Formula Drift Texas Triple Header Recap

Alright, I know I’m super late on this but if it means anything the reason why I’m behind on recapping FD Texas is that it happened on the same weekend I was working to get the DIRT 5 review out in time for Monday morning.

Anyway, enough excuses. Let’s do a brief breakdown of the most important events that took place over the Formula Drift Texas triple header. Round 3 of Pro2 and rounds 5 & 6 of Pro 1 all happened at Texas Motor Speedway and some shuffling in the standings took place as well as some surprise performances.

Friday Pro 2 Round 3

Formula Drift Texas Pro 2 Podium

Johnathan Hurst rose to victory in the reconfigured Texas course. His victory marks the second podium in a row for him and his Infiniti G37 and his consistency has been rewarded with a top spot in the current Pro 2 standings. Though, it is a narrow lead, being just 24 points ahead of Dmitriy Brutskiy.

Brutskiy, finished in 6th place which also contributed to Hurst taking the Pro 2 lead. Meanwhile Blake Olsen and Derek Madison finished 2nd and 3rd respectively, marking first-time podium finishes for both drivers.

Olsen’s second place finish moved him to 5th in the points standings but he is still a long way from Hurst and Brutskiy. Regardless, it was an impressive showing that could pay dividends down the stretch.

Saturday Pro Round 5

Formula Drift Texas Pro Round 5 Podium. 1st place: Ryan Tuerck, 2nd place Chris Forsberg, 3rd place Vaughn Gittin Jr.

As I mentioned before, the track configuration at Texas Motor Speedway was changed since the last time Formula Drift visited the track in 2019. It was done to provide an “extra challenge” for the driver and boy did it.

The best drifters in the world were still making mistakes which just proves how good of a job the track officials did in this new layout. No driver in the series can afford to get comfortable even for a moment.

The result is that Round 5 turned into a battle of attrition. It wasn’t just about who could beat who, but also who could manage to make the fewest mistakes.

Though, despite that, there were some major stand out performances. Specifically Jeff Jones who made it based Odi Bakchis and Chelsea DeNofa to make it to the Final Four for the first time in his Formula Drift Pro 1 career.

Formula Drift Texas Pro Round 5 Ryan Tuerck vs Jeff Jones

His epic run was ended by Ryan Tuerck who went on to the finals.

Jones had to face off against Vaughn Gittin Jr for the third place battle but couldn’t fight at 100% due to mechanical issues. Ultimately Vaughn Gittin captured third place.

Meanwhile, it came down to Ryan Tuerck vs Chris Forsberg in the final. Tuerck took the win over his Drift Alliance brother and securing a victory in round 5.

Tuerck’s win kept him in the top points spot but Vaughn Gittin’s third place finished kept Ryan from pulling away too far.

Sunday Pro Round 6

Formula Drift Texas Pro Round 6 Podium. 1st place: Chris Forsberg, 2nd place Vaughn Gittin Jr., 3rd place Chelsea DeNofa

Sunday was a new day and another opportunity for the Pro grid to get a better handle of the re-configured Texas course. While there were fewer mistakes made, they still happened.

Namely Ryan Tuerck who went off track while battling against Adam LZ in the Great 8. Tuerck’s car suffered damage and his team couldn’t get it fixed within the 5 minute competition time-out.

That pushed Adam LZ to his first ever Final Four appearance.

Adam faced off against Chelsea DeNofa in the third place run-off. Despite DeNofa being more than a formidable competitor Adam LZ actually forced the judges to call a OMT but DeNofa ended up with the victory and the third place podium spot.

With Tuerck out of competition, there was a prime opportunity for Vaughn Gittin Jr to close in on his Championship points rival. He took full advantage of the situation and fought his way to the final battle against Chris Forsberg.

Formula Drift Texas Pro Round 6 Chris Forsberg vs Vaughn Gittin Jr

Forsberg, finding himself in the finals for the second day in a row was not going to let the win slip through his fingers again. He defeated Gittin and took his first victory since Formula Drift Orlando in 2018.

However, Vaughn’s second place finish (combined with Tuerck’s Great 8 elimination) allowed him to move up to the number one spot in the championship points battle. Albeit, a very narrow 8 point lead over Tuerck.

Chris Forsberg’s victory makes him the 5th different winner in the season so far. The victory also cemented his status as the most successful driver in the history of the series with his three championships, and countless podium finishes since the series began in 2004.

Only one event remains which is Irwindale Speedway AKA “The House Of Drift” on November 20th-22nd. By the time that weekend is over we’ll have a Formula Drift champion of one of the weirdest seasons in the series’ history. I’m interested to see how it will play out.

Currently, fans will be allowed in to the event but capacity may be limited. Hit up the Formula Drift website to buy tickets now.

[Photos: Formula Drift via Larry Chen]

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