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Round One: Streets of Long Beach | Formula Drift 2015 | Moving onto the Top 16

Written by Nicole James

Photos by Hans Marquez and Matthew Fink

[dropcap style=”style1″]D[/dropcap]ay two of Round One: Streets of Long Beach got fans on their feet and cheering as the main competition kicked off with the top 32 qualified drivers from the previous day.

DSC_8121EThe first head to head battle of the day was between fan favorite and first place qualifier, Forest Wang and Matt Coffman whom had qualified as 32nd. The Battle left fans disappointed as Forest dropped the ball when it was his turn to be the chase car. Coffman got the win.

IMG_4200-1_wmNext up was Daigo Saito previously qualifying at 17th and Robbie Nishida. Saito didn’t initiate the drift properly and made a run for the pits as his car wasn’t able to continue competing. Nashida continues onto the top 16.

IMG_4205-1_wmMatt Field and Kenneth Moen went head to head in the third battle of the day with Field taking the win.

IMG_4226-1_wmThe fourth battle for the top 16 stared Kyle Mohan and Dai Yoshihara. Yoshihara got the win due to a better chase then Mohan.

IMG_4238-1_wmVaughn Gittin Jr. took on Nate Hamilton in the fifth battle of the day. During Hamilton’s chase run he was too far back giving Gittin Jr. the win.

IMG_4275-1_wmThirteenth place qualifier, Pat Goodin went up against Charles Ng. Both drivers committed to the run and the drivers were unable to decide a victor, so the two went on to battle one more time.

In their second battle together, Charles Ng took the victory against Pat Goodin.

IMG_4263-1_wmTwo time Formula Drift Champion Tanner Foust went up against Jutin Pawlak who had qualified previously as number 5. After a rough day previously, Foust sustained more damage to his Passat in the first run of the battle knocking him out of the competition securing Pawlak with the spot in the top 16.

IMG_4347-1_wmIn another close battle, Odi Bakchis went up against Conrad Grunewald. Both drivers were close and the judges decided to let the two go at it one more time.

DSC_8143EIn the 10th battle of the day, Jeff Jones went up against defending 2014 Formula Drift Champion Chris Forsberg. Forsberg’s run was a little stiff and sloppy while Jones appeared to look like a loose cannon, however, Forsbergs very un-forsberg-like run secured him a spot in the top 16.

IMG_4333-1_wmPat Mordaunt and Dave Briggs went head to head with Mordaunt taking the win.

IMG_4356-1_wmUp for their second time, Odi Bakchis took the win over Conrad Grunewald.

IMG_4366-1_wmSeventh place qualifier, Ryan Tuerck competed against Dean Kearney and won the battle.

DSC_8139EKristaps Bluss got a red flag and sustained some damage when he went up against Dan Savage resulting in Savage making his way to the top 16.

Next up, third place qualifier Fredric Aasbo took on Masashi Yokoi. After some contact with a wall, Yokois rear bumper began falling off and ultimately hit Aasbo causing him to stop during the drift in his chase session. The crowd went wild chanting “One more time” no doubt convinced Aasbo was wronged, however Aasbo’s strong lead run took him onto the top 16.

The next run was between Geoff Stoneback and Ken Gushi. Neither driver had a particularly good run and the judges voted for a “one more time” battle.

Chelsea Denofa took the victory over Alec Hohnadell after Hohnadell began his lead run with a false start, inviting Denofa to slide all over the place and have fun. The second run Hohndell had more problems with initiation. There has been some speculation of a bad Fuel Pump being the source of his loss.

The second time Geoff Stoneback and Ken Gushi went at it, Gushi went wide while Stoneback almost took the line away, however Stoneback still took the win.

IMG_4460-1_wmThe final battle for the day was between Tyler McQuarrie and Marc Landerville. On Landervilles lead run he got a red flag resulting in a restart, however with a second chance it wasn’t good enough and McQuarrie took the win.

Top 16 qualifiers:

Matt Coffman

Robbie Nishida

Matt Field

Dai Yoshihara

Vaughn Gittin Jr.

Jutin Pawlak

Charles Ng

Chris Forsberg

Pat Mordaunt

Odi Bakchis

Ryan Tuerck

Dan Savage

Fredric Aasbo

Chelsea Denofa

Geoff Stoneback

Tyler McQuarrie


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