Formula Drift Round 5 – Evergreen Speedway
By Justin Banner
Anyone who says that this 2012 Formula Drift season hasn’t been interesting is not really being honest with themself. At the start of this season we saw the introduction of the Legend of Drifting, Daigo Saito in the Achilles Radial Lexus SC430. We also watched Justin Pawlak in the Falken Tires Ford Mustang win Long Beach and Atlanta while Daijiro Yoshihara in the Falken Tires Nissan 240SX lost at Round 2 where he was viewed as a favorite. We have also seen the judging get called into question, but that is actually nothing new.
Making his debut run in the BC Racing/Nitto Tire Mazda RX-8 is Chelsea Denofa. Denofa replaces Joon Maneg in the Bergenholtz Racing RX-8.
While the forecast called for and did rain, it only did so during the morning of Qualifying day. The rain held off from then on and it turned out to be a beautiful weekend, save for the mud puddles. Qualifying presented a good bit of drama for the weekend, though, with both Daijiro Yoshihara and Daigo Saito both having to use their second run to break the Top 32. However, in doing so they also knocked out Tyler McQuarrie in the Mobil 1/GoPro Chevrolet Camaro, making this the first time he has not qualified this year. They also knocked out Jeff Jones, who protested his run due to the Judges’ claim that he had gotten two tires off. They reviewed the replays, saw that they were wrong, and Jones won his protest, but it was not enough to get him and the CX Racing Nissan 240SX back into the Top 32.
|A blown engine prevented Kyle Mohan in the Mazdatrix/Nexen Tire Mazda RX-8 from compeating this weekend. Despite this happening prior to qualification, they did not carry a spare with them.
|To start keeping up with the big displacement engines, Ryan Kado in the Forged Racing Nissan 350Z now uses a turbocharger to make up for the lack of liters. But there is something going on in that engine bay…
|No, you are not seeing things! That is PVC Pipe and metal straps being used as a turbo plenum for his engine. I did not know that PVC could stand boost, but it did all weekend without much of a hitch. (Correction: The Plenum is ABS not PVC)
|Canadian drifter, Alex Lee, had an engine change over the season. He is now deploying a V8 under the hood of his Toyota Cresta.
|Your Number 1 Qualifiter for the weekend was Vaughn Gittin, Jr in the Monster Energy/Falken Tires Ford Mustang. Justin Pawlak in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang took the Number 2 qualifying position. Toshiki Yoshioka, Pat Mordaunt, and Chris Forsberg round out your Top 5 in Qualifying.