Most of us who follow Formula Drift around the country would agree, if you only had one round you could attend in the season, round 2 at Road Atlanta would be the one. One of, if not the most energetic Formula Drift crowd in the series combined with an awesome track with a crazy fast entry, can only make for an exciting event. Formula Drift’s first ever event took place here at Road Atlanta. Road Atlanta also built horse shoe part of the track specifically for Formula Drift. It’s one thing to convince a professional race track to host a drift event (specially in 2004), it takes exceptional foresight to make an addition to the course specifically for it. Anyway, Friday’s qualifying session gave a good feeling of what was to come for the weekend! Coming off an exceptional performance in Long Beach, Fredric Aasbo came out swinging during qualifying to take the number one spot with a score of 90.5.
Michael Essa, known for his backwards entries at this track, did not disappoint with one of the most exciting qualifying runs of the day.
Justin Pawlak had a great qualifying run and ended up qualifying in the number three spot.
Another driver with a great showing in Long Beach was Chelsea DeNofa who finished round 1 in 4th place. Always an exciting “all out” driver and ended up qualifying 4th. He had power issues during his tandem run and was knocked out during Top 32.
After some disappointing rear end issues in Long Beach, Nate was eager to get back on track to give his fans some exciting runs. After a spin out and a visit to the gravel during practice, Nate came through when it counted most and qualified 27th. Nate looked awesome in both of his qualifying runs but those rear end issues came back to haunt him during Top 32 the following day. Nate was put against McNamara for his first Top 32 tandem battle but was not able to get to the line handing DMac the win.
Another rookie Brandon Wicknick was also fun to watch and his s13 was definitely a great car to shoot. Unfortunately Brandon did not qualify for the main show but put down a couple of exciting runs.
Danny George kicked ass in his V8/LS1 powered Miata during qualifying. Though he has yet to have a Top 16 showing, Danny is definitely one of those exciting drivers to keep an eye out for. Based on the driving he did this weekend, that Top 16 showing is not far away. He qualified 14 and was put against Ryan Tuerck for his Top 32 tandem run…
Where this happened. Hoonigan Vs. WhoAgain. As you can see in this photo, Mr. George not only destroyed this clipping point. Not only that, he wrecked into Ryan’s FRS during his chase run which left the Scion FRS with a bent toe rod. After several minutes of questioning who was to blame for the wreck, Ryan Tuerck was awarded the win and moved on to Top 16.
According to Ryan Tuerck’s Instagram, Danny George was in agreement with the judges and took fault for the contact.
Conrad Grunewald qualified 18th and was put against Dai Yoshihara during Top 32. Dai qualified 15th.
There were a couple of close runs but Conrad ended up taking the win knocking 2011 champ Dai Yoshihara out in the Top 32.
Daigo Saito qualified 5th and would go on to win the event later that night. Tune in for Part 2 tomorrow!