Fredric Aasbo

2017 Formula Drift End of Season awards

jamesdeane-champion

Formula Drift announced their annual awards at a special awards banquet over the weekend. Special thanks to Formula D ProAm partner US Drift for posting these on their Facebook page.

Here’s a look at all the awards that were handed out:

PRO2
Fan Favorite Car of the Year: “Chucky” Ola Jaeger
Fan Favorite Driver of the Year: Dirk Stratton
Ace of the Year: Kevin Lawrence
Rookie of the Year: Travis Reeder

PRO
Fan Favorite Car of the Year: Kristaps Blušs
Fan Favorite Driver of the Year: Kristaps Blušs
Best Personal Style: Ken Gushi
Best Drifting Style: Chelsea DeNofa
Hard Charger: Jhonnattan Castro
Spotter of the Year: Amy Bakchis (Aurimas Bakchis (Odi))
Spirit of Drifting: Robbie Nishida
Crew of the Year: Worthouse Drift Team (Piotr Więcek / James Deane.)
Crew Chief of the Year: Alex (James Deane)
Team Manager of the Year: Brian Bridges (Bridges Racing)
Most Improved Driver (31st [2016]- 20th [2017]): Jeff Jones
Comeback of the Year: Aurimas Bakchis
Top Qualifier of the Year: James Deane
Ace of the Year (29 wins – 3 losses / 90.6%): James Deane
Rookie of the Year: Piotr Więcek
Most One More Times (7): Odi Bakchis
Automotive Manufacturer Champion: Toyota Racing
Tire Manufacturer Champion: Falken Tire
Third Place Season: Odi Bakchis
Second Place Season: Fredric Aasbø
First Place Season: James Deane

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Seattle

mustangbattle

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.

jcastro86
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.

mattcoffman-seattle
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.
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2017 Formula Drift Seattle Round 6 [GALLERY]

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Andrew Jennings rocked out with some amazing Formula Drift Seattle snaps. All the dirty tricks, tandem drifting, and Formula Drift paddock action in one great gallery.

Check out the Gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wreckedmagazine/albums/72157684890609220

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Canada

fredricaasbo-corollaim

10. Fredric Aasbo Locks in the 3peat
Fredric Aasbo is now 15-0 at Autodrome St. DeSmash which is a pretty insane record for anyone at any track. He has taken on all comers and is now the most winning Formula Drift driver in history with 10 passing Sam Hubinette and Vaughn Gittin who both have 9 victories. His insane record at this track is a big part of that with 3o% of his career wins. Could he 4peat next year?
marclanderville

9. Give Marc Landerville Some Budget so he can run a full season

Marc Landerville really entertains me on the track and I wish his sponsors would pony him up for a real program run. Maybe FD can look at least letting him run Jersey and some other close events? We know the space is available in Top 32. His run with Aasbo was awesome and I agree with Andy Yen who wanted the OMT on that battle. Keep up the hard work Marc and figure out how to do more FD events in 2018.

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10 Things I Learned about Formula Drift Road Atlanta

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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?

travisreeder
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.
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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?

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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.
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10 Things I Learned About Formula Drift Orlando

jcastro
10. JJJJJJ CASTRO!
The legend of Jhonnattan Castro in Florida continues on. He has a long history of being success at Florida tracks including defeating Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the past. J Castro single handedly derailed the James Deane hype train by defeating him in the Top 16. Now

kevinlawrence
9. Kevin Lawrence Might Be the Future Fredric Aasbo
Looking into Pro 2 you basically had Kevin Lawrence put on a clinic against the rest of the series. I know that this was his home track but man he had that robotic style of consistency that I remember Aasbo having back in the Supra. Smart money has him winning the Pro 2 championship this year.
8. Pro 2 Picture Perfect
Finally the Pro 2 program is moving in the right direction. Good battles, balanced tandem, and even a great podium restored my belief in the system once again. Sadly the field was filled with many drivers who are not Pro Am license holders but I’ll take it for now. Pro 2 put on a decent performance in Orlando last season as well so the success of this year’s Pro 2 program will be looked at next round.

deankearney-spin

7. WHY did you spin Dean Kearney?
An amazing battle in my eyes was the European showdown of Dean Kearney and Piotr Wiecek. Why did you spin Dean Kearney? Just why! He has developed over time in the Dodge Viper and these guys were ready to put on a show! I don’t think Dean Kearney has that Viper in championship trim yet but he is doing far better than I ever thought he could over the last few events with it.

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2017 Formula Drift Long Beach Round 1 [GALLERY]

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The 2017 kicked off with a great event shot by Justin Kaehler. We have a complete collection of images covering the Streets of Long Beach and the first career victory of James Deane in his S15 Silvia. Ryan Tuerck was on fire, DeNofa looked wild in his ne Mustang RTR, and a bunch of Europeans made their Formula Drift debut.

Check out the Gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wreckedmagazine/albums/72157682266689316

A Historical Look at How the Formula Drift Long Beach Winner Finishes the Season

jamesdeane

I made some bold claims that Long Beach wasn’t very relevant to the big picture of a Formula Drift championship. I opted to put my money where my mouth was and crunch the numbers from the past 10 seasons. James Deane and his performance in Long Beach looks like it is about 30% likely to bring him home a Formula Drift championship. An impressive 50% chance he will finish in the Top 3 of Formula Drift this year and an even more impressive statistic of 70% likely to finish in the Top 5. Below is the data I compiled to create these statistics.

2007 Winner – Mitsuru Haraguchi (Finished Season 12th)
2008 Winner – Chris Forsberg (Finished Season 5th)
2009 Winner – Ryan Tuerck (Finished Season 2nd)
2010 Winner – Vaughn Gittin Jr. (Finish Season 1st)
2011 Winner – Justin Pawlak (Finish Season 2nd)
2012 Winner – Justin Pawlak (Finish Season 4th)
2013 Winner – Dai Yoshihara (Finish Season 11th)
2014 Winner – Chris Forsberg (Finish Season 1st)
2015 Winner – Fredric Aasbo (Finish Season 1st)

2016 Winner – Chelsea DeNofa (Finish Season 17th)

10 Things I Learned From Formula Drift Long Beach

mattcoffman
10. Have We Watched Matt Coffman Grow Up Before Our Eyes?
One of the most impressive improvements I saw at Long Beach was Matt Coffman. I’ve always found he had talent but really lacked on the mental side of the game. He would be amazing in practice and then fall apart in Top 32 or over commit and put himself in a bad spot. He was a smooth operator this weekend, finishing in sixth place overall, between Fredric Aasbo and Chris Forsberg. That is some good company. If he can keep that up I would watch out for this dark horse.

mattfield
9. Matt Field – My Biggest Disappointment of the Weekend
His car probably deserves the middle finger…. or whatever mess of a disaster happened this weekend for him hopefully can be forgotten real quick. He is sitting in 12th place right now but I had expectations he could really be a front runner in 2017. I hope he didn’t leave his good driving behind in with that customary yellow livery. He needs to turn things around quick if he wants to be relevant in 2017.

alexheilbrunn
8. Alex Heilbrunn is Where the Hype Should Be
When Alex Heilbrunn got done dominating Pro 2 everyone thought he would arrive in Formula Drift and win all seven rounds at the time. Reality proved to be way more difficult, but Alex has been fighting and fighting his way through the field. My guess is now he is ready to make a big swing for the fences and keep it together for seven more rounds. He landed on the podium last year in New Jersey and looked great in Orlando so another repeat of that performance and he can have a good jump in the standings early.

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2017 Formula Drift Round 1 at Long Beach [RESULTS]

jamesdeane

James Deane drove his way to a first place finish after qualifying second on the weekend in Long Beach. This track setup does favor a RHD setup but Deane just seemed to crush the competition hands down regardless of the advantage. Alex Heilbrunn was the most impressive driver on the weekend for me knocking out Odi Bakchis and Fredric Aasbo in two amazing battles. The 2017 season is off to a wild start with big name veterans very high up the championship standings. I am working on my 10 Things post already so stay tuned. Here is how they finished:

1st- James Deane
2nd- Alex Heilbrunn
3rd- Ryan Tuerck
4th- Odi Bakchis

 

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