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Round One: Streets of Long Beach | Formula Drift 2015 | The Great Eight

Written by Nicole James

Photographed by Hans Marquez 

After an intense race to be qualified for the top 16 for Round One: Streets of Long Beach, the drivers did not back down or slow down for the road to victory.

The first battle of the sweet 16 was between Matt Coffman and Robbie Nishida. Coffman lost his drift in the first run while Nishida backed off a few times in his chase round. No major mistakes were made, but Nishida took the win going onto the great eight.

DSC_8595EMatt Field had a beautiful lead and chase with Dai Yoshihara in the second battle. On the first run, Field created a huge gap between himself and Yoshihara. It appeared as though Yoshihara couldn’t keep up. During the second run Field was the chase and was on Yoshihara’s door the entire time. Field took the win.

DSC_8608EVaughn Gittin Jr. had a near perfect run as the lead car in his battle against Charles Ng. Coming around some corners, Ng lost his bumper and bash bar which slightly disrupted his drift but Gittin Jr. avoided the obstacles and ultimately progressed into the great eight.

DSC_8620EBoth Jutin Pawlak and Odi Bakchis had a textbook head to head battle. Both drivers in both roles of lead and chase had perfect runs which made it difficult for the judges. Pawlak had some correction during his chase run which knocked him of the road to victory and sent Bakchis went onto the great eight.

DSC_8637EThe next battle was between Chris Forsberg and Pat Mordaunt. Forsberg, the defending 2014 Formula Drift Champion, had previously had an unusual and out of charterer drift, however he was able to make up his mistakes as lead in the chase round. Forsberg is also the defending champ of round one in Long Beach. In this sweet 16 battle Forsberg dropped the ball again with an unusual line which was shallow in some places it shouldn’t have been. Mordaunt took the line as chase when he should have followed Forsberg In the second run Forsberg was on top of Mordaunt as much as possible but it wasn’t enough to secure his place in the great eight. Mordaunt moved on.

DSC_8645ERyan Tuerck went up against Dan Savage whom was off on his runs which secured a spot in the great eight for Tuerck.

DSC_8658EFredric Aasbo killed his lead run with flawless execution during his battle with Geoff Stoneback. Aasbo went onto the great eight.

DSC_8680EIn the final battle for a spot in the great eight Chelsea Denofa took on Tyler McQuarrie but made a huge correction in the final hairpin turn giving McQuarrie the win.

 The Great Eight:

Robbie Nishida

Matt Field

Vaughn Gittin Jr

Odi Bakchis

Pat Mordaunt

Ryan Tuerck

Fredric Aasbo

Tyler McQuarrie

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