Formula Drift 2014: Round 5 at Evergreen Speedway

Dean Kearney and Darren McNamara

Formula Drift 2014: Round 5 at Evergreen Speedway

by Justin Banner

If there has been a consistent story for 2014 it is this: Chris Forsberg and podium finishes. Up to this point, he has been on those steps for every round of the 2014 Formula Drift Pro Championship. Thanks to that he’s kept a rather good points lead. Only 5 drivers had a possible chance of catching him, with only three having the best chance: Kenny Moen, Vaughn Gittin, and Fredric Aasbo. However, it will most likely take an early elimination to give most of those guys a chance to win that championship, ever dwindling as it is.

 

FD Seattle 2014 Round 5 Evergreen Speedway

There was another story that has been consistent for the 2014 season: the “drag race starts” where high-horsepower gives you the advantage going into that first turn. While there have been suggestions of shortening up the start by pushing the line more forward; Formula Drift came up with another solution that many drivers admitted to liking during practice and after the round was done. It would be the chicane and at the end of the round, it would make for one of the most interesting finishes in Formula Drift history.

 

FD Seattle 2014 Round 5 Evergreen Speedway

Foreshadowing aside, Seattle is always a great round as you get the friendly people of the Northwest and Canada coming to Evergreen Speedway to make the event fun and usually family friendly. There is something about the Pacific Northwest that really gives off a great vibe. It could be the Starbucks, could be the fresh air, could be a number of things, but Evergreen is always a great treat for those who go. It’s never fast paced, provided you don’t go into Seattle as it’s a bustling major city but still great regardless.

 

FD Seattle 2014 Round 5 Evergreen Speedway

It was probably this laid back feeling that helped Falken Tires driver Darren McNamara score a pole spot at Round 5. He impressed the judges, but not that far back was Achilles Radial driver Robbie Nishida, Nitto Tires driver Odi Bakchis, and the man of the year so far, Hankook Tires driver Chris Forsberg. What was even more impressive for this round of qualifying? Fifth position went to Maxxis Tires driver Ryan Tuerck. So, the top five in qualifying were represented by five different tire manufacturers.

 

FD Seattle 2014 Round 5 Evergreen Speedway

Starting off Top 32 would be Darren and his Falken Tires Nissan Silvia with Tony Angelo in his Scion Racing FR-S. The first run would put Tony in the wall while he was following Darren, which automatically gave Darren the win. The next pair up was Daijiro Yoshihara and his Falken Tires Subaru BRZ with Geoff Stoneback in his Geoff Stoneback Racing Nissan 240SX. With a 400-horsepower difference between the two, Stoneback was looking for the advantage that the chicane would give him. Along with a later initiation into the bank iIt seemed to have worked  as Stoneback was able to keep within half-a-car length to Dai. However, Geoff’s lead run wasn’t clean as he would have trouble keeping initiation on the bank and ultimately hitting the wall before the finish, which would lead to a Dai Yoshihara win.

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