Round One: Streets of Long Beach | Formula Drift 2015 | The Road to Victory
Written by Nicole James
Photographed by Hans Marquez
As the race continued to determine a winner for Round One of the 2015 Formula Drift series the action continued to heat up and the fans got rowdy.
The first battle of the great eight was between Robbie Nishida and Matt Field. On the first run of the battle Field was sent into the tire wall. The video showed no signs of Nishida making contact with Field, however the car told a different story and track officials could see visible damage on Field’s car and Nishida’s car from contact. With Nishida receiving a deficit Field had time to fix his car. After receiving the once over Field was back on the starting line with Nishida nowhere to be found. Nishida’s Spotter called a time out and then shortly after Nishida pulled out giving Field the win and taking him to the fab four.
Vaughn Gittin Jr. had a beautiful lead kissing each of the walls while Odi Bakchis was hot on his door the entire time, however on the last turn Gittin Jr. had a slight hiccup. Bakchis lead run was a little shallow at some points but Gittin Jr.’s hiccup sent Bakchis into the fab four.
In the final battle for the fab four Fredric Aasbo went up against Tyler McQuarrie. Aasbo’s lead run appeared to be perfect while McQuarrie had a slight mistake under the bridge. During the second run with Aasbo as the chase car it was very clear Aasbo wanted the win and sure enough he got it securing a spot in the fab four.
The first battle between the fab four kicked off with a Scion versus Scion battle consisting of Field and Bakchis. In the first run Field almost made contact with Bakchis, the secound run with Bakchis as the lead resulted in him following a slightly shallow line in a few places. The crowd erupted with excitement and began chanting “One more time” at the conclusion of the battle with a clear winner undetermined. The judges agreed and decided to allow them to go head to head one more time.
Next Aasbo took on Turek with both completing well executed leads and chases, however both drivers made the same correction on the last hairpin turn resulting in both the crowd and judges wanting to see the two go head to head one more time.
Field and Bakchis took the track again in there do-over battle. Both drivers had very good runs with no distinguishable mistakes. The judges were forced to look at the finer details which resulted in Bakchis taking the win and securing himself a podium finish.
In the do-over battle for Aasbo and Turek, Aasbo starts as the lead but in one of the final turns his car begins to make a nasty sounding noise during his transition. The car stops on the track and Turek hits Aasbo sustaining damage to the front of the car. Aasbo was maked at fault for the contact receiving a deficit. A break commenced so that both drivers could asses each cars damage.
According to Aasbo the cars transmission kept popping out of second gear and he thought he would need to finish the competition by using his first and third gears.
The second run commenced with Turek in the lead with a flawless run until the last turn, about 200 yards away from the finish line, the car shut down.
With the crowd growing restless the announcer asked Formula Drift fans to cheer if they thought Turek would win, if Aasbo would win, or if they thought the judges would ask for another round. The crowd responded with a strong “no” for another battle, however the judges disagreed and the two drivers went head to head again.
A forced time out was called by Turek to asses the damage on his car. There was speculation that his rear diff had broken. The crowd was shown a live feed from the pits on the Formula Drift jumbo screen where fans cheered on Turek and his team of mechanics whom were all working as fast as they could to the last possible second. Unfortunately they were not able to make the deadline giving Aasbo the win.
In the final battle to determine the winner of Round One: Streets of Long Beach, Bakchis went against Aasbo for the rematch he was looking for after a previous battle in Texas in 2014.
During the first run Bakchis makes contact with Aasbo giving Aasbo time again to check on his car, however Aasbo didn’t want to stop and went right back to the starting line. With eight minuets left on the clock before the city would force the streets of Long Beach to be reopened making the track open to the public.
A red flag was given at the start of the next round, causing each driver to re-aline at the start.
The final run was great for both drivers but with the previous contact made by Bakchis, Aasbo took home the victory for Round One: Streets of Long Beach in the 2015 Formula Drift series.
The Podium Winners:
3- Ryan Tuerck
2- Odi Bakchis
1- Fredric Aasbo