Two years ago the final FD round, my first visit to Irwindale, was ramping up to be special for two reasons. Firstly this was ‘defiantly the last ever, no-way we’re coming back here’ round at The House Of Drift, and secondly, James Deane was on track for taking the championship in his first season back in America. Well since I’m back turning onto Speedway Drive with James on track to be the first FD driver to take three champions back to back we know how that all went.
As if scripted by Hollywood screenwriters, the Formula DRIFT Black Magic PRO Championship would again result in a nail biting, heavyweight showdown at its Final round. And sticking with tradition, the Final took place at the House of Drift – Irwindale Speedway in Southern California – in front of a capacity crowd.
The 2019 Formula DRIFT Black Magic PRO Championship and Formula DRIFT Link ECU PRO2 Championship arrived at the World Wide Technology Raceway this weekend for Pep Boys Crossroads presented by Rain-X.
Located five miles from St Louis, MO, the track recently expanded its road course, extending the track from 1.6 to 2.0 miles in total length. The track enhancement created dynamic options for the Formula DRIFT series, allowing multiple configurations to be considered. Additionally, the track offers the best grandstands, largest suite structure and an expanded pit-and-paddock area of all the venues on the 2019 calendar.
After discussions with the track and team representatives, Formula DRIFT selected a new track layout for the event. It would provide the drivers with a new challenge and guarantee great spectator views for the enthusiastic crowd. Furthermore, the revised course would level the playing field for all competitors; who would need to adapt quickly to qualify well.
The 2019 Formula DRIFT Black Magic PRO Championship unfolds, it continues to be one of the most competitive seasons in the 16-year history of the series. This weekend, Piotr Wiecek became the fourth winner in five rounds after an event in which the two top drivers in the championship failed to even reach the top ten at the AutoZone Throwdown presented by Permatex. Before this weekend, Wiecek hadn’t stepped foot on the podium since round seven of the 2018 season. But now that he’s found the top step, flanked by Worthouse teammate and Formula DRIFT double champion James Deane, will the pair relinquish it again? Are we witnessing a return to form by Wiecek and Deane?