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.
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).