Here is a play by play excerpt from Round 6 of the Formula Drift Pro Championship by the Drivingline's Jacob Leveton. (photo by Jason Scott)
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32- Ken Gushi vs. Jeff Jones
Gushi Lead: Shortly after initiation, Jones has very shallow angle, but is close on Gushi’s tail. As Jones adds angle to the car, he loses ground on Gushi. Gushi is off the preferred line as he rounds inside clip 1, but opens up a huge gap on Jones entering the second half of the course. Jones takes the shallow line through Outside Zone 2, but can’t make up much ground. Advantage likely to Gushi.
Jones Lead: Jones has a good run, a little shallow on the clipping zones but clean overall. Gushi doesn’t allow Jones to open up much of a gap through the power alley, and stays tight on Jones around the final sweeper. Gushi’s runs were much cleaner, with better proximity than Jones. Gushi earns all three votes from the judges and moves on to the top 16.
16- Ken Gushi vs. Ryan Tuerck
Gushi Lead: Gushi initiates with Tuerck hot on his tail and there’s
contact shortly after initiation. Hard to determine which driver is at
fault from multiple replay angles, it appears that Gushi slows down
fairly dramatically but this may be similar to how Gushi has initiated
all weekend. Tuerck could have left more room, but it’s undetermined if
either driver is at fault.
Tuerck Lead: Tuerck has a clean lead run, opening up a big gap on Gushi especially through the power alley. Gushi shallows his angle and attempts to catch up, but hits inside clip two exiting the power alley. Tuerck finishes strong, Gushi is unable to make up much ground. One judge sides for Tuerck, two judges vote OMT. The judges explain that fault could not be determined on the contact in the first run, and with no major mistakes in the second run, they felt it was better to run the drivers One More Time than to try and determine a winner based on inconclusive replays.
One More Time
Gushi Lead: Tuerck appears to have learned his lesson and leaves more room for the initiation. Tuerck closes the gap through the sweeper, Gushi opens it up through the power alley but is wide on inner clip two. Gushi’s line sets him up perfectly for outside zone two and the finish through the sweeper, while Tuerck has a good line on inner clip two but can’t push out to outside zone two in front of the judges. Possibly a slight advantage to Gushi, but not a decisive battle for either driver.
Tuerck Lead: Both drivers initiate similarly, Tuerck has slightly better angle through the first sweeper and inner clip one. Tuerck opens up an extra car length or two of distance through the power alley and through outer zone two, but Tuerck again can’t push out to outer zone two. Gushi has a good line overall and closes the gap back down to around two car lengths by the finish. One judge voted for Gushi, another for Tuerck and one votes for a One More Time. That means they go to another OMT battle! Judges must make a decision after the next battle, as only two rounds of OMT are allowed per the rules.
One More Time x2
Gushi Lead: Gushi has a similar initiation, Tuerck keeps about one to two car lengths of space through the sweeper as Gushi seems to have better steering angle. Gushi pulls another car length or two of gap through the power alley, Tuerck takes a shallower angle and line to catch up to Gushi through the power alley. Gushi pushes out to outside zone two cleanly and finishes the course cleanly, Tuerck again is shallow near outside zone two but finishes the sweeper strong.
Tuerck Lead: Tuerck again has a small one or two car lead through the sweeper, but Gushi looks to have better angle. Tuerck extends the lead to about three or four car lengths through the power angle, but Tuerck again is wide on inside clip two after the power alley and again can’t get out to outside zone two in front of the judges. Two judges vote for Gushi, one judge votes for a OMT. Gushi moves on to the top 8!
8- Ken Gushi vs. Kenny Moen
Gushi Lead: Moen has to back off shortly after initiation due to Gushi slowing dramatically, but maintains drift. Moen closes the gap again and stays tight through the power alley with slightly less angle. Gushi extends the gap through the outside zone, Moen takes a slightly shallower line through the final sweeper but stays clean.
Moen Lead: Moen has a good initiation and run through the sweeper, Gushi has a clean follow. Moen extends the lead through the power alley and has a good line past inner clip two, but has to brake dramatically to get the car back on line for outside zone two. Gushi closes the gap, and both drivers finish smoothly. All three judges vote for a One More Time.
One More Time
Gushi Lead: Gushi is shaky on initiation, Moen has to back off but keeps drift and keeps the gap close through the sweeper. Gushi pulls around a four-car gap through the power alley, Moen has a steering correction midway through the power alley, then brushes the wall in the outside zone and has to correct again. Gushi finishes cleanly with a solid four or five car gap and likely has an advantage due to Moen’s steering corrections.
Moen calls his CT after his run.
Moen Lead: Moen starts the run with around a three-car gap, and is unable to extend the gap through the power alley. Gushi reduces the gap from three cars down to around two cars exiting the power alley. Moen has a great line, sweeping close to inside clip two and getting out to outside zone two, but Gushi’s proximity is likely to earn him the win. All three judges vote for Gushi to move on.
Semi Finals- Ken Gushi vs. Daigo Saito
Gushi Lead: Gushi is slow on his initiation, Saito sucks up within inches of Gushi shortly after initiation. Saito appears to avoid contact, but Gushi opens up a small gap. Gushi is unable to pull out a gap through the power alley, but Saito has to slow substantially to get on the right line near
Saito Lead: Saito and Gushi again are only a car length or so away from each other through the sweeper, but Saito opens up the gap exiting the sweeper. Gushi seems to back off and allow the gap to grow to three cars entering the power alley to avoid being stuck in the smoke. When Saito slows down again exiting the power alley to setup for outside zone two, Gushi is able to slide within one car length of Saito but keeps sliding off the line and is on the wrong line for the final turn. Saito has around a four-car gap at the exit of the final sweeper, Gushi finishes strong and in drift, but could have been closer around the final corner. One judge votes for Gushi, two vote for One More Time. We go again!
One More Time
Gushi Lead: Saito has an amazing chase over the first half of the course, less than a car length away from Gushi through the entire sweeper, past inner clip one, and into the power alley. Saito brakes midway through the power alley to ensure his line is right for outside zone two and Gushi extends the gap to around four-car lengths. Gushi finishes strong, Saito likely had a huge advantage until he allowed the gap to open up in the final two turns of the course.
Saito Lead: Saito gets sideways early and Gushi is hot on his tail! One car length gap through the sweeper, Saito isn’t able to pull away from Gushi towards the end of the sweeper like he has against other drivers. Gushi hangs back after inside clip one to let Saito transition; Gushi transitions himself about three-car lengths behind Saito, which strategically keeps him out of the smoke. Saito is a little wide on inside clip two exiting the power alley, Gushi is right on the clip as requested by the judges. Saito can’t quite get out to the outside zone, but Gushi overshoots the final inside clip. Similar mistakes from both drivers.
One More Time x2
Gushi Lead: Gushi’s entry again is awkward, brake lights from both drivers at times to avoid contact while staying in drift, but both drivers do a fantastic job adjusting. Gushi stays around two-car lengths ahead of Saito through the first sweeper and increases the gap to around four car lengths exiting the power alley. Saito takes a shallow line through outside zone two but still can’t make up much ground. Gushi likely has an advantage from this run. Saito Lead: Saito has a good initiation and lead run, extending the gap from two-car lengths up to around four-car lengths exiting the first sweeper. Gushi gets lost in the smoke a bit exiting the sweeper and can’t close the gap at all through the rest of the run. Saito slows again to get to outside zone two but doesn’t allow Gushi to catch up. Gushi is on the line for the entire course, but not too close on proximity. One judge votes for Saito, the other two vote for Gushi. Gushi moves on to the finals! The judges explain that Saito’s big e-brake pull exiting the power alley on his chase and not getting out to the outer zone was a major factor in the decision for Gushi.
Finals- Ken Gushi vs. Masashi Yokoi
Gushi Lead: Gushi with a more consistent initiation than he’s had in some previous runs. Gushi opens the gap up to around two car lengths entering the power alley and extends it to three car lengths by the end of the power alley. Both drivers have a good line through the final outside zone and final sweeper, likely an advantage to Gushi due to no major corrections or mistakes by either driver and an increasing gap over the entirety of the course.
Yokoi Lead: Yokoi with a strong initiation, starting the sweeper with a two car gap. Yokoi extends it to around four-car lengths as they transition into the power alley, but Gushi slowly reels in Yokoi, closing it back down to around two-car lengths by the finish line. Again, neither driver makes any major mistakes, a clean run for both drivers.
Both drivers are brought in front of the fans to announce the winner. Forsberg joins as the Third place driver. Yokoi is announced as the winner of the event, Gushi grabs Second place!