After Kado’s car decided to catch fire the day before, which I JUST ran out of CF memory the frame before the flames, I knew this event would have more surprises and needed to keep and closer eye on the track and cards… what do you know? Essa’s car spit out few fire balls itself, Yoshioka’s car became air born, and there were two pretty controversial calls from the judges. Patrick Mordaunt was killing it at this event, so I was holding my breath when he went up against JR, I heard someone in the background yell “hope you don’t like your driver's door, Pat!”
Looking back at the madness Vaughn Gittin unleashed throughout the season, I really thought Pat was toast in the next two runs. By total shock and surprise, Gittin lost to Patrick through protest and a reversed call, I could just tell JR was super pissed and this was not something that we see very often or will likely see again for a long time.
I headed over to the podium early to get a good spot right in front but not before hearing Jarrod announce that Matt Fields had just taken his very first podium ever, and second place none the less, with Chris Forsberg nabbing third.
After what seemed like no time at all, a flood of fans and media arrived, then Michael Essa shortly after; He had won the event! His E46 M43 has been a Cinderella perfect fit for him this season, coming from practically out of nowhere to podiuming left and right this season starting in West Palm Beach earlier this summer.
After the champagne showers were finished, we headed over to the media conference where the top 3 had a Q&A session followed by Frederic Aasbo, Daigo Saito, Justin Pawlak, and the one and only Vaughn Gittin Jr. Of course, Jr was asked how he felt about losing to Mordaunt through protest in which he ended stating FD needed to “cut this sh*t out”. Besides the tough questions, everyone seemed to be in good spirits and ready for round 7 at the famous house of drift, Irwindale speedway.
The conference ended and I, covered in tire boogers and smoke, waited to hand in my vest and begin heading back to the hotel once again.
Despite there being so much controversy about the track layout and other dramatics throughout the season (like illegal mods) this was an exceptional event for being totally new. There was a great turn out of fans, the driving was never less than exciting, and it set the stage perfectly for the final round. Essa is now officially in the running to take the season, but the top 7 drivers have a close enough proximity in points to ensure nail biting from everyone as well as one hell of an exciting final fight.