After touring the East Coast for the last three rounds, Formula Drift travelled to the Pacific Northwest—minus the rain thankfully. Thousands of fans equipped with their Birkenstocks and iced lattes made their way to Evergreen Speedway for what would become an unforgettable round five.
Friday’s practice and qualifying was already a thriller with drivers giving a good slideshow. A refreshing sight to see was John Russakoff in action. He survived a Wall crash from the previous round but his AE86 wasn’t so lucky. Fortunately, the motor was salvageable and he found a new chassis in time for Seattle.
At the end of Friday, the top 32 was narrowed down including top qualifiers Tyler McQuarrie, Justin Pawlak and Rhys Millen.
Come Saturday afternoon, it was standing room only as a sold-out crowd squeezed into the grandstands. The matches started with a major upset. Pawlak was leading in overall points going into the weekend but was taken out early in the first round.
One of the most exciting battles of the weekend was in the top eight between defending champ Vaughn Gittin and crowd favorite Daijiro Yoshihara. In the rivalry, Dai ousted Gittin and moved onto the final four along with Millen, Forsberg and Fredric Aasbo. To our delight, this was one of the first final fours of the season without any American muscle (Or at least no American chassis. - SK)! In the end, Dai performed like a rockstar and retook the lead in the standings.
With two rounds left, the gold is still up for grabs. Top two drivers Dai and Pawlak are still looking for their first championship but plenty other competitors are thirsty for that champagne shower. Las Vegas is next and we all know anything can happen there…