Jhonnattan Castro

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Seattle

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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.

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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.

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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 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?

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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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2017 Formula Drift Round 2 Orlando Speedworld [GALLERY]

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Enjoy all the action going down at Orlando Speedworld for Formula Drift Round 2. Andrew Jennings was on the scene to capture all the happenings of Pro 2 and Pro over the event weekend. He even caught Justin Pawlak and Vaughn Gittin Jr. banging doors through the infield.

Gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wreckedmagazine/

2017 Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach Qualifying [RESULTS]

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Vaughn Gittin Jr. makes an insane 97 point qualifying run to steal the show on the Streets of Long Beach kicking off the 2017 season. This amazing qualifying run earns him a bye into the Top 16. The Irish wonder James Deane was just a point behind putting down a 96 in his Silvia on this streets course as well. New cars, new problems, and some crashes wrapped up the Friday of Long Beach. Three drivers were unable to get a qualifying point including Kyle Mohan, Charles Ng, and Faruk Kugay.

1. Vaughn Gittin Jr. (97)
2. James Deane (96/91)
3. Ryan Tuerck (96/90)
4. Fredric Aasbo (91/82)
5. Alex Heilbrunn (91/68)
6. Matt Coffman (90)
7. Chris Forsberg (89/87)
8. Odi Bakchis (89/86)
9. Piotr Wiecek (87)
10. Ken Gushi (86)
11. Matt Field (85)
12. Juha Rintanen (83)
13. Kristaps Bluss (81/0)
14. Justin Pawlak (81/0)
15. Michael Essa (81/0)
16. Dean Kearney (80/71)
17. Jhonnathan Castro (78/77)
18. Dai Yoshihara (78/0)
19. Pat Goodin (78/0)
20. Robbie Nishida (77/72)
21. Jeff Jones (77/71)
22. Nate Hamilton (75)
23. Gocha Chivchyan (73)
24. Chelsea DeNofa (72)
25. Cameron Moore (68)
26. Alec Hohnadell (67)
27. Dan Burkett (60)
28. Kyle Mohan (0)
29. Charles Ng (0)
30. Faruk Kugay (0)

Top 32 Bracket
(LEFT)
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs BYE
Dean Kearney vs. J Castro
Odi Bakchis vs. Cameron Moore
Piotr Wiekcek vs. Chelsea DeNofa
Fredric Aasbo vs. BYE
Kristaps Bluss vs. Robbie Nishida
Alex Heilbrunn vs. BYE
Juha Rintanen vs. Jeff Jones

(RIGHT)
James Deane vs. BYE
Michael Essa vs. Dai Yoshihara
Chris Forsberg vs. Alec Hohnadell
Ken Gushi vs. G Chivchyan
Ryan Tuerck vs. BYE
Justin Pawlak vs. Pat Goodin
Matt Coffman vs. Dan Burkett
Matt Field vs. Nate Hamilton

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift’s Canada Invasion

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10. Justin PAWLAKKKKK – WOW!
Justin Pawlak’s drifting was on another planet this weekend. He looked to be back to his old insane FC Mazda RX-7 style that everyone just loved so much. Perhaps he is just growing into the S550 Ford Mustang chassis? Either way, if he can keep it together a little more I think he is a serious threat for the remaining part of 2016. Let’s also not forget to mention, he threw in some super insane entry against Vaughn following that didn’t quite work out, then managed to catch up to Vaughn and he tried to punt him off the track. Love it! If you go back into qualifying videos and watch his runs you will be impressed 100%.

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9. Odi Bakchis Has Turned a Hyundai into Gold
After years and years of watching people struggle to drift a Hyundai chassis you really have to tip the hat to Odi Bakchis as a suspension wizard. He makes his Genesis couple look and drift just like his Nissan 240sx and probably needs to receive a couple million dollars of Hyundai marketing money to help continue making their platform look so viable. Odi would be in the championship chase for me this year if he wasn’t just so conservative in his tandem chases sometimes. He needs to break that mental barrier of conservative in his head and find that bit of flair and he could run the whole way. He did really step up the game I felt like this weekend and should be recognized for it.

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8. The Best Commentary Setup in Formula Drift History
Two things made this the best commentated event in Formula Drift history and I just hope Formula Drift can figure out how to keep doing it the future. #1, Ryan L. as a judge explaining things is genius even though I feel like it could pull away from his judging focus. Explanations are great and at least informing people is a huge plus (although I doubt most are listening/paying attention). #2 and more important is that Formula Drift had live commentary for the crowd itself. That means that Ryan Sage and Jarod DeAnda could focus on broadcasting a TV like show over the air and it worked like a charm. Nothing makes everyone want to turn off the Livestream more than when Jarod is asking for people to do the wave at Irwindale and you are sitting in your parents damp basement eating a PBJ sandwich. The overall quality of production just seemed so much better and it was great to hear the crowd randomly roaring up without being prompted in my ear. Just my .02 cents on that.

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2016 Formula Drift Round 5 in Canada Qualifying [RESULTS]

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Forrest Wang got pretty wild with a top qualifying run after coming out of retirement (watch run). Only 28 drivers made the trek over the border and just 27 of them managed to get a score. Tyler McQuarrie crashed in practice and was unable to fix the car before his qualifying runs. The notable drivers we documented missing from this weekend were Pat Morduant, Kristaps Bluss, Alex Heilbrunn, Kenneth Moen, and Jeff Jones were all missing from the roster. Local star Marc Landerville was added to the competition this weekend and he managed to qualify 11th. Here is how the scores stacked up:

1. Forrest Wang 92
2. Ryan Tuerck 89
3. Justin Pawlak 89
4. Chelsea DeNofa 88
5. Fredric Aasbo 88
6. Dai Yoshihara 88
7. Alec Hohnadell 87
8. Odi Bakchis 86
9. Matt Field 85
10. Chris Forsberg 85
11. Marc Landerville 84
12. Pat Goodin 84
13. Matt Coffman 83
14. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 83
15. Kyle Mohan 81
16. Andrew Gray 81
17. Geoff Stoneback 81
18. Ken Gushi 80
19. Michael Essa 80
20. Charles Ng 79
21. Robbie Nishida 79
22. Dean Kearney 79
23. J Castro 77
24. Cameron Moore 75
25. Mad Mike Whiddett 73
26. Faruk Kugay 70
27. Juha Rintanen 56
28. Tyler McQuarrie 0 (DNR)

Left Bracket
Forrest Wang vs. BYE
Andrewy Gray vs. Geoff Stoneback
Odi Bakchis vs. Mad Mike Whiddett
Matt Field vs. Cameron Moore
Chelsea DeNofa vs. BYE
Matt Coffman vs. Charles Ng
Fredric Aasbo vs. BYE
Pat Goodin vs. Robbie Nishida

Right Bracket
Ryan Tuerck vs. BYE
Kyle Mohan vs. Ken Gushi
Alec Hohnadell vs. Faruk Kugay
Chris Forsberg vs. J Castro
Justin Pawlak vs. BYE
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Michael Essa
Dai Yoshihara vs. Juha Rintanen
Marc Landerville vs. Dean Kearney

2016 Formula Drift Round 4 New Jersey Qualifying [RESULTS]

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Here is the qualifying results from a gorgeous day in New Jersey. Only 30 drivers managed to get points this weekend leaving two bye runs for the top qualifiers into the Top 32. Dai Yoshihara looked insane during qualifying with two 93 point runs to lock in first place on Odi Bakchis on a style score tie breaker.

1. Dai Yoshihara 93
2. Odi Bakchis 93
3. Chelsea DeNofa 92
4. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 91
5. Fredric Aasbo 90
6. Ryan Tuerck 89
7. Chris Forsberg 88
8. Robbie Nishida 87
9. Alex Heilbrunn 84
10. Tyler McQuarrie 84
11. Ken Gushi 82
12. Justin Pawlak 82
13. Krisptas Bluss 81
14. Matt Field 80
15. Michael Essa 78
16. Alec Hohnadell 78
17. Dean Kearney 77
18. Jhonnathan Castro 76
19. Charles Ng 75
20. Andy Gray 75
21. Kyle Mohan 75
22. Juna Rintanen 75
23. Forrest Wang 74
24. Geoff Stoneback 74
25. Matt Coffman 73
26. Jeff Jones 72
27. Pat Goodin 72
28. Pat Mordaunt 64
29. Cameron Moore 55
30. Faruk Kugay 54
31. Mad Mike Whiddett Did Not Run
32. Kenneth Moen Did Not Run

Tandem Bracket Left
Dai Yoshihara vs. BYE
Alec Hohnadell vs. Dean Kearney
Robbie Nishida vs. Matt Coffman
Alex Heilbrunn vs. Geoff Stoneback
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Cameron Moore
Kristaps Bluss vs. Andrew Gray
Fredric Aasbo vs. Pat Mordaunt
Justin Pawlak vs. Kyle Mohan

Tandem Bracket Right
Odi Bakchis vs. BYE
Michael Essa vs. Jhonnathan Castro
Chris Forsberg vs. Jeff Jones
Tyler McQaurrie vs. Forrest Wang
Chelsea DeNofa vs. Faruk Kugay
Matt Field vs. Charles Ng
Ryan Tuerck vs. Pat Goodin
Ken Gushi vs. Juha Rintanen

2016 Formula Drift Round 3 Orlando Speed World [GALLERY]

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Formula Drift rolled into Orlando Speed World and aside from the ridiculous heat and the glued tires it was a really fun event.

 

Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=470

10 Things I Learned About Formula Drift Orlando

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10. Can Jhonnattan Castro Keep Finding that Potential?
The last time I remember Castro driving this good was at Homestead in Miami two season ago. He actually looked solid and consistent out of the box and it wasn’t the biggest shock to me when he took out Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Top 16. Jhonnattan needs to spend some serious time figuring out why he manages to drift so good in Florida. I cannot figure out if its because he is close to home, the humidity, his family/friends around, or just a random round he focuses in on drifting. He has the driver ability and talents in my eyes. Now, he just needs to dig up what makes him more focused and repeat repeat repeat.

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9. Chris Forsberg’s 370z Looked Slow and Off the Pace
This season seems to of left behind Chris Forsberg’s 370z in terms of pace and speed around the course. All weekend at Orlando Speed World his car looked visually slower than some other teams on the grid. This was highlighted in a major way with his battle against Kristaps Bluss in the Final Four. If you watch the runs, Forsberg enters on Bluss door but then the BMW just powers through the course and speeds up at angle around the bank and Forsberg’s 370z cannot seem to do that. The car isn’t so slow that is belongs in Pro 2 or anything but his speed while drifting could make the difference between a third championship and finishing fourth place.

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8. Drifting without Tires
The rule changes with a tire debead seemingly have confused about 90% of Formula Drift fans out there. I will try and clear it up quickly but it might require its own follow up post. Last year the rule was – a tire debead at anytime in a tandem battle resulted in a loss. In 2016, the rules state you cannot fix a tire debead but it does not result or impact a zero score. So, for example, Jeff Jones in qualifying lost a tire and kept drifting around the course. He was given a 70 for his run and the tire had no impact directly on the score but you have to imagine it slowed him down impacting his score from him having say, four tires. So, if you are in the first part of a tandem battle, you lose, because a car without a tire doesn’t pass tech to run again. If its the second run of a battle and you can keep going then its fair game. Now, here are the list of battles impacted by this rule. I respect Formula Drift for putting a line in the sand and I think teams need to figure out other ways than running 11 PSI in tires to get grip out of the car. Also, in the case of JTP – let the dude put air in his tires for crying out loud after contact and deflation.

1. Nate Hamilton Pro 2 Top 16 Battle (Loss Due to Tire Debead)
2. Mad Mike Whiddett Top 32 Battle versus Ken Gushi (Loss Due to First Round)
3. Fredric Aasbo Top 16 Battle vs Kyle Mohan (Loss Tire in follow and still won)
4. Justin Pawlak Top 16 Battle after contact with Forsberg (Ran but Spun Due to Low Tire Pressure)
5. Fredric Aasbo Final 4 Battle with Tyler McQuarrie (Lost on First Run and Tire Remounted)

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