Formula Drift Long Beach 2019
(Central Point, OR) - The first round of the Formula Drift 2019 season took place last weekend in Long Beach, California at the Long Beach Grand Prix.
The Car has been rebuilt in entirety in the offseason to prepare it for another year of battle. Long Beach is the debut of this year's new Factory83 livery. This year's design is more vibrant and the reflective purple vinyl really distinguishes the car.
This round is different from the other 7 being that there is no Thursday practice. This means that the only practice before qualifying occurs just a few hours before qualifying on Friday morning.
Matt took to the streets in practice and was laying down very impressive runs. Great proximity to the clipping points and outer zones. The clutch changes made in the offseason had very positive results in testing, and now at the first competition.
After a short practice session, Matt headed into qualifying. Both qualifying runs were excellent. His first run was awarded a 89. The second was a slight improvement with a score of 90. This qualified him 16th and put him up against Ken Gushi in the main competition on Saturday.
During the Top 32 competition on Saturday, Matt was shallow on his lead run initiation. Ken hit into Matt's car and pushed it into the wall. Matt finished the run and they lined up for the next battle. On Matt's chase battle he realized that the car was damaged from its contact with the wall and straightened at the end of the run. Ken was awarded the win, and our weekend was over.
While it is not the outcome we had hoped for, we now have a better understanding to deal with a similar situation if it occurs in the future. We will have the car ready for battle again at the 2nd round of the Formula Drift series in Orlando, Florida on April 26-27.