The end of another year, and the beginning of another book that solidifies the pro drift series of Formula Drift. What turned out to be a total different story in the end, when the 2016 championship was going to be decided between last year’s champ Fredric Aasbo and 2 time champ Chris Forsberg, with also a possible Vaughn Gittin Jr. to take it if the cards played in his favor.
But if history has taught us anything, is that Irwindale always changes the game right in front of us, and gives us what we never expected. In the top 32, Forsberg takes it away from Faruk Kugay easily since Kugay was supposedly down on power. But after both runs, Forsberg advances without any issues. But out of the possible 3, Gittin was the first to fall after meeting with Pat Mordaunt and going through 3 battles! 2 OMT’s sounded like a doom for anyone, but in their second OMT, Mordaunt got a rub with Gittin on the wall side early in the bank, which caused Gittin to tag the wall hard midway through, and he crashed the beloved Ford Mustang RTR. Unfortunately Gittin was unable to get his car back together for a comeback, which gave Mordaunt the win. Aasbo met with Kearney but luckily for him, Kearney gave it away on his chase run after a spin out. Which meant that only Forsberg, and Aasbo would be the ones to claim it in the Top 16.
This is where it got hairy very fast, Forsberg challenges Mordaunt, and on the second run with Mordaunt leading, he closes the gap after the big bank, and after the switch back, either mordaunt slowed down too fast, or Forsberg tried to catch up to fast it was too late, and Forsberg crashes the Nissan 370Z into the wall. Which means if Aasbo was to win the championship, he would have to make it all the way to the Final round, anything less even a third would automatically give Forsberg the Championship.
Well, after battling some high caliber opponents, like Forrest Wang, and Kenny Moan, Matt Field with the new livery sparked “Gears Of War 4” Nissan S14, manages to make his way to meet with Fredric Aasbo which after Field leads on the first run, Aasbo somehow clips Field and makes the crowd go “ohh shit”. After inspection and many reviews, the next run Aasbo led the way with Field not letting him run off anywhere, and with no big errors on Field’s part it was obvious with the small hit Aasbo did on their first initiation, Field wins the battle and advances.
Chris Forsberg ends up being the first 3 time Formula DRIFT Champion, and paves the way for new stories in the upcoming years. Although the story seemed to end there, but Matt Field continued to charge and ended up taking the House of Drift Win of 2016. Placing him as a very well future champion in years to come. Truly another best in the books for me, since Irwindale never dissapoints, and always delivers. But the question now in my off season of shooting FD, will 2017 be another 2016? Or will there be something in store for not just drivers and teams, but the media and fans? Thank you always to the FD Staff and Industry people that make Formula DRIFT, from the bottom of my heart, it’s always an honor. -Rommel Estrada #fdirwforever