When you have two cars that have good speed, there has to be something that makes the difference. Forrest Wang has style where Mike Essa has angle. With angle as his advantage, Mike Essa was able to wow the Judges against Wang and look to really begin his title defense.
What is it about Norway and guys who can drive cars? Is it the snow? Whatever it is Kenny Moen and Fredric Aasbo always put on a good show when they face each other. While Aasbo brings the fame of Gatebil; Kenny brings the skill that got people excited to see him in his rookie year in Formula Drift. That skill was finally put on display as he would defeat the Hammer and Kenny would be in the Final Four! However, Motegi Racing has brought out a familiar friend for Fredric: Chucky! You’ll get to see Aasbo in the car that made him famous at the Motegi Super Drift during the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Be sure to go as you’ll be in for a treat.
Darren McNamara has been able to put on an impressive run during Round 1. He’s now comfortable and familiar with the Falken Silvia and his driving style is showing more. However, Chris Forsberg would bring the consistency he’s best known for and get the win against D-Mac. There is a rumor circulating that Darren will be getting turbo power for Round 2 at Road Atlanta. Will that be the key ingredient to the ProDrift driver’s performance for 2014 or will a new element throw him off of his game? We’ll see in Atlanta.
Odi’s Round 1 performance has been amazing and he’s carried the banner for Nitto after Chelsea Denofa and Vaughn Gittin, Jr were both knocked out in earlier rounds. However, his faster speed and closer runs would be his undoing after making contact with the Falken Mustang of Pawlak. A better drive during his lead run from Odi wouldn’t be enough to overcome that demerit and Pawlak was in the Final Four, looking to get back on the top step of Long Beach.
When you face a past champion, there is an air of pressure the builds as he wins each rung prior. Most expect the champ to brush aside competition in the first round, proving his dominance from that previous season. Sometimes that pressure is on the opponent and sometimes it’s on the champion. While getting a first qualifying spot for Long Beach and winning nearly with ease at each rung, Essa was looking like he was going into the finals. Moen, on the other hand, struggled with the 350Z and even crashed here last year in a scary accident.
Kenny was able to push all of that pressure and lackluster performance from last year aside and take out the 2013 Formula Drift Champion with gusto. Kenny didn’t just drive better; he was able to out drive Mike with several car lengths coming into turn 10a.