Three Palms Drift finished Rounds Three and Four with two days of intense competition as a double-header on February 21st and 22nd. The weekend enclosed some of the best runs from every driver in the series. Upsets were made, and the points have never been closer for the championship. The amount of devotion each driver put in on both days really showed through as the days went on. Track staff was updated with the addition of Mikey from JimmyUp and Rich DeBerardinis from Slide United Motorsports. As for every 3PDrift event, Steven Purcell was on the microphone informing the crowd of all the action.
The biggest upset of the weekend had to come from Fello Ambivero in the Carlitos Tire E36, who had blown his head gasket coming into the Final Four at Round One. Ambivero had been running his strongest all season, and came into competition sitting pretty with a Number 1 Qualifying Score of 96! Ambivero ended up finishing strong in 4th Place in Round Three and the car sounded like a lawnmower by the end of the day. He was able to source a new head gasket for the E36 and his team was able to get the car back together with no sleep.
In the pink Garrett Turbo S14, Florida’s own Kelsey “Drift Chick” Rowlings came hungry for some points in the season. In Round Three, she scored one point lower than Ambivero with a 95. She drove her car harder than ever before, with more power and angle. On her last few runs of the day, we all were able to hear that her clutch was slipping and she was fighting her car more than usual. By the end of the event, her clutch was toast and that meant another night of no sleep for her team, but that wasn’t before she was able to clench a Third Place victory. She and her crew installed the new ACT Clutch on their backs all at night at the track. Luckily, they finished the car right before Pizza Hut closed.
Behind the wheel of his bright gold Enjuku Racing RB25 S13 was Kevin Lawrence. He was the absolute most consistent driver of the day. He was able to keep the fans and Judges on their feet the whole day. With zero issues from his car and some extremely close battles, Kevin was able to edge out the entire field and bring home First Place for his team.
The next morning, the pits took a change. Due to a blown engine from the previous day of competition, Collins Racing driver, Brett Collins, was swapped into a borrowed car from Cosmis Racing. Rowlings and her crew were able to finish off the late night clutch installation and drove the car around the track a few times to break it in. Another change in the pits was the absence of Ambivero and his white E36. Ambivero had worked through the night and made it to the track immediately before the Qualifying Driver’s Meeting. He went straight into qualifying with only a couple of warm up laps. Not fazed at all, Ambivero was able to again qualify First Place with another score of 96! Rowlings put down a very impressive run and qualified Second, and Lawrence rounded out in Third.
Leading into the competition, the drivers were on their A-Game. With two consecutive days of driving, each and every battle delivered a huge impact with the drivers performances. More underpowered drivers, such as Ryan Quinn in his stock engine Rev Works sponsored Toyota FRS, and Caleb Nichols in his stock engine JasperDaily.com 350Z, were able to hang with many of the higher horsepower cars around the more complex layout of Round 4.
A big points contingency battle came in the Great 8, with Ambivero facing off with the Ninth Qualifier, Brandon “McNasty” McDowell in the Raw Brokerage S13 Vert. Ambivero’s car, yet again, started showing signs of engine issues. We later found out that his head was warped and was not able to advance, giving McDowell the win.
The Third Place battle was between Kevin Phillips and Rowlings. Phillips in the Titan Motorsports black and purple S14, had been coming off of his best weekend that we had seen from him all season long. The battle was extremely close, but in the end, Rowlings was able to grab Third Place.
The First Place battle saw Kevin Lawrence and Brandon McDowell, who had fought each round to put himself at the end of the bracket. McDowell was spot-on and heavy with his right foot. Lawrence had the smallest of corrections, but enough to give a clear win to McDowell.
Coming into the last Round of Three Palms Drift on March 21st, there are only 84 points separating 1st from 5th. This extremely close point battle makes the last event something to attend. Thank you to all the drivers, spectators and staff that made Rounds 3 and 4 a huge success!
PHOTOS: Richard Cuyugan
Article source: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/blog/2015/03/02/double-round-of-three-palms-drift-pro-am-results/