We've been quite busy over the past couple days assembling all the photos for the driver blogs from Formula Drift Seattle. Now that the pictures are being sent out to the drivers, it's time to take a look at the tandem competition from our own perspective.
Here are some scenes from the Top 32.
The first match was an All-American one with Alex Pfeiifer's Corvette going against Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s Mustang. As you might have heard, Alex was driving in memory of the late Richey Watanabe of Technosquare. More on Richey's legacy can be found in this fantastic piece from Moto IQ. This time though, Vaughn and the Ford emerged victorious in the Blue Oval vs. Bowtie battle.
Next up were Fredric Aasbo and Pat Mordaunt. Fredric will be along soon with his own Guest Blog on the event, but Pat spun on the second run, giving Aasbo the win.
Tanner Foust met Forrest Wang in the Top 32 – an epic match which took two OMT's to settle. Tanner was eventually awarded the win, but Forrest drove incredibly well.
Mad Mike and Sam Hubinette went at it next. As you can see, Mike did a great job of sticking with the gigantic Challenger during his follow run.
He also had a solid lead run, but the judges would rule in Sam's favor here. Mike will of course take us through this in his upcoming driver blog.
Next up, Darren McNamara easily moves to the Top 16 after defeating
Stephan Verdier. Verdier's Subaru just couldn't match DMac and the
lightning fast Saturn Sky.
The next two drivers to take to the track were Rhys Millen and Matt Powers. Matt was doing everything he could to hold off Rhys during his lead run…
But he over-drove at the final corner and put the car into the wall.
The crippled S14 would be towed off the track as Rhys moves to the Top 16…
Next up, Eric O' Sullivan vs. Chris Forsberg. Here we can see Eric applying a pressure as the two cars come through the bank.
But he ended up applying a bit too much pressure, spinning behind the Z and allowing Chris to easily advance.
A battle of the JDM drivers was up next as Dai Yoshihara met Robbie Nishida's GT-R. Robbie fought hard, but couldn't match the speed or angle of Dai's V8 S13.
The next match was the loudest of the weekend with the Brian Wilkerson's four-rotor RX8 meeting JTP's Brostang.
JTP had a solid advantage after the first run, and if you look closely at the RX8 you can see the alignment problem that caused Brian to forfeit his second run. Hella camber.
Privateer driver Cody Parkhouse had a great run against Ken Gushi's Scion, taking things to an OMT before he was eliminated with a blown diff.
Here we Tyler McQuarre on his way to victory against Dean Kearney in the next match.
This is the moment of impact between Ross Petty and Michiro Takatori in the following battle. Petty was ruled at fault here, and Takatori would earn the pass to the Top 16.
Look at Ryan Tuerck's aggressive following run against Kyle Mohan. Moves like this helped Tuerck move to the Top 16 rather easily.
A lot of us expected the battle between Michael Essa and Joon Maeng to be an intense one, but Joon took an early advantage and stuck with it to quickly advance.
Next up, a match between veteran Taka Aono and rookie Charles Ng. Taka looked on track for his best FD performance in a while…
…but he ended up getting into the wall rather hard while chasing Charles.
It was a bit of a scary moment, and one of the biggest FD crashes we've seen in a long time, with Taka being taken to the hospital with a broken tibia. We wish Taka a quick recovery and hope to see him and the 86 back on the track soon.
When the action resumed there was one match left in the Top 32 – Conrad Grunewald vs. local driver Nikolay Konstantinov. After an OMT run, the local hero with the RB-powered S13 would end up taking the win against Conrad's Camaro.
And with that upset it was time for a much-needed dinner break prior to the Top 16.
We'll be back with that next time.