Last Saturdays Queensland Times included this article on the front page of the sports section. It’s always great to get coverage in the papers! It includes a well deserved thank you GT Radial of course, and to Ian Boettcher Tyres and it’s manager Trevor Franz.
The next round of the Pro Tour hits the Gold Coast on Saturday the 16th of July – for more event info check out www.racelineevents.com.au
I will have quite a few videos coming from Formula Drift Singapore shortly, they’ll be in the ‘Gallery’ section once I sort them out. But for now, I have these 2 feature articles which include on-car footage from the friendly guys from an Indonesian website called ‘Sportku.com’. They were brought over by GT Radial to cover the event and made sure they didn’t miss a thing. We should be seeing more from them as they edit and release more footage from the event.
This one is the Top 16 battle with ‘Jo’ from Thailand:
This is the Top 8 battle with Ken Gushi from FD USA:
I am proud to tell you I finished in 7th place overall in Round 1 of Formula Drift Asia 2011! It was the most incredible experience, I learnt so much, and have had my eyes opened to a whole new world. The amount of support and appreciation from the masses of spectators, the team and my major sponsor GT Radial has been very special.
Photo courtesy of Cheryl-Tay.com
Also thank you to all the fans that wanted my autograph, it was great to have so much support in Singapore!
Sunday was incredibly hot and humid. With the rules stating, as they should, that drivers must wear their race suit at all times, the heat and humidity in that suit was hard to take.
Photo courtesy of Cheryl-Tay.com
The goal for the day was to do the best I could. I had told myself that top 16 was a minimum, and after that I should push as far as I could. The battle tree was looking interesting; first up was Charles Ng from Formula Drift USA in the top 32 battle. This was the one I had to win, too many people had put too much time and effort in to see me go out in the top 32.
I had put a lot of pressure on myself, and when we lined up to battle I was almost shaking with nerves, but I was still very determined to push hard. I was leading first and I wanted to be clean and fast, so the second run was as easy as possible. The first run went to plan, but the second run I was chasing and Charles threw it in to the first turn with too much angle, and he ended up making a mistake. I was through to the top 16! I had achieved the minimun goal I had set myself, and would now get to be part of the top 16 drivers parade!
Th e next battle was up againsst Jo from Thailand. He was known as a very tough competitor after some very good results in last year’s Formula Drift Championship. After some info from my spotter/spotter relayer/mechanic, Gavin Wood, they had worked out his lines and we were ready to battle! I really wanted to get through to the top 8 and battle Ken Gushi. I was confident in the lead up, and pushed the car as hard as I could and was able to maintain a good gap. And on the secnd run, I was able to close on him!
Thanks again to Cheryl-Tay.com
Another win, and I was through to the top 8! This was my first time competing overseas, I believe the I am the first Australian in an official Formula Drift Series event and I had made the top 8! With a possible top 4 battle with the big man Daigo Saito, I was really pumped now!
you can see part of the battle at the end of the below video:
Then came time to take on Ken Gushi, a Formula Drift USA veteran, who was driving the Sparks Motorsport, ex-2009 WEDS 600rwhp D1 JZX100! Earlier, I had taken out Charles Ng, one of the 4 big name drivers that Sparks Motorsport had brought to the event. I was hoping to do it again with Ken, I was first to chase this time. I knew this wouldn’t be an easy battle, and took off as fast as I could, but Ken was quite slow off the line. As we entered the first corner he only just got ahead of me and was slow through the first corner, I had to adjust my line a lot, and that was the difference in the end. I was able to run a nice clean, fast line on the lead run but he was able to stay close and took the win.
Good job Cheryl-Tay.com!
My final position with qualifying taken into account was 7th, with a GT Radial team mate in 5th and 8th as well, it was a great weekend for the new team! Daigo Saito was simply incredible during battles, no matter what speed the car was in front of him, he was on the door the whole time. And his 800hp drag car that turned into a drift car when it got to the corners was amazing to watch! See the below video for some footage of him on peoples doors! (and me signing autographs!)
Thanks yet again to the amazingly helpful team at GT Radial! I must mention a few names; Geena, without you I may never have left the start line! Adrian, it’s your efforts that meant I was able to compete here, and your enthusiasm for the sport and us drivers is really encouraging. Leo and TK, for your kindness in showing me through this amazing city! Also Jason Tan for showing us some true local culture! And Ivan for your help and support during the event. They really did everything they possibly could to help all weekend, this has been the most incredible experience, and I look forward to working with you all in the future!!
And I cannot forget to mention Mr Gavin Wood! He made the trek with me from Australia, and was there every step, doing everything he could to make sure the car was right for the next run, the car ran like a dream thanks to him. He was in my ear to keep me informed on whatever he could while I was on track, and put up with some crazy weather the whole time!
Anyway, I will be leaving Singapore tonight, but will have more pictures and stories from the trip over the next week or so. Also, stay tuned for more info future exciting events with the GT Radial Drift Team!!
Today was the biggest day in my drifting career. After months of planning and hard work, and incredible support from GT Radial, it all came down to 2 runs to make it all worth while.
The 44 drivers were split up into 2 groups for practise. One group from 9am till 11:30am and the second from 11:30am till 2pm. With all 22 cars lined up, and one car on track at a time, it was a pretty long line up.
I got 4 practice runs on a nice dry track with plenty of rubber down meaning lots of grip, even through the painted bitumen section. My spotter told me that my lines were good, apart from one area that I needed to work on. Which a lot of people were having trouble with also. But before I had it sorted, this happened…
The last 30 minuted of the session was called off, and the track was soaked. Qualifying now looked like it would be a wet track, and I would not be getting any practise in the wet before complete the 2 most important runs for me, ever.
So after group 2 got lots of runs in the wet, includiung a rather big shunt were the driver sprained his ankle..
It was time to head out for the first, and hugely important qualifing run. If I could lay down a solid run now, I could push a lot harder in the second. The track was still wet and I was 5th in line to run. My spotter told me the 4 cars before me had spun as they were going too fast. The judges had also given us a rather high minimum entry speed for the wet conditions. I decided not to go for the 110km/h entry speed (meaning i’d miss out on the 10 points for speed), and just make sure I had some points on the board.
After muscling the car around through the wet bitumen on the entry to turn one and through to turn 2, I then had to deal with the wet, painted bitumen! The difference in grip was huge! But I was able to keep it sideways and not straighten or spin, so I had a score! I had scored 48.5/100, not an amazing score, but with the track the way it was, there was definitely going to be a lot of spins and 0 scores ahead.
Here is a video from of the first qualifying run, thanks to Nathan for this!
And here is the qualifying list. Also, on the Formula Drift Asia facebook page they have posted this message this morning:
“Due to weather forecast, we have revised the top 32 tandem battles to start from 10.30 am (Singapore time or 12:30 Brisbane time) instead. Spread the news…!” However, on the ESPNStar site they’re saying their coverage will start from 1:30pm Brisbane time!
To be reversing you car into a Formula 1 pit bay, with Vitantonio Liuzzi and Torro Rosso’s name above your car..
with burnout marks still on the ground where the F1′s had smoked ‘em on the way out the pits last year…
and with more professional looking drift cars than I have ever seen in one place before, I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face!
There were a few things to take care of though, and scrutineering was today’s main event for me. So much work had gone into the car before it left to make sure it was exactly how the regulations required, so we were eager to find out if we would pass. First were the number stickers… JB!
First inpection was pretty good for a car and driver that has not competed in the series before, only the angle of the shoulder section of the drivers harness, and some extra roll bar padding was required. The hard work had paid off, and after a couple of adjustments, ta daaa!
Some of the events major sponsors’ cars got out for a run, including Mr Crazy himself, Daigo Saito! From his first run in his mind blowing 800hp machine, he was showing why he would be the one to beat this weekend.
Then we headed in for the drivers briefing. It was time to find out the line and style and angle and speed they wanted to see for qualify tomorrow. They were very clear, and could not be more professional. 4 drivers walked in about 2 minutes late, including part of the Red Bull team. They we handed a 15min practice session penalty, which considering the already short practice time, was a pretty serious punishment.
After the drivers breifing there is nothing else left to do except jump in the car at 9am tomorrow (Saturday) and go for it!
If you would like to watch qualifying live on the net, jump onto this:
I will be 5th in line for qualifying. It starts at 3:15 Singapore time, or 5:15 Brisbane time, and I will be on shortly after that for the first run, then once everyone has had a go, I will get another run to try and really impress the judges. Just sitting here now writing this is getting the nervous juices flowing!
Wish me luck!!! I will update this site as soon as I can find out a qualifying score.
It’s been 4 long weeks since I last saw my car before closing the doors on this stunning yellow container. But finally I was re-untited with it!
The first sight of that yellow container!
I couldn’t wait to see how everything went inside the container and see my car, in another country, for the first round of Formula Drift Asia! But, I did have to wait…
So we went and had some lunch with the staff from the logistics company, in what the locals call the ‘heartland’ of Singapore.
Another wonderfully cooked meal, a whisky infused fish and noodle soup!
So we then headed back to the warehouse for the ceramonial opening of the container… SMILE!
And there it was!
No problems at all and started first time! I’ll have more on this later…
I’ve had an interesting first day here in Singapore. After arriving here last night to 30C at 11pm, with 90%+ humidity, we got ourselves checked in to the hotel and some much needed rest. This morning I woke up in quite a cold hotel room thanks to excellent aircon and the hotel phone rang. It was William, who is the guy in charge of the logistics of my car while here in Singapore and also a bit of a comedian! (he’s the guy in the black shirt facing right) I’m sure I’ll have more on him later!
Without any warning, he told me he would pick Gavin and I up in 20mins and we’d head out to the airport, pick up some fellow GT Radial Team members and head out to the wharehouse where some of the drift cars had already arived. We had no knowleadge of this, so we quickly got ready and ran down to try and get the most out of our buffet breakfast we could in the 15mins before he arrived!
Breakfast was amazing! Everything you want for breakfast, plus stuff you shouldn’t! So while we were getting as much of that that down as possible, William arrived and off we went. We picked up the GT Radial guys and dropped into William’s warehouse where 5 of the 14 cars he was bringing in were waiting. Mine, along with 8 others should arrive tomorrow. It’s cutting it a little fine, but William assures me it will all be ok because of Singapore’s extremely efficient wharf system.
A GT Radial team mates E36 BMW with an NA 3.2L straight six! Should sound great!
Another team mates car, a 600hp 2JZ powered Cefiro!
An S15 of course! This is an Achillies sponsored car, Achillies is sponsoring 9 cars at this event, plus the event itself!
A crazy front bar for this one!
Here is the Achillies tyre stash. I’m not sure I can work out the maths on this one, the Achillies representitive told me they had 400 tyres for this one event between 9 cars???
We then had a nice 20 minute drive back to the hotel in a nice sauna/van with no AC or windows!
When we got back, I jumped in the hotel pool to cool off! Perfect! And this is a photo of right now out my window. I think I might head back to the pool now! Check back soon, there will be more!
I have little bit more to do yet, but it’s looking good so far!
Thanks again to GT Radial, I love the F1 shape!
Here is a photo of my new race suit with the sponsors all sewn on and looking great!
I can’t wait to put it on and get on the track in Singapore. Only a few days now!