10. The MVP of the Weekend – The Weather
The biggest game changer of the weekend in Long Beach was the rain. I was on site this weekend and when the rain started it was unbelievable how much oil and junk came up from the parking lot. Keep in mind, turn 9 through 10B are basically parking spaces used by the convention center and aquarium on a daily basis. The large issue at hand wasn’t just the rain but the oils and things it took up from the ground. If I would have known people would claim that Formula Drift cannot be done in the rain – I would have taken pictures of this gross water. Let’s keep in mind that it also doesn’t frequently rain in Southern California so the amount of junk coming up from the pavement was huge in scale. The ground was so inconsistent that huge zero traction patches were found across the course where the driver would basically become a passenger as several described it to me in the car. I am one of the first people to criticize Formula Drift when I think they do the wrong thing and everything this weekend was handled perfectly. The drivers wanted a set qualifying and nobody spoke up against it from what I saw and heard in the drivers meeting. With just 32 teams it just happened to work out and lead to the best Top 16 in Formula Drift history.
9. Kyle Mohan Debuts Most Exciting New Car with his Mazda MX-5
It was pretty clear to me that Kyle Mohan debuted the most exciting new car of the 2016 season. The pre-season buzz when I released his Mazda MX-5 to the public was huge. The car didn’t quite looked dialed in and was very snappy over the race weekend. Long Beach is very different from the other seven courses coming up so I am trying not to read too much into his performance. For him to be a contender in 2016, the car seems like it needs some work. Also, while he is working on the car I think he should invest in some wide body front fenders.
8. Cameron Moore Was Best Rookie on the Weekend
The rookie class of 2016 is sitting in a five way tie for Rookie of the Year right now since they all lost in Top 32 and no qualifying points were issued for the weekend. Cameron Moore looked most likely to win his Top 32 battle against Chris Forsberg. He did a really impressive follow run and spun on his lead run that most likely would’ve earned him at least an OMT if he kept pedaling around the course. Cameron Moore impressed me with his ability to handle the wet conditions better than most people in the paddock. I know he hails from the Pacific Northwest so he might not even know what the sun looks like yet. He looked comfortable and uninitiated being in the main event so I will keep my eye on him over the next couple rounds of Formula Drift.