Formula Drift - Orlando Uncharted Territory
Formula Drift in Orlando was just as expected - hot, rainy, and lots of action. It was round 3 of 2015 Formula D PRO championship as well as the first round of PRO2. Formula D took place in Orlando Speedworld Oval track, which is 20 minutes east from Orlando. Event was packed on saturday, some spectators had to wait more than an hour in a traffic lane to get in.
As usual we follow all the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ drivers. Since 2014 there are some changes in our target roster - we don't see Toshiki Yoshioka participating in his wild BRZ, as well as Formula D senior Tony Angelo is not driving.
Pro2 participants this year: Jeff Wolfson, Ron Ewerth and Pat Cyr. Pat Cyr had just finished his 2JZ build but crashed on the first day of the event and did not manage to fix the car. Ron Ewerth didn't run any practice time. On qualifying first run engine went hot and powerless. After changing settings and cooling down Ron took his Vision Performance V8 FR-S on second run - an impressive smokey run, but line was off and his score wasn't good enough to get in the TOP16. Jeff Wolfson qualified 3rd.
Jeff had won his first battle against Ryan Litteral, but in Top8 had to battle with Andy Gray. Jeff Wolfson stalled on start line and was given zero for the run, so his odds to move further were out. Andy Gray ended up in 2nd place, giving the win to Alex Heilbrunn.
Biggest surprises this year are in the PRO class - after a very unsuccessful 2014 season for all FRS/BRZ drivers. Tony Angelo doesn't participate at all. Dai Yoshihara while out of Falken sponsorship still continues with his team and the only PRO class BRZ is better than ever, but bad luck hasn't stepped off. Dai did a great lead run against Alec Hohnadell in TOP32 but got lost in smoke in the follow run and competition ended right there. Ryan Tuerck and Ken Gushi stepped up the game big time.
Ken Gushi has been in Formula D since 2004 and finally is off the chain! After successful race in Atlanta the Gush continued showing awesome runs and qualified 1st! During TOP32 battles nothing could stop him. Gushi beat Kyle Mohan in Top32, Kenny Moen in Top16, and Alec Hohnadell in Top8. Except the Chris The Force Forsberg in TOP4. Forsberg's car went on fire and Gushi was ruled at fault and disqualified, but still made the 3rd place as he qualified 1st. Absolute star of FD Orlando!
Ryan Tuerck qualified 3rd. He totally expects to win the championship and this race proved it - most of wins were just given to him. First battle in Top32 was against rookie Kristaps Bluss from Latvia. Kristaps crossed the yellow line after start and was ruled at fault for Tuerck hitting the wall and losing tire after first turn. Tuerck was given time to fix his car, but didn't manage to do it in time which lead him to winning the battle and Kristaps Bluss was disqualified. Tuerck managed to fix the car for the following races and mishaps to opponents happened in following tandems against Kearney and Yokoi, until Tuerck had to meed his friend Forsberg in the finals. Forsberg's team announced they couldn't fix the car from battle versus Gushi and Tuerck got 1st place of Orlando round, making it probably the easiest walk through Top32 ever.
PRO results are impressive, two 2JZ-GTE Scion FR-S cars on the podium, bringing Scion to the top of manufacturer championship standings:
- Ryan Tuerck
- Chris Forsberg
- Ken Gushi
After Orlando race TOP4 is as follows:
#1 AURIMAS BAKCHIS 223.00 POINTS
#2 RYAN TUERCK 208.00 POINTS
#3 CHRIS FORSBERG 189.00 POINTS
#4 KENSHIRO GUSHI 173.00 POINTS
Photos, article: Valters Boze