10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Seattle


10. This Battle Was Worth the Price of Admission

Watching DeNofa and Vaughn Gittin put on a wild show in the Mustang’s made my event. The battle was clean, straight up, and was insanely close car to car contact. My biggest disappointment of this battle is that the judges didn’t call OMT. If you want to create a new drift fan just sit them down and have them watch this battle. I hope they meet again before this season is over. If you ever wanted an argument to make Formula Drift a spec series this would be exhibit A in your evidence folder.

9. Castro Has It Still in this 86
The progress of J Castro has been one of the most fun things to watch in Formula Drift over the last several seasons. His victory against Deane is still one of my favorite battles of this year. His defeat against Aasbo was a close one and without the contact he could of pushed his teammate to a OMT or loss in that battle in my opinion. If he can dial back that aggressive tandem just a bit and avoid contact he is top 5 driver with his form.

8. Matt Coffman!!!!!
He is just a driver who quietly grows and learns more and more as time passes in Formula Drift. His battle against Kristaps Bluss had one of the best lead runs of the night. He is just like Castro and just needs that little extra sauce to really be competitive in Formula Drift at a high level. If Dai Yoshihara wasn’t so in the zone at Seattle he could of found his way to the podium at Evergreen Speedway.


7. Fredric Aasbo Let the Championship Slip Through His Hands
If you care about the championship chase it was pretty crucial that Aasbo beat Deane in the final battle and it didn’t happen. Aasbo now sits 57 points behind Deane with just two rounds left. It is clearly not impossible to make up that points gap but he made it quite harder for himself by not taking the win in Seattle.

6. Dirk Stratton Has Built the Drift Car of the Future
The drifting car of the future is always a question that has great debate in the drift community. The 240sx was probably one of the best ROI investment opportunities of a lifetime if you bought one 10 years ago and you are set to wonder how the drifting world will look in the future? One can argue the Ford Mustang has had quite the momentum in the drifting sport over the last five years. General Motors might just have the answer in the form of the Corvette. They depreciate quite well and have tons of aftermarket support and you can even argue they look much better than the Mustang. Also, no LS swap required – haha. Also, Dirk Stratton looked like pure insanity in this car over the Seattle weekend.


5. Dai Yoshihara Looked so Good but Lacks Consistency
Dai looked great all weekend and pushed the practically unbeatable James Deane to a tough OMT battle that I think he could of even won on that first call. I get pumped when he can put it together but sadly at this point in his career that seems like one or two rounds a season. Not sure what he needs to work on this off season but he clearly has the talent to win another championship but he needs to execute those talents more often. When Dai has it together he looks amazing on course.
4. Forgettable Forsberg
I know you cannot be great all the time but Forsberg is having a season to forget that never seems to end. He landed seven podiums last season and this year hasn’t come within seven places of a podium practically. His turbo car might be a failed experiment and just time to step back into the V8 car again? I’m not sure what the issue is on his team but he needs to fix something and fast. I also don’t want to take away from J Castro as he did an insanely good job to win his tandem battle!

3. Pro 2 is Restoring my Faith in the Future
Drifting still faces some major issues here in America. Our progression curve in the sport can be easily identified when you look at the Formula Drift championship standings with one American in the top five. The gaps between Pro Am and Pro 2 need to be identified and addressed at some point. Pro 2 this round was a good quality feeder series event. Guys rode the bank wall and showed up with gorgeous looking builds. Some drivers have even surprised me with their talents this season including Travis Reeder and Matt Vankirk.

2. Odi Bakchis Becoming my Least Favorite Driver Round by Round
I don’t know what Odi Bakchis has changed this season but geez can the guy just keep his foot on the gas pedal? Every tandem battle I watch with this guy he is getting run into left and right. Acceleration zone means gas and deceleration means no gas. I am glad I am not the only one who has noticed this issue as Ryan Lanteigne touched on the very issue he had with Odi Bakchis driving in Canada on the last Maximum Driftcast.

1. Bye Bye Bluss
We basically watched Kristaps Bluss lose his chance at a championship this weekend. With Aasbo and Deane making it into the finals he now has a 146 point gap behind James Deane. Statistically he is still in the running but that will likely change with Texas in the books unless he can finish about 40 points over Aasbo and Deane in Texas. I thought he would make a late run at the championship and be the wild card nobody was thinking about. It looks like Bluss can blame Coffman for his missing championship in the future.


  1. George K says:

    I agree about Odi, that’s how Chelsea ran into him, because he couldn’t reply on his solid lead.

  2. Justin Yamashiro says:

    In regards to #6
    I don’t think the corvette will honestly be the next drift car of the future.
    Conrad Grunewald and Alex Pfeifer both piloted the Tanaka Racing C5R for a moment, then Luke Lonberger had his C6. I just don’t see it growing to be the next platform. Whether it was stock with an LS or not.
    I mean if that’s the case then I might as well go pick up an ex-police caprice and have fun.

  3. Doof says:

    #2 I’ve been saying this shit for the past 2 years and people said I was crazy.

    How nobody sees him do the occasional sandbag off the start line is beyond me. I didn’t even watch the event, but I can still be confident in the fact that I’m sure Odi was doing it again at WA.

    Drivers playing stupid games and not running straight up. This has been going on for quite some time though.

    Guess if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’, right?

  4. Jabroni says:

    You cannot compare a c5 vette built 10 years ago the that c6 they aren’t even close. And I think like would have struggled in any chassis.

  5. Justin Yamashiro says:

    There’s more development for a corvette in road racing than there are for drifting plus the budget. Let alone Taylor Hull is debuting a Cadillac ATS next year.
    If people can kill it in a corvette then good for them.

  6. Noel says:

    I hope formula drift will be in motorsports.com in the near future and I hope.

  7. Dome says:

    The DeNofa and Vaughn Gittin was way wild. Everyone went wild after that tandem. Too bad DeNofa won’t have a ride next year considering VG is going to boot him from the team 😉

  8. Dome says:

    Pro 2 is looking really solid this year. Many of the qual runs where pro1 quality.

    btw nice to see Deane killing the game this year. US drivers have lost their pizazz.

    Completely agree with Odi being one of the most overrated drivers in FD and frankly, his driving lacks style and angle. He also sand bags off the line, breaks checks and left foot chokes up drivers on every lap. I am not a fan of cheating and cheap shots. Deane, on the other hand, dives all out and let skill sound the trumpet of victory. Playing games is for chumps.

    Before Deane came in this year, Odi’s left foot breaking and butcher handed bobbling behind lead drivers where tandem winner on the merit of proximity alone.

    This year, however, everyone has seen Deane not only maintain closer proximity but also, more importantly, maintain MIRROR angles to the lead driver!

    I really wish Bluss finished higher this round. He is my favorite driver but somehow always get the raw deal.

    With Irwindale closing next year. I can’t wait to see what happens at the last round of house of drift.

  9. Is300 says:

    The car of the future is 10000% the Toyota 86/frs/brz they took the title as soon as it was launched. The corvette will never be that type of car bc of the price and the lack of aftermarket drift support. It’s an amazing car but not for the future.

  10. chris beasley says:

    #2 how do u notice it about odi, but not mention aasbo winning half his battles this year cause he gets hit by the chase. just recently, he won in Canada when bluss hit him, then came to seattle and won his first 2 battles by getting hit by the chase (hohnadel, castro). I’m not sure what the answer is, but FD needs to take notice when the same drivers are always getting hit.

  11. Doof says:


    They won’t take any notice. Aasbo is a damn good driver, but it’s very true that contact frequently happens against him, based off what I remember from last year.

    This just goes back to the point that the judges will pick and choose when certain rules apply and if incidients weigh lightly or heavily.

    Forsberg has a failing car this year from what I hear, so I can only imagine Aasbo is the golden boy. Gotta get him 2 more championships so him and Forsberg can battle it out for their 4th championship.

  12. KBanks says:

    I’ll be forever butt hurt we were robbed of Deane and Wang tandems.

  13. Is300 says:

    This site is dead. I remember when posts had over 35+ comments in the first two days

  14. Blaze1 says:

    So the FIA drivers list came out and it looks like only 2 Americans will be showing up.

    Michael Essa and Matt Field

  15. Blaze1 says:

    Oh yeah and Charles Ng will be there repping Hong Kong and Odi Bakchis will be repping Lithuania.

  16. rotarypower says:

    #2 i couldn’t agree more for the past three years I’ve been saying it. first it was missing clipping points on lead the creat separation, then it was the sandbagging when he clearly has the advantage due to contact or whatever. Now is off throttle in accel zones the I used to be a fan of his driving but not so much anymore however I will give him props for jersey thats about it

  17. Justin Yamashiro says:

    In regards to the FIA Drifting Cup, I was a bit surprised to see Essa and Field on the list. Both cool drivers but I was expecting highly of Monster Energy to put Gittin in and something to come forward. Even more surprised that Mad Mike won’t even bemaking an appearance.