After a hard fought and promising looking year of racing it all came down to the last round of Top Drift. The car felt great and we where excited to get the competition started. I had been running the same high line up against the wall all day before qualifying and felt really comfortable. Qualifying came along and we where supposed to be one of the first to run, but for one or another reason things got mixed up and we where pushed to the back of the pack. Watching everyone run just made me more excited to hit the track and get at it. Lots of people where taking the safer (and usually smarter line for qualifying) line, to make sure they get into the show. When my time came to run I ran too close to the wall, and there was too much debris built up to get good traction causing me to run up too high and hit the wall. The run was given a 0, and the next pass was to be right after. We didn’t have a chance to take a look at the car, but the hit had caused the rear knuckle to buckle, and the rear right wheel had at least 10-15 degrees of toe out. The second run was almost a carbon copy of the first, but this time traction was lost because of the alignment being out.
And that was it, double 0 for qualifying, and just like that we didn’t make the show.
To get your Formula Drift Pro License you need to come in top 3 in the overall ProAm series, and we where currently sitting 2 points behind 1st. We stayed and watched in anticipation. When the battles where done, and the smoke had settled we finished 4th overall, just a few points shy of third. Needless to say this was a hard pill to swallow. I can say all the normal things, “We learnt a lot”, “The team did great”, etc. All those are true, but really it was an error on my part. Looking back I should have played it a little more safe, and go hard in the competition. I felt like I had let everyone that had helped all year down, and its a terrible feeling. But the feedback and response I got from my team and the drifting community was great and uplifting.
So its time to stop crying, strap up my boots and get at it next year!
Thank you to everyone that helped get the car, team, and myself to the level it needed to be all year and I’m excited to push hard for 2016!
Written by Adam Knapik