If there was one feeling that was prevalent in the Worthouse Drift Team before Texas last weekend, it was exhaustion.
This was the seventh round of the 2017 Formula Drift Pro Championship, and for the seventh time this season, the team congregated from around the world to come and do battle. Lots of air miles have been racked up by the team, and the drivers especially. This would be James Deane’s and Piotr Więcek’s 12th competitive event this year, spanning four countries, two continents, and not including demonstration runs.
At the previous round in Seattle, James had narrowly extended his championship points lead over Fredric Aasbø, whom he defeated in a thrilling final battle which required a One More Time before a winner could be decided. However, with a maximum haul of 107 points at each event and a 57-point lead, James’ advantage could easily be overcome should he suffer a shock defeat or non finish in Texas.
Any dreams of a championship win in his first full Formula Drift season were firmly at the back of his mind.
They say that ‘everything is bigger in Texas’, and they are not wrong. Host to this round of the championship was the 181,000-plus capacity Texas Motor Speedway. I’ve honestly never attended a venue so large in my life before; it took 20 minutes to just drive around the outside before finding the entrance. It’s breathtaking.
It wasn’t the weekend that the team wanted, but it was the weekend that the team got.
Heading into the fourth round of the 2017 Formula Drift championship, James Deane held a commanding lead in the championship race, with fellow Irishman Dean Kearney in second place. James’ teammate, Piotr Więcek, was the highest ranked rookie in the series. It was a great start to the season.
Wall Stadium Speedway has somewhat of a cult following in Formula Drift circles. It’s a little bit rough around the edges but the compact nature of the venue was welcome after the vastness of Road Atlanta. It’s an intimate venue, but one that needs to be taken seriously.
For a change, I beat the Worthouse x Bridges Racing team to the venue but when I arrived on Thursday morning, everything was ready to rock. I never tire of seeing the twin S15s sat beside each other in the pit.
Formula Drift Irwindale is arguably the most important and largest professional drift event in the world. This year was no exception as the championship was decided during the Top 16 rounds of competition.
Here is a collection of my favorite images from the Formula Drift season finale.
Chris Forsberg is the 2016 champion and also the first driver to get three Formula Drift Pro championships under his belt. I guess you can say he was pretty happy.
I love shooting at Irwindale. Because it’s the final event of the professional season, all of the drivers are pushing as hard as they can.
Kenny Moen’s car caught on fire while waiting on grid, so he jumped out, grabbed a can of Coke, and used that to try to put out the flames. What a boss.