Behind the hype train of hate, confusion, and misinformation I am delaying the 10 Things post until tomorrow to whip up a full and in-depth review of the Forrest Wang vs. Chris Forsberg Top 16 battle. The fans and viewers keep screaming for consistency and rules to apply so Formula Drift can be more clear cut. Well, let’s dig deep into this one.
This map was displayed clearly and discussed during the mandatory drivers meeting. This is referred to as an acceleration/deceleration map. The denotations of green should be a section of the course where you are on throttle and the red sections are acceptable braking/slowing down areas. This is a pretty clear understanding of the course. To promote very close proximity and tandem battles you have these maps so drifters can run close tandem and understand/expect where drivers will scrub speed/slow down.
In fact, Mad Mike Whiddett addressed this very topic in the drivers meeting after going over the accel/deaccel map. Mad Mike went on to ask about having big angle off the bank and slowing up/scrubbing speed. The judges replied to him no, they want to see a nice balance of angle and speed, while being on throttle, to set up a re-initiation for outer zone two (seen above).
Vaughn Gittin Jr. continues his focus and domination of the 2016 season in his three wheel Mustang. Wow, a bummer that Forsberg had an issue in follow forcing him to call 5 minutes or this battle could of been for the ages. The Vaughn Gittin Jr. follow run for him to win the event was insane! Rookie Alex Heilbrunn held his own and pushed Vaughn into an OMT battle but didn’t have enough in it. Here is how the podium finishes:
1. Vaughn Gittin Jr.
2. Chris Forsberg
3. Alex Heilbrunn (Rookie)
4. Ken Gushi
Here is the qualifying results from a gorgeous day in New Jersey. Only 30 drivers managed to get points this weekend leaving two bye runs for the top qualifiers into the Top 32. Dai Yoshihara looked insane during qualifying with two 93 point runs to lock in first place on Odi Bakchis on a style score tie breaker.
1. Dai Yoshihara 93
2. Odi Bakchis 93
3. Chelsea DeNofa 92
4. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 91
5. Fredric Aasbo 90
6. Ryan Tuerck 89
7. Chris Forsberg 88
8. Robbie Nishida 87
9. Alex Heilbrunn 84
10. Tyler McQuarrie 84
11. Ken Gushi 82
12. Justin Pawlak 82
13. Krisptas Bluss 81
14. Matt Field 80
15. Michael Essa 78
16. Alec Hohnadell 78
17. Dean Kearney 77
18. Jhonnathan Castro 76
19. Charles Ng 75
20. Andy Gray 75
21. Kyle Mohan 75
22. Juna Rintanen 75
23. Forrest Wang 74
24. Geoff Stoneback 74
25. Matt Coffman 73
26. Jeff Jones 72
27. Pat Goodin 72
28. Pat Mordaunt 64
29. Cameron Moore 55
30. Faruk Kugay 54
31. Mad Mike Whiddett Did Not Run
32. Kenneth Moen Did Not Run
Tandem Bracket Left
Dai Yoshihara vs. BYE
Alec Hohnadell vs. Dean Kearney
Robbie Nishida vs. Matt Coffman
Alex Heilbrunn vs. Geoff Stoneback
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Cameron Moore
Kristaps Bluss vs. Andrew Gray
Fredric Aasbo vs. Pat Mordaunt
Justin Pawlak vs. Kyle Mohan
Tandem Bracket Right
Odi Bakchis vs. BYE
Michael Essa vs. Jhonnathan Castro
Chris Forsberg vs. Jeff Jones
Tyler McQaurrie vs. Forrest Wang
Chelsea DeNofa vs. Faruk Kugay
Matt Field vs. Charles Ng
Ryan Tuerck vs. Pat Goodin
Ken Gushi vs. Juha Rintanen
In case you missed it, we put up a video on our Instagram of Ryan Tuerck running the new (old) course layout for New Jersey this weekend. This layout has seen some great tandem battles in the past and does eliminate the three right turns of the course reducing impact on tires in theory. Let’s see how it shakes out in qualifying/practice today.
The US Drift season kicked off this past weekened in Virginia at shenandoah Speedway with some great battles! In the end, MA Motorsport employee Dylan Hughes took his self built Nissan 240sx to the top of the podium in his second ever competitive event. Here is how the podium finished:
1st place – Dylan Hughes
2nd place – John Windham
3rd place – Josh Lambert
Formula Drift New Jersey is going retro with its layout this weekend and returning to the old style the event was run. I have to imagine with the old course being just three right turns basically that tire wear came in to impact this course change. Some drivers were having issues in Orlando with losing tire at the end of two runs or even before that. Watching some footage that I dug up of the 2011 layout, it does look like competitors can be in more of a drag race. Here are the laps side by side:
Old New Layout:
Jeremy Glover brings us some amazing coverage from the Formula Drift Canada Round 1 event at Montmagny! He even found long lost Dave Briggs who showed off some serious talent in his S14 he has now made black. Follow the link below for some full coverage from Round 1 of Formula Drift Canada.
Formula Drift rolled into Orlando Speed World and aside from the ridiculous heat and the glued tires it was a really fun event.
Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=470
10. Can Jhonnattan Castro Keep Finding that Potential?
The last time I remember Castro driving this good was at Homestead in Miami two season ago. He actually looked solid and consistent out of the box and it wasn’t the biggest shock to me when he took out Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Top 16. Jhonnattan needs to spend some serious time figuring out why he manages to drift so good in Florida. I cannot figure out if its because he is close to home, the humidity, his family/friends around, or just a random round he focuses in on drifting. He has the driver ability and talents in my eyes. Now, he just needs to dig up what makes him more focused and repeat repeat repeat.
9. Chris Forsberg’s 370z Looked Slow and Off the Pace
This season seems to of left behind Chris Forsberg’s 370z in terms of pace and speed around the course. All weekend at Orlando Speed World his car looked visually slower than some other teams on the grid. This was highlighted in a major way with his battle against Kristaps Bluss in the Final Four. If you watch the runs, Forsberg enters on Bluss door but then the BMW just powers through the course and speeds up at angle around the bank and Forsberg’s 370z cannot seem to do that. The car isn’t so slow that is belongs in Pro 2 or anything but his speed while drifting could make the difference between a third championship and finishing fourth place.
8. Drifting without Tires
The rule changes with a tire debead seemingly have confused about 90% of Formula Drift fans out there. I will try and clear it up quickly but it might require its own follow up post. Last year the rule was – a tire debead at anytime in a tandem battle resulted in a loss. In 2016, the rules state you cannot fix a tire debead but it does not result or impact a zero score. So, for example, Jeff Jones in qualifying lost a tire and kept drifting around the course. He was given a 70 for his run and the tire had no impact directly on the score but you have to imagine it slowed him down impacting his score from him having say, four tires. So, if you are in the first part of a tandem battle, you lose, because a car without a tire doesn’t pass tech to run again. If its the second run of a battle and you can keep going then its fair game. Now, here are the list of battles impacted by this rule. I respect Formula Drift for putting a line in the sand and I think teams need to figure out other ways than running 11 PSI in tires to get grip out of the car. Also, in the case of JTP – let the dude put air in his tires for crying out loud after contact and deflation.
1. Nate Hamilton Pro 2 Top 16 Battle (Loss Due to Tire Debead)
2. Mad Mike Whiddett Top 32 Battle versus Ken Gushi (Loss Due to First Round)
3. Fredric Aasbo Top 16 Battle vs Kyle Mohan (Loss Tire in follow and still won)
4. Justin Pawlak Top 16 Battle after contact with Forsberg (Ran but Spun Due to Low Tire Pressure)
5. Fredric Aasbo Final 4 Battle with Tyler McQuarrie (Lost on First Run and Tire Remounted)