Coffman Racing Formula Drift Irwindale 2017 Recap
Over the past weekend, the Coffman Racing team headed to Irwindale, CA for round Eight of the Formula Drift championship. This was the last Formula Drift event of the 2017 season and the last time Formula Drift will take place at Irwindale Speedway before its prescheduled demolition.
The team arrived Thursday ready for the weekend. After a frustrating turn of events at the prior event in Texas, the team was ready to shake down the new motor. While the car had performed flawlessly in testing up to the event, once on the track Matt noticed some inconsistencies with the car. The team worked feverishly to diagnose the gremlins. After replacing the alternator and the battery, the team was able to pin point the problem. A faulty connector on the engine’s crank position sensor seemed to be the source of the team’s frustrations. These issues wound up consuming the majority of Thursday’s practice time, but the team felt confident that the car was ready for qualifying the next day.
On Friday, Matt was able to make full use of the practice session before qualifying. However, the limited practice time on the track translated to a qualifying result lower than we had hoped –– placing Matt against Odi Bakchis in top 32 for following day.
Saturday morning, the team headed into the main competition. Matt and Odi’s battle was at the bottom of the bracket, meaning they would be one of the last races in top 32. Unfortunately, right before their battle, one of the other competitors blew their motor on track, leaving an oil slick from the start line to the finish line. After an extensive track clean up, Matt and Odi were permitted a quick inspection of the track to check the surface.
Although the track was dirty, it was deemed safe and Matt and Odi lined up for battle. Odi was quick off the line, forcing Matt to take a shallow approach to close the gap. As they entered the inner bank Matt came closing in on Odi — but Matt had already started to suck in toward the wall. His car made contact with the k-rail and came to a stop as the passenger side ground along the wall. After being delivered to the hot pit via tow truck, the Coffman Racing crew scrambled to repair the car in the five minutes allotted. With only seconds to go, the team desperately released jacks — but it wasn’t meant to be. The car wasn’t able to be repaired in time.
While this was frustrating and not the result that we had intended for the event, the Coffman Racing team is extremely proud to have finished the season 10th overall in the Formula Drift series standings. We want to thank everyone who helped make this 2017 season possible and we look forward to what will come in the 2018 season. The car will be on display in Thunderbolt Racing Fuel’s booth (#50909 in the Performance Hall) at the SEMA show from October 31 - November 4. We hope to see you there.