Gigantic Highlights of 2018 Formula Drift Irwindale Title Fight @formuladrift #FDIRW

Rain or Shine, 2018 Formula Drift Irwindale Title Round Proved to Be Another Nail Biting Competition and Fun-Filled Lifestyle Success

W&HM / Wheels and Heels Magazine / / Py Pai

2018 Formula Drift Irwindale With Sentimental Sky

This year's Formula Drift Irwindale Title Fight Round was conventionally spread across October 12 and 13.  During the Friday qualifying rounds there were under the bright so-Cal sun, though it was humid hot during the day time. However, it took a quick turn as the night fell, and clouds, thunders and lightning moved in to pour some so-Cal needed, but drivers hated rain.

The competition among racers had some difficulties maintaining their traction on the ground after the rain started to cover the surface.  After all, it's the first rain after long dry months.  The oil prone track could not be a trustworthy path at the time.

Due to the lightning concern, at one point, spectators were evacuated from the grandstand to avoid any risks by the high electricity in the air.  Later on they were allowed back in and event went on smoothly, in a literal sense as well for some drivers.

On the main event Saturday, it was overcast with ambient drizzles accompanying the event.  At times, even though a bit dab of raindrops did not deter the laser focused drivers.  The title fight went on with full throttles and the competition was fierce for the final big trophies!

W&HM Cover & Feature Models

We saw many of our cover and feature models on the two day events.  We met so many cover and feature models again whom we saw the last time at the Formula Drift Long Beach, including Jess Harbour, Nicole Marie Reckers, Arley Elizabeth, Ashley Harrell, Ms Mackin and Kitty Li. Together with other great promo models it was like a fun family reunion time.


Kelsey Quayle Memorial Moment at Opening Ceremony

One of our feature models that was most on our heart is the one that did not show up.  Our feature model Kelsey Quayle (see below) has passed away just a mere few days before the event.  The shock through the model community and the media people was highly palpable.  Kelsey was such a kind loving and talented person that did not deserve such a short appearance in life.  We  were all very sad about this tragic event of her life.  At the Falken booth, they showed their support and love by wearing the Kelsey top and t-shirts.  We were deeply touched by their gesture and have high respect to them!

Formula Drift Organization has graciously broadcast the news, and posted a picture of her on the jumbotron (not the below picture) so that people can remember her.  When the national anthem was in cue, they played Kelsey's singing of national anthem, and her voice was simply angelic.  There were many tears especially in the Falken team and our eyes swelled up as well.  Thank you Formula Drift for such a memorable remembrance of Kelsey Quayle.


The Lifestyle Expo Display Cars and Drift Cars

There were many cars brought in to the show.  Even though there was no car show this year at Irwindale, probably due to the reduced parking lot size, it still brought some of the coolest vendor display cars to the event.

Some of the competition drifting cars were also in lifestyle expo pit areas.  Fans and enthusiasts can get the first hand glimpses of these ultra-muscle machines and talk about the ins and outs.

Autograph Session on Day 1 / Friday

The Day 1 autograph session was the best chance to meet the drivers of  your dream, and shake hands and get their autographed posters or branded souvenirs. All the drivers were at the table and the lines were long to show fans' passion.  Nevertheless they were tirelessly meet each one of them and get their the perfect photo ops and heart warming welcome, as well as a chance to catch up and retell glorious stories.

Lifestyle Expo

This year, the vendor space layout has a big change.  Irwindale Speedway has blocked off a portion of the parking lot for a trucking company. So the original parking lot has slimmed down and thus move some of the vendors onto the space right next as well as under the main grandstand bleacher structure.  We actually like this set up because it's more streamlined, and you don't feel you missed some of the vendors because they were in the multi-aisle vendor Expo area.  This also allowed us to browse through them and know them more intimately.


Half Time Meet and Greet

The half time is a great chance that the drivers would be right by their gears and monsters that got their top places they could achieve. There is no better time to meet them in person and talk about the races and the cars straight from the source.

VIP Experience Walk on Track

The VIP Experience Walk lets the VIP guests to walk around the track on foot, and learn the first person perspective of the drifting route.  The enthusiastic fans as well as experienced industry old hands were at their happiest time there.

At the end of the walk, the drivers and their cars were already lined up right in front of the grand stand.  There is no better backdrop of the photo op than this setting.  The VIP guests were elated and could not stop taking pictures and selfies with their favorite drivers and their cars.

The driver line up at Opening Ceremony

At the beginning of the opening ceremony, drivers lined up with their cars in front of the grand stand and were introduced one by one to the audience.  You could definitely tell who were their top followers and the crowd was not thrifty about their supportive roars!

Here we have all the final 16 drivers captured here.

More Lifestyle Expo Display Cars and Vendors

There were just so many cars in the event, so we had to split them into two from top to here...

The Real Fight!!  The Big Title Fight!!! 

Here is the real reason that the event was built up about.  The moment of truth.  Friday qualifying round knocked many drivers out of balance due to the sleek road condition from the rain.  Then the experienced hanged on and advanced to the next day for the fierce fight.

During the second day, the surface condition was not wet, but definitely it's humid.  It still caused several slips and u-turns in the middle of the track.  The closeness of the gap between cars sometimes were like hand-reachable distance.  It was definitely intense! 

At the end, the top scorer and the champion of the 2018 Formula Drift season is James Deane from Worthouse Racing!  We totally congratulate him for such strong presence in the last couple of years since debut in the US.  What a talent and what a team!!