In what was shaping up to be a whirlwind weekend for Formula Drift actually turned out to be somewhat anti-climatic. Goinginto Irwindale there were 4 drivers mathmatically alive for the series title with Tanner sitting on top of the points and Sam Hubinette was just behind him with Rhys Millen following closely in third. The situation was smilar to last year when Tanner was locked in a tight points battle between Chris Forsberg and Dai Yoshihara.
With things so tight in the standings and Dai still having an outside shot the fans were expecting some tooth and nail battles when it came time for the top 16. The key word in that last sentence was “expecting”, what the fans actually got was an elimination of points contenders and teammates Rhys Millen and Dai Yoshihara in the top 16 due to what I’d say were questionable calls by the judges.
Fans were shocked again when they saw two-time champ Sam Hubinette basically take himself out of contention by making a highly uncharacteristic spin against Takatori in the Great 8. Sam’s stumble automatically handed the series title to Tanner Foust. Once that happend a handfull of fans picked up and left since they knew it wouldn’t come down to the wire like 2007.
However most of us stayed behind to watch how the rest of this round would play out. Especially since Drift Alliance member Justin Thomas Pawlakwas on fire and taking names all night as he brought down Taka Aono and Robbie Nishida to move onto the final four where he fell to Tanner Foust.
When all the tandem dust settled it came down to Tanner and JR Gitten (Gitten defeated Bill Sherman, Miki Ryuji, and Takatori to make it to the final two) for top spot on the podium for the last round. Although Tanner probably still hugely excited from his championship was just slightly off point and he fell to Gitten who won his first round of Formula D competition all season.
Congrats to Tanner and to JR! Also I want to personally give a big thanks to Formula D and the staff for bringing another year of action, fun, controversy, and another motorsport to follow all year!
Oh, and one more thing…don’t be too bummed out about the season being over yet. There is a HUGE drift event coming up just next month on the docks of Long Beach remember? Don’t forget to mark your calandars for the Red Bull World Drifting Championship.