COFFMAN RACING Formula Drift St. Louis 2018 RECAP
Formula Drift Round 6 occurred in Madison, IL on August 11th, a new stop for the Formula Drift series. The event took place at Gateway Motorsports Complex just outside of St. Louis. It was a refreshing opportunity for the drivers to experience a new track and a new city.
Being that it was a new track, the drivers were allowed 16 practice runs before qualifying compared to the usual 12. Matt made the most of this opportunity and was very active in practice on Thursday and Friday. The car was fast and consistent. Matt scored an 86 on his first qualifying run and an 85 on his second. He officially qualified 16th and would be up against Jhonnattan Castro in the Top 32.
Friday afternoon, a crazy storm rolled in and the team got a taste of what hurricane/tornado weather is like when we experienced a microburst that also shut down the PGA. Fortunately, we already had the car and tools packed away in the trailer and the team was able to quickly break down our tents and go help others.
Saturday was game day. The team had a nice morning and was able to enjoy a cup of coffee before the big competition. During Matt’s first practice run of the day, Matt noticed the car was not responding correctly and shut it down mid run. In the burnout box before the next run, the engine cut out momentarily and then shut off while waiting on the start line. The team pushed it back to the pits to troubleshoot. It appeared to be an issue with the alternator, and the team scrambled to source a spare. The RTR family (Vaughn Gittin Jr. & Chelsea DeNofa) had a similar style alternator they were able to loan, and the team put its rally mechanic ingenuity to work. With metal salvaged from a bike pump on our pit cart the team was able to make a mounting bracket for the alternator, just in time for the Top 32 battle. Matt made it to the line with the untested repair ready to battle with Castro.
Matt knocked over one of the cones on his launch and a restart was called. Unfortunately, the alternator did not fix the problem and the car’s battery was out of juice so we were forced to retire from the competition. It is more than difficult to have the weekend end before even getting to compete, but the team made the best of the situation and spectated for the rest of the event, cheering on the fellow drivers and friends.
We would like to give a big thanks to all of our friends, fans, and sponsors who supported us this weekend. And a special thanks to all of the teams that jumped in to help us try to get the car going. The car is currently on its way home for diagnostics and will be ready for battle again at our next competition in Texas.
Our next event is Round 7 in Dallas Texas on September 14-15th.