Event>>smoke N’ Sparks @ Formula D Vegas

The fans who came out and braved the heat at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to watch the fourth round of Formula Drift certainly got their money's worth last night. Like a proper Vegas show, the action stretched into the wee hours of the morning and was full of big crashes, upsets, and too many "One More Times" to count. Watching the drivers fling their cars sideways at 80+ mph with nothing but a solid concrete wall to stop them reminded me just how insane pro drifting can be. Considering the high entry speeds and unforgiving nature of the course, the number of crash victims was actually rather small – something that speaks volumes for the talent of today's FD drivers.

I'll just go ahead and start with one of the most incredible moments of the night. As Ryan Tuerck faced Katushiro Ueo in the Top 16 the two cars made contact, with Tuerck's Solstice taking a hop into the air open-wheel style. Just as amazing was the fact that Tuerck was able to come back and defeat Ueo following his flight…

Justin Pawlak's RX8 looks a bit like a fighter plane that got caught up with some bogeys. JTP would make it all the way to the Top 8 before he was eliminated by Ryuji Miki in a battle of the rotaries.

One of the day's great battles came early on when Katsuhiro Ueo faced Matt Powers in the Top 32. It took an OMT match before Ueo was finally awarded the victory. Everyone in the crowd was stoked to watch the privateer Matt put up such an awesome fight against the former D1GP champ and world famous Ueo.

Obviously none of it would be possible without support from the Mattley Crue. Viva Las Powers!

The car show at this event had one of the bigger turnouts I've seen this year. The entries included the nice, as well as the rice…

I'm truly impressed with how far Michael Essa has come in the first half of the season. Him and his FC have repeatedly been able to stick it to some of the bigger budget cars and well known drivers.

This is what it looked like when Vaughn Gittin Jr. hit the wall during practice on Friday night…

…and this is what it looked like less than 24 hours later. An incredible job done by ASD and Team Falken in getting Mustang the back together for JR to compete. It sort of looks like the car has an evil smirk here.

A glimpse at the Pro-Am section of the paddock. I fell in love with this S13 on VS-KF's owned by one of the local Vegas drivers.

Pat Mordaunt's S14 is going need to just a bit of body work before the Seattle event next month.

Another view of the light show happening underneath Ross Petty's S15. I'm thinking he should add some authentic bosozoku style musical horns for that extra touch.

DA bros Ryan Tuerck and Chris Forsberg needed two OMT's before Chris eventually moved on to the semi-finals. With all the shake-ups this weekend, these two should be sitting on top of the season points standings.

The night's biggest surprise had to be Ryuji Miki's performance. Miki drove flawlessly, and seemed to be extracting all the potential his FD3S has to offer.

The final would be a match between Tanner Foust and Miki. During their first run, it appeared that Miki simply got lost in Tanner's giant cloud of tiresmoke (which was made even worse by the night lighting) and was unable to hold his drift.

Miki did a great job leading during the second run, but it was not enough to overcome the disadvantage from the first run. Tanner Foust was declared the winner, which marked his first victory of the year and his first in the Rockstar Scion tC.

Congrats to Tanner, Miki, and all the other drivers who put on such a great show last night!

More from FD Vegas on the way.

-Mike Garrett



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nice read. wa sreally hoping Miki would win this one


GO MIKI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Miki Wallpaper pls (the last pic)


I'm surprised Tureck advanced after that kind of crash...


Tuerck pulled a reverse Yoshioka, (a la Odaiba, but can anyone clarify what round?)

Potential in FF engineered cars, proven at Las Vegas. Methinks we'll see a surge of these kinds of cars, soon enough. Congrats to Tanner, Miki, Chris, and everyone else this round. Sorry Rhys. :)


dude... I am dead from that weekend. holy crap that was insane.


Dang! has JR messed up that mustang every event??? lol


Now it was rather engineer fight xD Wallpaper with "Air Drift" xDDD!!!


didn't ross petty have the godfather horn on his car last year? or was i high on clutch and tire smoke?


Nice.. long time since an FD came all the way to the last battle in formula D. Nice job mikki. that FD looks sweet.....


LOVE the second picture, it just shows me how balls out the drivers are willing to go,

love the pic of matt powers & ueo, just love the whole Pro vs grass roots look

love the Angry look of JR's 'Stang after it was fixed
And i have a request....my favourite car in Formula D is Ross Petty's S15, is there anyway you guys could do feature on his battle machine??

Much love from the UK


Gooo Miki!!!


Note that miki had orido spotting him

dude was gangster all weekend, didnt know the FD chassis could make big angle.


lookin good!!! where's the pro am footy at!!!!

Local NW guys took 3rd and 4th!!!!


Mike... seriously?

If you think that the purple civic is rice, then you do not deserve to post on a globally-viewed blog about a wide range of cars and motorsports.

I thought that you, being a "cool" guy who makes long posts and describes a simple aspect of a car by using big descriptive words pointlessly, should know better than to call any civic RICE.

If you can't appreciate what some people do to their cars with their hard-earned money, then STFU.


Hahaha, those 80's metal dudes are hilarious.


so true jzx100.. matt powers is soo cool lol~

anyways, congrats to hankook tires for claiming the top two positions on the podium! miki has the sickest looking car in formula d IMO.


Gino: I think that is the first time and FD has ever won a round of FD. Can anyone verify?

Bob Was Not Here: Other than a mangled plastic front bumper at Long Beach that is the first time JR has damaged the car.

PLEASE feature Ross Petty's S15. I think a lot of SpeedHunters would be impressed with it. It is not your typical FD build. Very OG! And yes, Ross had a Boso horn on the Falken S13 and I believe he does have one on this car as well.


86-2rbo. the Civic represented the "nice" part of my comment. The rice was not worth posting...


bring the heat!!!

matt powers


Mike, you didn't say it was part of the "nice" group, therefor earned yourself my rant.



There was no reason to think it was rice im not a honda fan nor fwd fan in general but even I would not say that car is rice i saw it on perfect exposer btw

and you want to see rice go look at some of the japanese drift cars like that 180sx with the weird firebird looking front end and lame spoiler that was in a post a while back now that is rice haha


If the guy above thinks the car show was anything BUT a riced out hooptie, he should stab himself in the eye with a chopstick. You sir, are delusional. Yes, you can spend a lot of money on something and still end up with a train wreck...look at Anna Nicole Smith.


Mickey, Didn't JR get into the fence in Atlanta as well? Coming out of the last right hander headed up the hill... Wall NJ was clean though. So 3 out of 4 events damage... That's the JR we love! I'm sure his team will fix it. If they could get that car back together for quals after a hit that hard, it should look brand new for Seattle I'm sure of it.


i agree with 2rbo. it IS rice, it looks like a easter egg! it also is slow as f*ck! show me 1 car there with less torque! didn't think so... *EASTER EGG CIVIC here by dubbed the KING OF RICE*


haha definitely new age rice. where did his hood go? is he cooling off his 150 horsepower? i honestly believe this boy made that toy in high school art class. in this case, rice fertilized an easter egg and what hatched is a waste of money!


ladies and gentleman, the future of rice is here...


it must say alot about the driver that out of all the colors in the world, he chose purple, thought "how can i make this look worse? oh i know! ill paint the bay teal because i saw other people do it!" and after more money was wasted he thought, "how can i make this look worse? oh i know! chrome wheels! now i can look at my reflection to remind myself who drives the rolling rice ball."