Final Bout 2014 Details:
It’s going to be hard to put the entire Final Bout weekend into words because it was just too damn good. The spectators loved it, the drivers loved it, we loved it, and even the track where it was hosted loved it. In case you weren’t in the loop, Final Bout is the first event of it's kind to showcase some of the best “Street driven” drift cars, and drivers from all across North America in one team themed event. Final Bout was held at a relatively small but very exciting racetrack in Shawano, Wisconsin, USA International Raceway. While the track might look small and boring from the outside, the elevation changes and judging wall provided plenty of excitement for the drivers and fans alike.
The first day of Final Bout consisted of driver intros and pit set-up while the second two days were filled with driving from dawn till dusk. While this was still technically a competition, the spirit of the event was purely focused on driving and having fun. As the event date approached, so did the hype, with the hype came the teams. Some people drove up all the way from California, there were also a handful of teams who drove their cars down from Canada to compete. When we say “Street driven” we really mean it. At the end of each day, the streets of Shawano were filled with the same cars that were battling it out on the track. Most guys drove their cars across the country to this event, and then drove them home. If that’s not devotion, we don’t know what is.
On the competition side of things, sponsors such as, Koyo Radiators, Touge Factory, and GTR Garage gave away cash prizes and gift certificates to the best drivers and teams throughout the weekend. There was even an award for “Most Damage” for the entire weekend. Some club FR OG’s along with two Formula D drivers; Benson Hsu, and Toshiki Yoshioka held down the judging for the event. While all the teams that showed up drove their hearts out, there could only be one winning team.
The all black menace, Team High Fade ended up taking the victory at the very first Final Bout. Not only did they have the least amount of stickers on their cars, but every car on their squad had a Chevy LS V8 swap, and each driver completed the “Team” theme with an Evil Kineval helmet. This would be a major case of "East meets West."
Team ShaDynasty ended up winning 2nd place for the weekend but I’d have to say they made the biggest impact. They were all rocking Toyota’s for the event. Two out of the three cars in their team were classic Toyota oldschool collector cars. We would be way too afraid to toss a RA22 Celica and a TE27 Corolla around a track and beat it up all weekend long. The TA / RA22 Celica was one of our favorite drift cars we've ever seen. It’s rocking a Toyota Beams 3SGE swap with individual throttle bodies and it’s one of the most rare Celica’s you can find. The other two cars in their team were made up of 2JZGTE Swapped Toyota Cressida and a 3SGE ITB Beam’s powered TE27 Corolla.
The Chi-Town natives, Team Risky Devil, held down 3rd place. They were destroying all weekend long with cars that were almost too perfect to drift. Team Risky Devil was not only one of the biggest teams in attendance but their cars were some of the most eye popping. From a flared and swapped Nissan S14 on air bags to an SR20 swapped BMW E30, to twin Lexus IS300’s, to a RWD Subaru WRX, these guys went all out.
Our hat’s go off to team Hot Boyz for making the drive all the way from Canada to secure a fourth place position. The Hot Boyz team lost a Miata during the first day of practice and had to have an alternate join their team. He made the drive up from Costa Mesa California just to hang out at the event but he ended up driving with them for the rest of the weekend to lock in 4th place. That’s just a huge testament to the spirit of Final Bout.
Other teams like ProceeD, Bosstown, Breaking, Animal Style, Dirty Love, GldStr, Club Sandwich, and others were also shredding all weekend long. The SoCal native Hert Eugene Jr. specifically refreshed is LS-Powered RX-7 for this event. While he was plagued with fuel, and alternator issues all weekend long, he still managed to get a few good runs in. We salute you sir.
Up until last weekend, we didn’t even know all these drift teams existed but now we are going to have to keep our eyes on these guys to see what else they have in store. Final Bout was one of those events that had just too much awesome going on at once. If you didn’t know it was in Wisconsin, you might think it was a drift event at Ebisu or some other place in japan. We can’t wait till next year, now that the bar is set; it’s going to be very exciting to see what people do to raise it. We also want to give a big thank you to Ilia, Simba, Phil, Maggie, and everyone at ClubFR for inviting us out. You guys were extremely hospitable and you showed us what Final Bout was all about. We can't wait to come back next year.