Event>>redbull Final Report

Ok final report from Red Bull… We all know the results by now of course but let's take one final look at the tandem bouts for those who are interested in the play by play unfolding of events.

By the time the Great 8 started there was an increasing sense of anticipation and tension building in the crowd. The atmosphere of excitement was increasing.

I was speaking to JR on the phone the other day and he said he knew it would be 50/50 as to if he could make the first turn or not. He had to match Rhys Millen's entry speed in order to beat him…

But the weight of the Mustang's 3 tons pulled it into the wall… JR was out of the event and we all said goodbye to his 2005 Mustang for the last time.

In this photo, Mad Mike is but an eyeblink away from tagging the wall with the back corner of his FD….

… As J-rod says, he was "letting it all hang out" in an effort to take on the machine-like control of Tanner Foust. It wasn't to be though, as Mad Mike's wildness only served to cause him to lose points and he was out.

Hubinette vs Forsberg was a bit of a non-battle. Forsberg stalled
his car on the startline and had to conceded the round to the factory
Mopar Viper driver.

Next up was Yoshihara vs Ueo…. This was my favourite battle of the entire event.

Look at how insanely early Ueo is kicking his car into a drift… There was no one even close to this level of craziness.

Remember, his Nissan Silvia is travelling close to 100 mph….

Some of the cars were only initiating their drifts at the second cone.. but Ueo was well into his sideways action at this stage… It looked like he had his S15 at a 90 degree angle to his trajectory… To watch this initiation in person was truly shocking. Every time it looked like he was going to crash, but every time he kept the car but millimeters off the wall. Truly incredible car control.

To my eyes Dai was the only person who could approach scaring the judges to the same degree….

Unfortunately this bout was not without controversy. Dai got into tank slapper and went off course, Ueo ended up passing him without losing his drift.

Normally this should have been a sudden death moment. Go off course you are out. However, the crowd immediately started calling for a "one more time" in spite of the Dai's big mistake. Perhaps they didn't see the incident clearly…

Whatever the case, the judges also called for yet another one more time. To my eyes Ueo clearly won the round, but they were forced to go again…

This time around Dai showed dominance and Ueo was out. I felt a little frustrated at the time, I have to be honest. Ueo was one of the only drivers present who could present a challenge to the dominant Formula D drifters, and now he was out. With his elimination, the last international challenger was gone from the event.

Anyway don't mind me… I'm sure every one has their own "armchair expert" opinion about the judging calls.

The Final 4 lined up like so:

Millen Vs. Foust

Hubinette Vs. Yoshihara

Rhys Millen's Solstice was working so well on the temporary Red Bull Drift course it was going to take a major mistake for Foust to beat him.

Tanner did his best, but he was just not quite on the level of the Millen and his Red Bull Solstice. The Battle of the Energy Drinks went to Red Bull.

Pretty cool photo BTW. Tanner looks cool as ice. Great job, Jimmy.

The first stage of Hubinette vs Yoshihara was dead close…

Second time around though, Samuel overcooked his entry….

…. and backed the car into the wall… The final was now set: the two RMR cars going up against one another.

With the event rapidly running out of sunlight, Tanner took the consolation victory. This run also marks the end of the line for the Rock Star 350Z.

As dusk set in, the two finalists set off… Such was Millen's form, it would take a miracle for Dai to take victory.

And that miracle didn't happen… Dai spun on his second run, and Millen took the overall honours.

Looking back, my favoute part of the Red Bull event was seeing the world's "western" drift communities coming together to create the year's biggest drifting event. Drifters, teams and organizers from around the world banded together create a classic event with potential for a great future.

The location choice was inspired; The industrial backdrop was very cool and added to the historical nature of the event.

I supposed without the top D1GP drivers at the event, the Formula Drift teams were always going to dominate the proceedings. In someways Red Bull felt to me a little bit like the D1GP USA based Invitational events, but in reverse; that is, the numbers were slanted away from any outsider really being able to wrestle the overall victory from the host teams. Ueo was the only outsider who looks like he could stand up to the might of the top US teams, even with his standard issue Nissan Silvia. Let's hope that next year the good people at Red Bull and Formula Drift can sort out an agreement with D1GP to bring together all of the world's top drifters together in one spot.

I for one will be there… in the mean time though, we have our own invitational Top 32 international drift/time attack event to organize for next summer… we'll see how it goes!




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The Ueo battle was pure BS... right in front of everyone. Ueo had him BAD!.. I still think it was all staged


UEO 100% killed every single driver with his entries.

hands down. end of story. period.

What is also very interesting is HOW much he looks around while drifting. Look at that one photo up there with Dai behind Ueo. Ueo is going 100% and looking BEHIND at Dai. I have noticed this with him in old videos and whatnot.

Pretty cool.


If the D1 folks would have been cool enough to send their drivers over you would have seen plenty of early entries like Ueo. Shit, even if MSC sent over random Expert class drivers over you would have seen a bunch of those entries.


Is it just me, or does that first pic of Ueo's ultra-initiation show how insane his camber looks? I felt Ueo should have won, but the crowd spoke and the OMT was given. What the hell? Ueo would have definitely given Rhys a run for his money.


Regarding Dai vs Ueo on the second run of the first round it was hard to see how badly Dai corrected at the end of the course due to the smoke. From the stands it looked like Dai straightened the same amount as Ueo did before the first outer clip making the mistakes equal.

Ueo's initiations were insanely better and on his first lead run it looked as if he bounced off of Dai's front bumper. The thing that got the crowd so worked up is that even though Ueo initiated several car lengths before Dai it didn't phase Dai at all and he chased Ueo super close through his trailing runs. .

From the crowds perspective after the the 2nd run on the first round Dai and Ueo had made equal mistakes due to not being able to seek how bad Dai went off course at the end in a military grade smokescreen.

After seeing the video post event the round should have gone to Ueo with no OMT. The judges knew better since they had the video feed to watch the 3rd clip.

Big props to Ueo driving a S14 like he manhandles his Corolla! Ueo is one of the all time greats and would have given Rhys a run for his money.

I don't think the judges were trying to hand the event to FD drivers. It wouldn't be smart to rig the event for the FD drivers as non of the international drivers would want to return effectively killing the future of the event. Ken and Ryan are smarter than that.


Ueo's entry was insane. This event was worht the money for me cause of Ueo's initiation. No one did it better.


Were these american judges? What they should have done (not sure if they did) but they should have chosen one judge from each country that was represented.....would have been much more interesting.


then there would be ten judges, this isn't the olympics


most of the drivers were initiating late because the judges specifically said they wanted the drivers to be as fast as possible even if it meant initiating later. ugh!


so who were the judges for this anyway??


I think Ueo should have one that round for sure, i think it would be cool see him in a corolla again


I don't think it was staged at all... FD would never do that.


it's too bad about ueo not being given the win he deserved. but fortunately, his skills and experience remain, we still have lots more ueo ass kicking to look forward to ^^


+1 w/ joe!!! How does a small correction match a blatant spin into some course barriers???? They fed that footage through the big screen!!! But still Ken and Fixmer decided OMT!! WTF!! If this happened during a FD series round Dai would have gotten a 0! I don't know about this new judging...No hard numbers to average..If these FD drivers would have not sand bagged each other all year this new judging style would not even be around!


Umai kakudo, that was an S15.

Btw it looks like the FD judge do the same as the D1 Irwindale event, doing re-run to make the leader of the 1st round fail...


I thought UEO was completely crazy. In my opinion, he was doing the most amazing things on the track. The initial instigation of drift was by far the greatest indicator of UEO's skill. Evertime he looked like he was going to spin out but was in complete control. It was utterly insane to watch him drift. Noone was doing the things he was doing as far as I know.


I wouldnt be surprised if less Japanese drivers attended next year, that OMT was no justified, it was just the American plublics vote for a FormulaD driver to have another go, it should be up to the fair Judges and not the crowd as they are obviously biased (theyr bound to be, i would be i was supporting someone).....

If the judges gave a detailed explanation as to why they chose to do a OMT, then i would be happy, but for now it just doesnt seem justified.


The event was pretty dope. I have to say one of the better FD events in a long time from an overall stand point. The location, former US Naval Base at the Port of Long Beach dope, and next to Terminal Island old school drag track and the prison just yonder. The backdrop was dope seeing those massive cranes hovering in the background was like watching Nat Geo documentary. The talent wasn't bad either and I'm not just talking about the drivers. Open bar Red Bull tent can never go wrong. With live feed of the runs in case you gotta grab a drink inside the tent.


A half spin is so much worse than a correction. Not only that, but Dai freaking hit the inside barriers. And Ueo passed him while drifting. Ueo had that hands down. It was even replayed on the big screen. It was so obvious. Andy Yen know what was up when he said Ueo won that battle. But oh well, I hope to see Ueo keep piloting the DriftSpeed S15.


the whole OMT thing is bullshit. lets the crowd judge the events. im yet to see tandem video but I REALLY wanna see Ueos entries.


Speedhunters needs to do a montage video of Ueo's sick entries!!! Hopefully they are one step ahead of me :)


I think we need to take drifting as a form of entertainment not a form of racing.

Drifting is all about $$$.

Think of it like wrestling. Yes the action is real and talent is required but the storyline has already been pre-set.

Its hard for some to accept that fact but its true.

Im still a fan and I will always attend events. I just dont expect the best driver to win everytime.