium finish this weekend but after years of car trouble he needs to bring more confidence to his driving in 2017 to be a championship fighter once again.

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1.Ryan Tuerck Won One Battle and Landed on Podium – WHAT?
UGH, one battle to a podium is lame. Ryan Tuerck also won the Fan Favorite driver this weekend at Formula Drift but the fans who paid good money only got to see him make two tandem runs all weekend. Sucks for the fans of Ryan Tuerck big time. As for Ryan Tuerck…. I am sure he was happy to do minimal work and snag a podium. He could of ran Mad Mike of course but that issue was already covered in #10.

15 Comments

  1. Doof says:

    #5: The layout at irwindale definitely sucks. They should go back to a few years back where there was another transition. I like the utilization of inner clips, but that wall at the end is just stupid. All it’s done is make drivers feel the need to straighten across the finish line, and get a 0 for their run.

    #6: About time Field started snagging some podiums. The dude has what it takes when he plays it smart and the car works for him. His anger at ATL against Faruk cost him, what would have been, and easy Top 32 matchup.

    #9: I don’t even call that a stand up move. It was pretty obvious that there was a malfunction. If anything, that was instant karma for Odi being a punk, sandbagging off the line, and making games on every one of his lead runs. I still don’t get how the judges aren’t seeing him make this 10mph approach, and then floor it at the last second to gap his opponents.

    Also add:
    #11: Formula D was butt hurt as hell having people from SuperD there, showcasing cars, and promoting an event for the following day. That’s some petty shit. I’d get it if the event conflicted with an FD event, but it didn’t, and they paid money to have a stand at the venue, so why the contest?

    Oh well. SuperD was way cooler, and Nakamura showed better tandem driving in one day in a 350hp SR S13, than we’ve seen all year in FD

  2. Blaze1 says:

    This is the first year I didn’t attend a single FD event and I have zero regrets. Not feeling it anymore, unless we get some more Japanese talent I don’t see myself coming back.

    I went to GRC but I didn’t hear about SuperD and now I’m SuperPissed lol. I knew nakamura and a few other Japanese guys were in town but I didn’t know for what. What happened to the good old days when wrecked and other sites advertised all events and not just FD. It’s time for a change.

  3. Jabroni says:

    yea I fuck with wrecked magazine still love this site….but you definitely need to reach a little more and cover some of the other events going on. and not even in the sense of pro-am but there is a new movement of big fun events all over the country such as this sites own ;). if super D dose not get any media coverage on this site it would be a shame.

  4. Mr says:

    #10. Im pretty sure this rule was made due to Tuerck’s incident at orlando last year(def orlando, pretty sure it was ’15). Ryan’s car was damaged after one tandem run in Top 32. If i remember correctly it was fairly early in 32 as well. The car was not repaired by the end of 32 so even though the other competitor was able to drive they gave the win to Ryan while he was in the pits. No run no nothing. Go straight to 16, do not pass go.

  5. chris beasley says:

    10. Mad Mike. This is such a crap rule. if somebody is hit they should have till their next battle to fix their car. I dont care if that gives different drivers more time between top 32 or 16. Didn’t Aasbo change a motor between 32 and 16? because mike was hit by somebody now he cant work on his car? dumb rule.

    8. Aasbo hitting field. So, this looked like a very light hit, and no contact to the wheels. Am I the only one that thought field kinda just let of the gas and didn’t even try and save it?

    1. They should do away with bye runs. maybe increase the pro 1 field a bit so there are 35-36 cars at Pro 1 events. Also, if a driver cant get to the line for his top 32 battle, he should forfeit his spot and the 33rd qual guy should get it.

  6. rwdybyz says:

    @Doof
    I totally agree with your #9. it was more then clear he was sandbagging again off the line then his car broke. With that technique he clearly would’ve pulled a gap on Forrest in a well under-powered vehicle. I’m glad Forrest got the win there. Not sure how he continually gets away with this like no one notices. Odi can drive so why play the games.

  7. Acebostr says:

    @doof
    100% on point with odi i have seen him doing that ALL year sandbags everyone then last minute floors it so gay

  8. Nick D. says:

    @chris beasley I agree that Aasbo’s impact with Field looked very light, I mean we’ve seen cars get their doors ripped of and keep going, but without being in the actual driver’s seat of Field’s car, it’s hard to tell how things transpired. Maybe it was more jarring than it looked.

    As for Mad Mike, I’m a big fan and he’s a very talented guy, but I think it’s time he parked the Miata and brings over either the RX-8 or the black RX-7 from Japan. The Miata looks and sounds awesome and I want to believe in it, but even when it’s running it just never looks very settled and struggles compared to the rest of the field.

  9. Odi Bakchis says:

    @doof, @rwdybyz, @Acebostr, thank you for ruining my day. I value ethics and do everything in my power to be an example of proper etiquette and good sportsmanship. After reading your comments I am in shock of how you came to your conclusion, and I am extremely upset that someone is actually thinking of me in the exact opposite way of how I conduct myself.

    I drive as hard as I can right off the line, and have even had restarts from hitting cones in the chicane while leading. Something for you to wrap your mind around: My car has the longest wheelbase in the series of 111″ (about 12″ longer than a 240sx) and is hard to negotiate through tight spaces. It is also one of the heaviest cars in the series.

    Before you go defaming me online about something I pour my life into, go ask any driver that has followed me about the way I drive.

    @Wrecked, thank you for #9. It was one of the most heartbreaking things for me to deal with this season. Me and my team knew that all we had to do is advance past Forrest to grab 3rd overall, and we were very optimistic about doing so.

  10. Jabroni says:

    @anyone saying the hit on field was light
    I was sitting in the stands on the inner bank and right when field was hit was where he adds angle to scrub speed. the hit just over angled him up and he he stayed on throttle he would have spun etc etc. it seemed 100% legit to me and for some reason id imagine matt would rather aasbo get the title than chris lol.

  11. Curtis says:

    @Jabroni Field was happy to finally beat Aasbo and he wanted Forsberg to win

  12. FHRITP says:

    Faruk is a good guy and all but I think a petition should be in place for him to go to pro2 again. Hopefully he gets a better feel for his car next year.

    Also they need more drivers at these events. Byes are lame.

  13. MS says:

    Much respect to Odi for being classy and doing the right thing. A lot of people wouldn’t do the same thing in his situation. Nice job on being a professional dude.

  14. Ian says:

    Did Pat Mordaunt check up so heavily causing Chris Forsberg to over correct and hit the wall. During their battle Chris was closing the gap but it looked like suddenly Pat slowed way way down, looked like Chris tried to avoid him and slowed down so much that his car caught traction and drove him into the wall. I don’t know if it was intentional but I thought that it looked like a dirty move.

  15. NUTTERBUTTER says:

    @ODI YOUR SO FULL OF SHIT! YOU SAND BANG HARD AND DID SO TO FOREST IN WASHINGTON KNOWING HE WAS WAY DOWN ON POWER FROM YOU. DONT GIVE US THE MIGTIER THAN THEY SPEACH. YOUR NOT THE BETTER MAN AND NEVER WILL BE. EVERY SINCE PRO AM YOUVE BEEN THIS WAY AND WERE USED TO IT SO WE DONT PIPE UP BUT REALLY GAMES ARE WHY WEVE ALL SWITCHED OFF FD.

    BECAUSE OF YOU MY FRIEND

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