What a crazy couple weeks!
For my driver's blog this time, I decided to alter the form a little bit from my recent ones. I liked Rod's recent work with the grip vs. drift blogs. They've made me think about the drift world I came from, what’s going through my head now and where I’m headed. So, I wanted to put out a more subjective piece where I open up a bit more. Here we go!
First it was All Star Bash. I’ve driven at all the big annual All Star Bashes, so I guess I’m an ASB veteran or something.
Then two days after ASB X, we headed out and I put on my pro game face for Formula D Seattle. This was my first time at Evergreen Speedway and I knew a lot of exciting things were in store for us. After that, I was in Vancouver for a few days visiting the Need for Speed/SpeedHunters headquarters.
All star bash was fun. JustDrift decided to run the course counter-clockwise on Saturday. That was cool because it allowed everyone to do a super big entry into the skid pad area of the track. It was pretty fun getting to practice coming in at the top of 4th gear somewhere outside of Formula D where there aren’t so many walls everywhere.
I spun once all day on this turn. Was it this time?
I was pretty much only focused on the big entry portion of the track. I was familiar with the rest of the course already from last year and had to focus on not breaking my car. If I did, I would have only had one day to fix it before we left for Seattle. Not to mention the budget restraints too ensure I make it through the season as well….
Willow Springs also hosted a firework show in the evening as well as some random kids which hit me in the face with water balloons. I did my best to dodge as many of them as possible but it was hard while carrying a Super Soaker.
Events like this are fun because there is no pressure and hardly any guidelines.
It’s cool just going out there for fun with friends and having fun driving and hanging out…
…just drifting whatever turn you feel like, and doing it differently each lap.
There's no stress and no judges, sponsors, competitors, or even yourself quantifying all your runs.
But at the same time, All Star Bash seemed less exciting for me this year. It was relaxing but it was more predictable. In some way, it was a spin off of other previous events and experiences. And that’s what I love so far about the Formula D season: everything is so new, big and exciting for me –on and off the track!
For me, Formula D is like an addict who’s always chasing a more intoxicating high to trigger a more intense excitement in your brain or to pump more adrenaline through your veins.
I think a lot of people like grassroots drifting because it focuses on fun, friendship, and experience is so palpable.
While in professional drifting, there's a lot more attention paid to the strict rules. For example, the tech inspections (shown here)…
…on the fierce competition…
…and on the other competitors and the pressure, even if unspoken—or self generated— to get results.
But at the same time, these are the reasons why the keeps driving getting better, more competitive, and more exciting every year.
And those aren't all necessarily bad things either. The pressure of competition isn’t really that big of a deal when compared to the amount of fun and new experiences that are also possible as a result of all this.
It is a competition; one does indeed strive to do well, and when you don’t, it’s definitely disappointing. I’d say that’s where I’m at now in the wake of FD Seattle and the previous other rounds thus far. Last year, if I didn’t do well, it didn’t matter as much because I wasn’t dedicating a lot of my energy and resources (not including driving, of course) towards my program. I didn’t really consider podium a huge possibility based on the level of my car and my lesser driving experience when compared to some of the FD veterans.
This year, in terms of my driving goals, is a combination of wanting to do well competitively and making sure to put on a good show for the record-breaking FD crowds.
I think now I’m just going to go back to trying to make my car the best that it can be, have fun, do my best to give everyone hell and focus on living it up during each of my runs on that particular track
The part of FD, that’s hidden, which is so obvious in grassroots drifting is the fun aspect of it –on and off track.
Some girls flashed everything to the Mattley Crue behind my pit area. That’s pretty awesome, right? It’s pretty cool to be able to travel once a month with your friends to random different cities. We leave every city with a lot of memories and new stories.
At every round lies adventure and new terrain to conquer.
The morning of competition day at Seattle, the Mattley Crue and I saw Rhys at the market and I yelled at him, “You’re F*cked!” He said later, “I think we’re going to have some fun…”
You also make lots of new friends by doing Formula D. This is Dennis Mertzanis, who drives the Kenda Tire S14, and his crew chief Brad. After I crashed in practice, they ran over with some parts to help. They knew I didn’t have a pit crew for this event, or a spare control arm, so they pulled the one off his car and fixed it all up for me.
Also another friend, this handsome ***, Mike Essa, came over and was asked, “what can I do?” So, he hammered and ground some parts down for me. In FD, there is a lot of camaraderie among the competitors.
Overall, this has been a harder year with more lessons than all the other years of my drifting combined. At the same time, it has been the most fun, new, and exciting. (This is where I pull out some wack quote) “Between the highest peaks are the deepest valleys.”
Anyways, I think that’s about it for now. Time to work on my car and get pumped for Vegas! Just a month away!