Current Formula D Championship Standings (after 6 rounds):
|1. Fredric Aasbo
|2. Ken Gushi
|3. Ryan Tuerck
|4. Chris Forsberg
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.