Picking up where I left off yesterday, let's move into the second half of tandem competition at the Formula D finale.
Now that the championship race had been more or less decided, were able to focus on putting on a show for the fans in the packed grandstands.
Following driver intros, the first two guys to head out were Falken teammates Darren McNamara and Tyler McQuarrie. When the smoke from their Azenis had cleared, DMac was the one advancing to the Great Eight.
The Red Bulls were on parade next as Mad Mike Whiddett did battle against Rhys Millen.
This time, the Hyundai-powered Red Bull would come out on top. Mad Mike's Formula D rookie season had come to a close.
Drift Alliance bros Justin Pawlak and Ryan Tuerck went out next in another thumping V8 matchup.
Tuerck had a significant bobble coming off the bank, enough to give JTP the win in what was an otherwise tight match.
Tanner Foust and Conrad Grunewald headed out next to destroy their Hankooks in front of the crowd.
By this point, Tanner Foust was clearly gonna be one of the guys to beat. Another pair of textbook runs gave him the win here.
Michihiro Takatori and Chris Forsberg battled next. While Forsberg was the clear favorite here, a mistake on the inner bank would end his night.
Takatori and his V8-powered S15 would be moving to the Great Eight.
The next match was over as soon as started with James Deane getting into the wall as he leads Ian Fournier through the bank. Just like that, Ian's R32 was going to the Great Eight.
Next up, Matt Powers vs Matt Field. The battle of the Matts was decided when Field spun on the inner bank. Matt Powers moves to the Great Eight for the first time in 2010.
Finishing up the Top 16 would be one the night's most anticipated matches – Gittin vs Aasbo. The fourth time they've battled this year!
This was a match that a lot of people thought should have gone on more time. Here tough, you can see that Vaughn is a slightly more aggressive coming through the inner bank.
Fredric drove the wheels off his Supra as usual, but Vaughn had pulled a big enough advantage to take the victory.
Moving into the Great Eight, Darren McNamara and Rhys Millen would start things off.
In the end Millen just couldn't match the speed of the V8-powered Saturn. DMac moves to the Final Four.
Justin Pawlak drove his heart out trying to defeat Tanner Foust in the next battle, but Tanner appeared to be unstoppable. Foust moves into the Final Four.
The next battle would be another one of the night's great ones – Ian Fournier vs Michihiro Takatori. Fournier had things pretty easy up to this point, but he brought the fight right to Takatori.
After an OMT was called, Takatori finally earned the favor of the judges and moved into the Final Four. Fournier's incredible driving should definitely not be overlooked though.
Finishing up the Great Eight were Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Matt Powers. It was more than a solid effort from Matt…
…but not enough to beat the champ. Vaughn moves to the Final Four.
The Final Four kicked off with one of the best battles not just of the night, but of the entire 2010 FD season – McNamara vs Foust.
The two fastest cars in the series, and this year's two biggest rivals. Neither one of these guys was going to give up an inch.
During their OMT run, DMac finally pushed a little too hard, losing drift and allowing Tanner to move to the Final.
Vaughn Gittin Jr. would advance to battle Tanner after he defeated Takatori in the next match.
During his battle against Takatori for Third Place, DMac overshot the infield transition and got into the wall hard.
Darren was fine, but his car didn't leave in the best shape. Oh well, there's a whole off-season for the ASD guys to fix it!
After the wreckage had been cleared, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Tanner Foust came off the line for the final tandem match of 2010.
This battle between 2010's most succesful drivers was fitting way to close out the season.
Not surprsingly, an OMT was needed before this one could be settled.
Battles like this one and the one between Tanner and DMac are shining examples of how much talent has risen over the last couple years. After the first OMT, the judges had determined a winner.
Tanner would take first, Gittin would take second place (and the season championship), Takatori would take third.
It was a fine end to an incredible season.
I can't even imagine what 2011 will bring…