Formula D 2011: Round 1 – Long Beach


 The line up for practice.  Some rain later in the session made things interesting.


 Ross Petty debuted his Falken/Boso Garage S15 with a new Chevy LS V8.  Ross performed strongly and reported that the V8 made things a lot better for him.  The S15 reportedly packs 580 whp with an innovative 360 degree 8-1 header that gives the car a unique sound like no other.  Look for a full feature of this car in MotoIQ soon!


 This yellow FD was a last minute entry and we didn’t catch who it was.  The car looked like a clean build but it failed to qualify.


 Vaughn Gittin Jr. was the surprise of the weekend.  The champ did not qualify.  Jr was blazing away in control until two botched qualifying attempts took him out of the show.  We felt that his second run which was strong until a near stall in the final hairpin was not a zero but the judges felt that he fully fell out of drift, DQ material.  Jr has the most technologically advanced car in drifting with a crack crew and the backing of Falken, Monster and ASD.  Although this is a serious setback, we fully expect him to come guns blazing for the rest of the season.


 Dean Kearny drove Samuel Hubinette’s old Dodge Viper.  Our opinion is that this is a very difficult car to drive and only Sam can master it.  Dean seemed to be struggling with the unwieldy beast all weekend long.


 Dai spinning in the rain..  Dai was one of the few drivers to continue driving once the rain fell.  Dai was practicing in case the rain continued in qualifying.  Dai reported to us that the pavement covered in a mixture of water and rubber dust was slicker than ice.  Team engineer Mike Kojima told us that the team was not running the rain set up at the time and that they had developed a slick condition set up that they were prepared to use if needed.  Fortunately the weather cleared up.


 Joon Maeng driving the Bergenholtz Racing RX-8 looked strong in practice but got a bit wild later in the show eliminating himself from the top 32.


 Mike Essa fought new car blues and handling problems all weekend long.  Mike’s thrash included a last minute trip to Willow Springs for more testing after Friday’s practice session.  Several all nighters in the last week probably cut into Mike’s driving ability as well.  The car did look strong and Mike drove it very conservatively.  Look for this car to do some damage later in the season.  Mike told us that his Garrett GTX turbo kicks serious ass and delivers more than 600 whp at less than 12 psi of boost with nearly no lag!


 Jeff Abbott performed well in a 4 cylinder turbo Miata.  This is not a foo foo car at all!  The car is interesting as it is one of the few small displacement cars left in pro drifting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *