|Mike Felock is another fresh face on the FD grid.|
Walker Wilkerson in his Fatlace 240SX was able to capitalize on Nitto Tire’s Joon Maeng, as Maeng broke his tranmission input shaft on his following run allowing Walker to move on despite the better performance by Maeng. Ross Petty’s LS3 powered Falken Silvia did not make it to the line as it had thrown a rod in the practice after qualifying. This blow up gave Toshiki Yoshioka in the Retaks S13 240LS a bye-run and Toshiki moved on.
|Pat Mordaunt usually does well at Road Atlanta but the bad luck he had in Long Beach followed him as he blew yet another expensive turbo VQ engine.|
Charles Ng in his Evasive RX-7 powered by a GM LS V8 went up against Ken Gushi and his Scion Racing/DTA Scion tC. Charles put on an impressive follow run, but the gap created towards the down hill and the mistakes made by Ng on his lead run put Gushi into the Top 16. Finally in the battle of the O.S. Giken 350Z of Pat Mordaunt and the GSR Autosport BMW Z4 of Mike Essa, Essa had an impressive lead run, but on the follow run, Mordaunt clipped the grass going into the horseshoe and with Essa following so close, he had to miss Pat. In doing so, Essa misshifted and spun and received a zero giving the win to Pat, who as able to continue his lead run despite what had happened.
|Once Eric O’Sullivan got used to the Gardella Racing Saturn Sky, he started to kill. Look for EOS to have a much better 2011 season now that he is on a strong team.|
The Top 16 was set and the half time break began. Crews went to work on the cars, fans got refreshed or more drunk, and your writer went to get food and water to prepare for the Top 16 battle. After the opening ceremonies were done, the first pair lined up, John Russakoff and Matt Waldin. With Waldin leading, the run that started off great for Russakoff only got better when Waldin spun just after the clipping point entering the horseshoe! With a 0 in hand, Waldin could only hope for a huge mistake by Russakoff to force a One More Time. Despite some mistakes by Russakoff, it wasn’t enough and John Russakoff was in the Great 8. Could this be? A Honda powered Corolla on Nexen tires in the Great 8? Why didn’t horsepower win out? Because driver skill is still important, power is great, but if you can’t control it, you don’t need it! Russakoff, to this point, has been a great example of that.
|The 2010 champ Vaughn Gittin Jr’s ride to repeat his championship just got a little harder as his arch rival Dai Yoshihara has put more points in between them. Jr put on a much better performance at Atlanta than the disappointment at Long Beach. Don’t ever count Jr out though. He is hungry and angry.|
The very next run was Chris Forsberg and Eric O’Sullivan. On his lead run, Forsberg could not shake O’Sullivan off of him, but it was a great run by Chris. With O’Sullivan’s now leading, EOS’ car would not get angle at the first clipping point at 10a and began to slow down. This drastic cut in speed made Forsberg take action to prevent an incident and stalled out his drift, but he did not spin. In the end, the judges called for a OMT. The second lead run for Forsberg went well and was repeat of his first lead run. EOS, though, made a huge correction going uphill from 10b and straightened out before going through the first clipping point for the horseshoe. On O’Sullivan’s lead run, he was able to pull of a huge angle going into the horseshoe and did start to gap Forsberg, but it wouldn’t be enough to over come the correction in his chase run and Forsberg went on to the Great 8!
|John Russakoff is one of our favorite drivers. His giant killing driving skills impress us. He is another talent that the corporations haven’t noticed yet. Money people, if you want a good return on investment, get behind John!|