Drift Atlanta 2012 – Pawlak wins “Road to the Championship” at Road Atlanta
Photography: Ted Rossino, Jr.
Justin Pawlak put his second consecutive win in the record books for the 2012 Formula Drift Season. Pawlak defeated Ken Gushi and Michael Essa, before his throw down against Frederick Aasbo in the final round.
Aasbo also had defeated Asian Drift Champion and Formula Drift fan favorite, Daigo Saito in the final four to earn his spot against Justin Pawlak in the finals.
The event had many disappointments and upsets including problems with the speed gun during qualifying which is part of how the judges arrive at their scores for qualifying.
NOS Energy Drink driver Chris Forsberg broke a right front wheel upon entry on the rumble strips and couldn’t get it repaired in time to take his second run during his first round matchup against Japanese driver, Toshiki Yoshioka. Another upset was 5th place qualifier, Conrad Grunewald being defeated by Tony Angelo. One of the most exciting matchups of the night was during the final 8, when Daigo Saito defeated 2010 Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr.
All in all the rain stayed away and Road Atlanta saw a record crowd. Formula Drift has confirmed the 10th annual Drift event next year with a date to be determined in the near future.
Saito’s Lexus SC430 filled the sky with smoke the whole night. It appeared it might have been part of the cause for his loss to Frederick Aasbo during the final four. The crowd reacted harshly to the judge’s final scores.
All in all the rain stayed away and Road Atlanta saw a record crowd.
The next stop will be Palm Beach International Raceway for the “Invasion” on June 1-2. Justin Pawlak is the defending champion. Will there be a three-peat? We can’t wait to find out and bet you can’t either.
Tickets are available on line at www.formulad.com,
Formula Drift Video by Formula Drift