Ken Gushi

Rapper Dan Savage Has Front Suspension Issue During Practice

RapperDanSavage

On the debut of his new Mazda Rx-8 it seems some things went wrong during practice as Dan flew down the Road Atlanta hill. Luckily this issue came out in Thursday practice and not qualifying. Here is what it looked like just before Formula Drift practice. Hat tip to Team Rowdy for the picture.

In other practice news Ken Gushi seems to be impressing the most people in attendance and others saying Fredric Aasbo is going really fast around course. Fredric did note they lowered the car and changed some things up just before Road Atlanta.

2014 Formula Drift Round 1 – A Review of the Top 32

MichaelEssa

Michael Essa qualified first this weekend – backing up his top qualifying spot at Irwindale Speedway last year. This makes two events in a row with a top qualifying spot for his E46 BMW. His first battle of the weekend was against Jeremy Richter who zeroed out on his follow run and then called a competition timeout. He was unable to return to the event and gave Michael Essa a pass to the Top 16.

PatMordaunt.BlownMotor

Pat Mordaunt blew his second engine of the week in the final practice session and gave Mats Baribeau and easy pass into the Top 16. His Hyundai Genesis (with red seats – not to be confused with Dennis Mertzanis’ Genesis that has black seats) retained the V6 Lambda motor which has continued to be a problem setup for the ARK team.ChelseaDeNofa.DennisMertzanis

Chelsea DeNofa was seemingly on his way to a victory over Dennis Mertzanis when his car shut off right by the horseshoe exit. Sources tell me he broke an axle and the mechanical gremlins continue to fall apart with the build. Dennis was given an easy pass to the Top 16 in his 1000hp Hyundai.

ForrestWang.CarlRyqduist

These guys were the first Top 32 battle to actually make two successful passes on the weekend. In the lead run Carl made a huge error resulting in a zero from the judges or a huge deduction. Forrest Wang on his follow run just sat back a little took it easy, which got him into the Top 16. All three judges favored Forrest Wang to move on.

GeoffStoneback.KennethMoen

Geoff Stoneback was the highlighted rookie of this weekend. After overcoming transport issues and clutch issues he managed to drive his way into the Top 32. He was sent packing by Kenneth Moen after two battles, but proved as a rookie he can overcome the diversity of the sport. Kenneth also looked unbeatable through most of the weekend.

The highlight of this tandem battle was the big wreck on Kyle Mohan’s follow run. These guys actually put on the best show of the weekend until Kyle planted his car into the wall, shattering his wheel. Robbie actually spins in a separate incident (off camera to LiveStream viewers) resulting in both drivers getting a 0 on the second run. The judges, after reviewing the first tandem battle where Kyle Mohan led gave, him the victory.

KyleMohan.Damage

Kyle and his team borrowed some taillights from a car in their paddock and got to work on replacements. Speaking with Kyle after the round, the team managed to get the car back on the road with a new wheel, brake lines, other small items, and one serious alignment. He does get the car back on track for the Top 16 introductions which is quite impressive!

MarcLanderville

Marc Landerville and Fredric Aasbo was another actually solid battle. Marc maybe even had a slight advantage after the first run groupings but really messed up his exit on turn 10 and went way shallow. That was the nail in his coffin and allowing Fredric to advance into the 16. All three judges picked Fredric to advance into 16.JCastro.ConradGrunewald

Jhonnattan Castro looked impressive in his CFR built Nissan 370z this weekend, but ran a little too conservative to defeat Conrad Grunewald in the Camaro. Castro looked far improved from any performance he had given in the past. Conrad really outshined him on the chase run letting Conrad move into the 16.

DaveBriggs.VaughnGittinJr

Dave Briggs was on fire with his performance over the weekend. In fact, he was putting out WAY more smoke than Vaughn Gittin Jr. throughout these battles. He drove Vaughn to a OMT after the first set of runs. Dave Briggs had an insane lead run and Vaughn Gittin Jr. made contact with the wall throwing him off line through turn 10. After the contact Dave has a huge correction, forcing the judges into a OMT. All three judges called for the first OMT battle.

During the OMT battle, Dave  fell a little behind on the follow run probably leaving him at a slight disadvantage as Vaughn went wall to wall without hesitation. Briggs’ lead run was awesome but he couldn’t make up the big amount of space he left when chasing Vaughn. All three judges favored Vaughn to advance!

DeanKearney

The Irish battle took place with Dean Kearney facing Darren McNamara. Dean looked insane with the Dodge Viper when he could complete the course. He was bringing out one aggressive snap entry into 10 and flying through the course. After watching both runs again and again after the event, I think the judges could of taken this either way. The judges really should of sent this battle to a OMT in my opinion, but they ended up calling it all three for Darren McNamara.

DaiYoshihara

Neither of these drivers were excited about this Top 32 draw. Dai Yoshihara in a new twin turbo V8 Subaru BRZ surely wanted an easier tandem partner for his first competition round in the new car. Chris Forsberg showed little remorse with two insanely solid runs dispatching Dai in the Subaru BRZ. All three judges favored with Chris Forsberg to move into the 16.

PatGoodin.DaigoSaito

Pat Goodin and Daigo Saito was one for the ages! Pat Goodin actually out qualified Daigo Saito so he was given the ability to lead first. Daigo was glued to Pat Goodin and didn’t give him enough space to transition heading into the horseshoe. Daigo smashed into his rear quarter panel leaving his bumper behind.

Sadly for Daigo Saito he already used his competition timeout in qualifying so he was unable to fix his car. Daigo attempted to bring the car out back to the start line but clearly had a serious front suspension issue and had to let Pat Goodin advance into the Top 16.

TylerMcQuarrie

Tyler McQuarrie and Tony Angelo was a tame contest. Tyler was just clearly faster around the course and easily dispatched Tony Angelo who experienced various driveline issues throughout the week.

KenGushi.OdiBakchis

Ken Gushi and Odi Bakchis was one of my favorite battles of the Top 32. Odi Bakchis had an insane chase really showing he has progressed a ton in the off-season. In the photo above, Odi Bakchis is so close you cannot even see his car buried by Ken Gushi’s Scion FR-S. All three judges easily went with Odi Bakchis to move into the 16.

JTP.FordMustang

Justin Pawlak stole the playbook from old Falken Tire teammate Haraguchi and used a feint entry into Turn 9. Why the judges or anyone said this was okay is beyond me! He continued this entry to gap drivers on his lead and then dove in normally on his follow run. It was kind of a lame strategy but the judges allowed this to take place.

Justin then parked it (hence the photo) on his second run and didn’t take off. He claimed Jeff Jones jumped the light and he couldn’t catch up. Jeff Jones ran the whole course in quite an impressive fashion but managed to break an axle before he returned. Jeff Jones called a competition time out but couldn’t fix his car, so JTP was allowed to advance into the 16. It was quite a strategic play overall from his perspective , but really sold the fans short of a good battle.

AlecHohnadell

Alec Hohnadell was the one of the three rookies to qualify into the Top 32. In his follow, run he really held his own following Ryan Tuerck with only a minor steering correction as his only deduction. In the end, Ryan Tuerck dismissed the rookie but he really performed well. I feel like with an easier draw in the 32, Alec could have advanced into the Top 16.

 

This wraps up the Top 32 round guys and we will have a Top 16 to podium summary also coming out very soon!

Formula Drift Long Beach Practice/Qualifying [GALLERY]

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Formula Drift Long Beach kicks off this weekend. Check out the rest of the gallery:

http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=385

Formula Drift Round 1 Bracket Breakdown with Tandem Battles

KenGushi

Here are the Top 32 brackets and we grouped together the potential Top 16 pairings as well. Sit back and get ready for an insane Round 1 of Formula Drift with the new season officially underway. Here is how they are set:

LEFT BRACKET

1 Michael Essa vs. 32 Jeremy Richter
16 Patrick Mordaunt vs. 17 Mats Baribeau

8 Chelsea DeNofa vs. 25 Dennis Mertzanis
9 Forrest Wang vs. 24 Carl Rydquist

4 Kenneth Moen vs. 29 Geoff Stoneback
13 Kyle Mohan vs. 20 Robbie Nishida

5 Fredric Aasbo vs. 28 Marc Landerville
12 Conrad Grunewald vs. 21 Jhonnathan Castro

RIGHT BRACKET

2 Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. 30 Dave Briggs
15 Darren McNamara vs. 18 Dean Kearney

7 Chris Forsberg vs. 25 Daijiro Yoshihara
10 Pat Goodin vs. 23 Daigo Saito

3 Tyler McQuarrie vs. 30 Tony Angelo
14 Odi Bakchis vs. 19 Ken Gushi

6 Justin Pawlak vs. 27 Jeff Jones
12 Ryan Tuerck vs. 22 Alec Hohnadell

Ken Gushi’s Scion FR-S for 2014 Formula Drift Season

KenGushi.ScionFRS.Front

KenGushi.ScionFRS.Side

Ken Gushi’s new Scion Racing FR-S looks pretty awesome for the 2014 Formula Drift season. This is the same grey car that debuted at SEMA but now has a “race” wrap ready to take on Formula Drift. Ken shows off his wide body kit and maintains his big partnerships with Greddy and Hankook for 2014. See more of his car and the whole Scion Racing team in the gallery below.

Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=381

Formula Drift Thailand – Another Look [VIDEO]

While we covered the results of Formula Drift Thailand last week we found an awesome compilation video that is the highest quality content we have seen come out of the Thailand event weekend to date. Follow along again as Fredric Aasbo drives to a win with other drives like Ken Gushi and Daigo Saito doing battle in the Formula Drift Asia series.

2014 Formula Drift Asia Round 3 in Thailand [RESULTS]

FredricAasbo.RSR.ToyotaFT86

What a great event streamed live across the world from Thailand this morning! The biggest news to come out of the FD Asia Round 3 event was that Fredric Aasbo defeated Daigo Saito and advanced into the finals. Daigo Saito was suffering from an illness so bad he did not attend the Top 16 driver introductions. However, he did still manage to beat some great drivers like Tengku Djan Ley but couldn’t defeat Fredric Aasbo in his V8 powered Toyota 86.

Our Twitter feed, which you can follow or look at from the link above, covers a minute by minute recap of what happened at Formula Drift Thailand. Otherwise, here is how the podium finished up:

1. Fredric Aasbo (RSR Toyota 86)
2. Oat Nattawood (MStar Mazda Rx-7)
3. Davide Dorigo (Rasta Silvia)
4. Daigo Saito (Achilles Radial Lexus IS250C)

Watch Formula Drift Thailand Round 3 Tonight [LIVESTREAM]

TengkuDjan.DaigoSaito.Tandem

The Formula Drift Asia series has a rear treat for you this evening or really early tomorrow (depending on area c0de)! Round 3 in Thailand will feature a Livestream that airs at 12:00am PST or 3:00am EST. Normally Formula Drift Asia isn’t allowed to do a Livestream due to live television rights in Asia but this round has an exception! So sit back and stay up really really late to enjoy Round 3 in Thailand with familiar drivers Ken Gushi, Robbie Nishida, Daigo Saito, and Tengku Djian all set to compete in the Top 32! Tune in:

How to Watch Formula Drift Asia Round 3 Thailand:
January 19th, 2013 – 12:00am PST
January 19th, 2013 – 3:00am EST

http://www.grandprixchannel.com/th/

2013 Formula Drift Asia Round 3 Thailand Qualifying [RESULTS]

FredricAasbo.V8ToyotaFT86

The qualifying results are in from the first runs which set the Top 16 for Formula Drift Asia’s Round 3 event in Thailand. Fredric Aasbo took his V8 powered Toyota 86 to the top qualifying spot in Thailand. Pathumthani Speedway is build in the shape of a high speed P. Here is how the Top 16 finished:

1. Fredric Aasbo (82)
2. Davide Dorigo (82)
3. Auttapon Prakopkong (82)
4. Daigo Saito (80)
5. Tengku Djan Ley (79)
6. Chiam Jun Wen Benjamin (77)
7. Masao Suenaga (77)
8. Josh Boettcher (73)
9. Somchai Aroonrung (70)
10. Daynom Templeman (69)
11. Oat Nattawoot Krerpradab (69)
12. Ken Gushi (69)
13. Sadis Duangmas (66)
14. Kulachart Rhyvatana (66)
15. Kumpee Thamtarana (65)
16. Pachara Chokkueakueakulchai (65)

Biggest Disappointments in Drifting From 2013

In case you missed it our whole staff got together for a Google+ Hangout with special guests Justin Banner of MotoIQ.com and Formula Drift judge/US Drift owner Brian Eggert. We weighed in on six categories including one that was the biggest disappointment of 2013. Here is my paraphrasing of everyones answers or you can watch them answer in video directly by using the link below.

Joey Redmond (me) – The Rookie Class
The rookie race over the past few seasons has been a fun and interesting battle to say the least. The word I described them as for the season was “deplorable” in Formula Drift. It threw the future of the sport into question and I think forced the hand of Formula Drift staff to fast track the Pro 2 series. Marc Landerville really showed promise at New Jersey but only participated in that one event. Some of the drivers that ran like Mats and Nate Hamilton have potential but they just didn’t put it together. The 2014 class has tons of promise so don’t give up hope yet.

Rathyna Gomer – Final Fight at Irwindale
The way Michael Essa won a championship and how it was anticlimactic. It just lacked excitement as a fan and most people were in the dark about behind the scenes activities like the protests going on.

Justin Banner – Protests
He points to the slowing down of the show for protests this year was a huge let down. It really played a major effect on Round 6 at Texas with the judging call reversal which he doesn’t even 100% agree with after watching replays.

Jacob Leveton – Walker Wilkerson
Tons of people were excited about his twin turbo LS7 Nissan 240sx S14 and managed to miss Round 1 which was already a let down with the build. He did attend Motegi Drift Challenge and did very well at the event and landed a podium. With an engine issue at Road Atlanta he didn’t perform well and then vanished for the rest of 2013. He had a good car and program in the past so it was a let down to not see him around. Jacob spoked with him and a good bit of it was attributed to parts issues.

Brian Eggert – Corey Hosford / Nate Hamilton / Ken Gushi
Brian didn’t want to place it as a dissapointment but more of a misfortunte or disappointment for the season with these two drivers. Corey Hosford he felt with the help of Chris Forsberg Racing was going to do really well and with car troubles and issues just couldn’t make it happen. Nate coming off a great performance in XDC he had high hopes for just had a couple issues and couldn’t make it come together. He was eighth in 2012 and finished 21st this season. He missed rounds 2/3 with car issues and just never really recovered.

 

Watch Us Discuss Our Disappointments: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlJNAKAx9sM&feature=share&t=10m15s