COFFMAN RACING FORMULA DRIFT ATLANTA 2018 RECAP
Over the weekend, the Coffman Racing team headed to Atlanta, GA for Round Three of the Formula Drift Championship. Road Atlanta is a personal favorite for fans and for drivers as the rolling hills of the racetrack make for excellent mix of spectating and tailgating.
Thursday, the team was able to get reacquainted with the race track, and prepare for the weekend's competition. Matt made a few practice runs, and afterwards, the team was able to sit together and watch the Pro 2 drivers qualifying.
Friday, Global Time Attack took to the track for morning practice. Formula Drift had a short practice session in the afternoon where Matt was able to make some final practice runs. Matt's first qualifying run was strong, and was scored an 80. Matt's second qualifying run improved over the first and the judges awarded it an 86 which resulted in a qualifying position of 16th.
Saturday was the main competition. Our qualifying score matched us against Formula Drift veteran Ken Gushi. Matt defeated Ken in Top 32 earlier this year at Long Beach. In the Top 32, it seemed as if Matt and Ken had a honest clean battle. Two judges voted for Matt, one voted for Ken. It was announced Matt would be moving on to the Top 16.
During the Top 16 driver introductions, Formula Drift alerted the team that Ken had filed a protest with the judges and it was found that Matt had left the starting light while the final start light was still illuminated. It was determined that Matt and Ken would redo only Matt's lead run from the Top 32 before the Top 16. This is very irregular and caused a lot of confusion for the spectators. But Jarod DeAnda did a good job of explaining what was going on as the battle began.
Matt made an excellent lead run, but it was strange to have only half a battle almost 4 hours later. The judges all voted for a one more time. Matt again laid down a strong lead run with Ken giving chase. On Ken's lead run, Matt had to slow to match Ken’s initiation speed. This caused one of Matt's tires to make contact with the rumble strip on the edge of the track, exploding one of our wheels leaving Matt unable to complete the rest of his chase run. The judges awarded Ken the win. This was an emotionally challenging weekend for the team, but we understand Formula Drift's reasoning and want the competition to be fair for everyone. It was hard to accept that we would no longer be competing in the Top 16, but the team will come back swinging in New Jersey. Thanks to all our friends, fans, and sponsors who supported us this weekend.
Our next event is Round 4, in New Jersey on June 1-2. We hope to see you there!