10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Round 6 Texas

10. New Track Layout is Huge Success 
OdiBakchis
The old track was a bag of crap with a single entertaining element when some of the guys would do wild entries into the sweeper (see Odi from 2014 above). The new track layout is a huge improvement, so I would like to applaud Formula Drift for making this switch. Texas still managed to bring more controversy than other rounds of the series even though it was ran in reverse. Even though this track produced the longest Top 16 in series history, I do like running this layout way more. The complexity of this layout really separates the men from the boys.

9. Two Painful Championship Slips
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Watching Odi Bakchis and Matt Field fall out of the championship due to random mechanical failures was a tough one to watch. Odi Bakchis lost his wheel studs in the Dean Kearney Top 32 battle which all but removed him from any championship hope. This coming after he produced at a high level throughout the last five rounds of the season. This mishap also really hurts him in the World Championship race where him and Aasbo are the two major contenders to win it all.

Matt Field earlier in the weekend suffered engine issues and rushed to qualify which didn’t workout so well and he got a 0. Sad to see these guys dominate all season and fall short towards the end of the 7 round series. You do need a decent amount of points from each event to win making it a marathon instead of a sprint.

8. Formula Drift Safety is Solid
vaughngittinjr

While most fans have been harping on the negatives of this weekend I would like to point out that the safety in this series is phenomenal. The biggest fear I see in drifting is the potential of hitting the car at an odd angle into a wall or breaking on a bank and flying into the wall. Most accidents that look tame to the naked eye cause the worst results due to all the force and impact being put onto the drivers body from one point of impact. If you see an accident that looks wild with spinnings and multiple contact points, the driver tends to be in good shape. This crash with Vaughn was another testament to HANS and the team who built his car. Video of crash on FB. A look over at Indy this weekend shows the true dangers of motorsports and how lucky Vaughn is to be in great shape.

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Justin Pawlak vs. Tyler McQuarrie – New View on Battle of the Year [VIDEO]

The guys at Thirsty Film captured a wild view of the Justin Pawlak vs. Tyler McQuarrie battle from Seattle that we just saw for the first time. Every time we watch this tandem battle we cannot get enough of this American muscle showdown. Let’s hope Texas brings us this same level of entertainment.

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Round 5 Seattle

10. Championship Dreams Shattered Left and Right!
OdiBakchis.ChrsiForsberg

This Seattle event marks the first time I watched so many big names and championship hopeful drivers go down for the count so early in the weekend. First, it was Ryan Tuerck going out to Stoneback in the Top 32 with a mechanical failure. Then Vaughn Gittin Jr. defeats Nitto teammate Odi Bakchis in the Top 32 putting the #1/#2 championship drivers out with 16 points + qualifying for the weekend. Then Top 16 swept up Chris Forsberg and Ken Gushi cleaning the slate of all the forward momentum from this season for those four drivers. Fredric Aasbo side stepped all the land mines and took home first place and built a huge gap in the championship for himself leaving the next two rounds a big mystery.

9. Forrest Wang Being Faulted for Inactive Chase, HUH?
ForrestWang.S15Silvia

Who knew that Mad Mike was that fast or Forrest Wang was that slow? The inactive chase penalty against Forrest Wang seemed beyond harsh to me. The judges need to wake up please! You cannot fault a guy for inactive chase when he is driving his ass off but his car is just beyond slower than another car (see Faruk Kugay vs. Alex Heilbrunn in Pro 2 for same stupid call). The inactive chase was made for the penalization of cupcaking when one driver has a dominant lead and then doesn’t chase. I always recall Jim Guthrie vs. Vaughn Gittin Jr. at Wall Speedway as a perfect utilization for this. You cannot punish people for not building drag car/rocket ships or I guess now you can do just that…. I never got the impression Wang was cup caking around the course. I think it was a tough way to end a great Top 32 battle. Not sure if I have a better answer for this one but it just feels like a bad beat in my gut.

8. Yokoi Is the New Chelsea DeNofa
Yokoi

This guy has the most insane tandem follow runs of this season. I wish drivers would get out of his way so he could keep winning. His first battle with Pat Goodin was wild and I think he edged out Goodin in the end but judges went OMT. His chase on the OMT was just balls deep insane but sadly he made contact with Goodin and lost. Sound like someone else you know? Yes, Chelsea DeNofa who at times performs the best tandem follow runs the world has ever seen but mostly to a detriment in the end. Can Yokoi overcome that issue and continue to put on a show that is entertaining everyone while running clean? I guess time will tell us but he is looking more serious round by round in that chromed out 2JZ powered S15 Silvia.

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10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Round 4 New Jersey

DeanKearney

10. Dean Kearney – Irish Future with an American V10
In my opinion, if you could throw Dean Kearney in one of these Top 10 Formula Drift builds he could make a run at the championship. He has a car I would argue probably struggles to fall in the Top 20 Formula Drift builds. Now that Darren McNamara has exited stage right it feels Dean Kearney has taken the torch as the top Irish drifter in America. He fell just short of a victory which I feel the weather played a big impact. Since the runs went out of order, he did his Top 4 run in the dry where Aasbo got to run his Top 4 battle in the rain in addition to the Finals. Looking forward, Dean Kearney is in 11th place but is headed to Seattle where he got his first podium in the past.

VaughnGittinJr.StreetDrivenTour
9. Vaughn Gittin Jr. Needs to Give Up on Season and Debut 2015 Mustang RTR
Vaughn Gittin Jr. hasn’t had a stellar season by his standards at all. While he is only 117 points behind Ryan Tuerck in the lead, I find that with three rounds left he isn’t going to make up the gap at 39 points an event on Tuerck or Bakchis. With that said, I would rather him just retire the old S197 Mustang chassis and debut his S550 (2015 Mustang RTR). I got to see the car drift in person at Street Driven Tour VIR and the car looks and sounds way better than his old chassis. Let’s get the new 2015 on the track competing in Formula Drift!

JoonMaeng
8. Joon Maeng is the Only Driver to Not Qualify Under New Structure
Joon Maeng had an up and down 2014 season but nothing has prepared him for the disaster that is 2015 with his BMW Z4. With a 39 driver grid this season he is the only driver left to not qualify for an event yet. One good event could bring him safely into the Top 32 since he is only 51 points behind 32nd place as we stand so he still has some hope. He needs to invest in some serious testing time before these next rounds and start getting some points on the board. I would suggest diving in Pro 2 for the next three rounds to try and either defend his Pro position or at least snag some extra practice laps.

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Joe Rogan Experience #661 with Rutledge Wood Talk Drifting

Rutledge Wood of Top Gear USA fame was a guest on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast last week and brought up drifting on more than one occasion in the show. If you are unfamiliar with the Joe Rogan Experience it is a show (also podcast you can download through proper radio means) where he has guests over from all walks of life and chats about interesting topics. Rutledge Wood is the proud owner of the DTA 2JZ powered Scion XB that Pat Mordaunt took drifting around Willow Springs back in the day. If you are lazy, skip to about 35 minutes and tune in for a while.

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Round 3 at Orlando Speed World

PatGoodin

10. The Weekend Just Lacked Any Positive Narratives 

You know in sports when some miracle happens and they use that tacky cliche “you couldn’t even script this or write this…”? Well, I do hate that cliche because people can write about aliens, unicorns, and flying cars so putting together a compelling sports narrative with a shocking finish does’t seem that far fetched. This weekend of Formula Drift was the opposite of all that hype and lacked any real positive narratives.

The rain made drifting so slow and robbed us of smoke that we would of been just as entertained watching drivers draw straws to get a win. The home grown hero who cut his teeth at Orlando Speed World known as Pat Goodin couldn’t even qualify due to some car troubles giving this weekend the final nail in a miserable coffin.

KelseyRowlings.Juha.Pro2

9. Pro 2 Has Promise for 2015

Even with the bad weather conditions and a track that seemed hell bent on preventing good tandem drifting I saw that the Pro 2 ranks were far more entertaining than last season. I won’t make a bold proclamation about the Pro 2 season until I see them run at Seattle, but I do really like the builds and some drivers that have come out of the wood work for Pro 2 in 2015. The whole operation seems far more professional and relevant than its first season which I enjoy and shows potential for Pro 2 in the future.

Yokoi

8. Yokoi and his Car Are Growing into Formula Drift

Yokoi and his S15 Silvia look like night and day compared from his driving in Long Beach to Orlando. If it wasn’t for the wild fire coming out of his fuel system (more on that down at  #4) in a battle versus Ryan Tuerck I think he could of won that battle and possibly became the event winner.  Before going out in the Great 8 he managed to beat #1 in points Odi Bakchis in a Road Atlanta rematch. He also made pretty easy work of potential champion Fredric Aasbo in Top 32.

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2015 Formula Drift Pro 2 Round 1 Orlando Speed World Qualifying [RESULTS]

JamesEvans.MattCoffman

Pro 2 is in the books at Formula Drift Orlando Speed World and the 2015 season is kicked off! Here is the Top 16 for tomorrow’s Pro 2 event which will be Live Streamed.

1. Alex Heilbrunn
2. James Evans
3. Jeff Wolfson
4. Kevin Lawrence
5. Tommy Van Cleef
6. Brody Goble
7. Taylor Hull
8. Brandon Wicknick
9. Faruk Kugay
10. Jeff Jones
11. Andrey Gray
12. Brandon Patterson
13. Dave Briggs
14. Ryan Litteral
15. Juha Rintanen
16. Kelsey Rowlings
17. Chris Jeanneret

Top 16 Battles
Alex Heilbrunn vs. Kelsey Rowlings
Brandon Wicknick vs. Faruk Kugay
Kevin Lawerence vs. Dave Briggs
Tommy Van Cleef vs. Brandon Patterson

James Evans vs. Juha Rintanen
Taylor Hull vs. Jeff Jones
Jeff Wolfson vs. Ryan Litteral
Brody Goble vs. Andrew Gray

Inside Orlando Speed World – Home of Formula Drift Round 3

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The Orlando Speed World track has undergone major surgery and paved a ton of space to usher in the welcome of Formula Drift next week. A track in the past that was rumored to make Wall Speedway look like a Ritz Carlton is now set to host a Formula Drift weekend. Check out below to see a bunch of video that will introduce you to the new track.

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D1NZ Set for Justin Pawlak and a Ford Mustang with Rattla Motorsport

JustinPawlak.D1NZBound

The D1NZ series lost Mad Mike Whiddett to Formula Drift in 2015 but they are in the works of spicing up the series when it returns later this year. The D1NZ season is miles away with the 2015/2016 season kicking off in November at Manfeild Raceway. Driven reports he will be the first ever American to drive in D1NZ and the first Formula Drift driver (minus local Mad Mike Whiddett of course) to compete in the series. What do you think about Justin Pawlak making at least an appearance for one round of D1NZ for this upcoming season?

Source: http://www.driven.co.nz/

Another Look at Formula Drift Road Atlanta [GALLERY]

MadMike

TannerFoust

Jaron Cole took on Road Atlanta for us as well to document what happened at one of the best Formula Drift events in history. The entertainment and driving value never sell short when the series rolls into Georgia. Follow the link below to comb through another excellent gallery.

 

Check it out: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=449

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