The 2013 rulebook had five major changes and passing is the final link in these changes. This last one refers to passing which had a few errors in judgement or result over the 2012 season in my opinion. The Tyler McQuarrie and Joon Maeng debacle at Road Atlanta comes to mind as a poor use of the old passing rules. Below you can see the improvement in the rulebook and a quote from Andy Yen.
Updated verbiage on passing.
Formula DRIFT has adjusted the passing verbiage in the rulebook to make it more broad and open. The purpose of this will be to give drivers a chance to attack a lead driver who is making noticeable mistakes and also for the public to be more deeply engaged in the competition.
Passing is allowed in Formula DRIFT. Passing is allowed anywhere on course as long as the lead car is clearly off the line the judges have specified. Any passing that occurs outside the scope of the aforementioned criteria will be deemed illegal and constitute an equivalence to a zero (0) run.
“We made these changes to make judging specific criteria less ambiguous and more defined, which will keep us accountable for consistency,” said Andy Yen, judge for Formula DRIFT. “The new changes will help define the judging without sacrificing the essence of drifting, subjectivity.”
The rulebook has even more changes for the new 2013 drift season. Here are a plethora of ways you can now throw away a race officially either in qualifying or tandem runs during the weekend. In theory these should make some judging calls much more black and white (hitting a cone for example) but potentially less entertaining to fans since we are forcing the drivers to be a hair more conservative and mild mannered. The big thing in the rules I noticed was ONE WHEEL OFF is now a huge step closer to a big fat ZERO. This would of changed up quite the results over the course of 2012 and produces some big headaches for Road Atlanta and PBIR. Below is the official rulebook change from FD.
4. Specific issues identified as zeros (0) in qualifying and tandem.
Formula DRIFT has identified specific terms that would receive a judging zero (0) in both qualifying and tandem.
- Spinning out
- Loss of drift
- Two tires off course
- Hood, hatch and/or doors open during a run
- Resulting contact causes an abrupt change in the vehicles drift and/or causes a spin
Two or more of the following items constitute and automatic zero in tandem:
- One wheel off course
- Hitting a cone or course marker
- Double entry
- Abrupt stop
Vaughn Gittin Jr. releases another new video for Formula Drift Road Atlanta showing his great performance weekend until his defeat to Daigo Saito in the Top 16. After watching a few angles of that tandem battle Vaughn even covers what he thinks happened in the tandem round. The video is just over three minutes long and covers his performance at Round 2. Right now he sits in 13th in the Formula Drift championship putting him far off from another championship run at this point in time.
Ryan Tuerck quickly announced that Road Atlanta is his favorite track on the Formula Drift circuit. He walks through the track changes and shows some of the impact that the rumble stripes have on your wheels and suspension. The change in course actually has you driving with the rumble strip height change instead of against it. Ryan performed well this weekend and even defeated 2011 champion Daijiro Yoshihara in the Top 32.
Here are some snapshots we captured of the tandem battle between these two guys. Click of any of the images to jump to the video.
One of the runs in Top 16 tons of people put focus on was the battle with Daigo Saito and Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Top 16. Daigo was coming off a podium in Long Beach and Vaughn Gittin Jr. a blown chance against Odi Bakchis in Top 32. These two put on quite possibly one of the best tandem battles of the weekend as one high horsepower turbo’d 2JZ-GTE engine lines up against a Ford Racing crate engine. With the help of Brian Casse we captured a great video of the two in tandem.
The guys from Streetwise Drift put on the Pro Am competition this weekend at Road Atlanta which saw an onslaught of Sikky Engineering sponsored V8 Nissan 240sx cars. They even offered some decent payouts between Exedy Clutch and Enjuku Racing to the drivers who came out. In fact, they are also hosting the Palm Beach Intl. Raceway Pro Am at the beginning of June. Here is how the podium stacked up:
1st – Bill Stenger
2nd – James Evans
3rd – Jason Jiovani
Here is how the championship stacks up after the first two rounds. Justin Pawlak is setting up himself to sweep up the competition this season with two wins in a row. His season went great last year but lost the championship with mechanical issues in Seattle and Las Vegas which let Dai Yoshihara sneak by. Right now Daigo Saito looks like the only one within reach but plenty of crazy things can happen in the next 5 rounds.
1. Justin Pawlak – 209 points
2. Daigo Saito – 157.50 points
3. Fredric Aasbo – 152 points
4. Rhys Millen – 127 points
5. Matt Powers – 126.50 points
6. Ryan Tuerck – 120.50 points
7. Dai Yoshihara – 118 points
8. Odi Bakchis – 117.25 points
9. Ryan Kado – 114 points
10. Kyle Mohan – 109.50 points
11. Toshiki Yoshioka – 108.50 points
12. Michael Essa – 97.50 points
13. Vaughn Gittin Jr. – 96 points
14. Chris Forsberg – 93 points
15. Tyler McQuarrie – 88.50 points
16. Kennet Moen – 87.50 points
17. Ken Gushi – 86.25 points
17. Joon Maeng – 86.25 points
19. Conrad Grunewald – 85 points
20. Matt Field – 79.25 points
21. Tony Angelo – 78.75 points
22. Walker Wilkerson – 69.50 points
23. Darren McNamara – 50.25 points
24. George Marstanovic – 49.25 points
24. Dennis Mertzanis – 49.25 points
All of the action with well over 1,000+ photos from the Main Event at Formula Drift Road Atlanta. All of the controversy and drama captured in photographs between tandem accidents, close battles, and another victory to Justin Pawlak. Sit back and enjoy a podium for Fredric Aasbo, Daigo Saito and the victory machine this season Justin Pawlak.
During qualifying today Formula Drift had some speed gun issues which resulted in changing every driver to receiving 10 points changing the qualifying order and a few drivers got entered wrong into the original bracket that was released. As far as we know here are the official tandem battles that will be happening in a few hours at Road Atlanta:
Michael Essa vs. Corey Hosford
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Darren McNamara
Matt Field vs. Danny George
Daigo Saito vs. Chelsea DeNofa
Justin Pawlak vs. Ken Gushi
Matt Powers vs. George Marstonovic
Dai Yoshihara vs. Ryan Tuerck
Odi Bakchis vs. Patrick Goodin
Chris Forsberg vs. Toshiki Yoshioka
Fredric Aasbo vs. Robbie Nishida
Joon Maeng vs. Tyler McQuarrie
Dennis Mertzanis vs. Kyle Mohan
Conrad Grunewald vs. Tony Angelo
Ryan Kado vs. Jeff Jones
Kenneth Moen vs. Walker Wilkerson
Rhys Millen vs. Luke Lonberger
Does Vaughn look like he is going the wrong way through the horseshoe? Well the fact of the matter is this is the new track layout has reversed having drivers not turn into the horseshoe at the bottom and go all the way to the top of the horseshoe with four cones pushing you to the outside of the course and hooking downhill around the horseshoe. This awesome photograph was snapped by Vaughn’s recent wife Abigail Gittin Jr. showing him entering into the top of the horseshoe going forward. Below is an on car of the practice run showing how the new tentative course layout will work for this weekend.
Vaughn Gittin Jr. on new track layout - “The fact that its a change is fun and challenging. I definitely love the old setup, but I think this new track is going to allow for overall closer tandem throughout the course rather than just in certain spots.”