Formula Drift Irwindale: Title Fight

The final round of Formula Drift slides into Irwindale Speedway for the last time...again.

The last round of the 2017 Formula Drift Black Magic Pro Championship took place at Irwindale Speedway for one final time. It has been confirmed that this event marked the last FD appearance in Irwindale, making this event memorable and one to commemorate for years to come. The weekend was full of emotions as drivers and fans reminisced about the history of FD at Irwindale. The weekend show was sure to excite the crowd and leave a memorable impact.

James Deane came into the event with four victories this season, and finished in 3rd place with his teammate Piotr Wiecek taking first place, along with the Rookie of the Year award. After the podium ceremony, Deane was awarded his Formula Drift season championship. Dai Yoshihara, with his Turn 14 Distribution BRZ, took home 2nd place.

The weekend consisted of many hard fought battles and mechanical frustrations. The wear and tear of the season finally started to show itself as a few drivers were struck with mechanical problems that inevitably caught up with them. Ryan Tuerck and his Gumout Toyota 86 went through 3 engines in two days, while Chris Forsberg’s team worked late into the night Thursday after he hit the wall during practice. It can be heart wrenching to watch as a fan when the battle of attrition takes over and drivers aren’t able to make it to the line. That part of racing is accepted by all though, and it’s more just a game of not if, but when it will happen. 

Some of the most memorable battles from the weekend included Frederic Aasbo and Dai Yoshihara running door to door with each other and giving spectators a great showing of skillful driving. Chelsea Denofa took on his teammate, Vaughn Gitten Jr with a couple of runs that left the crowd cheering for more. Denofa defeated Gitten driving his RTR Mustang to its limit. Gitten gave the crowd a farewell wave and a burnout as he left the track for the last time. The battles at Formula Drift this weekend were some of the best seen all season. The track is well rooted in FD’s history, and will be missed deeply. We hope that the replacement for next season can become just as memorable as Irwindale.

Looking toward the 2018 season, some drivers have already began talking about their new builds and possible chassis changes. Matt Field already unveiled plans to pilot a 2013 Chevrolet Corvette in the following season. Naturally, more exciting news within the Formula Drift world will come to light, giving each of us more anticipation for next season as we kick it off all over again at The Streets of Long Beach. What kinds of things do you think will happen in the off season? Where do you think Formula Drift will go to replace Irwindale? Will there be new team alliances to come? All of these are sure to be answered in the coming months. The team here at Car Street Journal is just as excited as you are, and we will be keeping track of what happens in the meantime and will be sure to report on it!

Until then, we hope you have enjoyed the 2017 season, and look forward to reporting more next season



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