Smoke, Smoke everywhere. (And rubber chunks).
I don't believe there was a fan left in the stadium that didn't smell of tire smoke or have some rubber chunks and dust on them courtesy of the mad men throwing their cars sideways at 80+mph for their viewing pleasure. My friend and I had the best seats in the house, which just coincidentally happened to be in one of the beer gardens. It doesn't get much better than sitting just 10 feet from the banked wall 900+hp beasts are flying by with a cold beer in hand. Although, our perfect seating did come with the added bonus of some rubber chunks in our beer every time a car flew by (the cool rush of air that they left in their wake was also much appreciated in the summer heat).
And the fans loved every second of it! Cheering, whooping and hollaring every time a car went by or spun out or did their best bumper cars impersonations. Formula Drift always has one of the most electric crowds of any motorsport. That, combined with the level of accessibility between fans and drivers in the pits, is what sets these events apart from others. It's an unashamed, loud, brash, smokey celebration of petrolheads and car culture. It's something everyone should experience at least once. (Don't let the amount of vape smoke and 'bros' deter you). Plus if you get tired of watching cars defy physics, go check out the freshly waxed and polished cars in the adjoining car show, a stark contrast to the ziptied and battle scarred drift missiles). The wails of the drifting cars boom over the music in the carshow as well, calling you to come back and watch the carnage.
This was round 6 of 8 for the Formula Drift 2016 series. All teams were in a hard charge here to either make up points or defend their leads as the series is nearing the end of its season. One of my favorite parts of this years event was how many of the top leaders were knocked out before the finals. Sounds cynical but it did allow for some fresh faces to get their chance in the spotlight and the attention their driving skills deserved. Faces like Matt Coffman, Dean Kearney, Tyler McQuarrie, Odi Bakchis, even good ol' Tanner Foust all made very strong showings. Some of them fell victim to some poor judgement calls if you ask me but that's come to be expected every once and a while in this sport. As the sun set, the final battle between Forsberg and Bakchis was quite the upset as Forsberg choked on both his lead and follow runs, while Bakchis laid down two very tight and consistent runs. The road to the final battle was an electric and exciting one. Another great event and celebration of all things cars.
Odi Bakchis, Chris Forsberg, and Ken Gushi round out your top 3 for the event.