Round 4 at Wall Speedway always throws some surprises into the championship, and this year was no exception. Fredric Aasbo leapfrogged his way into 2nd place and Vaughn Gittin Jr. lost a significant amount of points after his exit in the Top 16. Let’s take a look at all three podium finishers and some other interesting points from last weekend.
…He caught the wall on his follow run in the Top 32 against Pat Mordaunt and proceeded to run the rest of the course with his left side tires off of the car. Absolute craziness, but the crowd loved every second of it.
Now that is a chase run.
Another big surprise this weekend was the performance of Charles Ng. His G37 was put together by Field and others at the Drift Cave, but Ng and his team had been having issues dialing the car in due to it being a brand new car. He took out Tyler McQuarrie in the Top 32, and Justin Pawlak (who was sitting 5th in points, by the way) in the Top 16.
Surprisingly, Gittin caught the guardrail on his lead run, straightened out, and gave Kearney the win. This meant Forsberg could increase his lead even further in the championship, as long as he could advance through the bracket.
Forsberg beat Marc Landreville in the Top 16 after some heavy door-to-door contact, and met Conrad Grunewald in the Great 8. He was given the win after Conrad got a bit too aggressive and clipped him coming into the second outer zone.
Fredric Aasbo faced off against Darren McNamara, and Aasbo was given the win after a great battle between both drivers. This was one of the few battles that was fought clean and hard, with small corrections being the nail in the coffin for McNamara.
The surprise of the Great 8, however, was the battle between Charles Ng and Dean Kearney. After facing some stiff competition on their way there, the driving from these two was impressive. Kearney made a mistake and spun on his chase run, however, and allowed Ng to move onto his first Final 4 appearance of his career.
Now here’s where it gets interesting. Chris Forsberg and Odi Bakchis met up in the Final 4, and Bakchis knew he would have to push 110% to be able to take down 2009 champ and points leader Forsberg. Once again, Forsberg was involved in contact…Bakchis’ front left wheel caught Forsberg’s front right wheel and caused a spin.
A lot of people thought Forsberg spun on his own, however it is clear that Bakchis did make contact. See the tires touching in the photo above? Don’t believe that? Check the in-car video that Forsberg himself posted, and watch the steering wheel get ripped out of his hands. He’s lucky to not have broken a finger.
Regardless of the loss, Bakchis would take home 3rd place due to his higher qualifying position (5th) than the other drivers left in contention. Bakchis had a few 4th place finishes, but this was his first Formula D podium.
The other half of the Final 4 was between Ng and Aasbo. Aasbo had the upper hand and moved onto the finals for the second time this season, while Ng finished in 4th in his best result thus far in his career.
The finals came down to arguably the two most talented drifters in the series, Chris Forsberg and Fredric Aasbo. Aasbo never put a wheel wrong, and Forsberg knew that he had to get aggressive to take home another win…So he drove right into Aasbo’s door. Twice.
This meant Aasbo would win his first Formula D event after 5 years of competition!
Round 5 in Seattle is historically a good track for both Forsberg and Aasbo, so it’ll be very interesting to see what happens from here on out.