Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Drift Atlanta 2011

Matt Waldin's #23 Helix 350z

Last Friday and Saturday was the 8th annual Drift Atlanta event at Road Atlanta. This event brings in the big guns of drifting from the Formula Drift series. Road Atlanta is round 2 of this series. Each day was also mixed with some F2000 Championship Series racing. Those were short but enjoyable open-wheel races with some decent passing action in the turn 10a/b chicane. I didn't get a lot of photos of the F2000 races but I did manage to catch an incident that happened right in front of us. From what I saw the #14 of Jose Gerardo made contact with the #29 of Ardie Greenamyer, putting Ardie into the pebbles.

We made it to the track around lunchtime on Friday - just in time to catch the start of the Pro/Am qualifying. These aren't the "big guns" of the main Formula Drift series but they are still incredible drivers with serious skills. Unfortunately I can't find any info on these guys. They were a lot of fun to watch!

More photos in my Drift Atlanta 2001 Gallery

Later the Formula Drift Pro drivers took to the track for practice and qualifying. These guys are amazing! Here are a few photos from the Day 1 action:

Kenneth Moen's #76 350z

Tyler McQuarrie's #17 350z kicks up some dirt

Conrad Grunewald's #79 Camaro qualifies 1st

Saturday we were a little later getting to the track and the place was packed already at lunchtime. We parked way up the backstretch and lugged our stuff down to the fence outside of turn 10b. We ate our McDonald's food while watching the second F2000 race of the weekend. In the afternoon the top 32 Formula Drift drivers came out for open practice and they didn't hold anything back. Lots of off-road excursions and fantastic driving before the main event began around 7:30PM. The drivers paired up for the main competition, taking turns being the leader. The field was whittled down to Daijiro Yoshihara and Darren McNamara fighting for first place in some of the best head-to-head action we saw. Daijiro ended up with the win while Toshiki Yoshioka rounded out the top finishers in third. We came back with sore muscles, dark tans, and lots of photos. We'll definitely be back next year!

Daijiro Yoshihara battling for first place

Darren McNamara taking his turn

Toshiki Yoshioka takes the lead for third place

More photos in my Drift Atlanta 2001 Gallery

No comments: