Formula Drift Long Beach, Wow

22 04 2011

Long Beach was crazy fun! The track looked pretty gnarly when I walked it, but it flowed well when I actually drove it. I was able to connect the whole thing the first run!

I got really comfortable getting close to the walls and occasionally tapping them. It was also a blast running tandem with fast drivers and being able to push it hard without a worry of slamming into their door.

 

 Towards the end of practice I lost power steering and crashed into a wall of tires. Luckily the car did not suffer too much damage.  With some effort from my crew we were able to restore the car for qualifying.

During my first qualifying run I ran super conservative to ensure a solid score. I was really not pleased with the run because I felt like I suppressed not only aggressive angle and line, but also style. I was ready to make the second run reflect my true driving. Mid way through my second qualifying run I over rotated and spun! This was my first time spinning on this course ever!

My one qualifying run was good enough to qualify me 31st for top 32. I was really upset that I spun my second run and qualified so low. The low qualifying score meant that I was to battle the 2nd best qualifier in tandem (Dai Yoshihara).

The rest of Friday was practice for the top 32 qualifiers. I had an awesome time running tandem with all the cars I used to watch last season including some of the Falken team cars.  

After an exciting day of drifting on one of the most epic tracks my crew and I headed to Hooters where Jared DeAnda hosted a FD gathering with free beer and food!

Saturday practice went well and I felt I was ready to tandem. Dai lead the first run. His car jumped so fast of the start and pulled a huge gap on me before we even initiated the first corner. I will never forget the feeling of losing a tandem battle before the drifting even starts. I tried to run as fast as I could but there was no way to catch up after losing that drag race on the start. I lead the second run by getting as close to the walls as possible. I made sure that the only way to mirror my line was to tap a wall. The second run went great, but Dai’s lead run allowed him to advance.

Overall I had an amazing experience and learned a lot. I got to autograph a bunch of stuff, had strong support from fans and family, and I was able to give all of my sponsors the exposure they deserve. I have a list of changes that I will be making to the car for round 2 and can’t wait to apply my new experience.

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