Formula Drift Asia stars Saranon Pornpatanarak (Thailand) and Emmanuel Amandio (Indonesia) participated in their second Formula Drift USA event at Round 7 of the 2011 series held at Irwindale.
Saranon and Amandio finished overall second and third respectively at last year’s Formula Drift Asia series. Both of them first took part in Formula Drift USA at Round 6 in Las Vegas. While Amandio managed to qualified 23rd at his Formula Drift USA debut, problems with Saranon’s car failed to see him to the start line.
This time at the season finale in Irwindale, Amandio made it to the Top 32, qualifying 24th with a score of 68.6, out-scoring Formula Drift USA regulars like Charles Ng (Hong Kong) who also participates in Formula Drift Asia.
Saranon managed to make it to the start line and pump two qualifying runs, but his scores were unfortunately not good enough for the Top 32 cut.
Having purchased 2009 Formula Drift champion Chris Forberg’s 350Z, Amandio met Michael Essa in the Top 32 battles at Las Vegas. While leading, Amandio pushed the car a little too hard and ended up parking the car into the wall.
Not able to better that result in Irwindale, Amandio met Conrad Grunewald – who won Round 4 at Wall – in the Top 32 tandem battles and saw his journey end there too.
It was valuable experience gained for both drivers, getting exposed to the high levels of professional drifting in the States. Both of them will now return to Asia and prepare for Formula Drift Indonesia at the end of the month, Round 2 of Formula Drift Asia 2011.
With 2010 Formula Drift Asia champion Tengku Djan having missed the first round in Singapore in June, there is a good chance for Saranon or Amandio to try and fight for that title – if they can get past Daigo Saito.