Formula Drift – Rd.1 Long Beach – Top 32

Photos by: Justin P. and Denny H.

Round 1 of Formula Drift takes place at the Streets of Long Beach. It’s always an exciting time because it’s when fans finally get the chance see new livery and the cars of their favorite drivers. The pits are naturally opened for fans to zero in on the action and to have a selfie with them or the teams umbrella girls.

Top 32:

Kicked off with 5 drivers given a bye-run.

Top 32 action included Alec getting a little too close for comfort and taps Forsberg.

Ken’s momentum carries him into a slowing Greogy.

Top 16

was a free-for-all at the top. Number one qualifier, Gittin Jr. lost momentum and punted Dean Kearney at the hairpin as if he was on track at Go-kart world. Ultimately, Dean would move to the next round.

Run 1 of Aasbo and Bluss coming in hot tapping Aasbo. Online chatter accuses Aasbo of slowing down causing Bluss to tap Aasbo which resulted in a spin out.

The FD judges awarded Bluss at fault and he retaliates with a smokey lead run, but not enough to knock Aasbo off his mark.

James Deane returns to FD and makes a splash. Tapping the wall on clipping point 2 without a hiccup and continues with an impressive lead run, causing Essa to loop at the clipping point.

Essa had an impressive lead run while Deane keep it shallow, but it was still good enough for Deane to advance.

Great 8:

First battle was Dean Kearny and Odi Bakchis. Both drivers had impressive lead runs while I thought Odi’s chase was slightly better. The result from the FD judges, one more time!

Second battle of Great 8 between Heilbrunn and Aasbo resulted in an OMT as well. Heilbrunn was very impressive in his lead run.

An amazing lead run by both James Deane and Chris Forsberg. James’s edges Forsberg by hitting every clipping point to the T on his lead run and advances!

Up next was Aasbo vs Heilbrunn’s OMT run, while both drivers made a mistake on their chase run. Aasbo’s mistake was slightly more apparent than Heilbrunn’s, resulting in Heilbrunn moving forward.

Top 4:

James Deane vs Ryan Tuerck. What an amazing battle but Deane had a better lead run while their chases were on point.

Heilbrunn blowing the remaining taillight off his BMW during his lead run with Bakchis.

While Odi had a very impress lead run, Heilbrunn would not drop back.

OMT!

Finals:

In the finals, James Deane vs. Alex Heilbrunn. I felt Alex had a better lead run, but James had a better chase. It would have been a great candidate for a OMT, but ultimately that was not the case.

And the Winner…

James Deane

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