The 2011 Formula Drift season is nearly at a close and the title fight is starting to get really close. Dai Yoshihara was still in a some-what comfortable points lead coming into Round 6 “After Dark” at Las Vegas speedway but Justin “JTP” Pawlak was gunning for him and wanted to gain some ground. However it almost looked like Justin’s plans would be dashed when he broke a camshaft on his Falken Tire Ford Mustang and for some reason the team couldn’t fix it.
Instead Falken sent their truck 4 hours back to LA to pick up a back up car in the form of a Nissan S15 Silvia, but it wasn’t for Justin. In a controversial move Falken put last year’s Vegas winner Tyler McQuarrie in the S15 and gave Tyler’s usual V8 Nissan 350Z to JTP. While many saw this as messed up play on Falken’s part would it really help JTP that much to put him in a car that he is unfamiliar with? Well while JTP looked ok in practice he did not qualify very well in the 350Z and Tyler had an even worse showing as the S15 did not seem to get along with him that weekend.
Champ contenders JTP and even Dai Yoshihara were both taken out before the top 4 and it was none other than Rhys Millen who managed to nab his first win in the Hyundai Genesis coupe. Darren McNamara captured 2nd spot, falling to Rhys in the final, and Matt Powers captured 3rd place.
Now just 18.5 points separate Dai Yoshihara from Justin Pawlak going into the final round at Irwindale in October. If that wasn’t tense enough Darren McNamara, Chris Forsberg, and Matt Powers are all within striking distance of the title as well.
Suddenly October seems so far away!