Formula DRIFT Round 4 The Gauntlet Results;
Fredric Aasbo is Victorious
Long Beach, Calif. – June 28, 2015 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro returned to Wall Speedway in Wall Township, New Jersey for Round 4: The Gauntlet. Fredric Aasbo in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Scion tC takes the victory and moves into third place in the standings.
Round 4: The Gauntlet saw challenging conditions due to the inclement weather. The varying dry and wet conditions on the track through the event created an additional element that the drivers had to overcome in order to advance through the rounds of competition. The action was competitive with many close battles. 300,000 fans tuned in through the event weekend on the Driftstream.
“As we approach the halfway point of the season we are in the tightest race for the championship with only 7 points separating the top three drivers,” said Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT. “With only three events remaining in the season, the championship is still up for grabs. We expect the championship to come down to the wire in one of the most exciting seasons to date.”
The semi-finals saw Ryan Tuerck in the Retaks / Maxxis / Nameless Performance Scion FR-S battle it out against Dean Kearney in the Oracle Lighting / Achilles Motorsports Dodge Viper. Kearney edged out Tuerck to advance to the Finals. Fredric Aasbo faced off against Masashi Yokoi and after a close battle, Aasbo took the victory to face Kearney. Consistency in the wet condition proved to be the deciding factor for Aasbo as he was able to take his second consecutive victory at Wall Speedway moving into third place in the chase for the championship only 7 points behind the leader. Tuerck with his third place finish rises to the top of the standings by a mere point over Aurimas Bakchis in second place.
“What an amazing win! We are back in the hunt for the championship and I couldn’t be happier,” said Fredric Aasbo, winner of Round 4: The Gauntlet. “Big thanks to Rockstar Energy Drink, Scion Racing, and of course Hankook Tire on their home turf. I think we were able to prove our extreme prowess in the rain.”
The 2015 Formula DRIFT season will continue to Round 5: Throwdown on July 24-25, 2015 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Tune into Formula DRIFT on CBS Sports and check your local listings for airtimes.
Round 4: The Gauntlet Event Results
1. Aasbo, Fredric Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Scion tC Winner
2. Kearney, Dean Oracle Lighting / Achilles Motorsports Dodge Viper 2nd Place
3. Tuerck, Ryan Ryan Tuerck Racing / Retaks / Maxxis Scion FR-S 3rd Place
4. Yokoi, Masashi D-Max Nissan S15 4th Place
5. Gushi, Ken GReddy Racing / Hankook Tire Scion Racing FR-S 5th Place
6. Denofa, Chelsea BC Racing Chelsea DeNofa Motorsports GT Radial BMW 6th Place
7. Bakchis, Aurimas Feal Suspension / ARK Performance / Nitto Nissan 240SX 7th Place
8. Wang, Forrest Get Nuts Lab Nissan S15 8th Place
9. Pawlak, Justin Roush Performance / Car Crafters Ford Mustang 9th Place
10. Goodin, Pat Enjuku Racing / Falken Tire Nissan S13 10th Place
11. Moen, Kenny Bridges Racing / Achilles / Gatebil Nissan S14 11th Place
12. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z 12th Place
13. Mordaunt, Pat DriftPaddock.com / Falken Tire Nissan 350Z 13th Place
14. Castro, Jhonnattan E3 / Hankook / Progreso Nissan 370Z 14th Place
15. Field, Matt CX Racing / Yokohama Nissan S14 15th Place
16. Saito, Daigo Achilles Radial Nissan GT-R 16th Place
2015 Formula DRIFT Championship Presented by GoPro Top 3 Standings After Four Rounds
1. Tuerck, Ryan Ryan Tuerck Racing / Retaks / Maxxis Scion FR-S 275.00 Points
2. Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis Feal Suspension / ARK Performance / Nitto Nissan 240SX 274.00 Points
3. Aasbo, Fredric Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Scion tC 268.00 Points
Manufacturers Championship Standings After Four Rounds
1. Scion 644.00 Points
2. Nissan 331.00 Points
3. Ford 290.00 Points
4. Chevrolet 215.00 Points
5. Dodge 152.00 Points
6. Mazda 143.00 Points
7. Infiniti 140.00 Points
8. Toyota 105.00 Points
9. BMW 104.00 Points
Tire Championship Standings After Four Rounds
1. Hankook 610.00 Points
2. Nitto 432.00 Points
3. Achilles 390.00 Points
4. Maxxis 360.00 Points
4. Yokohama 360.00 Points
6. Falken 351.00 Points
7. GT Radial 213.00 Points
My fellow Speedhunters, I have something on my mind that I’d like to speak to you about.
So as you might know, we ended up winning Formula Drift Long Beach and are currently leading the Formula Drift World Championship. Needless to say, winning the first round of the year is a pretty big deal, but the win came with a bit of controversy, which has had me thinking…
I mean, every corner of our Scion tC was banged up and we literally had to push the car to the podium after the clutch blew in the very last turn of the final run. But my concerns aren’t really about the car, because I know the Papadakis Racing guys have that part handled. Instead, I’m more worried about what you’ll see in the video below.
This is the first time this camera angle has been made public, and it shows exactly what happened in my runs with Ryan Tuerck. Long story short, we had a faulty shifter fork (old design) in the transmission, which didn’t allow the dog ring to fully engage, and hence wore it out prematurely. That meant 2nd gear started popping out – at this exact moment. Watching the video cracks me up as I look like a complete question mark, looking down at the shifter. ‘How could you do this to me? After all we’ve been through!” Ha!
Every Formula Drift team – in fact, every racing team – has mechanical issues. It’s inevitable when you’re trying to extract maximum performance from an orchestra of mechanical parts. But, believe it or not, I’m fine with that because not having reliability issues means you’re not out there competing.
What I’m not fine with is not staying in tune with you guys. I feel like I should, and could, do a much better job of explaining what goes on at the track in a more timely manner. Imagine if we would have been able to show this video angle on the Livestream during the event… Given that people started questioning what happened in these runs with Tuerck – some suggesting that it was on purpose – this would have given some good insight.
Also, imagine that if at this very moment the Formula Drift Livestream interviewers had headed over to Steph in the spotter tower and asked him what what was going on. Or better yet, what if the FD Livestream could tap into our radios and get the raw deal?
This isn’t criticism of FD, who I feel like have made several great changes this year. The responsibility for communicating with the drift fans also lies upon us as teams and competitors. All I’m saying is that I believe there’s so much more potential with communicating what’s going on to the spectators – and that makes me really excited about the future of drifting.
I’ve gone through the recent Formula Drift related discussions in the comments sections of various posts here on Speedhunters and I agree with a lot of it. FD has the most consistent judging of any drifting series I’ve seen, but it might not always be easy for the casual viewer to grasp all the details of a particular judged decision.
More transparency and using technology not for the judging itself, but for showing the fans why a certain run was judged the way it was would be awesome. Think American football video overlays that show distance in an easy-to-understand way that would highlight hard-to-spot details.
What do you think is the way to go to produce the best live drift video coverage? Feel free to comment below! I will chime in once I get a chance – but please know that I have my work cut out for me this weekend (see, that’s the ‘respond in a timely manner’ out the window already!). Heading into Round 2 in Atlanta I have some clear favorites…
There’s Odi Bakchis, one of the smartest guys in the scene who proved it by making the Genesis a killer right out of the gate in his first event driving the car. In my opinion, Odi is on his way to perfecting the new school drift configuration, which is basically a very grippy and fast setup that he is still able to drive on a wide, outer line without excessive understeer issues.
He definitely would have taken us out in the Long Beach finals if it wasn’t for that hit in the last turn. And for the record, I was possibly going a bit slower than normal through the last turn due to the lack of second gear, although from the seat of the pants it felt like the same speed as previous runs as the only difference is I drove it off the clutch as I stayed in third. I think the reason for the hit was that my line through that final turn is very deep (trying to cater to the judges preferred line as illustrated here) while Odi got a little too hungry and dove in on a shallow line.
Overall, I am however very impressed and inspired by Odi’s driving and engineering, and he’s just getting started!
Our Speedhunters teammate Mad Mike Whiddett is back with what is on-paper his most competitive build yet. I’ve been driving with Mike across the world over these last years and he is a fantastic driver, in both lead and follow position. Sometimes his ‘all or nothing’ approach costs him rounds, but in terms of entertainment value there’s no one better. And if everything falls into place, there’s no doubt Mike will be extremely hard to beat. I’m very excited to see you back in FD, Mike!
Then there’s good ol’ Jr. who won in Atlanta last year and beat us in the final. Will he seek redemption from Long Beach?
All I can say is this: if previous years of Formula Drift Atlanta are anything to go by, we’re in for a good one. Let’s do this!