Formula Drift Round 4 - The Gauntlet (Wall Speedway in New Jersey)
Formula Drift round 4 also known as The Gauntlet took place at the Wall Stadium Speedway in New Jersey last weekend. It is one of the best tracks to watch an event where the drivers start riding the banked wall and make almost two laps around the speedway. The race was completely sold out! In our previous coverage from Homestead-Miami Speedway we spoke about how hot this season is for the Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S drivers and how unfortunate this season actually is for the either high or low budget FT86 teams. In the previous round Ryan Tuerck was the only one to hit the Top16 and didn't advance further, so all the teams were left with hopes for the next round in #FDNJ.
No luck for the rookies. In Miami none of them could participate in PRO championship qualifying because of technical problems. Sadly the Ron Ewerth's team announced that the Vision Performance Buddy Club BRE supercharged V8 Scion FRS will not make it to the Formula Drift Round 4 New Jersey. During testing on previous week the engine developed an issue that couldn't not be resolved in time.
Pat Cyr driving his Scion Racing / Yokohama / ENEOS / Cyrious Garageworks Scion FR-S had no problems in New Jersey and did some good runs. But scoring 55 points was just not enough to qualify for the Top32.
Jeff Wolfson is driving his own Jeff Wolfson Racing 2JZ Scion FR-S and had problem with his FRS in the first run right before the finish line, but got as close as possible scoring 67 points in second qualification run. Unfortunately he was just 1 point short to make it in the Top32.
All the "senior" PRO drifters made it to the Top32.
Tony Angelo drove his first qualifier on battery power only.
Scoring 73 points in 2nd run put him in 26th position - right against his Scion Racing teammate Fredric Aasbo who qualified 7th and ended up winning the whole event. Angelo spun in both runs and was out of competition. Guys went super serious about the battle posting pictures on Instagram from "The Rocky" theme:
Ken Gushi driving his Greddy Racing x Scion Racing FR-S was the first victim of "The Wall" on thursday practice but got back in shape and on friday scored good in the qualifying rounds putting himself in 25th position. In battle against Kenneth Moen the judges gave it to Moen.
Ryan Tuerck set 13th best run in the qualifications with 79 points and had to race the legend Daigo Saito. They had close runs and Tuerck knocked on Saito's door in the follow run, but it was called One More Time. On the "One More Time" follow run Daigo hit Tuerck and spun out. Tuerck moved on to Top16 to meet Daijiro Yoshihara.
Tuerck during practice:
Daijiro Yoshihara and his team finally got rid of the "gremlins" messing with the Falken Tire Subaru BRZ, probably the best FT86 build out there. Dai put down the 4th best qualification run with 89 points.
In a tight Top32 battle against Briggs two of the judges give it to Dai and in Top16 battle the Falken BRZ is put against Tuerck's FR-S. In Top16 battle of BRZ against FRS the judges pick Dai Yoshihara.
Finally we see a FT86 in Top8 where Dai meets lithuanian driver Odi Bakchis. In the follow run Dai hit Odi's car and Odi moved on to get his first ever podium. Falken team feel good about Daijiro to finally be competitive in the BRZ, it's been a while!
Here is a track layout video with Ryan Tuerck, onboard camera, and his brother.
The winners of the The Gauntlet: 1. Fredric Aasbo, 2. Chris Forsberg, 3. Odi Bakchis, 4. Charles NgNext race: "Throwdown" in Evergreen Speedway, July 18-19