Formula Drift Round 2 – Road Atlanta
Now, let me first start off with an apology. For those of you who don’t follow me on twitter (@jb27tt) or haven't friended me on Facebook, I took this trip far differently than I have in years past. Instead of a plane crossing the country, I traveled in a rig with Roy Narvaez as he took his Nissan GTR to Global Time Attack which was also at Road Atlanta. It was an interesting way to travel but it also forced me to leave before Top 32. At the time of this writing only Top 16 and on was released on Dailymotion by Formula Drift, so that is all I have to go on.
I’ll have a story on that trip along with Wes and Sarah’s coverage of Global Time Attack. I can tell you that I missed some incredible battles in Top 32 but it was nothing in comparison to the rest of the Top 16. The finals were also quite the surprise considering that it would be the first time in quite some time that first place featured a One More Time battle. I’m jumping the gun a bit, but know that this event had some of the best drifting I’ve seen, even when compared to last year.
First up for Top 16 was number one qualifier Forrest Wang and his STR Racing Nissan 240SX versus Daigo Saito and his Achilles Radial Lexus SC430. In the previous round Forrest Wang had a One More Time against Jeff Jones while Daigo had a very controversial run against fan favorite, Danny George and his STR Racing Mazda Miata.
The judges ruled that Danny led Daigo off line and that gave the win to Saito against George. However, in this run of Wang and Saito it was all horsepower that got Daigo the win. Wang had a great lead run and had more angle but it wasn’t enough to overcome the advantage of the gap that Daigo created during his lead run.
Next up were Fredric Aasbo in the Hankook Tires Scion tC and Conrad Grunewald in the Hankook Tires Chevrolet Camaro. There is a pattern developing when it comes to Aasbo and Atlanta that I don't like. He’s always getting hit on the downhill! In Top 32, Aasbo faced off against Matt Field in the CX Racing Nissan 240SX. The contact gave Aasbo the win as they didn’t have to go One More Time. Grunewald's runs in Atlanta are also developing a trend, but his are for the better with an impressive entry into turn 10A. His nearly backwards entries are becoming legend and he pulled one off against Aasbo, but he would push too much gap on his follow run, ruining his chances for a Great 8. Aasbo took the win.
Patrick Mordaunt would not be in his ARK Genesis as he suffered two engine failures at Long Beach and couldn’t get repaired in time for Road Atlanta. So, instead Pat would run in the ARK/Retaks Nissan 240SX that Ryan Tuerck ran two years ago. Also, Pat beat Ryan in his old car as they met in Top 32. Odi Bakchis in the FEAL Suspension/Nitto Tires Nissan 240SX would be his opponent after he took out 2013 champion Mike Essa. Pat, who was on a high after beating Ryan Tuerck in Ryan’s old car, really pushed in his battle against Odi. However, Pat pushed too hard and his over aggression gave the win to Odi.
Chris Forsberg and the NOS Energy 370Z faced “Rapper” Dan Savage in the Top 32 before taking on Charles Ng’s Achilles Radial Infiniti G37 in the Top 16. Chris’ consistency would pay off against Charles, but Charles was in a far better position than Round 1 as he not only qualified but made it to Top 16. This would be only as far as he could go and Chris moved on to the Great 8.