The Drift League Round 3 Coverage – Irwindale
Margaritis hammers down between the last clip and final corner, his rear end visibly squatting.
Kilada (front) leads Boline (rear) through the first transition off of the bank.
Despite the damage sustained in the earlier crash, Zapata drove on hard throughout practice.

As the practice came to a close, there was a thankful lack of other crashes and close calls. Rome did what Rome does (put down great runs), and Tony Cisneros (AKA drifter116) was towed off track after experiencing engine issues.

Rome Charpentier leaves quite the smoke screen for the chase car as he comes off the bank.
Tony Cisneros’s S14 is pulled off the track.

As Practice 2 was ending, I decided to take the opportunity to walk the pits and see exactly what had happened with Cisneros’s car, and also noted Eddie’s Mustang with its hood open and wrenches strewn over his area – never a good sign.

Upon interviewing Cisneros, he stated, “We just had a bad connection on a relay, the car wouldn’t start out there. We pull the panel, fix it, and everything’s ready to go.”

Zapata was less lucky with his technical issues. “Well, on track I lost cylinder seven. I limped it back here, and pulled the spark plug to find the gap totally closed, so I’m thinking it could be a detonation. I’m just not gonna risk it.”

As I walked back to my car I saw Jerald Hernadez’s E46 being loaded onto a trailer; never a good sign right after a practice session. Upon asking, I soon learned his alternator had totally died, and sourcing a replacement was not a possibility to make it in time for qualifying.

Already down 3 drivers before qualifying, the driver’s meeting began, Jeff Jones illustrating common mistakes he had seen with a map of the track on a whiteboard.

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