Fire & Water: Drama In Orlando
Uncharted Territory

A new venue in the Formula Drift championship is always bound to shake things up, but when you throw torrential rain and a little fire into the mix it gets a whole lot more interesting. ‘Uncharted Territory’, the third stop on the 2015 FD calendar held at Orlando Speedworld Oval Track just proved that.


It’s a critical point in the season for Formula Drift’s Pro drivers, and headed into the Florida round, securing important championship points – either to turn a season around or capitalize on a current position – was the number one priority.


In Friday’s qualifying, Ken Gushi came out all guns blazing and earned the #1 spot with a 92 run. It was close at the top though, with Matt Field earning second with a 91 and Ryan Tuerck holding out third with a 90 scorecard.


But anything can happen in this sport and during today’s battles the rain came down and turned the event on its head.


Larry will have a full report next week, but for now we extend our congratulations to Ryan Tuerck who took the win. The Retaks driver had a solid weekend in his 2JZ-powered Scion FR-S, but got an easy ride from his Nitto Final 4 win to the top step of the podium after Chris Forsberg failed to make the start line with a suspension breakage following contact with Ken Gushi in his semifinal match-up. And he had a fire too…

Odi Backchis still holds onto his #1 championship position with 223 points, but Tuerck is now right up there with 208 in the bag.

Let’s hear your thoughts on this drama-filled round in the comments section below…

The Speedhunters

Photos by Larry Chen
Instagram: larry_chen_foto

Cutting Room Floor


Comments are closed.


by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

When are you going to have your Atlanta article up?


Speedhunters? In Florida? Its more likely than you think!


I like the new track and mixing it up a bit. I Would actually like to see more variety especially with irwindale on its way out let's have a midwest round ! (Detroit!) Nice to see gushi driving to his full potential. Tuerck has looked solid despite getting a bit lucky. Still bummed to see joon struggle with his Z4 despite looking strong in his s13 end of 2014. Also with essa struggling with that short wheelbase chassis in the past I don't understand that move at all. Matt field will continue to improve and impress. Looking forward to jersey.


Could you ever do a right up on what camera equipment you use?


Drift Life Apparel Unfortunately it isn't his first run in with fire in the S15.


Gushi should have beat Forsberg (no hate on Forsberg). Imo Forsberg stalled or let off the throttle causing the contact. Gushi was running better and looking better in his lead and chase run.

Tuerck and Field should have had a "one more time". Both lead runs were outstanding. BUT the chase run's of both drivers were their weak points. Tuerck's chase run had mediocre angle and a mediocre proximity. Field had better proximity and angle but didn't seem to the same control in his chase run. He was roaming the track and had a late transition. With the track being wet and the nature of drifting they should have had a "OMT". 

All drivers and teams put on a spectacular show and I could only imagine trying to harness 1000+ hp on a wet tarmac. Kudos to them! Gushi is also having a great year despite not getting a win yet.


I wanna see more of that Viper, though.


I'm from NZ therefore I'm a Mad Mike fan - kinda silly how some drivers got a practice run in Top 16 in the wet and some didn't. Maybe I missed something on the livestream but this seems strange to me. Any answers?


press45201 I'm pretty sure he has done before, but it doesn't really matter. It's how Larry sees things that makes his photography so impressive.


Im a bit confused to how kristaps lost that battle versus tuerck. He did pass that line of initiation next to tuerck, but tuerck also crashed on his own. Though kristaps was at fault there, wasnt there a similar thing with james evans where they had to redo that specific run where he passed the line right next to the lead driver? If they gave Kristaps the same chance to redo, Tuerck wouldnt be able to get on line because of his accident...  Tuerck literally won a round just by getting advantages over mechanical issues.

As a huge huge Daigo fan, its so dissapointing to see him not make it past top 32 every single round. I honestly thought switching over to the GTR would be very benifitial for him when it comes to reliability. 
Also, I am pretty convinced that if Yokoi's car didnt catch fire he would've won without a doubt. He looked unbeatable.


Dear Formula Drift:   IMO, I never want to see this, or any other oval track again. I understand that oval tracks are America's way of packaging a show in a compact space for maximum viewing, but having FOUR tracks on banked ovals....well....there's only so much variety you can make out of that shape and you've pretty much used them all up, and to death. I know it's a hard hurdle to find that magical track with a) good spectating area b) large fanbase c) drift-friendly section and d) modern technical facilities but for pete's sake this is gonna end up in stadiums packaged with X-TREM MOTO-X MONSTRJAM!!!!!!!! 
  C'mon Mr. Sage. You guys are doing so many things right....these tracks, other than Irwindale, are the exact thing that drift scenes elsewhere claim ruins FD's validity as skilled drifting. In other words, this track, like the other ovals, are just rolling burnout shows. We need an Autopolis, a Pukekohe, a Karpakz!!! Something that scares the drivers half to death and makes the spectaters pucker so hard to the seats, they stay stuck while the 100+mph entry wind sucks the trash out from under the bleachers and flings it in their eyes! Instead, we get a limp entry speed into a looooooooooong burnout on the bank, one transition across a bumpy-ass midsection that was never meant to be driven across (much less drifted) into another loooong slow rolling burnout. Why did we lose Miami last year? Other than a slightly odd entry (which was different, and new), it looked like a great new round on the roster that I was looking forward to in 2015. 
   Last point about this track. The rain. Yes, it's supposed to be Sunny Florida. BRO. It's not California. To them, only having one, 30-minute massive deluge a day is still sunny. This track, and all banked ovals, are bathtubs in the rain. And you saw what chaos ensued to the event. On a proper track, the rain drains off to the sides, not straight down to the previously mentioned single bumpy-ass transition area. So if it's a rain-prone place like Florida, you may want to consider this.

    Congrats to Teurck for the win, I know we all wished we could have seen him battle Forsberg to get it, but thats, well, racing. I genuinely hope Gushi can continue about his trend of crushing it. It's truly about time he gets some wins again!


P.S....If Irwindale is gone, do the docks in Long Beach like RedBull did in 2008(?). Make it 2-day with Mad Mike's Shift Drifters the day after and have the best drift event ever. Fukkit, team up with RedBull so they can pay for half of it.


D1RGE *claps slowly


Forgsberg could one day drop all 4 tires and the judges would still somehow give him the win. Don't you just love FD.


@Dave It started raining just before mad mike's run. I was sitting outside the judge's booth. One of Mad Mike's guys came to talk about it, but the judge's said "gave them a practice run," and they should of been grateful for that. All of the other drivers were given the opportunity to change things like tire pressure.


This event was just not good in any way really. The facility was never meant to have that many people there, it took 1.5 hours for me to leave the dam parking lo....grass. The judging was just poor. If the car has DA on it then it advances no matter what. Kearney got robbed, and then Field should've atleast went OMT with Tuerck. I don't understand really how the Tuerck/Kristapps battle never went again...Notice the trend here? Tuerck won everything because the judges wanted him to win. The "fading into the other drivers lane" rule only seemed to apply once, when Evans had to go again. But after that 4 or 5 more drivers did the same thing and it was all good. Oh, and the tire de-beading rule..HOW STUPID! If it doesnt affect the drivers run or speed, then why should they automatically get a 0? No one is talking about it because JTP spun his follow run basically giving away the win, but if he wouldve put down a solid follow like we all thought he was going to then he still wouldnt have advanced because his tire de-beaded! That is just ridiculous. The only positve I can come up with really from the event is the food, the food trucks were solid!


Kearney didn't get robbed. He sucks. He was less angle and was wobbly while chasing and his lead run was mediocre at best. 

Tuerck has been on point this season and did a ton of off season drifting. It's no surprise he is doing well this season.


D1RGE Agree about the Oval tracks. This event was really boring. At least the other oval tracks have a technical bit in the center.

They could make a better track than FDORL in a parking lot with cones.


The "debeading a tire" rule is a safety thing, so they say. It's supposed to discourage drivers from running extremely low tire pressure, as the tires debead more easily with really low pressure.
If it was that much of a safety thing, you could run bead-locks no? Probably don't want that weight though.


@D1RGE is bang on about pretty much everything! The ovals are rolling but outs. The infields have been fully explored, and aren't that interesting.
I think FD has found some great spots with LBC and ATL, but it needs more of these sort of iconic locations, not repetative ovals.
If I was an all powerful drift god, I would move the final round from Irwindale to Leguna Seca. It would take some heads coming together and some work (little extra pavement in a few spots), but I think you could make a pretty insane section out of the front straight and the 1st double apex left. I'm picturing initiating blind while cresting the hill and carrying the drift all the way down to the tight left hander, then looping around almost 180' and going back up the pit exit.
Tuerk and Forsberg should try it on Tuerk'd lol!


Lamest FD event I can remember for a few years now. I don't really like the ovals, but OSW looked exceptionally terrible. I actually felt bad for the drivers. The whole facility looked amateur. "No mans land" (properly understood as "a completely undefined portion of the drift sector), and a woop section??? Just terrible!!
It looked pretty evident while watching this event that many, even a majority, of the Pro 1 drivers do no have much seat time in their comp cars in wet conditions. I watched the rain soaked Pro2 on Friday as well, and the level of driving in the wet seemed pretty equal.
There were a few standouts, most notably Yokoi. Had his car not caught on fire, my money was on him to win. He was looking the strongest out of all the remaining drivers.
Tuerk vs Blauss was one of the strangest calls I've ever seen. Can't get mad at the drivers for it, they didn't make the call. But the judges basically said that Blauss scared Tuerk into the wall, so it was Blass's fault o.O That's a new one. Hilarious quote I just saw
"What's a touch & go?" "It's when you touch the wall and automatically go on to the next round" - Doof
Overall, a completely forgettable event.
Already hearing rumours that "FD has found a new home in central Florida..." please please please never go back to OSW!!!!!! Unless the completely bulldoze and rebuild or something crazy lol


Paddy McGrath Bromace is strong


Twitch_6 Irwindale must stay IMO. I know people don't like oval tracks but Irwindale should be one of the exceptions because it's the House of Drift after all and it has proved for some of the most intense drifting we've ever seen. The inner bank has claimed a countless amount of victims and it truly separates the men from the boys. Also, Irwindale 2011 is still the greatest drifting event to ever happen in the history of drifting. Laguna Seca would be a cool addition but it shouldn't replace Irwindale.


@LouisYio, I 100% agree with you. Irwindale and Wall are both good tracks in my opinion. They have character, are different enough from another that they're not repatitive...I'm ok with a couple ovals on the calendar. But 4/7 is too much!
However, it seems you're a little out of the loop. From what I understand, baring a small miracle, 2015 is the final year that FD will be at Irwindale. I have heard that after FD2015, Irwindale will be permanently closed, bulldozed, and become a wonderful new shopping mall :(. Unless anyone can make the current owners an offer they can't refuse, I'm afraid Irwindale will be confined to the history books.


I kind of like the Oval track long high speed sweeper....... you can begin the flaming....


Just thought of this! Mad Mike is sponsored by SH....Mad Mike is also sponsored by Mazda....Mazda is the title sponsor of Mazda Raceway Leguna Seca....see where I'm going...
Send Mike and a couple buddies on a scouting trip to Leguna Seca, and have a SH crew there to document it. C'mon, you know you want to!!


Twitch_6 I'm with you on this one man, that track was HORRIBLE. This year is the last year of round 7 being at Irwindale since it's being demolished and I'm hoping Streets of Willow, Fontana or even Laguna Seca steps up.. Yokoi looked incredibly strong and stood out from the rest of the drivers. It was a shame to see him bow out when his car caught fire :/


It looked like a day in SoCal freeway...


Twitch_6 They should run a Wild Horse Pass(Firebird) in addition. We have a sweet course here in AZ. They could setup bleachers it would be awsome.


Twitch_6 Beadlocks seem very logical. Dirt cars use them for this reason (sliding with lower psi). Top fuel and funny cars also run em to prevent de-beading issues from massive acceleration.


adamindet After the streets of long beach, streets of Detroit !


Twitch_6 FD Irwindale Westfield Mall 2016. Boom. Done. Watch live tandems while eating at the food court or while stepping out of Macy's.


This event was filled with more bullshit calls than ive ever seen.. absolutly NO concistansy from the judges. Yokoi starts burning, thats a zero. Forsberg starts burning, he moves on.. 
And not to mention JR vs Castro!? like wtf how on earth can they justify giving JR the win?


Damn I had no idea Leguna Seca had fallen victim to the noise complainers as well. It's beyond sad that many of the worlds best racetracks go unused...because people who don't like racecars moved next to a racetrack...smh
I've heard Brands Hatch suffers from the same problem. I'm sure there's dozens of others :(


LouisYio Twitch_6 There's nothing that can be done to save Irwindale :/... plans to scrap it for a *of all damn things* shopping mall are already set in motion. This is the last year :(


The event was terrible.
The judging pissed me off more then anything. The Blauss call was terrible,Tuerks mistake was on his own accord. I have no idea how he advanced. Andwhat the fuck was with Yoki? I watched the event and you said safety is your number one concern but why the fuck would anyone give a shit about safety if getting red flagged is going to make you loose the round? Yoki was looking the strongest the whole event and got knocked out on a red flag? Yea fuck of FD. This is why no one takes FD seriously. I watch D1 NZ and even though its not as popular as FD at least the calls are right.
Orlando was shit because the track was in below average condition, the judging was the worst I have ever seen it, and in conclusion you're pretty much never going to be given the calls if you don't have a Drift Alliance sticker.
With all the shit going on about FIFA being corrupted, I'm starting to think FD is exactly the same.


It's because he has a Drift Alliance sticker on his car.


FD is fucked my friebd. The Blauss call made me shake my head and turn the live stream of straight away. Good thing I did because the Yokoi call would have made me even more furious.
I think they need to get rid of the judges and replace them because they're shit.