Formula Drift 2014 – Round 7 – Title Fight

Photos: Jae, Gilbert, and Denny

The smell of burning rubber, the taste of tire marbles, the feel of rumbling V8’s with open headers touches your senses of smell, taste, and feel. It’s the experience one would feel at the last event of the year for Formula Drift.

Irwindale, Round 9, Title Fight – was a close one, with Forsberg in the lead and Aasbo just spitting distance away. The battle came down to the final 8 or final… Let’s not spoil it.

While the main event didn’t start till the sun dropped, the spectators had ample time to cruise the pit, meet their favorite drivers, or keep themselves entertained.

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FDIRW2014-0016The Falken Tire team has always made a huge presence in FD since day one, which rumor has, 2014 will be the last year they are participating at his level.

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FDIRW2014-0055In the last couple of years they have had HPI Racing team along side with a try me track.

FDIRW2014-0026In the pits, we ran into our friends at MotorMavens with Adrian holding down the fort.

FDIRW2014-0029Jon from Dstroyr doing his thing also at FD.

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fdirw 2014-2721Universal Technical Institute made a visit with the lovely Raichelle and Kim.

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IMG_0109Spocom brought Krstina Hong from Houston

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IMG_0096DaYUUM Hunnie Serena Su was with Extreme Dimensions

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FDIRW2014-0063Brittani Paige, Big Abe, and Erica Law

FDIRW2014-0093Brittani Paige with Ashley Clark

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IMG_0078Liz Goodwin, Katie Carnes, and Julie Galindo was representing Falken Tire

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IMG_0410Gina Darling, Natalie Paladin, Eva Skye representing Nitto Tire

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IMG_0060Angelina Andrada and Alicia Whitten with Super Street

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IMG_0416We also caught Breezy Jade and Sandra Wong roaming the pits

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IMG_0385The lovely trio of Sadie May, Erica Nagashima, and Jessica Harbor with Hankook Tire.

fdirw 2014-2684Jessica Weaver and Exedy

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IMG_0138Female drifter Bear Dellinger was with our friends at Rehv Clothing

fdirw 2014-2790Olivia Korte x Motegi Wheels

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FDIRW2014-0082Unto the practice rounds and top 32… The heat was scorching and I was able to sneak up into a skybox to take a few shots, while Gilbert Chen took the liberty to get close track side.

Here are some shots of practice and top 32

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Top 16 included…

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FDIRW2014-01222nd place qualifier Dai Yoshihara

FDIRW2014-0125Dstroyr Mats Baribeau

FDIRW2014-01272013 FD Champion Michael Essa

FDIRW2014-0129Scion Racing / GReddy Racing, Ken Gushi

FDIRW2014-0130Scion Racing / Hankook Tires, Fredric Aasbo

FDIRW2014-0137Dean Kearney

FDIRW2014-0141Conrad Grunewald

FDIRW2014-0156Number 1 qualifier Forrest Wang

FDIRW2014-0158Dstroyr’s Odi Bakchis

FDIRW2014-0162Matt Fields

FDIRW2014-0164Current points leader Chris Forsberg

FDIRW2014-0168Wild man Vaughn Gittin Jr.

Top 16 went rather quick with the limited amount of 5 min calls or “one-more time” battles.

FDIRW2014-0225First up was Wang vs. 2013 Michael Essa… Wang would advance to the next round.

FDIRW2014-0289Baribeau was no match for Aasbo, as Aasbo skated a way with the win

FDIRW2014-0323A tough battle with fellow champions Gittin and current points leader Forsberg. Forsberg would ultimately would take the win.

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FDIRW2014-0342Gruneswald was no match for Wang, as Wang advances.

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FDIRW2014-0361No one likes to go up again your teammates, but teammates Saito and Nishida had to. Look how close and in tuned the are to each other. Saito would eventually move on to top 8

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FDIRW2014-0384Aasbo vs Yoshihara… Aasbo advances.

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FDIRW2014-0401Fields vs Forsberg, Forsberg advances to top 4

Top 4:

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FDIRW2014-0417First up in top 4 was Forrest vs. Daigo… Daigo would out horsepower Forrest leaving him in the dust. Daigo would and move ahead.

Next battle was a crucial one. A win for Forsberg would secure him the championship for 2014, but if Aasbo was to win, he would have to beat out Daigo in order to take the championship for 2014.

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FDIRW2014-0455Despite what these images show you, Aasbo had a commanding lead run in the first few corners. He would advance to the final round against Daigo.

If Aasbo wins, he obviously would take the 2014 FD Championship, if not, he would fall to second and Forsberg would take the championship.

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FDIRW2014-0470Check out the proximity of Daigo… On Aasbo’s tail the whole way.

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FDIRW2014-0480These last sets of pics can easily explain the outcome…

The winners were announced at the top of Irwindale straightaway.

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FDIRW2014-0515Daigo, Aasbo, and Wang having a little fun before the announcement.

FDIRW2014-0530Forrest celebrating his podium finish. The second time for him in Irwindale.

FDIRW2014-0533The anticipation before they announce the winner.

FDIRW2014-0537Daigo Saito was announced the winner for Irwindale.

FDIRW2014-0548Thus, crowning Forsberg the 2014 Formula Drift Champion!

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FDIRW2014-0562And, a friendly chat between Aasbo and Forsberg.

This concludes our coverage for Formula Drift – Title Fight!

Thank you John for the opportunity to cover another great event!

Until next time…

@DaYUUMDen

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