10. Delays Delays Delays
You win some and you lose some which is the natural order of how the world works. I would chalk this weekend up to a loss for Formula Drift. The delays at Texas were back, just like last year, but for new and annoying reasons. Will Parsons Top 32 crash was a bad sign when nobody seemed to be in a rush to fix the course after his AE86 smashed into the krail moving them out of place. Top 16 then almost took 3 hours (good thing we got rid of 3rd place or it might of been four hours!) which is just unacceptable in my eyes. If I wanted to spend five hours on the weekend to consume one hour of entertainment I would just watch football. This whole season has been fantastic until this weekend in Texas that it just really highlighted the mistakes and issues here that I thought we left behind in the last decade of Formula Drift.
9. CHELSEA DENOFA!
If you are going to watch anything from this weekend you should go pull up DailyMotion.com and find DeNofa’s Top 32 tandem follow. I think Chelsea could of easily won this event if it wasn’t for more car problems. The worst part about his car issues is they happened in his battle against his friend and Florida native Pat Goodin. We really got robbed of an insane tandem battle between these two friends.
8. Hankook Tire Has Won Its First Championship
I know, Hankook Tire has been in this sport a long time but they just keep missing the championship year after year. The good news for the Hankook team, they are 100% guaranteed to win a first championship at Irwindale Speedway with either Fredric Aasbo or Chris Forsberg.
7. Daigo Saito vs. Ryan Tuerck – Delays, Denials, and a Disaster
I am not going to be try and understand what happened for 20 minutes while these guys didn’t manage to make a successful OMT pass. If you really want my .02 I never thought the tandem battle should of gone to a OMT. One judge did vote for Daigo Saito to advance and I cannot see where the other judges were coming from on this occasion. Ryan Tuerck leaving off the line and Daigo Saito not leaving was strange and poorly explained to the fans. Was Daigo broken? Did Daigo think Tuerck jumped the light? I found no reason why it took so long and then we received a very brief and not informative explanation that Ryan Tuerck was a hero for letting them run again. If it was that simple on the start line, why didn’t they run 30 seconds after the incident? I don’t know, I just feel like my 20 minutes staring at Brody Gittin and some other terrible commercials was not worth it and I deserved a better answer. I had fans and drivers alike texting me during this process asking if I knew something so nobody seems to have a clue. While I am on a roll with this one….why did the flagger wave Tuerck to stop in the first place?
6. Inner Clip 1 Was Not Judged / Terrible Camera Angles
Well, this is just my guess at least from watching the Livestream because I couldn’t see crap going on at the first clip. Could you? Judges watching a replay over there must of have struggled with this POV of the track. I found this a little extra strange since the first ever reversed call/protested call in Formula Drift happened in this same area. Then Dai Yoshihara in Top 32 with his two tires off or not two tires off was a result of bad camera work as well. The series is sponsored by a camera company, it couldn’t hurt to throw a couple down on the clips/corners to get better angles.
5. The Course Change Didn’t Help Out
I cannot be the only one who saw this? That inner clip they added to make the drifters force a racing/hit APEX line wasn’t good. The drifting was bad, quick, and mostly resulted in crashes or “inactive chases” it seems. Last year, the drifting in Texas was INSANE level all day. I went back and watched runs from 2013 round today on the train and they don’t compare. This season’s track adjustment was a regression in progress. It seems to me you always want drifters to go high and wide through a turn given the two options so hopefully this gets changed back for 2015.
4. Odi Bakchis Should Be Fined for Brake Light Malfunctioning
For all the complaints, negativity, and outrage I see online from this weekend not ONE person has complained about Odi Bakchis and his malfunctioning brake lights. Clearly, this was an advantage to him because the judges don’t know when he is braking and neither did Vaughn who is trying to follow. What seems even stranger is that nobody stopped him to fix this between runs or forced him to use a competition timeout. It was probably a simple fix but others have been fined in the sport before for “non functioning brake lights” so I think Odi should have to give back some of his prize money from this weekend. If you need verification, pull up the Great 8 video on DailyMotion and cue up to about 6 minutes and you can watch his runs.
3. Pat Goodin is Another Rising Star This Season
If you want to find a dude who is speaking softly and carrying a big stick I would look no further than the “King of Spring Break” Pat Goodin. He is 18th place (ahead of two former FD champions) right now in the series. He hasn’t made some big impression or impact this season like a Matt Field, Odi Bakchis, or Forrest Wang but he has grown as a driver and his setup looks better than ever. Pat is going to find his place on a podium next season guaranteed if he keeps his growth and driving going on the same path.
2. Pro 2 Wasn’t Amazing but Irwindale Has Promise
The Pro 2 competition didn’t have some great action this weekend. Just lots of battles had poor tandems or only one driver who could complete the course. It wasn’t nearly the top billing we saw at Miami and fell down the ladder some more compared to Seattle. However, at Irwindale Speedway SEVEN drivers could win the championship and I think that is really going to turn on the show and give fans something they will remember for a lifetime.
1. Are You Paying Attention to Odi Bakchis Yet?
This man is going to win a championship. It will happen one day and this is my bold proclamation for the day. He was also my highlight earlier this year and he is still going strong. Odi is an inspiration to many and is really giving his brand Feal Suspension a great place in the industry with his next level performances. I almost don’t want him to land a big sponsor so his budget build can continue to beat up the big boys. It’s a true David vs. Goliath story in which David has a baby and owns a company while still beating Goliath and he should be prouder than proud of that.