The weekend was definitely intense. Here’s a rundown of Bakchis Motorsports’ Formula Drift Round 6 experience:
9:00 pm – Practice starts. Awesome! The course was fun and different!
9:30 pm – Car is totaled. I am hurting and the k-rail is separated by a few feet where I hit. Life Blasters caught the whole thing:
10:30 pm – The team looks over the car back at the pit. The technical inspector lets us know that the car is done (so is my helmet). The firewall is wrinkled, and the S14 that started my FD career is no more. Now it just needs to get onto a trailer.
11:30 pm – Thanks to Forrest Wang (and Garret Nikolich) for letting me use his 1JZ S13. The tech inspector looks it over and lets us know that the car is most likely usable for Friday as long a few safety components are swapped from my S14.
12:00 am – 702 Graphics welcomes us into the shop to make a few changes to Forrest’s car. My awesome team swapped seats, harnesses, fire suppression system, and the brake light strips while I could only watch and give feedback.
4:30 am – I take the car for a spin outside of 702 Graphics. Garrett shows me how to operate the switch panel for the car.
5:30 am – Finally get to the hotel and try to rest. Apparently I did not have a concussion because I woke up a few hours later.
2:00 pm – Back at 702 Graphics. Tools are everywhere and the team tries to get back to normal by organizing the van, grabbing tires and parts, and making a few trips to the store.
5:30 pm – While I was in driver’s meeting, Pro Am finished up practice and my team went to an official tech inspection with Forrest’s car.
6:00 pm – The car we spent all night working on will not pass tech. The car had an S14 subframe, which is illegal in the FD rulebook.
6:30 pm – Thanks to Tony Cisneros for letting me use his S14. This car has a similar motor and transmission as my car, and we brought this to tech inspection. The car will pass as long as the third brake light is added and the exhaust is extended.
7:00 pm – Back at 702 Graphics. The team cuts the exhaust off of my totaled S14 and welds it onto Tony’s car.
7:45 pm – Back at the track. I take more meds, put on more Icy Hot and really hope I will be okay to drive for practice in 15 minutes.
8:00 pm – I got to practice four runs or so in Tony’ car, which does not have second gear.
10:00 pm – Time for my qualifying run. When I get back in the car for my first run the clutch is out. I try to drift with no clutch, but the car was not having it. The team begins to drop the transmission, cut a spare o-ring, bolt everything back up, and bleed the clutch.
11:15 pm – Time for my second qualifying run. I qualify 30th with a borrowed car, no second gear, a hurt back, and only four practice runs or so. I’m pretty stoked at this point.
2:00 am – Tandem practice is over and we are on the way back to 702 Graphics to figure out the issue with second gear.
3:30 am – The team is still working, but I am still really sore, so I get rest back at the hotel.
12:00 pm – Back at 702 Graphics and the team works on Tony’s car.
4:00 pm – Open practice. The car feels good for tandem competition, but still no second gear, and the rest of the gears are starting to not work as well.
7:00 pm – Top 32 starts after an unexpected rainstorm. I am paired with Robbie Nishida, and keep close to him during my chase run. Due to a mis-shift in the infield (thanks, second gear) Robbie hits me and the judges give Robbie the win.
After waking up late and grabbing lunch with my family, I go to DDS Performance in Las Vegas and check out an S14 shell. It looks good and DDS Performance will roll cage the car quick enough for my build before Irwindale.
The weekend was intense, my car is totaled, and I am still sore. But overall it was an amazing weekend and I still got to compete thanks to my team (the best crew in FD), Tony Cisneros and his crew, Forrest Wang and Garret Nikolich, Robin from M7 Japan, and to my supportive sponsors, friends, and family. We’ll see you all in Irwindale!