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Formula Drift Seattle 2016

Formula Drift Seattle 2016! I look forward to this date on the calendar every year.  Formula Drift makes it’s way to the greatness that is the Pacific Northwest just once a year, and each time it does, you’re guaranteed of a couple things: One, the weather will be unpredictable.  Might be ridiculously hot, or it might be cold with pouring down rain.  Maybe even both.  And B,  regardless of the weather, the action will be incredible with Evergreen speedways unique layout, and the drivers and teams desperately trying to position themselves for the final two rounds, and hopefully a championship win.

Formula Drift Seattle 2016
Drivers and teams line up in the staging lanes ahead of practice.

This year was no different – But different in many ways.  This year Formula Drift ditched the PRO2 event here in favor of a round in Texas next month.  With that change the program seemed to move at light speed and the three day event seemed to come and go in just a blink.  Even with the occasional stoppage in play due to a wall-scuffed car, or two drivers coming together, the event still moved at a pace I can’t recall seeing before.

Formula Drift Seattle 2016
Matt Field is staged and ready for practice – Matt is currently 7th in the Pro standings, and sits atop the World standings. With two events remaining, Matt still has a chance to move into a top five position for the season.

And holy cow, the One More Times!  There seemed to be an endless stream of One More Times all through the ladder.  I’m not positive, but the weekend may have seen a record number of them.  Not sure how the drivers and teams feel about them, but the fans seemed happy to see the additional action – not that there wasn’t plenty on tap throughout the event.  But hey, who doesn’t love more action?

Formula Drift Seattle 2016
Tanner Foust brought his Passat to Seattle to play this weekend. With the recent cancellation of Top Gear USA, there is speculation that Tanner might make tackle the full Formula Drift season in 2017.

Evergreen speedway really is one of the best venues out there, and I’m stoked that Formula Drift keeps coming back.  Besides the awesome course layout, the stands are huge and provide afternoon shade, the pits are easy to navigate, and the beer taps are always ice cold – as they should be.  Not that I get to partake – after all I am working – but when thinking about great venues to enjoy a motorsport event, I can’t recall single one that I enjoyed where the taps were less than chilly.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the 2016 version of Formula Drift Seattle.

Formula Drift Seattle 2016
Ken Gushi had a good weekend. Staying out of trouble throughout most of it, and ending up on the 3rd step of the podium when it was all said and done. Ken battled his way through Jeff Jones, Robbie Nishida and Tyler McQuarrie before finally being taken down by eventual winner Odi Bakchis.
Formula Drift Seattle 2016
Kenny Moen loves that wall! I have a similar shot of Kenny rubbing his backside against that wall at last years event. Although then it was in his recently retired Nissan S chassis. The new BMW seems to suit Kenny – as it does a handful of other drivers in the series. The 3 series BMW started making inroads a few years ago, and after Mike Essa won the championship in one, the flood gates seemed to open.
Formula Drift Seattle 2016
Matt Coffman just keeps getting better. His lead and chase runs were solid all weekend and his excitement level always seemed to be dialed up to “11”. Here he is leading Dean Kearney off the bank. Coffman would take the round win.
Formula Drift Seattle 2016
It’s not always flowers and sunshine at a Formula Drift event, as evidenced by the wrinkled bodywork of Dai Yoshihara. His team would work a miracle and get him back in action for the next round where he fell to Chris Forsberg.
Formula Drift Seattle 2016
Tyler McQuarrie was looking exceptionally solid, right up until…
Formula Drift Seattle 2016
Ouch. Believe it or not, Tylers team would get the car repaired for the next round where he fell to Ken Gushi.
Formula Drift Seattle 2016
Currently 2nd in the championship points, Fredric Aasbo leads Matt Field off the bank and into the infield. Matt and Fredric always put on a great show with tons of angle and smoke. And it’s no longer a foregone conclusion that Fredric will come away with the win. He did on this day, but it took a OMT to allow Fredric to move on.

Formula Drift Seattle 2016

That’s Tanner Foust in that huge cloud of smoke. The reconfigured exit turn at Evergreen Speedway made for plenty of last second action. A tight turn after a quick transition, and hard on the gas through the finish line. Pretty awesome smoke.

Formula Drift Seattle 2016
Tanner Foust emerges from a dense cloud of smoke on one of his chase runs. If you have ever asked yourself “how do those guys see on a chase run?” The answer is, they don’t. It’s mostly just muscle memory from practice runs.
Formula Drift Seattle 2016
Vaughn Gittin Jr. leads Dean Kearney off the bank. A tight battle that would go one more time and eventually see Kearney move on to the great eight to face Matt Coffman.
Formula Drift Seattle 2016
Tanner Foust leads Jonathan Castro off the bank in the round of 16. Tanner would take the win and move on to the great eight to face Chris Forsberg.
Formula Drift Seattle 2016
Lost in the smoke behind Kenny Moen is Tyler McQuarrie. Amazing for two reasons: How much smoke is produced, and how can anyone possibly follow through so much smoke. What you see here is one of the many reasons this sport is so much fun to watch!
Formula Drift Seattle 2016
The sun gets low on the horizon as Matt Coffman swings his S chassis towards the final turn in front of a packed house at Evergreen Speedway.
Formula Drift Seattle 2016
The end of another great Formula Drift event in Seattle. Already looking forward to the next round, and the next time the teams and drivers make their annual pilgrimage to the Pacific Northwest.

If you haven’t made your way to a Formula Drift event before, now is a great time to go check it out.  Incredible machines and talented drivers putting on a great show.  Go.  Go now.

Written by Ken Stouffer

Ken Stouffer

I've been around some form of racing since I was a kid. First hanging around Ascot in Southern California. Then, after moving to Texas as a teen, I got hooked on drag racing and did that for almost fifteen years. In between I have raced Dirt bikes and Quads.
2011 Marked my 8th and final year racing up Pikes Peak: Five in the Pro Quad division and three in Time Attack. Future racing plans are in the works, but until then I'm at the track shooting for My Life at Speed as much as I possibly can.

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