The sensational story coming from the last round of Formula D was, of course, the battle between Justin Pawlak and Tyler McQuarrie. McQuarrie hit the infamous Evergreen Speedway wall and went out of bounds just before coming off the bank, but did Pawlak push him into the wall? Or did Pawlak hit him because he lost speed due to hitting the wall? Either way, Pawlak passed the Camaro and McQuarrie chased him through the Power Alley and shoved him out of the way so he could regain the lead. Not one to back down, Pawlak stayed hard on McQuarrie’s tail through the transition, so hard that the two cars got tangled up, with the Mustang unable to steer, pushing the Camaro into the wall just before the end of the course.
But I’m more interested in how exciting the chase for the championship has become. When Fredic Aasbø won at Long Beach with Odi Bakchis taking second and Ryan Tuerck coming in third, everyone knew this was going to be a good season.
Then Geoff Stoneback dashed Aasbø’s hopes at extending his lead in Atlanta, while Bakchis rushed in and took over the top stop with his first career victory. Aasbø and Bakchis both went out early in Orlando, which probably saved Aasbø’s season, while Tuerck defaulted his way to a win and the points lead.
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.
Mechanical meltdowns, carnage, and a track surface that switched from grippy to grip-less in the blink of an eye – the fifth round of the 2015 Formula Drift Pro championship held in Seattle, Washington, had it all.
But at the end of five tough rounds of battle competition, it was our very own Fredric Aasbø who stood atop the podium at Evergreen Speedway. The win, following on from a third place qualifying performance from ‘The Norwegian Hammer’, catapults Aasbø to the top of the points with just two rounds in the Stateside Pro series left to play out.
Friday’s qualifying session saw Norway’s Kenny Moen take control with an 89 scorecard, followed by Ryan Tuerck in second and Aasbø in third – both scoring 87. It was a promising start for Tuerck who came into the round leading the championship, but it just as quickly turned sour when the Retaks Scion FR-S driver blew a diff in his Airforce Top 32 battle against Geoff Stoneback.