Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge: Friday Battles

Motegi Super Drift is a one of event at the Long Beach Grand Prix featuring two nights of drifting competition on the Formula Drift course (if you are unaware of the Formula Drift course at Long Beach you can read about it in my write up of FDLB here: motorsportformentalhealth.com/2017/04/07/formula-drift-2017-long-beach-formuladeane ). Drivers will be competing under the lights for $12,500 per night which gives a possible grand prize of $25,000. Many of those competing also compete in Formula Drift Pro and Pro 2.

The following should be a top 16 but only 14 cars were in the first stage of competition Alex Heilbrunn getting a pass into the semi-finals.

Top 14

Kyle Mohan vs Nate Hamilton

First off we have Kyle Mohan in his super wide rotary powered Mazda MX5 battling one of the nicest guys in U.S professional drifting Nate Hamilton.

Hamilton would be the first to lead and put on a sterling ran. Mohan made a couple of small mistakes which gave the advantage to Hamilton.

Nate Hamilton v Kyle Mohan
Nate Hamilton’s S13

Unfortuantely the battle was decided by contact. Mohan used his handbrake to correct an early initiation which slowed him down too much and Hamilton ran into the back of him spinning both cars around. The judges deemed Mohan to be at fault and so Hamilton advances.

Matt Field vs Ryan Litteral

Mistakes from both drivers meant that this battle would go to a one more time. Litteral made a superb lead run but sadly spun on his chase handing Field the victory.

Matt Field v Ryan Litteral 2

Michael Essa vs Justin Pawlak

The first set of battles were clearly in Mike Essa’s favour but a mistake made by Essa at the end of the track meant that the judges decided to see them battle once more.

The two battles in the one more time were much closer. Both drivers made very clean passes but Justin Pawlak was more aggressive and took the victory.

Juha Rintanen vs Jeff Jones

Rintanen won this battle on his chase run as Jeff Jones entered too fast into second clip and had to make a big correction to stop himself from hitting the wall.

Dean Kearney vs Dan Burkett

Kearney put in a set of great runs. Burkett did well and put on a good show but sadly straightened at the final corner.

Dean Kearney v Dan Burkett 2Dean Kearney v Dan Burkett

Great 6

Nate Hamilton vs Matt Field

Hamilton had an amazing lead run until the last corner when he went really wide around the hair pin and clipping point which really threw Matt Field off. Field was able to score himself a victory with two clean and consistent runs.

Juha Rintanen vs Justin Pawlak

Justin Pawlak puts in a fantastic wall to wall first run with his carbon fibre Falken Ford Mustang. Rintanen did well to keep up but came in a little too hot on the final corner making slight contact with the Mustang and taking himself out of competition.

Forrest Wang vs Dean Kearney

Forrest Wang had an amazing lead run and then simply planted his Get Nuts Lab liveried S14 on the door of Kearney’s Viper scoring him a clean win.

Top 4

Matt Field vs Justin Pawlak

Both drivers had good clean lead runs. Field had better proximity on the chase run and was a better mirror of Pawlak’s lead securing Matt Field the spot in the final.

Forrest Wang vs Alex Heilbrunn

Another close set of battles. Both drivers clearly wanted to take the spot in the final but by judges decision it would be Alex Heilbrunn who would go through.

Since there is no battle for third and fourth place the last spot on the podium would be determined by qualifying position. Forrest Wang qualified higher than Justin Pawlak and therefore takes third place.

Final

Matt Field vs Alex Heilbrunn

As the drivers initiated into the first turn the two cars made fairly heavy contact causing both to spin to a stop. Matt Field uses his 5 minute rule to get the rear suspension on his car sorted out which had been damaged in the impact.

Once the car was sorted and they were lined back up the following battle was close. Matt Field managed to drive around the cars damage to put in a super clean final run scoring him the overall victory.

So in conclusion we have Matt Field in 1st place, Alex Heilbrunn in 2nd and Forrest Wang in 3rd.

Thanks for reading if you would like to see more of these posts make sure to follow this blog or follow me on the following social media platforms

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