There were some Norcal folks who didn’t think they were good enough for ProAm, but still wanted to drive in a competition environment, so Geoff got together with Ryan Kado’s dad Edwin and they came up with a beginner-level series! It’s not ProAm, it’s AmAm or Am² or…SuperAm. To keep with the beginner spirit, there’s a limit on how experienced the drivers can be! If you’ve been in two competitions before, you’re out!
The events are held on the two skidpad areas at Thunderhill, so the courses are low speed and pretty safe. Drivers get 3 single runs in the Top 16, and two in the Top 8 and up. The top half of the drivers in each round move on the the next, until there’s a winner.
The top four drivers from each of the four regular round get seeded for the final round in January, and their order is determined by how many points they earned along the way. The final round will be all tandem like a regular drift competition. The overall winner gets free entry to the entire 2011 ThunderDrift ProAm season. How cool is that?!
Yesterday was Round 1, and man was it wet out there. Luckily it stopped raining for most of the competition, but it was still very wet. The drivers liked the fact that they barely used any tires though! I looked through the driver list and there were barely any names I recognized. That’s good! Lots of new drivers! Then I noticed somehow Lance Feliciano snuck in there! What the hell?? Apparently Geoff had never heard of him before! Sorry Lance, no points for you! Luckily he didn’t take one of the final round seeds!
I also picked up a new camera on the way up in the morning! It’s a Canon Elan 7 35mm film camera from the early 2000s. It was only $40 and all my lenses fit on it. Deal!
Ryan Kado, Julian Jacobs, and Jared Thompson came out to judge, and they’re slated to judge the whole series! It’s good to see guys like that giving back! And since I drove the Camry to Thunderhill this time instead of riding up with Luke or Fabian like usual, I got to take a couple runs myself! The Camry has a fantastic e-brake, but it needs swaybars bad!!
Daniel Chong took first place in his first competition ever, and Noah Welch, Travis Ragona, and Henry Van rounded out the top four and guaranteed themselves seeded positions for the final round! Stu from the Thunderhill tire shop made really ridiculous trohpies out of old car parts. It’s cool to win stuff but I wouldn’t want to bring 50 lbs of brake rotor and transmission bits home with me! Sheesh!
I’ll leave you now with a parting shot of Daniel drifting his S13 with Turn 5 in the back ground. Handheld at 1/20!