They call it the Gauntlet for a reason. It's a track where real automotive combat goes down. Cars break, wreck, catch fire, and only the strong survive. By the time the event is wrapped up, the track looks like a mini war zone / junk yard. Parts are everywhere. The rails are bent, tire pieces everywhere, broken bumpers, wings, etc. Even the media guys and some fans don't leave un harmed (sun burn). This years Formula Drift round 4 at Wall Speedway was no exception.
Things got off to a great start for Chris Forsberg who qualified in first place and is currently the points leader in the series. Chris would later put on a great performance and finish second on the podium.
Chelsea had one of the most exciting runs in top 32 but not before qualifying second the day before.
2013 champ Michael Essa qualified third. Essa was put against Dean Kearney and his monster Dodge Viper in Top 32. (photo by Max Fuerst)
Essa was not able to keep up with Dean and that was the end to Essa's weekend.
Our friend Nate Hamilton was just outside the qualifying mark - Nate continues to progress and seems to be getting better and better each round. Looking forward to seeing him run both Pro 2 and Pro in Seattle!
Top 32 was not kind to Chelsea DeNofa who had mechanical issues that sent him into the rails... only it didn't stop him from almost finishing the run on three tires. Chelsea came to a stop as we watched a tire roll away from his BMW. Needles to say, the crowd went crazy. I'm sure Chelsea doesn't mind being the crowd favorite at the last two rounds, but I'm also pretty sure he doesn't enjoy losing. Either way, he is definitely the most exciting driver in FD these days.
Charles NG was on top of his game and seems to have his G37 figured out. His driving style at round 4 reminded me of 2012 Daigo Saito. Exciting to watch! Charles took out Tyler and later moved on to the great 8.
Another notable Top 32 battle was between Daigo Saito and Ryan Tuerck. Though it seemed the fans thought Daigo was the winner, the first battle was too close to call which promoted a one more time call by the judges. The second go was just as as close until Daigo spun. Daigo was given a zero - Ryan Tuerck and his Retaks FRS moved on to Top 16.
Odi competed with Forsberg in the Final 4. He ended up hitting Chris' 370Z handing Chris the win. This left Odi in the number 3 spot on the podium - his very first carbon fiber trophy!
Odi Bakchis was killing it all weekend. His car was crazy fast and he was aggressive throughout the weekend. Definitely a driver to watch out for - this 3rd place finish lands him in 5th in over all points.
The final battle of the day was between Chris Forsberg and Fredric Aasbo. Both drivers were killing it all weekend and seemed to have this track figured out.
Both had amazing runs but Chris was a bit too aggressive and ended up hitting Aasbo's Scion TC. Chris was at fault and that cost him the win. Aasbo would be at the top of the podium.
This was Aasbo's first time winning a Formula Drift event. He had been on the podium before, but never on the number one spot. Another great event. See you at Evergreen Speedway July 18-19 for round 5.