Formula Drift Round 2: Road to the Championship at Atlanta

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

This morning I was watching the Great 8 tandem battles of Formula Drift USA Round 2 at Atlanta via Formula Drift’s ‘live’ streaming on


I started watching just as 2009 champion Chris Forsberg spun and lost to John Russakoff, giving him the ticket to the semi-finals. I really logged on at the right time, just as Dai Yoshihara meets defending champion Vaughn Gittin Jr.! Dai was up at the line to lead first, as Vaughn chased. Watching the Ford Mustang chase the Nissan S13 makes me want to be there witnessing it for real. Vaughn then makes a mistake and straightens slightly, immediately giving Dai the advantage. Back to the start line again, all Dai had to do was keep it safe and follow well in order to take the win. Indeed, Dai delivered under pressure and entered the Top 4.


It was another Team Falken showing next, between Justin Pawlak (who won Round 1 at Long Beach last month) and Darren McNamara.. AGAIN. Yes, they met in a battle at Long Beach and it was JP who won because Darren spun while chasing. This time, their fates were reversed and it was JP who made a mistake, giving Darren the go-ahead to the Top 4.


Toshiki Yoshioka managed to make it to the Top 8 against Patrick Mordaunt but according to Jarod the voice of Formula Drift, the latter’s car caught fire or something and hence did not make it to the start line even. Yoshioka hence performed a solo run, embracing his walkover and entry into the semi-finals.


Ah, thought having this Top 32 battle bracket would be easier for you to see the paths of the winners. I think the ‘live’ streaming is really awesome because it is real time and I get to watch the action in the comfort of my own home (at 9am this morning while I was watching this, I was still in my pink pyjamas with my teeth unbrushed, GRIN).


Dai met Russakoff next and easily made it to the final where he met Darren (aka DMAC) who beat Yoshioka. Now, Dai won at Atlanta last year and he was also on the podium in third place at the Long Beach season opener last month. A personal friend (Dai is the judge of Formula Drift Asia and comes to our side of the world often enough) of mine, I was rooting for him, especially after how he lost the championship title narrowly last year.


I spoke to Darren when I was at Long Beach and he is a great guy too, but my loyalty is with Dai (for Atlanta at least as I wanted Dai to repeat his win).


YAY, it was quite clearly his as Darren couldn’t quite keep up with Dai during the chase while Dai stuck closely to Darren when the roles were reversed.


Congratulations Dai all the way here from Singapore! See you soon at Formula Drift Singapore…


Round 3 will be at Palm Beach from 3 – 4 June, a new venue to this year’s calendar. Palm Beach International Raceway (previously Moroso Motorsports Park) is a multi-track facility owned and operated by a group of car collectors and racers. New venue and a new track layout means drivers have to adapt to the new surroundings quickly! Already the first two rounds brought surprises, what’s in store next?


Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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