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.
The 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.
In the last couple of years they have had HPI Racing team along side with a try me track.
In the pits, we ran into our friends at MotorMavens with Adrian holding down the fort.
Jon from Dstroyr doing his thing also at FD.
Universal Technical Institute made a visit with the lovely Raichelle and Kim.
Spocom brought Krstina Hong from Houston
DaYUUM Hunnie Serena Su was with Extreme Dimensions
Brittani Paige, Big Abe, and Erica Law
Brittani Paige with Ashley Clark
Liz Goodwin, Katie Carnes, and Julie Galindo was representing Falken Tire
Gina Darling, Natalie Paladin, Eva Skye representing Nitto Tire
Angelina Andrada and Alicia Whitten with Super Street
We also caught Breezy Jade and Sandra Wong roaming the pits
The lovely trio of Sadie May, Erica Nagashima, and Jessica Harbor with Hankook Tire.
Jessica Weaver and Exedy
Female drifter Bear Dellinger was with our friends at Rehv Clothing
Olivia Korte x Motegi Wheels
Unto 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
Top 16 included…
2nd place qualifier Dai Yoshihara
Dstroyr Mats Baribeau
2013 FD Champion Michael Essa
Scion Racing / GReddy Racing, Ken Gushi
Scion Racing / Hankook Tires, Fredric Aasbo
Number 1 qualifier Forrest Wang
Dstroyr’s Odi Bakchis
Current points leader Chris Forsberg
Wild man Vaughn Gittin Jr.
Top 16 went rather quick with the limited amount of 5 min calls or “one-more time” battles.
First up was Wang vs. 2013 Michael Essa… Wang would advance to the next round.
Baribeau was no match for Aasbo, as Aasbo skated a way with the win
A tough battle with fellow champions Gittin and current points leader Forsberg. Forsberg would ultimately would take the win.
Gruneswald was no match for Wang, as Wang advances.
No 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
Aasbo vs Yoshihara… Aasbo advances.
Fields vs Forsberg, Forsberg advances to top 4
First 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.
Despite 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.
Check out the proximity of Daigo… On Aasbo’s tail the whole way.
These last sets of pics can easily explain the outcome…
The winners were announced at the top of Irwindale straightaway.
Daigo, Aasbo, and Wang having a little fun before the announcement.
Forrest celebrating his podium finish. The second time for him in Irwindale.
The anticipation before they announce the winner.
Daigo Saito was announced the winner for Irwindale.
Thus, crowning Forsberg the 2014 Formula Drift Champion!
And, 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…