Round 1 – Top Drift ProAM

The first round of Top Drift ProAm was this past weekend, and man was it a fight the whole time for us. Just getting to the event was filled with drama. Saturday morning, on our way to Willow Springs International Raceway, we suffered an issue with the truck that sidelined us for hours. We where lucky to be able to get off the freeway and get everything fixed. Due to the set back we where unable to get any practice on Saturday and just looked forward to starting fresh for Sunday. Sunday came around and we where again hit with some bad luck. After one practice run the car shut down and had to get towed in. We searched for hours for this mysterious electrical gremlin and later found out that an o2 sensor had melted very minutely because of the exhaust header. Unfortunately we lost out on all practice time and had to jump straight into qualifying.

Since we are on a different tire than last year and we haven’t had a chance to test on it the first qualifying pass would have to do as a “practice” run. I push it hard to see where the car would go and what kind of grip it would have, and of course sent off course. With that out of the way the second one would really have to count so that we could make it into the show! On the second run I went for it and was able to make it stick, landing us in the 3rd qualifying spot.

My first battle was up against Brian Nimmo and his very unique drift Tacoma Truck. Ironically I had driven against a LS2 V8 Tacoma last year at round one as well, but Brian’s still has the OEM toyota engine. Its a strange car to drive with because of how long and wide it swings, but after the smoke had settled we came out with the win.
For the Top 8 battle I would be put up against Pablo Cabrera with his freshly built S13 with ITB set up LS. Pablo ended up spinning while chasing so we now would move on to Top 4.

Next up I was paired up against Kelvin Arreola in his BEAMS 3S-GE that has been doing great all weekend, but on his chase run he ended up hitting my front right wheel and spinning out. We where able to continue drift and win, but unfortunately the hit caused major damage to the inner tie rod. I drove it back to the pits where we thought that we only had the “5 minute rule” to finish the repair so we frantically bent it back to head out for the top spot battle. We later found out that if the damage wasn’t your fault you have as much time (within reason) as you need to fix it, and we actually had a spare one with us.

Jason Kim was the number one qualifier and had shown why, as I would have to knock him out to get first place. Unfortunately the alignment was completely off on my chase run, and during my lead the tie rod had given out, and broke, causing me to spin and giving Jason the win. It always sucks to loose due to a mechanical failure, but with all the hurtles we jumped to get to 2nd, I am more than happy with the results and how the team came together!

Next up is round 1 of Southwest Drift at Las Vegas Speedway!

Photo by David Karey @ AmDrift.com

Written by Adam Knapik

NewsColin McAlpine