We’re taking a different approach for Pro and Pro2 coverage for Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington. Seattle marked just past halfway for both categories, with this being Round 5 of Pro, and Round 2 of Pro2. Both had some rather interesting turn of events as they progressed and we’ll highlight them along with giving you some great pictures from one of the three fastest tracks on the Formula Drift schedule.
Pro 2 took place first, as always, on Friday evening after qualifying for Pro. The first round at Orlando Speedworld showed just how advanced Alex Heilbrunn’s Nitto Tires BMW M3 program is. I got to watch him drift last year when I announced for Top Drift, and he was a very fast driver with nothing changing from Pro Am so far, other than going to Nitto for his Pro 2 season. Even a drastic change in tire hasn’t slowed him down.
Andrew Gray wasn’t far behind Alex Heilbrunn, though. Watching him drive the wet conditions of Orlando showed that his experience in the D1GP Street Legal series and at the infamous Ebisu Circuit, helped him adapt to the oval very quickly. Now, this being Seattle, rain wasn’t out of the realm of possibility, so these guys were already looking like favorites if the moisture did fall. Even if it didn’t, Alex’s speed certainly painted him as a favorite,and getting number one qualifier at Round 2 really pushed him into that favorite category.
Round 1 of Formula Drift Japan was held during the Japan Motor Games last July 11-12 at the Fuji International Speedway. Here’s a look on the drivers paddock, demo cars and a special Rotary 0nly meet. Enjoy the photos.
When Formula Drift driver Justin Pawlak was planning his engine build for the 2015 season, he took a different route than the typical pushrod “Sprint Car” engine he ran in the past.
Pawlak liked the idea of the high RPMs and the supercharger power compatibility that the Ford Performance 5.0L Coyote Aluminator engine offered. During the offseason he worked with the engineers at Ford Performance and Roush Performance to build a Aluminator-based 800+ horsepower bullet.
While he experienced a few tuning issues during the first two rounds of the season, Pawlak enjoyed a breakthrough at the most recent Formula Drift event in Monroe, Wash., and scored a third-place finish.
The Ford Performance Aluminator Short Blocks serve as a strong foundation for the enthusiast that wants to spec and finish a Coyote build to their particular application and needs.
Aluminator Short Blocks feature stronger Manley® H-Beam connecting rods and Mahle® hard anodized forged pistons to support serious power. And every Ford Performance Aluminator Short Block is precision internal balanced and hand assembled in the U.S. with performance clearances.
Ford Performance offers a number of components to finish the build, including the simple-to-install Controls Pack to get it up and running in just about any vehicle from Late Model Mustangs to resto-rods to classic muscle cars to street rods.
Coyote 5.0L Aluminator Short Blocks Specs
• 5.0L – 302 cubic inches
• Compression ratios: Aluminator A50NA – 11.0:1 compression ratio (nominal) Aluminator A50SC – 9.5:1 compression ratio (nominal)
• Mahle® hard anodized forged pistons with Graphal® low friction coating
• Manley® H-beam connecting rods with ARP2000® bolts
• Production aluminum cylinder block features cross-bolted main bearing caps and thick main bearing bulkheads for bottom-end strength
• Ford Racing M-6600-50CJ High Performance billet steel gerotor oil pump and Pickup tube
Because of the judged nature of drifting, the sport has many naysayers out there. But I actually think that’s the reason why it’s popular among younger gear-heads. It also makes me wonder why drifting is not part of the X Games. Most of the disciplines included in the Olympics of action sport are judged – just look at skateboarding or freestyle motocross. I think drifting would fit right in.
It’s the uncertainty of judging that can be so exciting at times. When a battle is really close and it’s hard for you personally to pick a winner, waiting in anticipation for the call is half the fun.