So of you lot who were at the Long Beach Formula D… let me ask you this: what did you think of the judging and the Top 32 format?
From my perspective, this was the best FD event I've been to. The judging seems spot on and the Top 32 format allowed some interesting upsets and tandem battle combinations. I think Ryan, Jim and company have really taken their series to the next level…. no joke!
I thought it would be an interesting story to spend a bit of time in the Judges tower during the tandem battles to show a bit of the behind the scenes action. It's quite a different perspective to see the event dramas unfold from the eyes of the organizers and the teams.
At some Formula D events, the operations and team spotter areas are separated out from one another, but this was not the case at Long Beach.
Here the teams and the officials shared a single space which had its own unique vibe and intensity during the actual event.
This is what the view looked like from the stand… let's have a quick look at battle… in this case Hubinette vs. McQuarrie. We can see that Samuel has pulled out a bit of a gap to Tyler here…
Have a look BTW at all the trackside photographers and team members… you can also see the umbrellas of the Falken Girls in the bottom left side of the image…
This is the wall that claimed a few people… it was pretty wild to see the cars flying, ever-so-close to this barrier… in the background you can see a little bit of the JTuned car show.
Notice that Tyler has suddenly caught up to Samuel… the gap has radically closed….
And this is the point that Tyler spun… I didn't get a chance to talk to him about what happened… was it a forced or unforced error?… anyway you can see the course then finishes off with that tight hairpin corner….
We saw the judges throw up "One More Time" cards quite a few times during the cours of the event. I really liked this…. it felt like the drifters were really being pushed out to their limits to see who would crack under the pressure.
It seems like some of the teams really take their strategy quite seriously. Here you can see Ed Bergenholtz checking speeds on all the cars.
Just behind all the officials is the Belle Communications area… these are the guys that run all the technical and media elements of the event: Music, Video, Jumbotron, Video, Replays, Scoring display and Radios… everything is run from their setup.
There were also some VIP guests kicking around the stand….
… including the Need for Speed team VIPs…. This is Wylie, an art director on the Need for Speed brand. You can see his brain ticking over as he watchs the tandem battles…
SEND IT!!!! J-rod does his thing…
Moving back down to ground level….. The Falken girls spent the whole event in front of the grandstand… I don't recall them doing this previously at other FD Events.
I also got to meet the creator of Lin-Vision ™…. Linhbergh Nyuyen for the first time…. super guy.
The ex-D1GP Champion Ueo himself takes a moment to watch the competition…. Will we see an overall victory this year from him?
Here's another shot from the Red HD camera…. It's soooooo gooooddd!!!
So that's it for me from Long Beach FD. I'm heading off soon to check out the set up for the Long Beach GP where we'll be shooting a film with the Rahal Letterman race team… I can't wait to see the BMW M3 GT2!!!