This past Saturday was the fourth round of the 2018 Formula Drift Championship at Wall Speedway in New Jersey.
Formula Drift nicknames this round “The Gauntlet” and with good reason, this small oval track is not easy on cars and it tends to inspire extra aggressive driving from competitors.
There was a lot of contact and as a result judge deliberation during this round and I’ll say it now: I do not envy what the Formula Drift judges have to do at all!
Anyhow, when the smoke settled and all the spare bits of metal and carbon fiber were swept up off the asphalt the final four ended up being an all Falken Tire affair with Justin Pawlak going up against Matt Field and Odi Bakchis versus James Deane.
Matt Field in his brand new (and awesome) drift Corvette managed to take down Justin Pawlak which was quite the feat considering Pawlak was on fire all weekend.
Afterward James Deane bested Falken teammate and Field’s “Frienemy” Odi Bakchis.
The stage was set for a Field vs Deane final and for a while it looked like Field just might take down the seemingly invincible James Deane.
In fact, from my eye I had Field winning the final battle. However, the judges saw things differently and award the win to James “The Machine” Deane.
Matt Field was seemingly frustrated but accepting of second place while Justin Pawlak took third spot on the podium.
Deane’s victory puts him at the top of the 2018 championship standings but Fredric Aasbo (despite being eliminated in the Top 16 by Forrest Wang) is only 17 points behind so the fight for the title is still close with 3 rounds remaining.
Speaking of, the next round of Formula Drift competition goes north to Canada for Round 15 on July 14th and 15th. Will James Deane win again? Will Matt Field grab that W? Or will Fredric Aasbo make a move to re-establish dominance?
We’re looking forward to finding out!