To be fair, even though the deck above only references the trials of driver Odi Bakchis and his Falken Tire Nissan 240SX during Round 4 of the 2017 Formula DRIFT Championship, his wasn’t the only entry at Wall Speedway to suffer technical issues; there was plenty of that to go around. There was also a ton of insane driving in New Jersey, with the inter-webs buzzing afterward about the seemingly never-ending stream of unbelievably close tandems. A bunch of drivers clearly found their balls at Round 4, taking so-called “chase craft” to remarkable new heights.
The event got underway Friday with qualifying, as Chelsea DeNofa in the BC Racing Mustang RTR laid down an impressive 96-point pass out of 100, shooting to the top of the order — probably the best he’s done thus far in his new-for-2017 ride. DeNofa, Ryan Tuerck in the Gumout Nameless Performance 86, Justin Pawlak in the Roush Performance Mustang, Kristaps Bluss in the HGK Racing E46, and James Deane in the Worthouse Drift S15 all earned Top-32 byes due to qualifying so highly (meaning the event only had 27 entries for the 32 cut).
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When it comes to tracks on the Formula Drift schedule, there are none better than Road Atlanta. Automotive action happens the entire time youÆre there from nearly sun up to sun down, and well into the night. ItÆs why fans always look forward to it and it makes for an amazing, party-like atmosphere. It also helps that, despite not being an oval track, fans can see nearly everything thanks to the bowl structure of the turn 10/keyhole complex. This is Road Atlanta and here is what you missed by not being there.
Drifting is a sport of the senses û the sight of cars getting sideways, the smell of burnt rubber, the sound of cars pushing maximum horsepower, and sometimes even the taste of spent race gas. ItÆs quick, itÆs dirty, and it just pulls you in even if you try to resist. ItÆs why it works so well in a confined environment like most of the oval tracks Formula Drift visits. ItÆs the same reasons people love monster trucks and thatÆs not a knock on the series. The fans are there for the entertainment of automotive action.
Formula DRIFT PRO 2: Atlanta Results
Congratulations to all the Pro2 drivers. Making the leap from ProAm to Pro2 take a lot of skill and determination. Cant wait to see what these guys and girl can do with a nice long break, next Pro2 event will be in Seattle August 4-5th.
FD photo by Larry Chen
The finals had a few shake up and unexpected events. Starting with Trent Beechum getting ‘taken out by a cone’. As Trent over-shot inside clip 1 he dropped over the rumble strips, picking up and cone and shattering all of his passenger side suspension. Matt Vankirk advanced.
Driver Spike Chen showed some real skill by qualifying in 13th place at his first Pro2 event. Spike came up short thou as his car ran out of gas during his lead run. Austin Meeks advanced.
In the final 4 number 2 qualifier, Dirk Stratton pushed a bit to hard and shot into the kitty litter. Randall Water took the win. Randall would later join him, loosing to Travis Reeder the same way.
The finals between Travis Reeder and Matt Vankirk looked to be a great battle between the 2 Pacific Northwest drivers. Unfortunately Matt succumb to mechanical problems and could not run. On his by-run Travis also had mechanical problems and only drifted about half the course.
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Formula Drift returned to the track that spawned the series just 13 short years ago for the third stop on the 2017 schedule. Entering the event, Fredric Aasbo was leading the championship after a win in Orlando, and had high hopes entering the event as he podiumed at two previous events at this track.
ROAD ATLANTA COURSE
The Road Atlanta course layout remained unchanged from the past few seasons, with drivers starting from midway down the back straightaway before initiating drift at the bottom of the hill into turn 10 on the traditional track layout at speeds of nearly 100 mph. After the sharp 90-degree left turn with an inside clip at the foot of the hill, drivers immediately transition for a second 90-degree turn that shoots them up the hill towards the bridge at speeds around 70 mph.
In the early seasons of Formula Drift, the course layout pushed drivers into the first turn midway up the hill before looping around the “keyhole” area in counter-clockwise fashion, but a change in 2012 now leads drivers clockwise around the keyhole on a line that requires much more horsepower and grip. Drivers are asked to burn their tires along the outside edge of the keyhole at the top of the hill in front of the judges stand before hitting an inside clipping point midway through the keyhole, then transition back down the hill in front of the spectators and connecting the first two corners in reverse orientation to finish halfway up the back straight near the starting line.
(Photos: Jason Scott)
Friday’s qualifying session brought some familiar faces to the top of the table. Nitto Tire driver Alex Heilbrunn would earn the fifth place position with an 89-point run, tying the same score as Matt Field but losing the tiebreaker for fourth place by virtue of having a lower secondary run score. Kristaps Bluss earned third qualifier with a score of 90 points, also tying 2013 Formula Drift champion Michael Essa with the same score, but losing in the tiebreaker due to scoring an Incomplete on his secondary qualifying run. Essa has consistently qualified well at Atlanta, in large part to his big entries with tons of steering angle that the crowd loves.
At the top of the charts, Nitto Tire driver Vaughn Gittin Jr. scored 94 points to take the top qualifier award for the second consecutive season at Road Atlanta. With only 28 drivers making a qualifying pass on Friday, the top four qualifiers would earn a bye in the Top 32 round and automatically hear their name called for the Top 16 opening ceremonies.
Continue reading Formula DRIFT Atlanta Top 32 Play-by-Play By Driving Line
Formula DRIFT PRO 2 Round 2 Atlanta Results;
Travis Reeder is Victorious and Moves to the Top of the Standings
Long Beach, Calif. – May 12, 2017 – The Formula DRIFT PRO 2 season continued to Road Atlanta. Travis Reeder takes the win and moves to the top of the PRO 2 standings.
PRO 2 entered Atlanta, GA for the second event of the season. The future stars of the sport took to the famous Road Atlanta track and put on a show for the devoted fans.
“PRO 2 has grown and now has its own fan base,” said Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT. “This was proven tonight as fans stayed through the late hours at the track to watch the young talent compete.”
The semi-finals pitted Matt Vankirk in the Fortune Auto / Achilles Nissan 240 with Brody Goble in the BG Motorsports Nissan 240. Vankirk outdrove his opponent to move into the Finals. On the other side of the bracket Randall Waters faced Reeder, Waters was deemed at fault after contact on his chase run giving Reeder the win to move him into the Finals. The finals was anti-climatic as Vankirk experienced mechanical issues on the first run forcing him out of the competition to give Reeder the victory and moving him into the top spot in the standings after two events.
“I’m overwhelmed. My team did awesome and I want to thank everyone that had a hand in my program this year and believing in me, ” said Travis Reeder, winner of PRO 2: Atlanta. “I’m feeling really blessed right now and am going try to keep it consistent into the next round to keep the momentum going.”
Formula DRIFT continues to Round 4: The Gauntlet at Wall Speedway on June 2-3, 2017. For more information visit, www.formulad.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram @formulad, Facebook www.facebook.com/formuladrift, Twitter @FormulaDrift, and Snapchat – formula_drift. Tune into Formula DRIFT on CBS Sports and check your local listings for airtimes.
Formula DRIFT PRO 2: Atlanta Results
1. Reeder, Travis
2. Vankirk, Matt
3. Goble, Brody
4. Waters, Randall
5. Stratton, Dirk
6. Meeks, Austin
7. Rahimi, Hooman
8. Robbins, Alec
9. George, Danny
10. Robinson, Josh
11. Hateley, Andy
12. Szilveszter, Gyorgy
13. Beechum, Trenton
14. Jaeger, Ola
15. Chen, Spike
16. Filippi, Chris