Formula Drift 2012 Round 1 at Long Beach
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach

Formula Drift 2012 Round 1 at Long Beach: Finals!
By Justin Banner

We had such a quiet off season, no real big rumors or big deals seemed to really pop up and stir the pot of Formula Drift's Silly season. Honestly, this has been the least controversal off season that I can remember. Then, suddenly, everything started shooting off everywhere! Patrick Mordaunt ended up in the A'PEXi SC430, Ryan Tuerck gets into the Retaks 240SX, Rhys Millen stayed in his Hyundai Genesis, and the track got a repave in Turns 9, 10a, 10b, and the transition into Turn 11. It was like, suddenly, a gun goes off and things fly in from all sides.

The problems on the track, considering the surface changes really didn't show their ugly head except for a couple of cases where someone just went in too hot. Then people thought the rookies were going to be the big thing to get through, but they really did well this year! Qualifying went about as fast as it could and you can read more about it here. Now that the Top 32 was set, it was time to get down to business and sort it down to the Podium for this round!

Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Before the start of the event, tandem was defined for the drivers. New this year is an attempt to bring the drivers closer together and help end not only the insane gaps seen by the more powerful cars, but also to try to stop super conservative runs that some drivers take to just move on. Now, the following driver can sacrifice some line and angle to catch up to the leading driver. The leading driver is still the moblie clipping point, but now the following driver could not eclipse the front wheels of the lead driver. However, a super-shallow angle or super-low line would not be judged as a good follow run, either.
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
First pair up was #1 Qualifier Ryan Tuerck in the Retaks 240SX against Kenda Tires Driver Dennis Mertzanis who is driving an S13.5 version of the 240SX. He was in a S14 last year and not only changed to this platform, but also to a V8 from a V6, too. However, it would prove not to be enough of a change as Ryan Tuerck moves on!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Taka Aono in his Megan Racing/Nexen Tire Corolla has a new powerplant this year, but he's still rocking the Turbo I4 from Hasselgren. This time it's the new 2AZ engine that is similar to what Fredric Aasbo is running. He faced Matt Powers in the Nitto Tire 240SX. You can see his new build here!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Again, a new engine wouldn't be enough and Matt Powers was allowed to move on!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Robbie Nishida in the Achilles Radial 240SX took on the Hankook Camaro of Conrad Grunewald!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Everything was going great, until Robbie wanted Bill Baldwin to eat his wing. That hit resulted in him straightening up and going straight into the tire wall along with Conrad. While Robbie's car looked worse, both cars only got cosmetic carnage. Grunewald, however, was judged as the winner and moves to face the Top 16!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Again, the “Human Clipping Point” draws in the drivers to the wall at 10a…
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
But it was too much and Darren McNamara pays for it with a broken Drift car giving the win to Kenny Moen!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Ross Petty of Garage BOSO and Falken Tire's Justin Pawlak face off next.
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
However, it was judged that Pawlak did better because Ross spun and JTP moved on to the Top 16!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Kyle Mohan in the Nexen Tire/Mazdatrix RX-8 took on the GSR/Nitto Tire Z4. Both drivers put on a great battle, but Kyle Mohan and his RX-8 moves on!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Emanuel Armandio in the Achilles Radial 350Z met up with Toshiki Yoshioka in the RS-R S15. Yoshioka would move on to the Top 16!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy 370Z would take out his Drift Alliance brother, Tony Angelo.
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Rhys Millen in the Hyundai Genesis battled against Formula Drift Rookie Nick D'Alessio. D'Alessio spun on his follow run, then crahsed on his lead run, giving the win to Rhys!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Achilles Radial Daigo Saito bests FD Rookie George Marstanovic, as something happened to George's car on his follow run and he could not keep up with Daigo from the start.
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Joon Maeng in his Nitto Tires/Bergenholtz Racing RX-8 takes on GoPro Camaro driver, Tyler McQuarrie. McQuarrie was able to beat Joon and move on to the Top 16!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Ryan Kado in the Nexen Tire/Forged Racing 350Z has really shown his talent this weekend with a consistent car! He was able to best Pat Mordaunt in the A'PEXi SC430 and move on to the Top 16. Ryan may be the driver to watch out for in the very near future if his driving keeps up!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
From finally being able to Qualify at Long Beach, Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in the Falken Tire/Monster Energy Ford Mustang RTR stalled out on the first turn then smashed his car into the rear zone in turns 10a and b! While his follow run against M7 240SX driver, Aurimas Bakchis, was exactly what the judges were looking for in Tandem Battles, it was not enough to overcome gthe two huge mistakes in his lead run! Odi moves on!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
While he is a Formula Drift Rookie, Most of Jeremy Lowe's driving looked very seasoned. However, Ken Gushi in the GReddy FR-S was out to show what his new chassis was capable of! Gushi moves on to the Top 16!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
Matt Field in the CX Racing 240SX had a round against Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire/Falken Tire 240SX. On his follow run, Matt tagged the wall wrong in 10 a and b and went straight into the tire barriers in 10 b. Despite taking a 5-minute rule to fix his car, it was deemed unfit for competition, giving the win to Daijiro Yoshihara!
Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach
The final battle of the Top 32 pitted 2011 XDC Champion Chelsea DeNofa in the BC Racing/NST 325 against the Norwegian Hammer, Fredric Aasbo in the Need for Speed/Hankook Tire tC. Despite the good show put on by DeNofa, Aasbo was the better man in this fight and he moved on to the Top 16!

 

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