Seven deep and over 1000 miles from home, Mayday Garage ventured out to the west coast to watch and cover the finals of North America’s premiere drift series, Formula D. Drifting, Hardparkers and Shorties were on our agenda for the duration of our stay in California and I think we accomplished our goal. Today we are going to venture into the core of Formula D, Drift. Formula D Final round was taken by the Rockstar NASCAR Motorplant Scion, driven by Tanner Foust. Following him for the day was series points leader Vaughn Gittin Jr. Our friend Linhbergh from Speedhunters had told us that we had picked a great event to go to because the amount of drama that ensued throughout the event. From series rivalries to wrecks, we witnessed an amazing event for sure.
Although we drool over most of the cars that compete in Formula D there are a few that REALLY catch our attention. Starting with the Drift Emporium cars, these privately funded Nissans are powered by supercharged V8s and sound wild as hell. Check out the charger peeking outside these hoods. Not only do they look mean as hell but they have have great taste in styling too. Following the Drift Emporium cars throughout the season they have had dismal luck when it has come to the podium, I hope these cars will be back to be in the 2011 season for another try.
Next on the list of “to see” cars at the final round was Frederc Aasbo. Hailing from the Netherlands, Mr. Aasbo has been competing in Formula D this year on a shoestring budget in his JZA80 supra. This guy is a freaking monster and a hella aggressive driver. Every single time he would come off of Irwidales first bank he would be sooo sideways that everyone in the pit thugh he would oversteer and spin out, but this was not thie case. This was just how crazy his angle was when whiping his boat. The best thing about Frederic Aasbo is that his car is in touch with that of your Daily Drifter. No big coorperate budget, just raw, mad skill, and he showed it too in the final round. I really hope to see more of him next year, and I am crossing my fingers.
Talking to Mr. Aasbo’s mechanics I had come to find out that the motor that he was rocking for Friday and Saturday was a junkyard turbo 2JZ-GTE that had not been fired up in over 8 years. Aasbo had blown his original motor on Thursday in practice and was left to his own devices to get his car back on the track by friday. Luckily the gods of Bomex had blessed him with a good motor, that, when installed made just 10 hp shy of what his original setup made. Man, the power of the 2J.
And here he is getting interviewed. Just to recap, Frederic is in the run for rookie of the year with his Supra, and we think he deserves it. No one shook up the pros like he did!
Going into final round with 2nd place in point standings was Dai Yoshihara in his LS swapped fully tube framed S13, he is a beast. Dai had podiumed a couple of times this season and many people were rooting for him to do big at the Final Round, but unfortunately Dai had a mechanical failure when he was racing against rookie Ian Fournier.
Which reminds me, Irwindales beauty. Irwindale has an awesome background when shooting, the mountains provide scenery that we definitely do not get at home.
Another point that our friends on the west coast made was the intense rivalry that was between Dmac and Tanner Foust. Watching these guys run against each other was like watching machines go to battle. These guys were so precise on their movement, it was insane. Both cars have extreme builds and great drivers, it was a pleasure to watch the match go down with a one more time. Good Stuff.
And then there was Vaughn Gittin Jr. This past Easter Weekend, JR ventured to Texas as a guest to local car show Import Reactor, as well as participated with JRod (official Formula D announcer) in guest judging Import Reactor Drift here in Houston. It is cool that we have gotten to hang out with JR, he is a phenomenal driver cool dude and harnesses a “Monster” of car, pun intended as you can see, the Monster livery.
Media was no Joke either, there must have been at least 50 ++ Green vests floating around everywhere. Of course, not all media had to wear them.
The staging area and bank, a series of nonstop burnouts and hangout for the pros before jumping into battle. Cool as hell.
Pros Kicking it.
Like mentioned in the beginning of the post, The California Fans rolled out. If people want big, national events like FD to come to their area, they need to roll out like this, shit was insane!
All out to see the drifting the fans witnessed the whole event boil down to a close battle between Tanner Foust and Vaughn Gittin Jr. Though SUPER close, Tanner came out on top, but, Vaughn Gittin ran away with the series.
Stay tuned for part two of our Formula D coverage, outside of drift!
All photos were taken by John Peterson, Andrew Machac, Khiem Pham, Danh Phan, Mikey Nguyen, Ervin Llanera and David Do exclusively for MaydayGarage.
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Be back Soon with Part 2!