Formula Drift 2013: Round 5 at Evergreen Speedway Full Coverage
There is something very strange about Seattle; it’s never as disastrous as the two ovals at Wall and Irwindale. There is carnage at Evergreen Speedway, but it typically doesn't happen in the Top 32 or Top 16. It’s always in practice or qualifying where the drivers will go too far and heavily damage or sometimes even destroy their car. Most famous of all is Dai Yoshihara’s crash of the Discount Tire Lexus, which forced the team to switch to the soon to be retired Discount Tire Nissan 240SX.
Last year though, Robby Nishida crashed hard into the wall during competition in the Achilles Radial Lexus SC400. This year didn’t quite disappoint either, as surprisingly Daigo Saito in the Achilles Radial Lexus SC430 made major contact coming off the bank. Maybe Evergreen just hates the Lexus brand cars.
That wreck resulted in Daigo getting a Zero on his first qualifying run, forcing him to make a second, which landed him in a just as disappointing 28th place. Further breaking down qualifying by point position with Chris Forsberg, who is fourth in points, had qualified in 11th while Mike Essa was able to capture 9th while he was third in points coming into Seattle.
Second in points, Vaughn Gittin Jr qualified in 4th and was looking to start positioning himself in front of Daigo in points as he was only 61 points behind at the start of Round 5. Finally, fifth in points, Justin Pawlak was able to turn out a 10th qualifying position and was looking to rebound after his Round 4 performance.
Friend of MotoIQ Radio Danny George gained a 25th qualifying spot to seed himself against Ryan Kado, who Danny defeated in the last round. Seattle has always been good to him and with a 2nd place grid position it would continue to be a great round for Fredric Aasbo.
Seattle was also much better for the SPD Metal Works cars of Daijiro Yoshihara and Darren McNamara. Dai was able to qualify in 14th and get in on his first try while Darren was able to capture the #1 Qualifying position.
Dennis Mertzanis was on a two round hiatus to work out ECU issues on the Kenda Tires Hyundai Genesis and came back with a 13th qualifying spot, so it looked like those issues were hindering him.
Finally, Toshiki Yoshioka had missed Wall Speedway to face the mountain of Pikes Peak in his Tomei/GTNet Subaru BRZ and came back this round to qualify in 7th. Looks like running Pikes Peak was a great momentum builder as we’ll soon see.
Top 32 started with Darren McNamara in the Falken Tires Nissan Silvia facing rookie driver Brandon Wicknick in the Godspeed Nissan 240SX, who is unfortunately made famous from his horrible looking accident at Palm Beach. Brandon would be eliminated as his car never really took off from the start due to a mechanical issue. It was a shame as Wicknick really looked great for most of his run.
Ken Gushi’s Greddy Scion FR-S looked strong at Wall Speedway and he carried that momentum against Chelsea Denofa’s BC Racing/Nitto Tires BMW 3-series. Gushi was able to defeat Denofa after Chelsea made a correction before the final front clipping point.
Ryan Kado, in the Nexen Tires/DNA Motoring Nissan 350Z, and Danny George, in the Wreckhouse/Hankook Tires V8 Mazda Miata, faced off in the revenge battle from Round 4. This time Ryan would come out on top with huge proximity against Danny on his lead run and Danny also would go off course on his lead run.
Mike Essa in the GSR Autosport/Yokohama BMW M3 and Pat Goodin driving the Enjuku Racing Nissan 240SX would be next. Yokohama had debuted their new Advan AD08R tires this event and Mike proved their worth. His angle, how far he could carry it, and the ability to change directions were far improved from last round. It could be him getting far more comfortable, could be the tires, but either way he was able to defeat Pat when Goodin stopped drifting just after power alley during his follow and hitting the wall on his lead.