The Drift League: 2018 Season Finale

Back at the starting line, the black S13 lined up next to the green E36 once again. Rome led first, neither car holding back on the straightaway leading to the first initiation. Just after initiating, Charpentier was able to squeeze around two lengths of distance out thanks to his massive LS. However, Stuke wasn’t going down without a fight. Much like the first run, the S13 driver was making the E36 work for it, not slipping back one bit. The distance stayed relatively equal until the final apex of the spiral, Stuke laying on it and gaining a yard or two before crossing the finish line.

Rome (left) momentarily ditches Stuke (right) for another half length; soon made up by the S13.

With his 2JZ popping and crackling and fluttering off the line, Stuke made a valiant attempt to break away from Charpentier in the same way Charpentier had done to him. However, it just didn’t work. Stuke reduced too much angle in a bid for more speed, and straightened out, giving a zero to himself and the win to Charpentier.

Next up was Cabrera and Stuke to determine third place. Stuke led first, yet like with his battle against Rome, couldn’t find the traction to pull away from the V8 engined opponent just after initiation. Cabrera maintained good proximity on the bank until the touch and go, where Stuke momentarily pulled away. However, the lead was short lived; by the latter half of the spiral, Cabrera was back in Stuke’s mirrors, keeping the proximity until both cars screamed across the line.

Stuke (front) chases after Cabrera (rear) from the line. Note the squat on Stuke’s S13.

Cabrera then took the lead role. In a positive change for Stuke, the V’s Performance S13 didn’t break away from him on the bank. However, the extra speed came at the cost of angle. Coming down the bank for the touch and go, Stuke straightened out; zeroing himself and handing the win to Cabrera.

With third and fourth determined, the battle for first and second was underway.

The Imagine Garage E36 lined up next to the Sorensen Motorsports E46 on the line. Rome led first, pulling away after initiation thanks to the Millennium Motorsports LS under the hood. He kept the distance through the touch and go as well. However, the Las Vegas native wasn’t about to let Rome have it that easily. Diving hard into the spiral and standing on the gas, Sorensen soon pushed himself alongside the highlighter green E36, going door to door for the latter half of the spiral.

Sorensen (rear) digs his heels in and makes a final sprint for Charpentier (front).

Charpentier then followed, biting at Sorensen’s ankles by the time they initiated. However, roughly halfway across the bank, Rome took on more angle and slowly fell behind. He didn’t make up the length or so he lost as a result until the final apex, where he gained some ground as they crossed the line.

One More Time.

Sorensen and Charpentier pedal down right off the bat. At Irwindale, inches turn into feet.

From my spot at the end of the spiral, I was personally shocked how similar Rome and Branden’s run was to their first one. Like the first run, Rome initially broke away on the bank, and held the distance throughout until the spiral. However, this is where the runs differed: in the first one, Sorensen had caught up to Rome’s door by the last half of the spiral. This time was different. Sorensen dove in even harder in a sort of driving I can only describe as precision recklessness. For the latter two thirds of the spiral, Sorensen risked contact with Rome’s wing mirror.

For the fourth time in a row, the LS swapped BMWs lined up on the start line. Sorensen took the lead, flicking his car into the bank upwards of eighty miles-an-hour. However, unlike Rome, the Sorensen Motorsports E46 just couldn’t break away. The E36 stuck to the gray E46’s rear throughout the whole course until the final apex on the spiral.

Sorensen charges on towards the finish line, proximity be damned.

After a long day, it was starting to end. The podium beckoned. There were two sets of winners that night; one for the round, and one for the overall championship.

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