Gallery>>the Top 32 @ Fd Atlanta

Yesterday we had a look at Friday's practice and qualifying action at Formula Drift Atlanta. Now it's time for some scenes from the Top 32 tandem competition on Saturday afternoon.

As the fans kicked back with their blankets, BBQ's, and coolers full of brewskies, it was up to the FD drivers to put on a show. And that they did.

The first match put No. 1 qualifier Tanner Foust against No. 32 qualifier Matt Waldin. Now Matt Waldin has shown he can drive in the past…

…but there are times when Tanner and his Scion can appear unstoppable – like this one. Foust gets the win and moves to the Top 16.

The next match was over as soon as it started. Charles Ng hit the hard during entry, damaging his RX7 and handing the win to Ken Gushi.

And just like that, the two tC's were in the Top 16.

Ng's car looked pretty banged up, but I don't think it'll stop him from running in Jersey. The man is driven.

Next up, Cyrus Martinez and Chris Forsberg.

No huge surprises here. The defending champ drives like the defending champ, and moves on.

The following battle saw Mopar and Ford going at it as Doug VanDenBrink faced Sam Hubinette.

I noticed that Doug and his Mustang had some very impressive runs during practice, but here it was Hubinette who would advance.

The next two cars to run were Mad Mike's RX8 and Dai Yoshihara's S13.

Of course we all know how the day would end for Dai. Here he simply out-drove Mike with more speed, more angle, and more everything.

Next up, one of the day's big upsets as Pat Mordaunt went against Tyler McQuarrie. As he followed Pat Tyler lost drift in the horse shoe, which proved to be a very costly mistake.

Tyler looked much better on the second run, but it wasn't enough. Pat takes the win.

The next two drivers to go at it were Cody Parkhouse and Rhys Millen.

Cody doesn't have much experience in tandem competition, and Rhys is a tough guy to face for anyone. The Hyundai moves on.

Darren McNamara and Taka Aono would face off next.

This was a battle putting one of the fastest cars against one of the slowest. DMac was able to use this to his advantage and take the win.

Dennis Mertzanis would then face Ryan Tuerck in front of a hometown crowd.

Tuerck was able to build a nice lead on the fist run, and stuck right with Dennis on the second. Hampshaa takes the win.

The next battle was a close one as Kyle Mohan met Ross Petty.

But it was Ross and the Boso S15 that had the edge here, and won the ticket to the Top 16.

In the following match Vaughn Gittin Jr. faced Michi Takatori in a Mustang vs. Silvia battle.

A rather easy win for Vaugh here, as he opened a huge lead during the first run.

The next two drivers to run were Dean Kearney and Joon Maeng.

Kearney's car suffered a break-down here, and Joon and the RX8 would advance. Once again, it doesn't matter how talented the driver is if the car doesn't work.

Another all-V8 battle next as Forrest Wang meets Conrad Grunewald.

This was a close one, and I thought it would need an OMT to settle, but the judges favored on the side of Conrad.

The next two cars to run were the RX7 of Ryuji Miki and the Mustang of Justin Pawlak. Miki can be a very tough tandem opponent, but JTP was able to get the best of him here.

It was Subaru vs. BMW next as Stephan Verdier went against Michael Essa.

Essa's fantastic weekend continued here, earning his first tandem victory behind the wheel of his new BMW.

The final match of the Top 32 saw Matt Powers facing Robbie Nishida in the debut battle for the Hankook GT-R.

Surprisingly, the two Nissans were very evenly matched against each other – making for one of closest battles of the day.

After an OMT run, it was eventually Robbie and the GT-R that would move on. Matt drove the hell out of his car, but his weekend would end here.

Yikes that was a lot to cover. Top 16 action coming up next!

-Mike Garrett



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was looking to see if anyone was up near the top when Waldin's engine exploded and took some pics of it. these look great as usual though


desktop of hankook camaro?


Good stuff...its looks like a lot of the drivers are stepping up their game.


I thought Powers had the first run for sure... Oh well, epic battle nonetheless.


And again the same boy in the Top 16 :/

I saw very good driver in the quakify but don't have any chance with drivers with expensive cars and big teams.


lets do it i hope the rockstar tc makes it home

hell KG better be right behind him


It was great meeting you out there, Mike!


Thanks David!

You and John gonna get out to any other FD events this year?


This event was awesome! Cant wait for the next one..


FD has stepped WAY up this year. I think the judging this time was pretty even-handed all weekend other than some of the qualifying, but the action was +10. Same for YoParts stream, its freakin GREAT.


"Darren McNamara and Taka Aono would face off next. "

"This was a battle putting one of the fastest cars against one of the slowest. DMac was able to use this to his advantage and take the win."

Ive been a fan of DMAC for years but TAKA could have a crazy car if it had big corporte backing..TAKA TAKA TAKA!!!!!

How does Charles Ng keep crashing Mike Essa's FC?that would suck to explain


up more wrecked rides pleaseee...feel like looking at my skate shoes been grind by griptape!


awesome photo's.. any of Charlie Ng's before it came to an abrupt stop?? the BMW looks deadly too..


More pictures of the Hankook GTR! :D


Mike Waldein blew the motor on the down hill portion of his run and so had no cance to win.

The car dropped oil threw turns 1 and 2 (10 and 11 on the Road atlanta track)

Then caught on fire!

That stopped the action for 30 min for clean up.

Forsberg and Dai did test runs. and everything look good -ta-go.

Then Charles Ng and Gushi went.

Charle flicked the RX& left then right ( right across the dried up oil line)

It went like a missle right into the wall. If you ever saw footage of The Dale Earndhaert Sr crash.

It looked just like that. Freekish! Body parts everywere.

He never had a chance. Thank God he walked away from that wreck.

I saw allot of E-brake drifts after that.

The Michael Essa vs Vaugn Gitten Jr battle was crazy.

Vaugn spun out on the first run! YES THE FIRST RUN!!!

Essa Put down a crazy drift angle and entry speed. He had it in the bag.

Then in the second run Essa spun out! Dude? WTH? You had him.

Racing is racing" One More Time!

Jr got consistant and Essa got sloppy.

Battle over.

Mike next year you got to have another puotographer on the far side shooting the first corner entry shots.

The drift angles that these drivers are putting down are amazing!


mad mike sucks haha, and you can call me a hater, but when youve been handed all the tools to do the job ,and cant, what does that say? he should take some lessons from Matt Powers lol


10 of the Top 16 are V8's? Holy cow.

I think I see a pattern and a trend developing.


Yummmm...that opening pic looks intense. I would love a mor detailed look of the Hankook GT-R. I imagine it required LOTS of work to make this car competitive in a Drift competition. Good Stuff Mike


jasonrichards: So, does that mean Ryuji Miki sucks too?? Or any of the other plethora of sponsored drivers who have not had gobs of success?? Get real dude. Besides RBDWC Mike has only competed in two US events. Give the man a chance to acclimate himself to his new team, his new tires, new tracks, etc. You are being a tad harsh I'd say.


Desktop of the first pic pretty, pretty please!!! :) Great photos!