Round 6 of the Formula Drift Pro 1 season marks the return to Evergreen Speedway. Tucked away in the Pacific Northwest, this facility has been a mainstay of motorsports for over 60 years. This year would mark the 10th anniversary of being a part of the FormulaD competition circuit. Evergreen Speedway is also apart of FormulaD ProAm series where drivers compete over 5 rounds to obtain their FD license and move onto the FormulaD Pro 2 series. The stage for Round 6 provided an amazing championship points race, vehicular carnage, and a surprising underdog victory. August 4th marked my 4 day excursion to Evergreen Speedway to cover Round 6, as well as our local Evergreen Drift event Tandem Mayhem on Sunday. Lets take a look at some highlights from the 3 days of FormulaD.
Sit down, strap in, take a bathroom break...this is gonna take a minute.
Day 1: Practice
Matt Field's Car is on point AF this season!
Matt's Falken Tire, Nissan S14.5 is dressed up in a livery, provided by Factory 83, that both hurts your eyes but makes you not want to look away. The colors and contrast makes this schassis unmistakable, even when engulfed in clouds of smoke.
Rotiform CHD-T's wrapped in Falken rubber provided the grip to put the power from his 1,000hp LSX S14 down to the ground,
and creating the immense plumes of mutilated rubber that filled Evergreen Speedway.
Vaughn Gitten Jr. was looking to secure his lead for the championship points going into Round 6 and came out swinging during practice in his Ford Mustang RTR.
Charging the 5/8th bank ridiculously hard, he routinely pulled tire off the track holding 3-wheeled drifts into the transition down power alley.
After day 1 of practice I thought for sure we would see Vaughn on the podium come Saturday evening.
Fredrick Aasbo, sitting 2nd in season points, was not looking as settled and solid as years past at Evergreen.
Armed with his Papadakis Racing, Rockstar Energy, SC by Toyota TC, Fredrick would be facing some stiff competition over the next 2 days. We saw Fredrick take home the gold last year, would he be able to pull off a repeat performance?
Mad Mike Whiddet and his quad rotor, twin turbo, Mazda MX5 RADBULL are the bee's knees. I love seeing this guy drive, unfortunately he hasn't had the best luck at this track but still manages to put on an amazing show!
Last year we saw some awesome battles between Mike and Forrest Wang, I couldn't wait to see who he would be paired with for Saturdays competition.
Link to full gallery from Day 1 Practice available below.
Day 2: Qualifying
The early bird catches the worm. As I embarked on my drive to Evergreen Speedway in the morning for Qualifying, I was graced by the presence of this Porsche. A scene of Germany meets Japan, my R32 GTR fell in line behind him as I merged onto the freeway. I reached for my camera and snapped a few quick shots. We spent the next 40 min playing leap frog as we made our way up the freeway towards our destinations. Today is going to be a good day.
Arriving at the track shortly after opening, the once bustling speedway was a ghost town as crews and drivers trickled in...or biked.
This provided a good opportunity to get a closer look at some of the cars before bodies made better walls than windows.
Cars began to fire up and emerge from their trucks and trailers, and soon camps buzzed with activity as preparation took place before the days events.
I see that Cameron Moore only needed a few tires
The start line quickly becomes alive with the sounds of fuel cut and tortured rubber as drivers warmed their tires.
Some figured out that Evergreen Speedway is a Poke Stop...wonder how many Poke Balls he got?
Focus on the drift
It didn't take long before the track claimed a victim. Vaughn Gitten Jr., who looked so solid in practice the day before, had an unfortunate incident which completely removed his drivers side suspension and wheel assembly. Holy Sheeeet.
His crew had some serious work to do in a short amount of time in order to make qualifying for the big show the following day.
#32 Faruk Kugay
#31 Chelsea Denofa
#30 Pat Goodin
#29 Jhonnattan Castro
#28 Cameron Moore
#27 Jeff Jones
#26 Kyle Mohan
#25 Andrew Gray
#24 Alec Hohnadell
#23 Juha Rintanen
#22 Robbie Nishida
#21 Alex Heilbrunn
#20 Justin Pawlak
#19 Charles Ng
#18 Geoff Stoneback
#17 Dean Kearney
#16 Kristaps Bluss
#15 Forrest Wang
#14 Kenneth Moen
#13 Tanner Foust
#12 Dai Yoshihara
#11 Ryan Tuerck
#10 Matt Field
#9 Mike Whiddet
#8 Matt Coffman
#7 Fredrick Aasbo
#6 Ken Gushi
#5 Chris Forsberg
#4 Micheal Essa
#3 Tyler McQuarrie
#2 Odi Bakchis
#1 Vaughn Gitten Jr
Points are on the board, and the stage is set for the Top 32 competition.
Link to full gallery from Day 2 Qualifying is available below.
Day 3: The Big Show
After clocking in close to 8 miles of walking within the last 2 days circling the speedway, some energy drinks were in serious order. As I pulled into the front lot the cars for the Offset Kings car show were lining up and getting ready to roll in and begin setup. Sipping my Rockstar energy drink, I said hi to friends and enjoyed the sight of amazingly built street cars.
There are some pretty amazing cars in the Northwest
<3 R32's. Mine was far to dirty to be placed in the car show, I've been busy ok, but I'm always excited to see other r-chassis builds.
After walking the lineup for the car show I made my way track side as teams began their daily routine, did their final checks, and got focused for today's competition.
Tips were shared from yesterdays observations
The start line soon began to stack up with cars and drivers, it was the calm before the storm.
Crews double checked pressures, topped off the tanks, and battened down the hatches as they prepared to make every run count during the final round of practice and work out any remaining bugs.
Vaughn Gitten Jr v. Faruk Kugay
Kugay unfortunately just couldn't keep pace with the Mustang RTR and allowed Gitten to move on.
Kristaps Bluss v. Dean Kearney
Both attack the course with great angle and speed, however minor mistakes were made and the judges call for a OMT.
An unfortunate deduction from Bluss handed the win to Dean Kearney.
Matt Coffman v. Andrew Gray
Neither took solid lines and each had several errors, however on Coffman's follow run he kept better proximity to Gray and mirrored his line. This would allow Coffman to advance.
Mike Whiddet v. Alec Hohnadell
The RADBULL just couldn't catch a break, even though Mike seemed to lay down a solid lead run, during his follow his proximity to Hohnadell just wasn't there. Mike's MX5 is an impressive sight to see tandem but Hohnadell walks away with the win.
Michael Essa v. Jhonnattan Castro
Essa threw down a sick lead run and Jhonnattan seemed to be outmatched, but at the last moment Essa would spin scoring a 0 on his 1st run. In the end he couldn't make up the deficit from the point deduction and handed the win to Castro.
Tanner Foust v. Justin Pawlak
Both drivers make errors on each run resulting in serious point deductions, unfortunately neither driver stood out above the other and the judges called for a One More Time.
During the OMT, each driver cleaned up their line and turned up their speed. After deliberating in the judging booth the win eventually was given to Foust.
Chris Forsberg v. Cameron Moore
Evergreen Speedway veteran Cameron Moore had to face off against Chris Forsberg. Cameron made a large error that immediately put him behind and he could not match the run of Forsberg. Cameron has shown some amazing driving during his rookie ear in Pro 1, but unfortunately he could not best Forsberg at his home track.
Dai Yoshihara v. Alex Heilbrunn
Hit the deck, incoming!!!! Our first major collision of the weekend was between Heilbrunn and Yoshihara. Alex was carrying more speed than Dai as then came off the touch and go resulting in the nose of Heilbrumm's BMW clipping the rear corner of Dai's BRZ. This sent Alex right into the barrier, decimating his passenger side suspension and wheel assembly. Dai limped away and awaited safety crews to come and inspect the damage. Heilbrunn was unable to fix the damage and was knocked out of competition awarding Dai the victory.
Odi Bakchis v. Chelsea Denofa
Denofa was plagued by engine problems and had to run against Odi sans several cylinders. This would take Chelsea out of the competition for the weekend giving the win to Bakchis.
Forrest Wang v. Geoff Stoneback
Forrest hit the bank and doesn't look back, his speed and style are well suited for the course around Evergreen. Stoneback couldn't match Forrest's line and eventually went off course. Wang walked away with the pass to the Top 16.
Fredrick Aasbo v. Kyle Mohan
Kyle Mohan made a big error with a spin on his lead run which would give the win to Aasbo.
Matt Field v. Juha Rintanen
Rintanen falls victim to mechanical issues and has to return to the pits. He unfortunately cannot fix his car in time and has to bow out of competition advancing Field.
Tyler McQuarrie v. Pat Goodin
McQuarrie came out in beast mode and put down an amazing run against Pat. During practice Goodin looked liked he was struggling runs and just couldn't put it together against Tyler in the end. McQuarrie takes the win and moves to Top 16.
Kenneth Moen v. Charles Ng
Ng seemed to be disconnected from his G37, he is running low lines and lacking proximity during Moen's lead run. The judges handed the victory to Kenneth Moen.
Ken Gushi v. Jeff Jones
Ken attacked the course with his eyes on the prize and laid down some pretty rad runs. Jones just couldn't match the FD veteran and gave the win to Gushi.
Ryan Tuerck v. Robbie Nishida
Tuerck falls victim to the Evergreen Wall. Unsure of the underlying cause, he ran a high and fast line and could not transition off the bank. He went right into the wall and came to a grinding stop. Ryan used his 1 competition time out during the qualifying round and was taken out of the Top 32.
The drivers and crews returned to their pits in order to mend any damage from the Top 32 battles while fans were able to take the time to purchase swag from all the vendors, grab some awesome grub and check out the Offset Kings car show. Soon the time came for the opening ceremonies and Top 16 driver introduction.
Upon completion of the National Anthem, as sung by a volunteer from our Air Force recruits, a pair of A-10 Warthogs passed overhead making for a patriotic sight.
Top 16 Competition
Vaughn Gitten Jr v. Dean Kearney
Kearney takes a lower than desirable line, however both drivers have matched speed and proximity resulting in a OMT call from the judges.
During the OMT run Gitten just couldn't keep the proximity to Kearney coming off the bank and into the touch and go into power alley. Despite each driver making several small errors the win was given to Kearney.
Matt Coffman v. Alec Hohnadell
Coffman had some hesitations and Hohnadell came out a little too hot. Alec makes contact with Coffman's S13 prior to the finish and was found to be at fault. Hohnadell uses his competition timeout to return to the pits and fix the damage. However after returning to the track for their 2nd run the contact proved to be to great of a mistake and Coffman moves on to the Great 8.
Jhonnattan Castro v. Tanner Foust
Just like the run against Essa, Castro seems to not be able to keep up and match the driving of Tanner. However, on Jhonnattan's lead run Tanner makes a huge error that puts his VW car lengths behind Castro. With both runs being, the judges move for a OMT time.
Tanner sticks both of his runs and again Jhonnattan just can't keep the pace. The win rightfully goes to Foust.
Chris Forsberg v. Dai Yoshihara
After dealing with the carnage from the big hit by Heilbrunn, Dai lines up against Forsberg. Perhaps the damage was too great because Dai seemed to be a bit off compared to earlier. Forsberg made easy work of taking out Yoshihara.
Odi Bakchis v. Forrest Wang
Odi was looking solid on his lead run, Forrest on the other hand seemed to be 2 steps behind. During Odi's lead run Forrest made several errors taking a hefty point deduction. He unfortunately couldn't make up the gap on his lead run and Odi moved on to the Great 8.
Fredrick Aasbo v. Matt Field
Out of the gate both drivers lay down impressive lines and a winner cannot be determined. OMT here we come!
Again both drivers put down solid run after solid run, close proximity with awesome angle. This was a tough call and in the end Aasbo walks away with the victory.
Tyler McQuarrie v. Kenneth Moen
Awkward lines, poor mirroring and proximity = stalemate, no clear winner can be found between the two so again...OMT!
Chaos ensues, McQuarrie tags the wall loosing most of his rear end, and coming to the finish line Moen rotates. McQuarrie has a flashback of battling Pawlak last year and runs into him. Mcquarrie's Chevy Camaro has to be towed off course but is eventually handed the win.
Ken Gushi v. Robbie Nishida
Gushi's is focused on the win and lays down solid runs against Nishida. Robbie just couldn't hold it together and Ken kept the pressure on until the finish line, earning a spot in the Great 8.
Enter the Great 8
Matt Coffman v. Dean Kearney
Dean and Matt made some great passes but each had small errors which made it hard for a winner to be determined. Once again we heard the call of OMT from the judges tower.
During the OMT Kearney makes contact with Coffman and is found to be at fault. He is unable to comeback from the point deduction and Matt takes the win.
Chris Forsberg v. Tanner Foust
Out of the gate Forsberg runs away from Foust, and Tanner seems to have to push hard to keep up. During Forsberg's follow he ends up hitting both the wall and Foust and loses the point lead in the battle. Judges can't decide which error is worse and call for another OMT.
During the OMT battle Forsberg shows that he is a force to be recognized and out drives Foust. Tanner just couldn't match the angle and speed of Chris's 370z.
Odi Bakchis v. Fredrick Aasbo
Odi has been a man on a mission during Round 6 and throughout his battle against Aasbo he stuck both runs and stayed tight on the Norwegians door. Finally breaking his losing streak against Aasbo, Odi makes 7 his lucky number and takes the win.
Tyler McQuarrie v. Ken Gushi
Shennanigans. Both drivers take some off lines with serious errors causing point deductions. This leaves the judges scratching their heads for a winner. OMT it is!
During the OMT Gushi runs the bank much higher and with great speed compared to McQuarrie. Despite a small error on Gushi's part he takes the win.
This is it, make it or break it. Three drivers will walk away from trophies, one will leave empty handed.
Let's get to it.
Matt Coffman v. Chris Forsberg
Coffman showed some great driving against the FD veteran, however a spin after the touch and go would cause a point deduction that would cripple his chance to defeat Forsberg. It was awesome seeing Matt get this far but this would be where his Round 6 journey ended. Forsberg takes the win
Odi Bakchis v. Ken Gushi
Both drivers took a lower line around the bank, however Odi proved to have better proximity and managed to clinch the victory. Gushi has a secured 3rd place finish at Round 6.
Bakchis, who I'm sure is being over run by excitement, faced Forsberg in the final battle of FormulaD ROund 6: Throwdown. Slaying drivers throughout the day Odi now had a shot at taking home the gold. During the battle each driver was precise and focused up until the moment Forsberg mad a mistake and spun out while following Bakchis. Drivers changed positions and now it is Odi's chance to follow. All he has to do is keep a clean line and the win is in the bag. As the drivers come off the bank they are door to door, but Forsberg makes another error and again rotates scoring a double 0 for the final battle.
Unofficially Odi Bakchis is the Round 6 winner.
Odi Bakchis, Chris Forsberg, and Ken Gushi pilot their cars to the front straight of Evergreen Speedway and await the official announcement from the judges.
Your FormulaD Round 6: Throwdown winners are:
3rd Place Ken Gushi
2nd Place Chris Forsberg
1st Place Odi Bakchis
Congratulations to all the teams and drivers on their hard work and well deserved wins!
To view the full galleries for each days coverage, please follow the following links below:
Day 1 - Practice: http://www.i-nertia.co/p762765349
Day 2 - Qualifying: http://www.i-nertia.co/p651948368
Day 3 - Top 32: http://www.i-nertia.co/p696973404
For more information on events for FormulaD visit http://www.formulad.com
For more information on events for Evergreen Drift visit http://evergreendrift.com