Seattle has quite a reputation. It is known for its eclectic mix residents, amazing food, the birth place of mainstream modern American coffee culture, the genesis of a man that took the rock genre from 80s hair metal to really what we know it as today, and a place where die hard drift fans reside. From the days coming up to the Seattle event, I heard a lot about the fans. Many say that these die hard fans rival that of Atlanta. Despite the threat from rain throughout the weekend, the fans came out in great numbers during Friday’s qualifying and practice, and even more came out to Saturday’s competition day. The fans did not disappoint and neither did the show that all the Formula D drivers put on.
One of the key features of the Seattle Formula D course is this high speed bank. The Pro-Am guys had a tough time with this massive bank, but the professional FD drivers took it on with ease and with a wallop of tire smoke.
Battle of American muscle: Vaughn Gittin Jr. verses Alex Pfeiffer.
Calvin Wan sitting on the grid waiting for his qualifying session. The bright Falken livery really stands out against the gloominess of Seattle and some of the other competiting cars.
Another great shot of Calvin Wan at the grid but from way down the straight looking through some bushes. Where the photo was taken is just about where all the drivers start their initiation into the high speed bank –what a place to be…
Here’s a little bit of nerdy videogame referencing to those of you that have played the living hell out of Gran Turismo 4: there’s an exploit at Infineon Raceway’s turn 11 which you can wall ride on the outside which accelerates you around the corner and sling shots you out to take a race win (or to annoying that buddy of yours that you’re racing…). What’s this got to do with Formula D Seattle? Well, the first two rounds of the battle between Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Tanner Faust, the both of them were driving 100% evenly, a one more time was called, so Vaughn decided to do something drastic to try to change the tides of battle in his favor. He told his race engineer that he would place his bumper onto the high speed bank of the course and ride his way using the wall to help him accelerate out of the bank –a la GT4 style!
He did exactly that, and that decision of throwing caution into the wind and having the cohones to do it. This awarded him with a battle victory. How’s that for absolute driver skill?
Justin Pawlak in his Bergenholtz RX-8 just has he’s about to transistion in the tight inner section of the Evergreen Speedway FD course.
Ryan Tureck enters into the tight section of the FD Seattle course…
… then exits out with pure ease.
As the sun went down over the already cloudy and darkened skies, the stadium lights came on. When each drift car made its pass in front of the grandstands, the lights would hit the cars in an almost ethereal and ghostly way. This snap of Eric O’Sullivan demonstrates the play with the stadium lighting, and the car –it looks astounding.
As I finally walked off track in the twilight, I turned around to and witnessed the lonely grandstand of Evergreen Speedway. I remembered that barely fourt-five minutes ago, the grand stands hosted countless fans who all witnessed a nail biting competition. With the pavement still warm from the onslaught and abuse that it has recieved, and with the lights still on, I look at the whole of the stadium with a bit of saddness. It’ll be one whole year before this racetrack will be filled with the same noise, tiresmoke, and loyal die hard drifting fans. As now, Evergreen Speedway hybernates, while dreaming of the coming year, and sort of magic it will bring…