What an amazingly epic weekend at the Formula Drift season opener in Long Beach.  Incredibly tight action with more “one more times” than I can ever recall seeing in one event, including TWO between Fredric Aasbo and current Champion Daigo Saito.  Even after a long drive back to the Bay Area from Long Beach, I can still hear the echo of 1000hp V-8’s and their turbocharged counterparts ringing in my ears.

The standing room only crowd was twenty deep along the fences and packed in the stands for the action on Saturday.  Each of the tens of thousands in attendance, surely got what they came for: mind scrambling action!  If you have never been out to a Formula Drift event, you need to make it a priority.  These guys put on one of the best shows in motorsports.  The program is really well run and very entertaining from the first moment the crowd files in, until the last tire has been mercilessly shredded and the champagne sprayed in celebration of victory.

If you can’t make it out to an event, then just make sure you stay tuned here.  We’ll be making our way to at least four of the seven rounds this year and we’re as excited to share the stories and photos with you as you are to see them.

Here are some of my favorites from Saturday.

You know things are getting ready to roll when Bil Baldwin takes his place along the wall.

The Bearded Man of Formula Drift, Bil Baldwin.
The Bearded Man of Formula Drift, Bil Baldwin.

Morning practice before Top 32 and disaster strikes for Tyler McQuarrie.  The third member extracts itself from the rear sub-frame and Tyler’s day is over before it even began.  Certainly not the way he wanted to start the season, but Tyler is tenacious (did that on purpose) and will fight his way into the action next month in Atlanta.

That's not gone well.
That’s not gone well.

Daigo Saito quickly puts away fan favorite you know [WHOAGAIN].

Daigo, Danny.  Danny, Daigo.
Daigo, Danny. Danny, Daigo.

Chelsea “Don’t call me a girl” DeNofa lost his wing early in practice, but with end plates that sparkly, they made a point to get them back on the vehicle for Saturday.

California Gold on Florida's favorite drifter.
California Gold on Florida’s favorite drifter.

Zey battle wiss each ozzer while zey get cloze to Z wallz.  Get it!?  No…whatever.

Z car Battle.
Z car Battle.

JustinPawlak (JTP) tries to make it three years in a row atop the Long Beach podium.   It was not to be.

J  T  P   Nuff said.
J T P Nuff said.

The Heartbreaker, Matt Powers, puts on his best Tux and tie for the driver introductions.  Looking good Matt.

Powers.  Matt Powers.
Powers. Matt Powers.

A little pre-race smoke and donuts for the sold out crowd provided by Daigo Saito and Odi Bakchis.

Standing room only.
Standing room only.

Matt powers runs the preferred line, but Dai Yoshihara is right on his door.  Dai would prevail.

Matt hitting the marks but coming up just short.
Matt hitting the marks but coming up just short.

Lost in the cloud behind Fredric Aasbo is current Champion Daigo Saito.  This tandem would go “One More Time” twice!  Ridiculously close action, and after three attempts, Aasbo would move on.

Like Jaws creeping up from the depths, only this time, the swimmer wins.
Like Jaws creeping up from the depths, only this time, the swimmer wins.

Vaughn Gittin Jr. showing the angle it takes to win in Formula Drift.

Excuse me...your bits are showing.
Excuse me…your bits are showing.

See you next time, Kids.