Wrecks

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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Joe Tardiff Involved in Serious Crash at Sonoma Drift

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A wild accident at Sonoma Drift last night resulted in Joe Tardiff (Trailer Joe) being taken to the hospital. He did post a photo on Instagram giving a thumbs up from the hospital so glad to know he is okay! Even with all the safety equipment available in his car we have heard he has a broken rib and a concussion possibly. This is why drift series in America stress safety equipment and this happened in a parking lot. If you follow the jump below you can view the accident on Instagram and the car being cut open to get him out of it. Chris Mills spun out and was wedged into a k-rail and Joe Tardiff went slamming into him. An incident that could easily happen at any local drift event in America.

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1000hp Hyundai Genesis Goes Up in Flames Mid Drift [VIDEO]

This amazing 1000hp Hyundai Genesis driven by Matt Haugen went up in a huge blaze during a practice recently. The Street Standard Genesis was first spotted by us at Street Driven Tour Las Vegas where he was throwing down some wild runs. The Street Standard guys told us the car was an issue with over filling the fuel cell. The car is okay along with the driver from this little incident.

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Round 5 Seattle

10. Championship Dreams Shattered Left and Right!
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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?
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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
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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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Karolina Pilarczyk’s Big Crash at King of Touge

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Well known European driver Karolina Pilarczyk had a tough accident with her 240sx at King of Touge in France. A crazy hit (we are looking for a video – post in comments if you find) of her big accident. Sadly, we still haven’t seen the other famous European girl drifter make her Formula drift debut but I have heard Irwindale could be her big debut in a rented car perhaps. Karolina Pilarczyk seems to have an awesome attitude about the crash posting the car is coming back better and faster than ever. Check below for a more crash photos.

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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.

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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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Odi Bakchis vs. Fredric Aasbo in the Finals – You Decide [VIDEO]

After watching this video a couple hundred times and sharing it with some other pro drifters I cannot seem to determine who was truly at fault for the contact but it does seem to me when you watch this in full screen at 1080 that Fredric Aasbo intentionally makes the car spin once Odi hits him. That is somewhat hard to say either way since Odi made contact with his wheel but you can see him rotating the wheel from the drivers position and the wheel moving (implying to me that suspension wasn’t broken) in the video. Fredric was hit quite a few times in the same area this weekend which makes me lean more towards the favor of Odi Bakchis not being at fault. I am curious to see what you guys all think in the comments.

One thing is for sure, Formula Drift needs to provide judges a better viewing angle in this hairpin other than what the Livestream provided. Our POV in this footage is far better than anything the judges had to look at. Several people in my 10 Things post even chimed in about drivers knocking over clip cones and people missing it but the Livestream view is less than ideal. I think they really need an inside clip camera and one on the outside to watch wheel speeds, e-brakes, and all the other games that clearly went on in that area. Chime in below!

Chinese Drift Event Shows Off Atrocious Safety

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Someone sent us photos from this Chinese drift event that appears to of taken on public streets somewhere in the country. Not a ton of details on the series organization or what was structured from the fans POV but we sure hope the fans have more separation than some caution tape secured to the trees nearby.  We do see some spaced out k-rails but they aren’t consistent around the course and these trees sure seem mean. Also, not quite sure how this car got so beat up from these photographs. Has anyone see video of this disaster or have details on what series it was? We would love to see more information on the event/incident/series.

Kyle Mohan Gets his FC Mazda RX-7 Smashed at All-Star Bash [VIDEO]

Kyle Mohan spins on Horse Thief Mile during a tandem train and the drift car with the camera mounted on it barrels right into Mohan’s FC putting some serious damage on it and his car. You will probably end up watching the contact a few times over and over again. That poor FC Mazda that just got a fresh paint/wrap.

Drift All-Stars Estonia GP [VIDEO]

Huge Ryan Tuerck fans might remember this event because he drove the Failcrew S13 to a first place finish in Estonia for the Estonia GP. This amazing video captures the Estonia GP round and a great victory speech with the event winner Ryan Tuerck.

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