Event>>formula D Irwindale Qualifying

Even as I write this night practice is still going on under the lights at Irwindale Speedway, but we figured we should put post an update from the first day of the FD season finale. With one of the biggest driver entry lists of the year, qualifying was made all the more difficult as veterans, privateers, and newcomers alike fought for a spot in tomorrow's Top 32 competition.

It's hard to believe that it was pouring rain just a couple of days ago in Southern California. Temperatures were around 95 degrees during the driver's meeting this afternoon! That's more like Las Vegas in the summer than SoCal in the fall. Luckily it started to cool off a bit as the afternoon turned into evening.

Not only does Irwindale attract lots of drivers, it attracts lots of media people as well. The photo pits were packed full of photographers, and they should be even more crowded tomorrow.

Before moving on to the day's action, we have to post a photo of Sam Hubinette's new livery. The car has been fully redone as a tribute to  NuFormz Racing owner Shaun Carlson, who sadly passed away earlier this month.

Dealing with a loss like this is never easy, but we were happy to see Sam and his team out there running as hard as ever.

The Speedhunters audience should be satisfied with the stance of Dean Kearney's S14. Regrettably Dean missed making the Top 32 by just two spots.

Alright, Dean's car might be low. But it's not quite Matt Powers low. The members of Matt's fan club should be happy to know that he qualified 20th with a 66.5 point run.

Fredric Aasbo performed remarkably well considering he's never drifted at Irwindale before. His 62.2-point run was more than enough to get him into the big show tomorrow.

Those who experienced bad luck today included Michihiro Takatori, who's freshly painted S13 suffered from an engine fire, and FD Sonoma winner Stephan Verdier also failed to qualify following a damaging crash during practice.

Samuel Hubinette would have made Shaun proud tonight, breaking into the Top 10 with a 80.1 qualifying run.

Season points leader Chris Forsberg turned in a 80.8-point run which earned him seventh overall. So far, so good for Team Forsberg.

And now for your top five qualifiers, starting with Kyle Mohan who turned an impressive 84.6 point run with his RX8.

Tommy Suell was driving like a maniac in his AE86 today, and I mean that in the best way possible. His 86.1-point run was good for fourth overall.

Tanner Foust was again the smoke king on his way to a third place run of 87.5 points.

Ryan Tuerck and the Gardella Racing team are looking to finish off an incredible season with a strong finish at Irwindale. A second place 88.5-point run could help them do just that.

Although there were some great runs today, nobody could come close to touching Justin Pawlak. JTP was absolutely on fire, taking the top spot with a mind-blowing 96.8-point run. It's been years since I've seen someone run like that at Irwindale.

Here's the complete Unofficial Top 32 results list from Formula Drift.

1 J. Pawlak   13   96.8
2 R. Tuerck   44   88.5
3 T. Foust   1   87.5
4 T. Suell   777   86.1
5 K. Mohan   99   84.6
6 D. Yoshihara   9   81.8
7 C. Forsberg   64   80.8
8 J. Maeng   51   80.6
9 S. Hubinette   77   80.1
10 R. Nishida   31   78.3
11 D. McNamara   8   77.6
12 V. Gittin   25   76.3
13 E. O’Sullivan   35   74.9
14 M. Essa   101   73.9
15 K. Gushi   5   73.7
16 T. McQuarrie   17   73.4
17 R. Millen   6   71.5
18 T. Aono   86   68.3
19 K. Hayashida   33   66.7
20 M. Powers   11   66.5
21 A. Pfeiffer   88   65.1
22 K. Yamanaka   7   64.2
23 K. Ueo   15   63.3
24 F. Aasbo   21   62.2
25 C. Parkhouse   562   60.1
26 D. VanDenBrink   19   59.6
27 R. Petty   808   59.1
28 J. LeJeune   333   57.6
29 Y. Kondo   52   57.3
30 T. Brakohiapa   18   55.4
31 M. Waldin   24   54.6
32 C. Wan   3  


We'll be back soon with more from the House of Drift!

-Mike Garrett



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mean photos dude!! keep it up


Werk it Forsberg


96.8! that's a huge gap between 2nd and 1st place qualifying! wild stuff, can't wait to see how it all goes down. i'm hoping one of Forsberg, Foust or JTP take the win


lots of coverage of the pro am stuff please!


uhhhm. did that white s14 even try? it looks like they just slapped a shitload of stickers on it and put some terrible wheels on there. super nasty.

and what's up with those gram lights?!?! gahh.



An AE86 in Top5?Go Tommy Suell!!!Ueo could have done better but hell be back


Pro Am Please coverage please!!!!


Way to go Tommy.


go go go forsberg!


JTP for president. Matty's rims are definitely not as sick as the xxx's were!


How can you not like matt powers?


Fair play to Karnage for giving it a go. Come on D-Mac or Flat Eric to take the round.


Wow, 96.8 points! Will be hard to defeat JTP! At least Forsberg should finish 2º so he´ll be the 2009 FD champion!!!!

PD:Pro-Am coverage please!


Nice job on 2nd place ryan. Lets go GARDELLA RACING lets bring that championship home!


As much as I enjoy seing the passion involved in FD, it doesn't seem to be enough. Sadly FD turns out to look more and more like a motorsport and not a drift competition. The cars look less and less like drift cars and more like race cars. Except for maybe a few cars like the AE86, Matt Powers and such, the rest are starting to look more and more like race cars. I understand form follows function, but why miss the essence of drifting culture?

I wonder, will drifting split two ways? Professional Drift Racing and Just Drift Competition?

I'm not saying that FD-like competition stinks, I enjoy the commitment of the drivers and their crazy runs at mind-blowing speeds, but they're still missing something that only japanese drivers have back in Japan.

I remember seing the early D1 competitions. It was nothing like FD, professional drift racing, it was nothing more than a better organized level of drifting fun.

Just a question, why are there not teams of friends, 3-5 or more competing and why are there no drift trains?

I'm not saying that FD should stop, by no means, but I just think that while looking at the overall picture, there are some people that seem to have forgoten, missunderstood or have no ideea what drifting is all about and what is it's essence. With that in mind I do believe that drifting in the US and not only will split two ways: Professional Drift Racing and the Grassroots Drifting; I just hope that in the process the core and heart, the essence of drifting won't dissapear and that Grassroots Events and style and culture will keep going as it should.

On the other side, big up to drifting world-wide!


wow jtp ownage. where the hell is JR! this is his track. haha. any word on pro-am results?


@Chris Davis, everything you said has already happened. FD is a motorsport and a drift competition. Their cars will always not be as cool looking but thats just the way it is in America. The grass roots stuff is here too, like ATB etc. FD is cool, D1 is a lot cooler. I'm a D1 fanboy to death but FD rocks too man. D1 has super pro cars too, most even more so than the cars out here. The difference is, cars in Japan actually look cool. In the end its all drifting and thats what matters. Go out and watch these guys give it their all.

Side note - Good luck to JR! He needs to bring it home!


Okay, am I the only one who dreams of donning one of those bright media vests? D:

@Chris Davy -- well said, I agree with mostly everything. :) By far, grassroots drifting events are my favorites, I'd definitely take them over FD any day. (I also hope to get involved in grassroots drifting, working on that car now.)


the essence of drifitng? you know what i like about FD that is so different from most motorsports out there......you can build the car ANYWAY you want. any engine, any power to weight ratio, anything you want. D1 and FD both are far from the grassroots you idolize so much. cars in both series have alot of development work done to them. alot of talent and thought go into these machines, and its awesome. as far as looks....liverly may not look good on some, but whats under the body panels is alot more interesting than some stickers.

I am not interested in your bolt on power adders and your bolt in rollcages in your grassroots hitting cones in a parkinglot.

but then again, ill walk away from any form of drifting for a day at pikes peak.


America......fuck no. Fail. Worst looking drift cars in world, thank god for New Zealand and Japan for keeping up appearances, because USA looks hilarious.


Man i love the colors on those neon lime green color on the green 240.


did i call it or what?!?! hahaha im tellin you guys JTP is hungry this weekend.


did i call it or what?!?! hahaha im tellin you guys JTP is hungry this weekend.


@Swerv13 First of all, I didn't mean to diss anyone, so u don't need to be angry about my oppinion and some facts.

On the other hand, I have to agree with u, if drifting should be seen as a motorsport, than it's the coolest motorsport out there! Because of the freedom that people have regarding car building and style. What FD lacks is some more style, I guess... I know that bolt on power adds are not cool to everyone but they have function as well, when you're a novice to drifting or motorsport in general, u can't go and prep your car up for 600 - 800 HP setups, cause either u won't be able to handle it or u won't be able to use it properly, let alone to it's full potential. Grassroots is about learning, friendship, fun, style. It only makes sence to start with small to be able to reach higher levels.

In the end, it's a great thing to see how much drifting has grown world-wide.

What I meant to say, with my oppinion about drifting is that drifting is surely splitting in half, "pro" or motorsport on one side and "Grassroots" or street on the other; I guess that I'd like to see the "Street" side of drifting witch involves car styling, performance and driving style grow or be as big and exposed as the "Pro" side is. And I guess that japanese have done that more or less with their "Street Legal" series.

Other than that, big up to drifting world wide!


Matt Powers is a ripping surfer too. The kid just oozes talent on waves, on the poker table and on the track. He is a cultural icon.



"uhhhm. did that white s14 even try? it looks like they just slapped a shitload of stickers on it and put some terrible wheels on there. super nasty.

and what's up with those gram lights?!?! gahh."

there was a reason behind the "shitload of stickers"

for a first timer comer to the states and pulling sponsors on limited notice, we did what we figuered the best way to make the sponsors happy. now, we didnt realize that half the stickers on the car would be staying, so we had to working around that.

terrible wheels??

we still got them flush, whats the problem?


The judging calls were totally out of line from start to finish. obviously these guys were not watching the same event as the rest of us. The ony justice was for matt powers.


I think that Viper would look a lot better with a duck-tail spoiler.



I understand that. guess it goes to show, never criticize until you know the full story. the car looks good it just looks a little jumbled, but i'm just a jealous kid sitting on my computer wishing i could do what you guys do.

but i still stand by my statements on the wheels. lol.


@RicerX i agree with the car looking jumbled. if we did have the original chrome sticker on the car it would look way less "jammed"

now what is wrong with the wheels?