Coffman Racing Formula Drift Seattle 2017 Recap.
Last weekend, the Coffman Racing Team headed to Seattle, Washington for Round Six of the Formula Drift Championship. The competition took place at the Evergreen Speedway, the team’s “home” track within the series. Prior to competing in Formula Drift, Matt competed at Evergreen Speedway with the Northwest ProAM series. The team started the event 9th overall in series points after round five in Montreal three weeks prior.
Our sponsor K&N hosted a karting event at the local K1 karting facility to kick off the Formula Drift weekend. This offered an opportunity for fans to interact and race against the professional drivers. At the end of the evening, there was a karting Grand Prix where all the professional drivers fought for pole position. Matt was seated as the race leader based off his qualifying time and finished 2nd in his race. All parties involved seemed to thoroughly enjoy the experience and the Coffman racing team was ready for Formula Drift.
With the history of rain following the Formula Drift circuit, it was ironic that our visit to the rainy city was greeted with temperatures in the 90’s and thick humid air quality. A plethora of forest fires currently burning in the Pacific Northwest are contributing factors to these conditions. Weather conditions aside, practice went smoothly for the team. Matt was comfortable and confident and one could easily spot this by watching Matt's driving. In car video of Matt drifting the high speed bank at the beginning of the course shows Matt calm, cool and collected. A fan commented on our Instagram suggesting that Matt looked as if he could be “making a grocery list in his head, while on a leisure Sunday drive.” Click HEREto view that video.
Friday morning it was business as usual. After a short practice session it was time to qualify. Matt's first qualifying run featured excellent style, speed, commitment and smoke. The judges scored the run as an 87. For Matt's 2nd qualifying run, he added more angle and more speed, however it was also awarded an 87. The combined scores resulted in a 12th place qualifying score, putting Matt against Robbie Nishida in the Top 32 on Saturday. Once qualifying was finished we put the race car on display in the Thunderbolt fuel booth and sat in the grand stands and watched the Pro 2 competition.
Saturday the team was ready for battle. Matt and Robbie Nishida lined up, and ran a clean and honest battle. The judges awarded Matt the win meaning Matt would battle Kristaps Blušs in the Top 16.
The Top 16 Driver introductions were action packed. The Air Force had two F-22 fighter jets perform a fly by during the national anthem, which captured the attention of everyone around. Matt was the last car in the line up. When the drivers were dismissed from the introduction, this gave Matt the perfect opportunity for one of his signature Top 16 Burnouts. The crowd watched with the same attentiveness they had given to the F-22’s as Matt's Roush Yates angrily vaporized a pair of Nexen tires.
Matt and Kristaps had a challenging battle. On Kristaps lead run, Matt was struggling to match his speed on the bank. However on Matt's lead run, Kristaps was unable to match Matt's angle. The judges decided it needed to go one more time. The one more time battle saw similar challenges but the judges awarded Matt the win, putting him against Dai Yoshihara for the Great 8.
Dai and Matt made their runs, but the judges awarded the win to Dai. Although this was the end of the weekend for our team, everyone gathered together on top of our trailer and watched the rest of the competition from the observation deck. Coffman Racing has now advanced to 8th place overall in the 2017 Formula Drift series standings. With only two events left this season, and a tight points race between the top drivers, it's sure to be an exciting end to the season. The team’s next competition will be at Round Seven of Formula Drift in Texas on September 8th.