Even after taking a car out permanently, the Irwindale Luck just wasn’t satisfied. As Branden Sorensen charged into the spiral, the lead car, Daniel Kuo’s RX-7, lost its rear end and spun around nearly 360 degrees, unceremoniously crashing into the inner wall with its front end.
Fortunately, Daniel himself was alright. He got out of the car himself, and walked over to look at the damage. The car, however…
The car was done for the day. Truth be told, I was rather disappointed. After such a quick repair following his crash in the first practice, I was really hoping for an underdog story. Not only would it have been a blast to write, it would have been a fitting end for the string of bad luck that had plagued Kuo every round so far.
However, the show must go on.
Qualifying started with a kicker from Amanda Sorensen, who ended up with a score of 77 points.
In order to avoid another War and Peace: The Drift League like the last article (original draft was 19 pages!), I’ll condense qualifying down.
Fortunately, qualifying was without any major crashes, though as always in The Drift League, there were a few runs that the drivers will be kicking themselves over on their way home.
The spirit of the Irwindale Luck struck again right near the start, this time setting its sights on Branden Sorensen. The Sorensen Motorsports E46 rolls away from its impact on the wall. Following up with the driver, Branden told me that “Coming into the corner, I didn’t put it all the way into third gear. Then I let the clutch out and lost it.”
Fortunately, he had already placed a score of 76 in his first run, and furthermore was able to replace his bent control arms in time for the Top 16.
Ironically enough, his sister Amanda Sorensen soon followed up with a score of 77.
After the Sorensens was another E46; this one belonging to none other than Greek champion Margaritis Katsandis. Following a killer second run, he drove back to the paddock with a score of… 77.
It was then previous Podium finisher Pablo Cabrera’s turn in his V’s Performance S13 coupe, setting down a respectable 62 points.
Carlos Cano Estrella was next up; despite having a 1UZ in a AE86 only making 240hp in Pro Am, he’s remained competitive throughout the series. With the FD Irwindale layout favoring higher power cars however, Estrella’s best score was a 57.