The Long Road to Long Beach

The Worthouse Drift Team begin the 2018 drifting season with Round One of Formula Drift. Battling it out on the streets of Long Beach, California, the team’s Nissan Silvias run Quaife QBE69G Sequential Gearboxes.

The Worthouse Drift Team begin the 2018 drifting season with Round One of Formula Drift. Battling it out on the streets of Long Beach, California, the team’s Nissan Silvias run Quaife QBE69G Sequential Gearboxes.

It was always going to be a challenge to follow up on the successes of 2017… A year which saw James Deane crowned champion, Piotr Więcek claim Formula Drift Rookie of the Year and
between both drivers, winning five of the eight championship rounds outright. It was a remarkable first impression to make on the world’s most prestigious drifting series. However, despite how proud the team are of all of those victories, they are now in the history books. For 2018, the only way to look is forward…

With increased presence in the Formula Drift paddock, the new Worthouse Drift Team rig will be home to two 2JZ equipped Nissan Silvias for the coming season. Following complete rebuilds of both cars by G-Garage in Poland, they were returned to the United States with the new rig, along with a container full of spare parts. There was one small problem though; the shipping company misplaced the container of spares…

With pre-event media day duties and final testing all completed without the safety of a spares package (and just two spare wheels between the two cars), they headed into competition. Meanwhile, in Virginia, two members of the crew had located the container and would start a 41-hour cross country non-stop journey to ensure they would be fully equipped for the main event on Saturday.

Still, that meant a qualifying session with zero margin for error for both Piotr and James. They would have been forgiven for holding back, so as to not to risk the cars, but that was never a thought that crossed their mind. When the smoke settled, they had qualified first and second overall, both scoring 96 points each on both of their runs; a remarkable feat. Piotr would take his first top qualifying spot of his Formula Drift career, courtesy of a higher style score. As an added bonus, both would take bye runs through to the Top 16.

Both drivers faced their first battles of the 2018 season at the Top 16 stage of the competition. Piotr would earn a hard fought victory over Matt Coffman while James would advance past Michael Essa, both requiring OMT situations before the judges would reach their decision.

For Top 8, Piotr would face an ultimately defeat FD veteran Ryan Tuerck in a straightforward shoot out. James battled an on-form Alec Hohnadell and took an advantage from his lead into the second run. Hohnadell would make light contact with the wall and straighten, as James would suffer an unrelated mechanical failure at almost the exact same time resulting in incompletions for both. James would advance to the Top 4 as the judges based their decision on the first completed run.

Despite the team’s best efforts and the use of a competition time out, James’ car could not be repaired in time and he was forced to retire from the event.

At the other side of the bracket, Piotr would face former champion Fredric Aasbø in the semi-final. Both drivers delivered a breathtaking show of full throttle, precision drifting before the judges gave the win to Aasbø following a small mistake by Piotr at the very end of his chase run.

With a 1st & 2nd in qualifying and a 3rd & 4th place in the main event, it’s a strong start to the 2018 season for both Worthouse drivers. The team congratulate Fredric Aasbø on his victory & Forrest Wang as runner up in Long Beach. The team can’t wait to bring the fight again in Orlando later this month…

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