I’m about to take a different route writing an article and make it short and sweet. I also want to “Tarantino” this story and give you the ending, though it’s no surprise by now to tell you that Fredric “The Norwegian Hammer” Aasbo has won Formula D Round 4 in Wall, New Jersey.
So what’s the purpose of this article? I want to give my perspective on my experience during this event, and how Wall Stadium was conquered by the professionals in America.
Prior to the Top 32, the drivers took the track to get a few runs and get warmed up before qualifying. Team Sikky kept it interesting with their close tandems and showed that they practice as a team off event.
Danny George had problems from the get go, and this angle makes his car look like he has 4 wheel steering.
As qualifying started, one thing was definitely noticeable, the driver’s faces became more serious and driving style changed tremendously. Chris Forsberg had the highest qualifying score.
His carbon Z33 is a total smoke factory.
An old friend, Robbie Nishida never fails to smile for the camera. His 2JZ had problems after qualifying– he lost one cylinder but managed to make it to Top 32.
One driver I was surprised not to see qualify was Taka. This is a dynamic, constantly changing sport, and his style of driving and his desire to be a purist is definitely hurting his game. The AE86’s angle, sound, and the smoke that it produces does not excite the spectators.
After the Top 32 was chosen, an autograph session with the drivers ensued. The line was as long as the day the new Jordan’s release. Vaughn Gittin Jr seems to have the most fans in Jersey.
As the day comes to an end, the air was filled with tire smoke as The Top 32 drivers got to drive some more before the main event.
As the next day began, a different atmosphere settled in Wall, New Jersey. Driver’s smile are a very rare sight to see. The tension was so thick, even Summer Solstice couldn’t make them relax.
Even Chris Forsberg who qualified with the highest score, didn’t seem to let his guard down.
Tires were constantly being checked to ensure they are slightly under pressure to provide more grip.
Ryan Tuerck lines up to have a few more practice runs before Top 32 commences.
Top 32 has started and the first battle was Forsberg and Maeng. Maeng’s car caught on fire.
Grunewald was getting up close and personal as he chases Karl Osaki.
Daigo and Tuerck’s battle I found a bit interesting. For me, Daigo seemed to have the upper hand and shorter gap against Tuerck. Tuerck stopped during his chase run and Daigo didn’t notice until he had already ran the full course. Daigo had to change his tires due to this event.
When they got back on the track, Tuerck was chasing, and on the turn Daigo went for an almost reverse angle drift forcing Tuerck to straighten out to avoid collision. The judges called for “One more time.” I can tell that Daigo was not happy with the judge’s decision. He repeated the same move but Tuerck had expected that he would do it again and gave space. When Daigo started chasing, it was very noticeable that his aggressiveness from his frustrations led him to lose his cool. Tuerck then advanced.
One thing that I do enjoy are the do or die attitudes that the individuals have just to get the “Win”. Chelsea Denofa hit the wall and damaged his wheels, but he kept going. The tire eventually started to ditch it’s placement and separated entirely from the car.
It seemed that this was what was “IN” for that round as Castro did the same thing with his Z.
Tony Angelo was eliminated by Aasbo after spinning on both runs.
Dean Kearney and his Viper impressed me. For this being my first Formula D event since 2008, Viper’s weren’t really on the top of my list of “good cars that drift.” The Karnage however changed my mindset and eliminated Essa, the 2013 Champ.
Charles Ng was very aggressive on his runs as well. I noticed after looking at the pictures that his angles are not as pronounced as the others however.
I talked to Justin Pawlak briefly and since knowing him from a few years ago when he still drove RX-7’s, it seems he’s still the down to earth guy from before, and nothing much has changed besides the fact that he’s driving a monstrous Ford Mustang.
Top 16 started. Forsberg, Landreville, Moen, Grunewald, Tuerck, Yoshihara, Field, Bakchis, Mordaunt, McNamara, Wang, Aasbo, Gittin, Kearney, Ng, and Pawlak took their positions.
Shaka from Forrest after burnouts.
Dai and Tuerck.
Bakchis seems to be doing a lot of wheel tapping.
I was really rooting for Forrest but sadly, this was the end of the road for him for this round.
JR screwed up on his lead run and started playing catch up and intimidation but didn’t faze Kearney making him advance to Top 8.
The sun started to cooperate and started giving us more dramatic shots. Aasbo’s run looked pretty solid eliminating the Irish.
Another Bakchis tire kissing incident occurred running in with Forsberg.
Aasbo eliminated Charles Ng.
Aasbo and Forsberg were left to duke it out for the final fight.
And we all know the outcome of that.
And to finish it off, the commemorative jizzing champagne into the race queens.
As the day closed, Forsberg was still left on top with overall score. This is how the standings sit currently.
1. Forsberg – 353
2. Aasbo – 294
3. Gittin – 288
4. Moen – 242
5. Bakchis – 189.5
6. Pawlak – 173.5
7. Wang – 164.5
8. McNamara – 153
9. Nishida – 151.5
10. Grunewald – 141.5
Formula D is flying out to the Land of the Rising Sun this coming 4th of July weekend for their inaugural Japanese event. Make sure you follow them for more information.