Event>> Pro Drifting North-west Style

In front of a sell-out crowd, the Formula DRIFT drivers turned up the aggression dial for FD Monroe. With only a handful of rounds remaining and a close championship, it was clear that many of the drivers were taking a 'now or never' approach. And under perfect Washington skies, those who attended were given a great demonstration of pro-drifting. For those who weren't able to make it, here's our comprehensive report on the action that unfolded.

The calm before the storm. Just before the Top 16, the entire grandstand – along with the pathway in front – would be crammed full of spectators.

In the pits, Vaughn Gittin Jr popped by the Need for Speed Electro Lounge to chat with Matt Powers. Both drivers would later fall at the hands of Dai Yoshihara.

Tyler McQuarrie was driving like a man possessed, bullying Luke Lonberger's Corvette around the course…

…With only a cigarette paper's width separating the two cars.

Tyler's Falken/ASD team mate, Justin Pawlak, wasn't as fortunate. Leading the championship going into Round 5, JTP was looking for a big haul of points to maintain his position at the top of the ladder…

…But fate had a different plan for him. Here you can see JTP straightening out along the bank, with his Mustang's clutch giving up the ghost.

In his fight against Dean Kearney, Roland Gallacher lost control of his Silvia in the final turn and went head first into the concrete barrier.

Damage to his intercooler meant he wasn't able to take part in the second run, giving Kearney the win.

The Speedhunters team have been impressed by this year's rookies, including South African Otto Graven. In the past three weeks, Otto has dropped a Le Mans V8 into his super, ultra, mega wide-body Z33 and repainted it in his national colours. Although Otto is still coming to grips with the new setup, he put it all on the line against Chris Forsberg's Z34. Coming off the bank, he showed his more established competitor a thing or two…

…Forcing the judges to call for a One More Time to determine a winner.

Despite Graven's valiant effort, Forsberg did enough to progress.

One of our favourite Top 32 battles was between Joon Maeng and Ken Gushi.

Both drivers pushed each other to the absolute limit. Here Ken Gushi rides the wall on the bank…

…With Joon Maeng following suit, with both cars tearing up the track signage.

It was an impressive display of aggressive drift battling, with Joon Maeng's RX-8 progressing through.

Alex Pfeiffer hit the bank's wall a little too hard… 

…Losing out to Alex Lee.

Yoshioka also decided to give the wall a good scrubbing…

…Taking out his S13's rear bar. His opponent Ryan Tuerck, who suffered a big crash in the previous round, was given the Top 16 spot.

Rookie hot shot Ryan Kado suffered mechanical issues on both of his runs, so he wasn't able to put up a fight against Rhys Millen.

In the Top 32, Fredric Aasbo was pitted against Ross Petty's V8-powered S15.

Although Fredric spun, the judges had spotted Ross putting three wheels off course on the prior corner. Fredric was given the win.

The loudest cheer from the grandstands was reserved for Walker Wilkerson. Although his opponent, Darren McNamara, had only qualified in 19th, Walker wasn't able to keep D-Mac at bay.

One of the upsets of the weekend came when Cyrus Martinez went up against Conrad Grunewald's Camaro. Martinez, an underdog in terms of power output, pushed his S13 to the absolute limit…

…And did enough to go through to the Top 16.

Robbie Nishida suffered mechanical gremlins during his run against rally driver Aurimas Bakchis, who would later be defeated by Vaughn Gittin Jr.

Matt Powers defeated Charles Ng…

…To make it through to the Top 16.  

As we mentioned earlier, by the drivers' parade the entire grandstand was packed to the rafters…

…With the capacity crowd all vying for a vantage point.

Alex Lee, repping the four-door drift fans, wasn't able to progress further than the Top 16.

Vaughn Gittin Jr was putting on an incredible driving display. On each of his runs, he'd deliberately tap his Mustang's rear against the concrete barrier. Nice.

In their Top 16 battle, Martinez's S13 and Mohan's RX-8 came together on the bank.

Martinez's S13 creeped forward, bumping Mohan mid-drift. After a long wait to see if RX-8 could be repaired, the judges called time and gave Mohan the win.

The battle of the Rocket Bunny Silvias.

Team NFS driver Matt Powers came off the bank a little too hot, spinning at the next corner with Dai narrowly avoiding an accident.

Fredric Aasbo's Scion, wearing the Norwegian flag out of respect for the atrocities that have occured in Oslo, dispatched with Dean Kearney's Viper in the Top 16.

Dean, who had banged his wing against the final turn's wall the day prior, did so once again.

Rhys Millen looked hell-bent on taking a step on the podium, with each of his runs inch perfect. D-Mac couldn't hang with the Hyundai, and you can see the Irishman running wide coming off the bank.

"I suck!" is what Darren would later tweet. I think D-Mac's being a little hard on himself, as he is still 4th in the championship and well within striking distance.

 There's a strong competitive rivalry between Jr and Dai. Dai is the only person that Jr hasn't beaten in competition, so this was going to be an enthralling battle…

…In spite of a stellar run – including Jr's trademark wall tap – it wasn't enough. Dai shadowed the reigning champ throughout the course and was given the win.

In the Great 8, Ryan Tuerck pushed a little too hard into the final turn, looping around. Forsberg, who was right on his tail, had no where to go…

…Engulfed in a plume of Nitto tyre smoke, the judges gave Forsberg the spot in the Final 4.

Arguably the battle of the event happened when Tyler McQuarrie went up against Fredric Aasbo.

The two drivers were inseparable, stepping it up a notch for each of their runs. The judges were in a dilemma and couldn't determine a winner, so OMT after OMT was called for.

Both drivers were near flawless. The win was eventually given to Aasbo, who threw down a crazy line on the bank, skimming the rear of his Scion against the wall.

The Final 4 drivers were Fredric Aasbo, Dai Yoshihara, Rhys Millen and Chris Forsberg.

Aasbo, determined to seek revenge on Dai for knocking out team-mate Powers, put in great lead and chase runs

…However it wasn't enough to claim a spot in the final two. With Forsberg defeating Millen in the other Final 4 battle, it would be Yoshihara and Forsberg fighting it out for 1st and 2nd, with Millen and Aasbo going head to head for 3rd and 4th.

Aasbo nudged out Millen for the bottom step on the podium…

…With Dai claiming the event win ahead of Forsberg.

It was all smiles for the top three drivers, but credit should be given to the entire FD field, who put on some of the best drift battles we have ever seen.

To the victor go the spoils. Thank you to everyone in the North West; you guys and girls made it such a great event! 

- Charles Kha

Photos by Linhbergh Nguyen, Larry Chen and Charles Kha



Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

Great event. Can't wait to see more coverage.


coincidence that no ASD cars were on the podium, and the only one in contention (Tyler) had his car effectively 'black flagged' for using illegal tyres? I dont think so.

ASD are nothing without their cheat tyres, this event proved it again.


best weekend ever, seriously.


Spud, link to proof? That's quite a statement there. Last I saw they were all on Falken. This event showed that Aasbo is used to the car now, but just needs more speed. Glad also to see Dai back on top, hopefully this season he won't get screwed again and actually take the title. FD did him wrooooooong last year.


my first trip to a drift event and it ROCKED! crazy intense driving and epic battles...I'm hooked!


Such a solid weekend, this was the first formula D event I've been to. I will definatelty be going to seattle again if it's on the map next year and any other events I can, it was more than worth the drive down from Canada. Thanks for the show guys!


millen carved it up


watched this on the live feed thanks speedhunters


ASD can suck it




First time at Evergreen, first time at a Formula D event.. was amazing.

and I'm in this picture in the crowd :D


very skillful driving.. looks like it was safe, well intentioned fun. they do love that wall don't they?(!) - Thanks for the coverage and photos!


Otto Graven is just getting better and better. He is best in SA. Watch the space :-)


I wanna see Otto Graven and Alex Lee take podium next round! :D


Good call spud, but its not just that car. All the ASD Falken cars run illegal tires, but some how they manage to get away with it. Up til now that is, well we'll see being it is the biggest team in FD i don't know how this just slides by. FD needs to address these violations asap, Hey tanner had to change his set-up last year, and Gardella Racing this year. Rules should apply to all teams the same way.


Spud & Drift fan: You guys are making huge accusations without proof to back it up. In no way am I backing up ASD and their super cars (I don't like how they are taking over with stupid light cars with way too much hp), but unless you have proof, don't accuse. All you guys are saying is that they run illegal tires. How do you know this? Where's a source we can find this info? All of that is hearsay until it's proven


Judging from Otto's performances already I would say he is a major force to be reckoned with. He was killing it at Palm Beach and here as well even though he just put in a completely new motor.

As for ASD cheating... I really doubt it. ASD are the best drift tuning garage and these past few seasons of FD have proven that. It's not that they are cheating but that they are miles ahead of everyone else. Even Dai said that JTP is a rocket. His car isn't that fast because its light...


let's see, JTP had a clutch break, DMac made a driving error, JR had a great run but was closely nudged out by the eventual winner, and tyler lost a very questionable call but a hard fought race against aasbo. as for being black flagged yes he was and the car passed with flying colors. blow it out your @$$ hater.


This is ridiculous. Robbie needs a more solid team. While the whole deal with Dynamic Autosports was bull, I think it still would have been better than Bridges Racing, at least the GT-R was using a more dependable engine. Robbie needs a better team, period. He'd be rippin' the ish up if he was even a part of Megan Racing's team or even Retaks.


Hey chuncy munky you can not buy those falken tires if you wanted to run them, so that makes them illegal. Nobody will know this because FD does not give out any info once or ever. look into it for yourself you'll see.


Fact: ASD cars aren't illegal unless Formula D says they are.

Fact: Falken Tires aren't illegal unless Formula D says they are.

Fact: No one in Formula D has lightweight car advantage with the tire and weight rule.

Give FD and Team Falken some credit unless FD comes out and says they broke the rules. Sounds like you're on a witch hunt and just have sour grapes. Chuncky Munky said it right, huge accusations and no proof to back it up.


Whne does a SPIN is less than 3 tires off line ? a SPIN is an automatic loss in my book ...FD judges had it wrong - big time! Again a conspiracy theory about big advertisers getting their car better treatment ??? Maybe! but come on!


Ryan how cute finally a picture of you and chris kissing. AWWWWWW


You dont purposely hit the wall to get points. Nor should a more favored driver win the heat. Formula D is judged horrible and fails!


> "Hey chuncy munky you can not buy those falken tires if you wanted to run them, so that makes them illegal. Nobody will know this because FD does not give out any info once or ever. look into it for yourself you'll see."

>>I'm pretty sure you can buy Falken Azenis RT-615K's since I've seen them on cars on the road. Maybe you can't buy them anywhere you're at, but there is a Discount Tire not far from my house that sells them. Get your facts straight before accusing.

>"Fact: No one in Formula D has lightweight car advantage with the tire and weight rule."

>>I agree with this, but when you add a stupid amount of hp to the equation, it makes things one-sided. I give ASD credit for being great with tuning cars. But i hate the fact that all of their cars have at least 100+ hp over the majority of the competition.

> "Whne does a SPIN is less than 3 tires off line ? a SPIN is an automatic loss in my book ...FD judges had it wrong - big time! Again a conspiracy theory about big advertisers getting their car better treatment ??? Maybe! but come on!"

>>This has always been a rule and it makes sense. If you drop 3 tires, you're off course and terribly off line. If Ross kept it on course and only dropped 2 tires and they called it in Aasbo's favor, then I'd call shenanigans, but both drivers got zeros for the 2nd run so it came down to the first where Aasbo did better.


Great coverage guys! :) See you at FD Las Vegas!


Chunky Munky Said: >>I'm pretty sure you can buy Falken Azenis RT-615K's since I've seen them on cars on the road

--In what sizes tho? To be legal, you have to be able to purchase those exact tyres used on track....size and all. Picture of anyone purchasing exact tyres used by ASD? Wont happen, trust me, ive tried.


Only reason ASD is in question for tires is because he in the top 8 he ran 10mph faster in the bank.

So they marked his tire and bagged, tagged and sent his tires for analysis.


Wow I need to proofread.

Only reason ASD is in question for tires is because once tyler got in the top 8. He ran 10mph faster in the bank. FD officials got suspicious. So they marked his tires and bagged, tagged and sent his tires for analysis.