From the West coast to the East coast, the Formula Drift road to the championship is on. The second round of the series takes place at Road Atlanta, and it is arguably the best round of the series. Not only is it filled with history, as FormulaD has been racing here from the start of the series, but it also features a challenging track with dramatic elevation changes and a roller coaster start with a downhill dive into the first turn. The FD track layout is located at turns 10A and 10B, at the end of the back straight of the road course A coliseum like seating layout ensures that everyone has a perfect view of the action.
While this was the second stop for for the Pro series, it was the first round of the Pro 2 series which is the step up from the Pro-Am series. The cars and drivers here are working to step up to the top tier of drifting. The Pro 2 series ran on Friday after Pro qualifying. The Atlanta circuit certainly was a challenge for a lot of the drivers, and the pressure was on for them to set the bar for the start of their season. The challenge of dive bombing the first turn, not hitting the other driver, and staying out of the gravel was tough and there were plenty of trips into the kitty litter. Several runs by the track sweeper were necessary to clear the stones from the circuit between the heats. In the end, the top 4 drivers were also the top 4 qualifiers – Jeff Jones pulled out the win with Marc Landerville having a damaged car after a collision with Dan Burkett during their semi final runs.
For results of Pro 2 to head over the the FormulaD site.
Saturday was the main event where the winner from round one, Chelsea Denofa, fought to extend his lead for the season. Thirty-two drivers showed up to this round – meaning all they had to do to get into the top 32 was make a scoring qualifying run. Everyone was able to do so with the exception of Charles NG, who had problems with his car during both of his runs, effectively knocking him out of the competition. This loss gave the Number One qualifier, Vaughn Gittin Jr., an instant pass to the top 16 since he had no competition. Pro 2 winner Jeff Jones was able to defeat Fredric Aasbo when Aasbo’s tire debeaded during their run. Jeff was then beat by the young Floridian Alec Hohnadell, who was also able to knock out drifting veteran Tanner Foust. The top 16 was full of intense battles with the crowd pushing their hardest for “One More Time” runs from several competitors. The final 4 came down to Hohnadell vs Yoshihara and Gittin vs Forsberg. Daijiro Yoshihara was able to beat Alec Hohnadell to go up against Vaughn Gittin. Vaughn was on fire all weekend, laying down graceful consistent passes giving him the win over Forsberg. Dai put up a tough fight against Vaughn but was unable to shake Vaughn, who was all over him and came away with the win. Dai placed second, with Chris Forsberg in 3rd and Alec Hohnadell in 4th.
At the end of the night, the road to the Championship saw Vaughn Gittin taking the lead in points and knocking Denofa down to second. Aurimas Odi Bakchis in follows them in third. For the current standings head over to the Formula Drift website.
Next stop is Orlando for round 3 where anything can happen on the tight oval track.