Ken Gushi

2015 Formula Drift Round 7 Final Fight at Irwindale Speedway Part 1 [GALLERY]

RyanTuerck JCastro.KenGushi TannerFoust.VW

Justin Kaehler attacks Part 1 of our Irwindale Speedway coverage on Wrecked Magazine. Here are photos covering the Final Fight that brought Fredric Aasbo his first championship in his Scion tC. The 20k fans were treated to car to car contact and some solid battles to close out the 2015 season.

Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=463

 

10 Things I learned From Formula Drift Final Fight at Irwindale Speedway

10. Daigo Saito’s Perfect Irwindale Record Comes to An End at 16 Wins

DaigoSaito

Part of me was starting to think that Daigo Saito would retire before losing at Iwindale Speedway. Sadly, a Top 16 battle with champion Fredric Aasbo after a riveting OMT battle saw Daigo Saito finally fall at the House of Drift. This puts his career track record for Irwindale Speedway at a whopping 16-1. Never has one driver been so dominate in Formula Drift history at one track and I hated to watch his undefeated record come to an end.

9. Mad Mike Whiddett Nailed It This Weekend

MadMikeWhiddett

Mad Mike Whiddett looked pretty solid at Irwindale this weekend. His return to Formula Drift in general had much more impact than his first season and I hope he returns for 2016. He made quite a run this weekend at Irwindale Speedway finally losing to the champion in the Great 8. He easily disposed of Ryan Tuerck and James Evans putting him firmly in 19th for the championship. Not a bad result considering he missed Long Beach and New Jersey.

8. Struggling Drivers Don’t Rise to Occassion at Irwindale

DaveBriggs

The bottom of the Pro list is where a ton of drivers needed to put down big performances to stay in the Pro series or at least put up points to prove they have what it takes still to compete. Dave Briggs suffered a malfunction and was eliminated early, Joon Maeng couldn’t get a score good enough to place in the Top 32 for qualifying, and Nikolett Szanto didn’t even turn a wheel. A pretty sad showing that was amplified by Mats Baribeau who crashed during qualifying and didn’t make the Top 32 as well. It will be sad to not see some of these guys in the Pro ranks for 2016, especially since I think most issues they had were mechanical.

7. Irwindale Speedway Might Not Be Going Away

Nobody really wanted to speak either way 100% but from what I gathered it is a high probability (over 50%) that Irwindale Speedway will host Formula Drift next year and possibly a few years after that with some luck. Either way, we took on a special project at Wrecked Magazine to pay tribute to the House of Drift which will come out later this month. We talked to drivers and fans about their personal favorite moment from the tracks history.

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2015 Formula Drift Championship [RESULTS]

FredricAasbo.Cha,pion

The 2015 championship is a wrap! Fredric Aasbo followed up his second place finish last year with a championship in 2015. Ken Gushi was right on his heels the whole way in what wound up a Scion dominated season. The Scion brand finished 1,2, and 4 during this Formula Drift season which is unparalleled by any OEM in this sports history. Chris Forsberg took his Nissan 370z with a respectable 3rd place season finish to follow up with his 14 championship run. Here is how the Top 20 finished up for 2015 –

1. Fredric Aasbo – 530
2. Ken Gushi – 431
3. Chris Forsberg – 382
4. Ryan Tuerck – 367
5. Odi Bakchis – 363
6. Masashi Yokoi – 324
7. Justin Pawlak – 287
8. Forrest Wang – 285
9. Matt Field – 282
10. Alec Hohnadell – 272
11. Kenneth Moen – 247
12. Daigo Saito – 238
13. Vaughn Gittin Jr – 226
14. Dean Kearney – 220
15. Chelsea DeNofa – 212
15. Tyler McQuarrie – 212
17. Pat Mordaunt – 211
18. Pat Goodin – 207
19. Mad Mike Whiddett – 192
20. Charles Ng – 191

2015 Formula Drift Round 7 Final Fight at Irwindale [RESULTS]

FredricAasbo

The Final Fight at Irwindale Speedway came to an end last night with somewhat of an anti-climatic ending to a solid season. Ken Gushi suffered through multiple engines to keep going through the weekend refused to quit but fell short when trying to chase Fredric Aasbo in the finals. If Aasbo had lost in the Top 32 it would of put Ken Gushi just one place shy of a championship. Here is how the Final Fight at Irwindale Speedway finished –

1. Fredric Aasbo
2. Ken Gushi
3. Forrest Wang

What it takes to win in 2015: Post Irwindale Qualifying scenarios

FredricAasbo

Current Formula D USA Championship Standings Post Irwindale Qualifying:

1. Fredric Aasbo 432 Points
2. Ken Gushi 355 Points
3. Ryan Tuerck 335 Points
4. Chris Forsberg 334 Points

 

Current Formula D World Championship Standings (after 8 rounds and Irwindale Qualifying):

1. Fredric Aasbo 595 Points
2. Odi Bakchis 438 Points
3. Matt Field 343 Points
4. Masashi Yokoi 315 Points

The fate of both the Formula Drift USA and Formula Drift World Championships will lie at the tires of Kristaps Bluss.

As the first tandem battle for Fredric Aasbo, Aasbo will clinch both championships if he can move into the top 16. Since Aasbo has earned no fewer than 16 tandem points by making the top 32, the only way for Ken Gushi to makeup the 77 point difference in the USA championship is by earning the full 100 points as an event winner, which is 84 points more than a top 32 exit. In the world championship chase, a loss by Aasbo in top 32 would open the door for Odi Bakchis to take the championship should he win the event as the 100 points Bakchis would earn as event champion would be doubled to 200 points, overcoming the current 157 point difference. Aasbo has already earned 32 tandem points by making the top 16, so even a second place finish for Bakchis wouldn’t be enough (80 points for 2nd x 2 = 160 points earned – 32 points if Aasbo exits in top 32 = 128 points).

Full points structure can be found HERE. Keep in mind that for the World Championship chase, all points at Irwindale are doubled due to the China round being cancelled.

First round tandem matchups:

Fredric Aasbo vs Kristaps Bluss (7th top 32 battle)
Ken Gushi vs Jhonnattan Castro (13th top 32 battle)
Odi Bakchis vs Kyle Mohan (9th top 32 battle)

What it takes to win in 2015: Ken Gushi

Gushi Texas

Current Formula D Championship Standings (after 6 rounds):

1. Fredric Aasbo 428 Points
2. Ken Gushi 348 Points
3. Ryan Tuerck 332 Points
4. Chris Forsberg 331 Points

To say that Gushi has turned heads this year is an understatement. Gushi has finished in 13th, 21st, and 8th overall over the past three seasons respectively, and hadn’t podiumed since Sonoma in 2009 entering this season. With a trio of podiums at Atlanta, Orlando, and Texas, combined with a pair of top qualifiers back-to-back at Orlando and New Jersey, Gushi has nearly as much hardware this season as in previous 11 seasons combined. With Gittin Jr. missing Irwindale, the list of drivers who have attended every single Formula Drift event to date will shrink down to just Gushi, Forsberg, and Yoshihara. Of that list, Gushi is the lone driver without a championship (Forsberg 2007 & 2014, Yoshihara in 2011).

Should Aasbo qualify 1st overall on Friday, Gushi must qualify in eighth or higher position to have a shot at the championship. If Aasbo qualifies in second, then Gushi will need a qualifying effort in the top 16 to still remain in the chase. Should Aasbo qualify in third position, any qualifying effort in the top 32 will keep Gushi’s hopes alive. However, in all scenarios where both Gushi and Aasbo are driving on Saturday, Gushi must win the event AND Aasbo must lose his top 32 battle. If Aasbo moves on to the top 16, Gushi’s hopes for his first championship will end.

In the wildest scenario where Aasbo does not qualify for top 32, Gushi will still need to make the final round of competition to still have a shot at the championship. Should Gushi face either Forsberg or Tuerck in the final round under the same scenario of Aasbo watching all of the Saturday competition from the bleachers, then qualifying results from Friday would determine whether Gushi would need to win to clinch the championship, or whether Forsberg or Tuerck could win the championship with the event win. We will have an updated post after qualifying on Friday with the specifics, but if Tuerck or Forsberg earn 3 or 4 more championship points ing via qualifyrespectively than Gushi, then the championship could come down to the final battle at Irwindale for the second consecutive year. That scenario has a lot of ‘what-ifs’ going on, which we will recap after we know the results from Friday as they are far too numerous to run through.

Gushi has been a popular topic of discussion this season, thanks to his resurgence in the Scion FR-S. Gushi was the #1 topic in the ’10 things I learned’ article from Atlanta, and Joey even predicted that Gushi will be 2016 champion in his ’10 things I learned’ article from Texas. This is the first season since 2005 that Gushi will finish in the top 5 overall, and the confidence gained this season will undoubtedly motivate him towards success next season.

2015 Formula Drift Round 6 at Texas Motor Speedway [GALLERY]

RobbieNishida.ChrisForsberg KenGushi.RyanTuerck FarukKugay.AlexHeilbrunn

A wild Formula Drift Round 6 weekend in Texas brought out the heat and some crazy competition. Ryan Lopez was on the scene to capture some great Pro 2 and Pro content with the new Texas Motor Speedway layout. The longest Top 16 in Formula Drift history finally came to an end well into the night. Check out all the images through the link below.

Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=460

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
Screenshot 2015-08-22 13.53.33
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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2015 Formula Drift Texas Round 6 [RESULTS]

YokoiS15Silvia

Wow, settling down from this race was a tough one. It was the longest Top 16 in the series 10+ year history from what I counted. This event was also beyond packed with controversy! I really thought Ken Gushi was going to take home his first victory in 10+ years but it just wasn’t meant to be. Here is how they results wrapped up (10 Things post will be coming soon) –

1. Masashi Yokoi
2. Ken Gushi
3. Chris Forsberg
4. Daigo Saito

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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