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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.