There is no place like home, as we come back to the world famous “House of Drift” Irwindale Speedway to end the 2018 Pro2 session. Unlike the Pro drivers having 8 rounds throughout the year, Pro2 drivers only have 4 rounds. There is no room for error and anything can happen. Only the top 8 overall drivers will have the chance to get their Pro license for next year.
Formula D made it triumphant return to the world famous ‘House of Drift’ Irwindale Speedway to cap of it’s 2018 Season. Defending champion and current points leader James Dean entered round 8 with a slight lead over Fredric Aasbo. Dean was looking to be the second driver to win back to back championships since Tanner Foust back in 2008
As Formula DRIFT returned to Los Angeles for the season finale, drivers, teams, fans and the series organizers were delighted to be back at Irwindale Speedway – the House of Drift. With only the Auto Cup decided at the previous round when Toyota amassed enough points to claim the title, there’s was everything to play. By Saturday evening we would all know the names of the 2018 Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Champion as well as the 2018 Formula DRIFT Link ECU Pro 2 Champion, Rookie of the Year and the Tire Cup winner.
In what has been one of the closest season’s in Formula DRIFT history, it was as if Hollywood had scripted the most exciting event possible for the fans. There was drama in qualifying, unexpected lightning storms and title chasers watching from the sidelines as the action unfolded. This was, without doubt, the most exciting Formula DRIFT weekend ever witnessed in the series’ 15-year history.
I’ve shot at a lot of tracks over the last few years, Silverstone, Mondello, even indoors at Green Glens arena in Ireland for an IDC event but there was something special driving into 500 Speedway Drive for round 8 of this years Formula Drift. For the last 14 years the House of Drift has played an important role in bringing Drifting to the USA and the global stage but the iconic track has had an axe hovering over it for the last couple of years after being purchased by a property developer to build a mall on the site, and now it appears to have fallen and this is billed as its final event.
Adding to the buzz this weekend Irish driver James Deane has the title in the bag just needing points from qualifying in the top 32. With a bye run, normally qualifying would have been good enough but FD moved the goal posts after Texas meaning to score the points James had to complete his top 32 run as well. While on paper that should be a celebration lap this is motorsport and things can go wrong.
Another year of Formula D action is In the books and it was all caped out with the Final Round out at Irwindale Speedway for it’s last professional drifting event before it closes next year. Irwindale has always been able to bring the very best out of drivers and deliver an amazing show and this year sure didn’t disappoint.