May 9th and 10th brought the return of the Formula Drift series to Road Atlanta for round 2 of the 2008 season. With a huge amphitheater and grass hillside, fans came out by the thousands to catch the action around the signature horseshoe at turn 10. The weather was sunny and warm, perfect for watching the cars go sideways down the hill with an entry speed of over 90mph. As the sun set, the lights came on and the nearly 10,000 in attendance were treated to tandem battles which blazed into the night, and were privileged to see one of the best competitions in the history of the series.
In qualifying, 17-years-young Patrick Mordaunt qualified for his first career top 16, while former D1 champion Ryuji Miki and Long Beach standout Kyle Mohan were just short of the cut. Young gun Ken Gushi and Long Beach qualifier Justin Pawlak had mechanical troubles keep them out of the tandem battles, but Steph Verdier’s Subaru WRX and Bill Sherman’s Widebody 350Z droptop (which graced our May 2008 cover), both sponsored by Cooper tires, made their first appearances of the season in the top 16 round.
Last year, the Atlanta final between Chris Forsberg and Darren McNamara was one of the best of the season. Unfortunately, neither would make it past the initial round of tandem this year. Ryan "Hampshaa" Tuerck was on fire in his new, relatively unmodified Pontiac Solstice, taking 3rd place over Dai Yoshihara for his first career podium win. Michihiro Takatori, new to Formula D this year after transfering from D1 in Japan stepped it up and took 2nd in the Super Autobacs Nissan Skyline R34. Back from an injury over the winter, Rhys "Mad Skills" Millen qualified from his first unseeded placement since the inaugural Formula D event 5 years ago and would go on to defeat all who were in his path and take the overall in win his Pontiac/Red Bull Racing Solstice.
Fomula D heads to Englishtown, NJ for the next round of crazy drifting mayhem, be sure not to miss it!