The guys at Falken Tire shared today a new look to the 2013 Ford Mustang of Justin Pawlak showing a much more matte finish to this car. Him along with Daijiro Yoshihara and Falken Motorsports Manager J Brad will be in attendance at Adams Motorsports Park in Riverside, California tonight. What does everyone think of the matte look against the traditional teal/blue?
Tyler McQuarrie released some GoPro footage of all his Las Vegas runs including his Top 32 battle with Justin Pawlak which sparked some post race controversy with some people claiming Tyler slowed down and Justin Pawlak telling Tyler McQuarrie he should of kept driving after he got hit.
What I didn’t realize until watching the video is that Justin actually hit the Camaro twice in that last clip section of the track. If you want an idea of the impact felt from Tyler you should watch his helmet go flying around the cockpit during the impact times. This ends up being a quite different view from what I saw in person and what the Livestream put together.
After you watch the Camaro get smacked around by a Ford Mustang you can check out his tandem battles with Toshiki Yoshioka once the track dries up in the RSR S15. These runs are pretty great as well and finally see Tyler get eliminted in the Top 8 by Fredric Aasbo in his Scion Racing tC putting out an insane amount of smoke.
One thing we can all be sure of is that Justin Pawlak ran into and practically over Tyler McQuarrie in Top 32 this weekend putting just about the final nail in the coffin of his championship hopes which looked so promising after three rounds this season. While this confrontation lacked Formula Drift Insider and a gaggle of media outlets like the PBIR one with Daigo Saito we managed to capture some of the conversation with images and then talk to Tyler McQuarrie later about it.
The approach was done just after Tyler got knocked out of the Top 8 and JTP wanted to know why he couldn’t keep drifting after he “tapped” Tyler. Talking to his crew (Mobil 1 / Chevrolet team) just after Top 32 the car was hit so hard they had to pull out the transmission and bang the chassis back into submission by the door where Justin made contact completely bending the chassis by the door.
Tyler took him over to the car and showed him the damage according to Tyler and after a few minutes of back and forth the conversation ended cordially. Apparently no one is safe once they are on track as Justin Pawlak beats himself just like in Palm Beach with Daigo Saito.
Last month in July we confirmed that ASD and Falken Tire will be splitting ways in 2013. What this means for the Falken Tire program seems to be a mystery of how it will move forward next year but ASD I feel like will be around in 2013 but at what capacity is a mystery? Falken Tire has historically ran a program without other sponsors retaining the teal/blue vehicle with Falken over the rear quarter panel.
Now a rumor has been flying around the pits about JTP courting a potential title sponsor for 2013 which almost begs to ask will JTP and VGJ even be running Falken in 2013? If they release these guys or cannot come to terms on a program I think it would be a huge mistake for the Falken Tire brand.
As for a sponsor for Justin Pawlak I can only imagine his sponsor being a dog fighting ring, a UFC company, or maybe even an evil third world dictatorship. The reality is probably far from that and while we cannot dig up much information on the title deal at this point our guess seems to point to HPI Racing if we are looking at a sponsor that is already on board with him. HPI has been doing things with Justin Pawlak and VGJ and you can currently see the logo on JTP’s car in the photo above in orange on the rear quarter panel.
As a follow-up to our qualifying post yesterday, we re-calculated the standings based on the tandem points only, and Saito rises to the top as the best tandem driver this season based on the tandem points alone. Justin Pawlak has earned more tandem points than his Ford and Falken Tire teammate Vaughn Gittin Jr, while Chris Forsberg would rank ahead of his Hankook Tire teammate Fredric Aasbo based on tandem points alone. Powers is the highest ranked driver who does not have a podium finish. Yoshioka is the highest ranked driver who has missed a top 32.
To compare these rankings to the current season point totals, check out the post we made after round 5.
Averaging just top 16 would put you at 270 points overall (5×54), or in 9th place ahead of Matt Powers and behind Fredric Aasbo. Averaging a top 8 every round so far would put you in 6th place with 305 points, ahead of Rhys Millen.
After some rumors have circled around the drift community we got some super solid evidence and communication tonight that after Formula Drift 2012 is complete the ASD and Falken Tire camp will be separated as official partners. The first outward visual issue of the partnership really came when Darren McNamara jumped ship into SPD Metal Works, the team who maintains Daijiro Yoshihara’s 2011 championship S13.4, and planned to finish out the 2012 season with the Falken S15.
Right now Vaughn Gittin Jr. is poised to take home his second championship in three years as he leads the race with just two rounds left. That would leave ASD at a championship average better than most programs building drift cars. No communication yet exactly how things will pan out for Falken Tire or the respective ASD drivers of VGJ and Justin Pawlak but information should be available soon.Whatever they have cooking up in Fontana, California they plan to win more and more championships after going back to back I am sure.
The qualifying scores were delayed because of a protest by Jeff Jones that he did not have 2 tires go offline. Jeff Jones won the protest, but it did not effect the qualifying score.
1. V. Gittin Jr
2. J. Pawlak
3. T. Yoshioka
4. P. Mordaunt
5. C. Forsberg
6. C. Grunewald
7. F. Aasbo
8. W. Wilkerson
9. M. Powers
10. R. Kado
11. D. McNamara
12. D. Yoshihara
13. M. Field
14. K. Gushi
15. R. Tuerck
16. M. Essa
17. O. Bakchis
18. R. Nishida
19. K. Moen
20. T. Aono
21. D. Mertzanis
22. D. Saito
23. A. Lee
24. K. Pollard
25. C. Denofa
26. P. Goodin
27. T. Brakohiapa
28. R. Millen
29. J. Castro
30. T. Angelo
31. J. Lowe
32. M. Ovcharik
Here is how the championship standings got mixed up after a crazy weekend in New Jersey. The championship race got much closer after a poor showing from Justin Pawlak this weekend letting Daigo Saito push within 13 points and Dai Yoshihara at 51 points away currently. Here is how the Top 16 are stacked up right now:
1. Justin Pawlak – 342 points
2. Daigo Saito – 329 points
3. Dai Yoshihara – 291 points
4. Vaughn Gittin Jr. – 279 points
5. Chris Forsberg – 265 points
6. Odi Bakchis – 243.25 points
7. Rhys Millen – 240 points
8. Ryan Tuerck – 239.50 points
9. Fredric Aasbo – 238.50 points
10. Matt Powers – 212.50 points
11. Kenneth Moen – 206.50 points
12. Ken Gushi – 196.50 points
13. Tyler McQuarrie – 183.50 points
14. Michael Essa – 177 points
15. Conrad Grunewald – 173.50 points
16. Chelsea DeNofa – 138.50 points
Achilles Tire looks like our only hope from preventing a Falken Three-Peat this season and the lead man behind this operation is Daigo Saito. The japanese driver has been dominating the competition here in American and took home his first win at Palm Beach International Raceway. Here is a four minute highlight reel of how he took home the victory after a Chelsea DeNofa crash, a controversial JTP battle, and a victory over Chris Forsberg.
Finally after a post that escalated to 1,150+ Facebook Likes and 50 comments earlier this month on Wrecked Magazine has seen the light of day with a conflict. Sadly the Formula Drift Insider did some editing and skipping of the argument between Justin Pawlak, Daigo Saito (and translator Robbie Nishida) as Justin whines about what went down in the tandem battle with Daigo. Regardless it marked the first time he lost this season and clearly JTP wasn’t happy about it. The Achilles Team is really making a big scene this season in Formula Drift and we love it.
The Insider also highlights Chris Forsberg and his new setup with the Nissan 370z which brought him to his first podium of the 2012 season. Luckily he didn’t beat Justin Pawlak as well so no surprise visits in his section of the video. The segment does spend some time with the MA Motorsport guys who are now running his team from behind the scenes for a cool outlook on the NOS Energy Drink 370z.