I just returned home to the blazing hot confines of California, and now it's time to dig in and take a closer look at the action from the weekend's Formula D event in Seattle. With big crashes, close calls, and many upsets – it was one of the year's more exciting FD rounds for sure. While we media guys are working hard on our Seattle coverage, the FD teams and drivers are working even harder to get prepped for FD Sonoma, which will start only 10 days from now.
Oh what a crazy month this will be.
You've got to expect big crashes on a concrete-lined course like the one in Seattle. Tommy Suell was one of the drivers who encountered the wall, but his hit was not nearly as bad as Dai Yoshihara's. From what I've heard, the Falken Lexus is done and Dai will likely be in a backup car at Sonoma later this month.
Rhys Millen continues to struggle in Formula D this year. The Red Bull Genesis had lots of speed, but couldn't match the angle that many of the other cars were capable of. Rhys would end up being eliminated by Ken Gushi in the Top 32.
The Pro Am guys entertained throughout the event. There's the Skyline Shop R32 sedan sporting a whole weekend's worth of battle scars. Since the car is sponsored by the Skyline Shop, I can't imagine replacement parts will be too hard to source.
Roland Gallagher tearing up the banking in his nicely stanced (is that a word?) S13.
While walking through the pits, I snapped this picture of Joon Maeng's car loaded up with camera equipment. I agree with what Rod said about all the cameras diluting the lines of the cars, though I'm sure they produce some nice footage.
The new R-Magic exterior on Ryuji Miki's FD took a beating over the course of the weekend.
This is what the rear end looked like after some quick repairs on Friday. By Saturday night, the once expensive JDM rear bumper would be nothing more than a shredded piece of fiberglass.
The title "Sleepless in Seattle" could easily be used to describe the adventures of Ross Petty and his crew over the weekend. More on this later.
Stephan Verdier's Subaru shining nicely on Friday morning before things got under way.
I thought this rear shot of Ken Gushi's monkey bars came out kind of cool. Both his and Tanner Foust's Scion's are genuine marvels of drift car engineering.
Yep, it's the U.P. Garage RB-powered S13 that was the talk of the weekend. This thing could easily pass as a show car, but fortunately it does a lot more than just sit around looking pretty.
Ron Ewerth giving it a go in his Titan-powered G35 Coupe. You can hear the Drift Emporium cars coming a mile away with their whining supercharged V8's.
One of the highlights of the tandem competition was the all-86 Top 32 battle between Yasu Kondo and Taka Aono. Surprisingly, Kondo was able to defeat Taka the Hachiroku master and move on to the Top 16.
Vaughn Gittin Jr. simply had Evergreen Speedway on lock the entire weekend.
Tanner Foust is a tough opponent, but JR displayed lightning fast transitions and unmatched angle around the banking. Because of this, he advanced from what in my view was the day's most exciting battle.
In the end the competition came down to four drivers – Vaughn Gittin Jr., Eric O' Sullivan, Tyler McQuarrie, and Chris Forsberg.
During JR and O'Sullivans second run, there was accidental contact between the two cars on the bank, causing both of them to spin. I didn't have a good vantage point from where I was standing, but it was decided that JR was the first to make contact, thus handing the win to O'Sullivan. His WRX was heavily damaged though, and because he wouldn't be to drive in the final he'd finish by default in second place. Vaughn Gittin Jr. would face the loser of the next match for third place. Got it?
Now this meant that the semi-final match between Tyler McQuarrie and Chris Forsberg would actually determine the winner. Their first run was incredibly close, but on the second run Tyler came in too aggressive and ended up spinning on the exit to the bank. In a unique turn of events, Chris Forsberg and the NOS Energry Drink Z had clinched victory at Formula D Seattle.
There was still one more battle though, the third place match between the two Falken V8's of Gittin Jr. and McQuarrie. Both drove as hard as ever, but in the end judges decided that McQuarrie had earned the third spot on the podium.
After Chris Forsberg made a solo victory lap, the three drivers headed to the podium for the celebration where they doused each other (and a bunch of onlookers) in champagne. It was a great end to another exciting chapter of the 2009 Formula D season.
I'll be back soon with more from Formula D Seattle!
Great job Chris! I just love drifting
More more more!!! I heard rumours of some four doors getting photos taken
Good one Chris, he's on a hot streak this season.
Good job JR, but good luck on getting your car ready for next ROUND
falken falken falken... maybe you should bring up the part that Falken's FORMER star (Forsberg) took out all the current stars 1 by 1 - wan in top 32, dmac in 16, petty in 8, tyler in 4.
Did you notice there were 3 drivers on the podium? or were you so busy focusing on the Falken driver that you forgot about the guy who placed HIGHER than him?
Falken and NOS are listed as "partners" on the right side...... hmmmm..... it all makes sense now!
I just lost a lot of respect for Speedhunters. They're clearly selling out.
Ed so I'm to gather you are angry that we didn't put a picture of Eric O'Sullivan on the podium? I can assure you that there is no manipulation here with the podium shot... knowing Mike its simply a case that he had the shot captured with Forsberg and McNarmara, thought it was good and put it in the post. He is under no obligation to add extra photos from our partners.
We do try and be unbiased with our normal reports (separate from our behind the scenes reports) so in this case I think your criticisms to be a bit harsh.
haha i see myself in the first pic
I believe I spy Enkei RPF1's on the front of that S13.... I <3 those wheels!!!! (Yes, I have a set. So I'm biased. But so many people seem to admire them that I can't help but love seeing them on such awesome cars.)
Dai Yoshihara just needs to go back to the RMR GTO, but in Falken and Discount Tire trim. As for Millen. You had a great setup last year. What's the phrase... If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
More support for Stephan Verdier, Joon Maeng, and Ryuji Miki! And where are the shots of O'Sullivan and his STI?
i wish i could have seen that corolla battle in person, thats cool how Yasu Kondo made it into the top 16 with post under powerd car
@Rod...Sorry buddy but that is not Mcnamara...Guess again.
I love seattle....
Good job for Chris and JR...
You're the winner....
o'sullivan didn't get pictured because he barely squeaked by into his 2nd place podium finish. jr was taring his ass up during the top 4 battle. o'sullivan got lucky all day. i, and everyone with me, was amazed at how his mediocre driving got him to a podium finish...lucky bastard
Sean STFU. Just because you are jealous of eric doesn't mean you have to bitch about him. Eric is doing a fantastic job in the Scooby, it must be really difficult when you've drifted AE86's all your life.
patrick not only was in only ae86's that eric drifted,everything up to this year has also being right hand drive,its a big adjustment going over on to the left hand side to drift
Awesome post. Am i the only one who noticed the air filter popping out of the hood of that Orange G35?
Does any one think that maybe JR and Tyler made it in all of these pictures because they put on some of the best battles of the day???
Stop calling it Seattle! Evergreen Speedway (Monroe, WA) is over forty miles away from Seattle! Of course I could just be bitter cause I didn't get to go.
damnit i wish i could have gone, looks like the fd guys were awesome, but i love the pro-am boys. IAN FTW god that r32 is sexy, i only wish mine was as nice.
the r32 sedan is bad ass! love the look