Formula Drift Round 1: Long Beach Qualifying
Formlua Drift Round 1 at Long Beach: Qualifying!

Formula Drift Round One at Long Beach: Qualifying

By Justin Banner

A new track can be a pain to drive or drift on, but what about a mostly repaved street course? New pavement on most of the track gave many low and even middle powered cars fits in qualifying today. When I say most of the track, I mean turns 9, 10a, 10b, and the transitions between them and turn 11. Turn 11, however, was still using the old, slick concrete surface. This meant that cars had tons of grip right until turn 11, then if they didn't adjust, would understeer if they didn't have rotation or oversteer if they had too much rotation. 

 Gabe Stone
Gabe Stone in the Blu808 BMW 3-series donates a bumper to Legendary Corner Worker Bill. Bill threw it back at him and denied Gabe entry into Long Beach. You have to get past Bill before you can be judged by Andy Yen, Ryan Lanteigne, and new 2012 judge, Brian Eggart!

While it would have seemed like that would be a huge hurdle for the rookies and we would see tons of carnage, really there wasn't much. So, a story of a new track for rookie drivers to screw up and crash on really never came to fruition. Instead, it became a story about who could create a killer line or who could keep their speed up as many of those low to mid-powered cars found out quickly! In order to get a top scoring run, you had to run a great line and make speed, if you wanted in the show, you had to have either an exciting line hitting all clipping points right to get the new proximity sensors to light off, or have a decent line and make a full 10 point speed run. At 53MPH at the speed zone, that would be a taller order than many had thought.

Daigo Saito Achilles Tires
As you can see from out header picture, Achilles Radial driver, Daigo Saito came to make a huge impression on everyone. He didn't dissapoint for the D1 and FD Asia veteran!
Daigo Saito Achilles Tire
The smoke show he put on was impressive and his Top 32 Practice was exciting. Qualifying 18th, he has something to prove to us American Drifing fans and many wonder if that Nitrous Bottle will be put to full use?
Emanuel Amandio Achilles Radial
Also putting the Smoke Show Achilles was displaying on the new surface to full use was Emanuel Amandio, who qualified 5th!
Emanuel Amandio Achilles Radial
An impressive show, compared to last year where he was barely able to qualify, let alone keep his car in one piece! Hopefully, this new display will continue on into eliminations!
Robbie Nishida Achilles Radial
While featured here on MotoIQ, Robbie Nishida's SC300 was not completed in time for Round 1. He says it will make its debut at Road Atlanta! He qualified in 25th.

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