Ken Gushi

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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2015 Formula Drift Round 5 Qualifying [RESULTS]

KennethMoen

Formula Drift qualifying at Evergreen Speedway was an interesting one. It went quickly but so many drivers scored a zero due to the rain and then transition to dry during the weekend. It was a tough one and we just wish that the weather would behave for a weekend already. Here is how they qualified-

1. Kenneth Moen 89
2. Ryan Tuerck 87
3. Fredric Aasbo 87
4. Ken Gushi 85
5. Kristaps Bluss 84
6. Forrest Wang 84
7. Matt Field 81
8. Chris Forsberg 80
9. Alec Hohnadell 79
10. Chelsea DeNofa 79
11. Odi Bakchis 78
12. Justin Pawlak 77
13. Pat Mordaunt 77
14. Michael Essa 77
15. Pat Goodin 76
16. Charles Ng 76
17. Daigo Saito 76
18. Masashi Yokoi 75
19. Dai Yoshihara 75
20. Tyler McQuarrie 75
21. Dean Kearney 74
22. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 74
23. Conrad Grunewald 74
24. Kyle Mohan 73
25. Nate Hamilton 72
26. Jhonnattan Castro 68
27. Mad Mike Whiddett 67
28. Matt Coffman 66
29. Brandon Wicknick 66
30. Dan Savage 64
31. Geoff Stoneback 62
32. Jeff Jones 61

Top 32 Tandem Battle
Left Bracket
Kenneth Moen vs. Jeff Jones
Charles Ng vs. Daigo Saito

Chris Forsberg vs. Nate Hamilton
Alec Hohnadell vs. Kyle Mohan

Ken Gushi vs. Brandon Wicknick
Pat Morduant vs. Tyler McQuarrie

Kristaps Bluss vs. Matt Coffman
Justin Pawlak vs. Dean Kearney

Right Bracket
Ryan Tuerck vs. Geoff Stoneback
Pat Goodin vs. Masahi Yokoi

Matt Field vs. Jhonnattan Castro
Chelsea DeNofa vs. Conrad Grunewald

Fredric Aasbo vs. Dan Savage
Michael Essa vs. Dai Yoshihara

Forrest Wang vs. Mad Mike Whiddett
Odi Bakchivs vs. Vaughn Gittin Jr.

2015 Formula Drift Round 4 New Jersey Qualifying [RESULTS]

Gushi-Atlanta

So 37 drivers showed up for New Jersey which is one of the better driver counts for a Wall Speedway event that we can remember. I guess narrowing down the field just swept away the non-serious players. Two drivers (James Evans and Charles Ng) failed to get a score so only three drivers with a score didn’t qualify. 78 was the cutoff score which is pretty high compared to the average. Here is how they guys finished and who the tandem battles will be in the morning –

1. Ken Gushi 93 (46 Style)
2. Fredric Aasbo 93 (44 Style)
3. Justin Pawlak 92 (46 Style)
4. Pat Goodin 92 (45 Style)
5. Kenneth Moen 91 (43 Style)
6. Chris Forsberg 91 (43 Style)
7. Chelsea DeNofa 90
8. Robbie Nishida 89 (44 Style)
9. Ryan Tuerck 89 (44 Style)
10. Pat Mordaunt 89 (42 Style)
11. Odi Bakchis 88 (42 Style)
12. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 88 (41 Style)
13. Forrest Wang 87 (40 Style)
14. Rapper Dan Savage 87 (40 Style)
15. Jhonnattan Castro 85 (42 Style)
16. Matt Field 85 (41 Style)
17. Conrad Grunewald 85 (40 Style)
18. Kristaps Bluss 84 (42 Style)
19. Masashi Yokoi 84 (41 Style)
20. Dai Yoshihara 84 (39 Style)
21. Dean Kearney 83 (40 Style)
22. Jeff Jones 83 (40 Style)
23. Marc Landerville 83 (40 Style)
24. Brandon Wicknick 83 (39 Style)
25. Daigo Saito 83 (36 Style)
26. Geoff Stoneback 82 (39 Style)
27. Alec Hohnadell 82 (36 Style)
28. Kyle Mohan 81 (36 Style)
29. Michael Essa 81 (35 Style)
30. Tyler McQuarrie 80 (36 Style)
31. Mats Baribeau 80 (36 Style)
32. Nate Hamilton 78

Top 32 Tandem Bracket (Left)
Ken Gushi vs. Nate Hamilton
Matt Field vs. Conrad Grunewald

Robbie Nishida vs. Daigo Saito
Ryan Tuerck vs. Brandon Wicknick

Pat Goodin vs. Michael Essa
Forrest Wang vs. Dai Yoshihara

Kenneth Moen vs. Kyle Mohan
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Dean Kearney

Top 32 Tandem Bracket (Right)
Fredric Aasbo vs. Mats Baribeau
Jhonnattan Castro vs. Kristaps Bluss

Chelsea DeNofa vs. Geoff Stoneback
Pat Mordaunt vs. Marc Landerville

Justin Pawlak vs. Tyler McQuarrie
Rapper Dan Savage vs. Masashi Yokoi

Chris Forsberg vs. Alec Hohnadell
Odi Bakchis vs. Jeff Jones

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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