Photography By: Tony Nguyen
Road to the Championship - May 11-12 2012
Formula DRIFT returned to Road Atlanta – Braselton, GA this year as it always has since their Inaugural Event in 2004. Owned by Panoz Motorsports, the 2.54-mile, 12-turn track hosts multiple events throughout the year including FORMULA DRIFT.
Round 2: Road to the Championship at Road Atlanta, was truly one of the most anticipated events in Atlanta for 2012. The event spread over 2 days, TWO DAYS of DRIFTING ACTION and we had an inside scoop/perspective as Driven Lifestyle Mag was onsite and represented at the NOS Energy booth along Team International AllStars.
The AllStars, (Tony Nguyen, Bing Low, and Alex Farrington) all had their show cars on display at the NOS energy booth in the vendor/pit areas. This is where all of the spectators came in between the qualifying runs and competition. Vendor Lane, as it has commonly been referred to over the past years, is always filled with show cars, models, vendors handing out free swag, pit crews working on their drift machines, and it is also where you can find the drivers of these machines in between races. Spectators are given an up close and personal experience as they are encouraged to interact face to face to these celebrities to the scene whether it be getting an autograph, photo, or just chatting it up with the drivers and their crews.
At the end of the day, after all the dust, tire smoke, and exhaust fumes dissipated there were the top 3 podium finishers.
The winner of the event was Justin Pawlak in the Falken Tire Ford Racing RTR. Pawlak came in 2nd place overall last year in points standings so it was only a matter of time before he saw that podium finish. Paired with a brand new 2013 800+ horsepower Mustang powered by a Ford Racing/Roush Yates motor he muscled his way throughout the competition with ease.
In 2nd place was another newcomer. Joining the Drift scene in 2010, Fredric Aasbo of Norway, rocked the track in the Need For Speed Scion Tc. He was in one of the smallest cars in the field but lived up to his nickname “The Champ Killer”.
In 3rd place was a rookie by the name of Daigo Saito from Japan. Rocking a turbocharged 1000+ horsepower Lexus SC430 Roadster, Daigo shocked the fans and quickly lived up to his nickname “The Smoke Train.”
It was a very exciting weekend in Atlanta for all who attended. Congratulations to all of the competitors and their teams. Be on the watch as Formula Drift comes to a city near you on their 2012 tour.
To view more photos of this event visit: