10.Qualifying Needs to be Fixed
I think the judges do much better than the majority when it comes to tandem judging. I normally voice my opinions when I disagree with them but 95% of the time they are making good calls. However, they are awful at ranking qualifying runs. I think many factors play into this but the order you are seeded in qualifying tends to impact your score to a great extreme. Road Atlanta had quite a few scoring inaccuracies so I figured I should bring it up in this Top 10. Anyway, qualifying needs a revamp in Formula Drift but I don’t have the ideas to make it happen. Anyone have thoughts on how to make it more accurate and entertaining?
9. Time to Wake Up on Travis Reeder
Travis Reeder has landed on the podium for his first two Pro 2 events in his career. This driver from the northwest really looks like a serious contender for the future. He seems to have the mental game figured out and is just driving his way into a serious championship lead. After two rounds he has an alarming 78 point lead in the Pro 2 championship.
8. The Era of European Domination is Upon Us?
The European drivers really dominated Road Atlanta this past weekend. The podium was a complete European driver sweep and nobody in the grid looks like they have an answer for the European rising. The top three drivers in the championship are all European (James Deane/Ireland – Dean Kearney/Ireland – Fredric Aasbo/Norway) and other Europeans such as Kristaps Bluss have done well this season. Does anyone have an answer for the European domination in 2017?
7. Formula Drift Needs More Utes
Since I was at Road Atlanta in person I got to watch this insane Ute run for the first time. This thing is really big and it looks really cool drifting around the track. Josh Robinson makes that thing looks pretty good and exciting. It does make me hope we can get a larger variety of chassis in the sport moving forward.
6. Alec Hohnadell Looked Fast with Maybe Less Horsepower
Alec Hohnadell looked to be one of the fastest and on point drivers at Road Atlanta. In reality, he had James Deane beat dead to rights until he made a mistake resulting in him straighten. Several people mentioned to me that the car went down on horsepower which seems like an interesting concept to me. The theory revolves around not letting your wheel speed get insanely high resulting in you having more tire for two laps. If that is what Alec Hohnadell did, I think it was pure genius. Over two laps, his car visually looked like it was in the fastest three cars on course.
5. Nate Hamilton!!!!!!!!
If you go watch Nate Hamilton in Top 32 that was the first time I really saw him keep his mental game strong and gave it to an opponent. He won the tandem battle against J Castro and really showed that he can belong in the Pro ranks with a performances like that.
4. Support Local Drifting
One reason this 10 Things post was late is I have been scrambling to get our first Street Driven Tour event in order in Virginia this weekend. This did get me thinking that most of you Formula Drift fans should work towards supporting or attending a smaller drift event each year. Just make an effort to find one practice event or Pro Am weekend in your local region and go out and enjoy yourself. As Formula Drift experiences rapid growth and large viewing numbers most Pro Am and local events are very small and grassroots still. I do have to admit you will find them quite fun no matter where you are in the world so make some plans before the year ends.
3. James Deane Does it Again
Yep, he made it happen at just the track I wanted to see him perform at. James Deane seems to be defeating his opponents with consistently as other drivers are making errors running him as he moves along to victory at two of three rounds. Right now, only Jhonnattan Castro has defeated James Deane in a Formula Drift competition event this year.
2. The rare Fredric Aasbo Mistake
Fredric Aasbo was taken out by Kyle Mohan who has struggled in his Mazda MX-5 this whole season. Aasbo proved he wasn’t a drifting robot while he made two mistakes in one battle. Aasbo finds himself around three rounds in a rare place of third place and 67 points behind the points leader James Deane. Perhaps the Corolla iM was a big bigger of a project to take on than the tC. While I don’t think he is out of the championship race just yet it will be interesting to see how this car holds up through some other rounds.
1. Kristaps Bluss Reaches Legend Status
I am sure by now you know that he drove off two jack stands to meet his 5 minute repair time limit. He did have loose lug nuts and was unable to complete his battle against Dean Kearney. The whole situation was pretty awesome but I was sad to see Kristaps get close to another victory and fall short. You have to think his time for a victory in Formula Drift is around the corner. If you didn’t get to see the BMW flying off jack stands, watch the 5 minute comeptition timeout here and also listen to Maxmium Driftcast and get Chris Forsberg’s perspective on the whole 5 minute scramble with Kristaps that he was involved in to help try and get the BMW back on track.