This moves the Gushi into 4th position for the Series Championship and extends the leads for the Scion and Hankook in the Manufacturer's and Tire Manufacturer's Cups.
From there, the Team moved on to the newest Formula Drift venue, Orlando Speed World. Being a new track, with new challenges, the team worked quickly to get the car dialed-in to Ken's liking. Although the layout seemed pretty simple, the changeable weather and multiple bumps in the track made it tricky and very hard on suspension components. The KW suspension proved to be a big advantage in Orlando.
In Friday Qualifying, Ken laid down an impressive 92pt run, which could not be beat. This gave Ken the Top Qualifier spot. This would also later, prove to be essential in locking down the podium spot over Matt Field, scoring just one point behind in qualifying and finishing 4th. (“3rd place in the overall competition is decided based on the highest qualifier of the two losing competitors in the Final Four.")
As Saturday arrived, Ken and the Team were feeling confident, but the unpredictable rain could easily complicate matters. Luckily the weather was perfectly dry for the win against Mohan's 3rotor RX8 in Top32, the Half Time Break and the Opening Ceremonies.
In main 16 bracket eliminations, it started off dry for Ken's lead run against Moen's 2JZ S14, but due to some strange starting line events, the chase run had to wait until after a heavy rain delay. In the wet, Ken drove a smart follow run to move on to the next round.
In the Best 8 the track was beginning to dry off on the bank, but the infield was still very wet and tricky. Ken controlled the FR-S perfectly, but Hohnadel in his V8 S14 was not able to keep control on the wet infield.
This set up the possibility for another amazing Semi Final rematch against fellow Hankook Tire driver Chris Forsberg and his VK-V8 370Z.
Again there were fireworks with this match up. Ken drove a strong lead lap, with Forsberg fairly close behind. In the chase, Gushi decided to escalate the battle and showed incredible proximity on the bank, unfortunately, it might have been just a little too much, when the 370Z gave more angle to exit the bank. This cause the two to make contact and a huge flame irrupted from the Z, bring out a Red Flag. (see our instagram for a clip)
Eventually the judges rule against Ken, resulting in a 3rd place finish in Round 3.
Look for the GReddy Team to make a dominating charge at the top step of the Round 4. Wall, NJ Podium later this month, June 26-27.
Congratulations to FD Orlando event winners: 1st Ryan Tureck & 2nd Chris Forsberg