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.