Road Atlanta was the only round I missed last year on the FD calendar. And the only thing I heard for the next year was just how amazing that event was. The YouTweetBook feeds blew up with a resounding cacophony of “BEST. FD. EVENT. EVER.”
There was great hype for me personally with the months leading up to the second round of the Formula D 2010 season. I wanted to see if the fans were as crazy as I heard everyone say they were. I wanted to see if the drivers really are bonkers. I wanted to feel the insane heat and humidity that everyone complained about.
And you know what? The hype lived up to its name –especially the heat. Formula D at Road Atlanta is like no other event on the calendar.
I think the FD grid can all agree that Las Vegas is the actual scorcher event of the year but Road Atlanta sure comes close with second.
Filmmaker, Keep Drifting Fun van mate, and peanut butter connoisseur, Joshua Herron, hid under the Bergenholtz Racing/Full Tilt Poker awning with driver, and all-around-nicest-guy-ever, Joon Maeng.
Even Chris Forsberg tries his best to escape from the heat.
Fellow Speedhunter, Mike Garrett, ducks into the cooler shade of the Need For Speed Electro Lounge. It appears that the heat has made him a little wonkey….
In the NFS Electro Lounge, we like to keep things classy. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner! No need for trackside hot dogs or hamburgers, right? You might’ve seen NFS lounge girl, Courtney Day, scarfing down one of these on the Speedhunters Facebook and Twitter feeds!
This is Edo. He’s one of the Falken Tire guys showing off his fantastic farmers tan that he’s acquired during his countless outings to various tracks. Last time we saw this guy he was in an air conditioned rig enjoying some extra cold diet cokes. The expression on his face is evidence enough just how blazing the sun was!
This is a man that is 153% dedicated to his fans. After all the other
drivers left the autograph tables to head out to the grid for
qualifying, Joon Maeng stood alone with a pen in hand. He spoke to his
fans. He signed shirts and hero cards. He shook hands graciously. He left the tables only
after all the fans had left to the track to watch the proceeding
qualifying sessions. Standing off to the side to witness Joon, well, be
Joon, is one of the most heart warming and moving things you can ever see. He
restores your faith in humanity.
The on-track sessions were blazing hot also. All the drivers were driving at the top of their game. Vaughn Gittin Jr. was looking solid all weekend long on his second outing of the 2011 Mustang.
The skies are always drop-dead gorgeous in Atlanta –always.
It was great to finally see Robbie Nishida in the Hankook GTR. Having just come back from Silverstone, I have to admit that it was strange seeing a GTR but not hearing the low bellow of the Sumo Power GTR’s V8.
On the other hand, noise that is produced by Mike Essa’s V10 is music to the ears. Mike Essa was another driver that was on the tip-top of his form that weekend.
…as was Chris Forsberg.
Consistency was the name of his game.
It was insane to witness Darren McNamara’s little Saturn Sky that could. The speed that the car carries in and out of a corner is just mind blowing. Eight-hundred prancing horses and a car that weighs the combined weight of two Lego bricks, I’m sure, helps quite a bit.
We’ve already seen Tanner Foust’s crazy backwards initiations. Here he is again on top of his game. Tanner was definitely a man with a mission in Atlanta.
Atlanta is one of the few tracks on the calendar where spectators can see everything that’s happening on track. The whole run is visible to any seat on the house and so is the grid. You can see who’s coming up next without hearing the voice of Formula D, Jarod DeAnda, calling it out.
As the sun started to set, the temperature started to cool, but the on track action just gets even hotter.
Another little car that could. Here’s Ryan Tuerck with his Pontiac Soltice rocket car.
During round 1 at Long Beach, Mike Essa’s car was hideously high. It seems like he’s slowly tweaking the suspension a bit lower. Or it could be his flamboyant driving style is wooing me to the car?
Mike Essa smokes it up with Forsberg following…
…and Forsberg returns the favor in the next round.
Here are two guys that wouldn’t let an ounce go. Daijiro Yoshihara was an unstoppable force all weekend long.
Darren tried his best to stop Dai dead in his tracks, but we all know by now that he just couldn’t hang to the Rocket Bunny.
Stay tuned for some more of my observations from Hotlanta!