The 2013 points season is upon us! Evergreen Drift Pro-am round one was held on April 20th and the following day was NissanFest 2013, put on by Northwest Nissans. Both days were competition days, but only Saturday counted towards receiving that coveted Formula Drift professional license.
Going in to round one, the whole team was a little anxious. There was lots of uncertainty due to clutch issues we had at EVD 91; along with forecasted rain, which is something I hadn’t had to deal with yet on the big 5/8ths Pro-am course.
As it turns out, all of the worrying was unnecessary. The car performed flawlessly all weekend. More than anything else, this was a milestone for us. Over the past few events we have been plagued with crazy little gremlins that kept us from driving.
Practice for Saturday went well, and the track was mostly dry. Before qualifying, the skies opened and leveled the playing field for everyone. We ended up spinning on our second run, but the first run was good enough to get us to 11th place. Our first battle would be against an Evergreen newcomer, Matthew Coffman. New to Evergreen or not, Matthew has one of the nicest Pro-am cars I have personally ever seen. He ended up getting a little too aggressive on his lead run and tapping the last wall hard enough to be given a zero. Both of my runs were solid and we were moving on to the top 8!
Our great 8 battle was against Cameron Moore. He was set to lead first, and by the time we got to the end of the bank I was low and closing in on him very fast. I tried to adjust and make room for two cars but between the wet track and limited room, I ended up spinning as I came off the bank. My lead run was good, but not good enough to overcome a spin, so the great 8 would be the end of our night.
Nissanfest was on Sunday, and they were having a 5/8th drifting competition as part of the activities for the day. Not all of the drivers stayed for Nissanfest so those who did were able to get lots of practice time. At one point I didn’t even have to stop at the start line because as soon as you got back it was time to send it again.
Qualifying for Nissanfest went really well, I feel like I drove better on Sunday compared to Saturday but I’m sure it was just because I had a whole day of driving before Nissanfest. Our first battle was against my good friend and recently licensed Formula Drift Pro, Kory Keezer. For those of you that don’t know Kory, he is just about the most reckless guy I have ever met, which always makes for a fun battle.
He led first and pretty much left me at the line. I was able to catch up later in the run and we finished pretty strong. My lead run was another good one, but I could feel him close to me the entire time. The judges decided it was too close to call and asked for a one more time. The OMT battle was very similar to the first one. He gapped me and I tried to play catch up. The next run he followed pretty closely. In the end the judges awarded him the win, and he went on to win the entire event!
All in all, it was a very successful weekend for our whole program. The car worked great, we were able to get lots of seat time, and went a few rounds and had good battles along the way. Now we start preparing for round two on May 18th! Hope to see you at the track!