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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Formula Drift Rd. 1 Streets of Long Beach

Continuing from the previous post, having just finished getting ready at the last minute to go to LBC from Albuquerque. Before you go any further, peep the video Jesse wood did.

Huge thanks again to Luigi, Keith, Aoki and Jesse for heading out there with me and putting up with my shit. Huge thanks to Metal Mulisha for lending us their van for a pit vehicle as well as clothes and tentage! Thanks dudes, you kick much ass.

I also want to say that the Hankook RS3's are a world of difference from any other tire I have used, and it is an honor to be on your team! LuigiFAB built one hell of a car to drive, The Radium engineering fuel system was flawless, the Turbo by Garrett gave me so much boost at sea level we didn't know what to do with it while the Turbosmart boost controller and wastegates made it easy to fix the overboost issues we were having,  the SPEC clutch held on to everything we could throw at it, the STATUS racing seats got more attention from fans than anything else on the car (well done guys!!!), 2one3 Graphics killed the wrap game, and I cannot wait to get the Raw Brokerage 2.8 stroker in there
We arrived in California on tues evening late, and slept near the Hankook Tires USA warehouse to pick up some tires. Paul greeted us first thing in the morning on Weds. bright and early to say hello and get us the much needed RS3's.Pauls a busy busy man, so we snapped a photo, loaded up tires and headed on out to Long Beach for our tech appt. at 2pm.

Left to right: Aoki, Luigi, Keith, myself and Paul <3 Behind the camera is Jesse!
We got to the event, and like the other rookies, were situated in a paddock across the track from the pits. We were sharing some space with Mr. Andy Hatley, who got his license from Top Drift the same year I did. His car is amazing!!

We didn't pass tech on our first try... I messed up and misread the rules on the driveshaft loop thinking the stuck carrier bearing bracket would work, and I was wrong 100% there. I also had my subframe too high in the rear. After heading to a local speed shop, we got the loop and sub frame fixed and headed to tech the next day for the passing grade.

Practice: We missed the small window to get the pit vehicle across the track, and I was without it for practice, they let me on track, but not my support vehicle right behind me. Lesson learned!!! Be there 20 early for everything.

It turns out an hour of practice is a very tough time to learn the course in. My first lap I took it easy, and just drove it to feel out the course. Second lap, line up, accelerate down the chute, and BAM car is cutting out bad, shut it down and drive through. Second lap, same thing. 3rd lap turn the boost way down, and almost kinda drift sometimes on the course. Startline guy says last run, and I take off for the last lap of practice. I barely make it all the way through the course, horrible line, no angle e-brakes everywhere.

We get back to the pits and try and fix the steering issue to no avail. It's binding up bad. Well, it's now time for qualifying.

Qualifying: I head to the line and get the go ahead from Formula Dread... Car breaks up bad all the way down the chute so instead of trying to wreck the car I take it easy and throw down an auto cross run. In all the chaos and being nervous, I forgot to turn the boost back down. #idiot

Luckily OMG Drift captured some of my autocross run :) Thanks Drew!

I sat in the stands and watched the rest of qualifying to get an idea of the course, since I had almost no practice on it. I got back in the car, turned the boost down, and set off for my second run... Car didn't break up! 1st, 2nd, 3rd.......... Enter, hugged the rumble strip, came out towards the first wall, flicked back to the 2nd, car was still boosting fine! Hold angle towards the last outer, gas gas gas and bam, steering rack binds :( I spin out in glorious fashion at my first ever Formula D event. Recieving 2 0's I knew the weekend was over driving wise.

Here is the sequence of events in photoform:

The lineup
First outer wall

2nd outer wall

Towards the last outer clip

The start of the outer clip

The spin...
After qualifying, Hankook was kind enough to house my car at their booth, and thank you for that! I sat out for quite some time talking to fans about the build, the parts, and the car in general. I am glad everyone seemed to like it, thank you all!

So much love to my sponsors, thank you for everything! I learned a lot, and will get the car dialed for the next round. See you all in Atlanta!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Prep for the Streets of Long Beach

Where do I even begin? The sleepless nights leading up to the last minute hustle to get everything done and out the door? The stress that comes with going above and beyond your normal way and means to make something happen? The financial strain professional drifting has on your average rookie? All of these things were my team and I's (along with many others) life leading up to the event this past weekend in Long Beach, CA. This is going to be a long one, since I didn't have time to post up before we left.

These are the trials and tribulations of a Formula D Rookie!

Also Jesse Wood made us a pre edit for FD :) Peep it for some behind the scenes action.

Wednesday, March 26th
First off, this build could not have been finished in time without the help from Keith Slight of Factory Edge, Jim Guthrie, Luigi Truden, Joshua Cain and Foxy from Car Crafters and Josh Resner of 2one3 Graphics. Thank you all so much!!!!!

Also my sponsors, without whom none of this would have happened. Factory Edge Clothing, 2one3 Graphics, Hankook USA, Raw Brokerage, Status Racing, Radium Engineering, Turbo by Garrett, Motiva, Turbosmart USA, SPEC Clutch, LuigiFAB, Car Crafters, Metal Mulisha, Melin and Whiskey Garage. Pumped to be a part of your teams!!!!

Lot's of parts for the stroker motor have not arrived from different sources, and we make the decision to run the stock RB25det from my 2013 pro am car for LB. We took it out and stabbed it that very day thanks to Josh Cain. While we did that, Foxy finished the firewalls for the rear mount setup.

Garrett GTX3076r
Foxy finishing the firewall

He killed it on the piping covers too

Insert plate to cover the rest of the hoses here.

Thursday, March 27th
The (wrong) motor is in, the car has its Car Crafters wiring harness all plugged in and ready to try firing. Goal is to test the car tomorrow, Saturday. It's almost midnight when we try to fire it the first time. Smoke starts pouring out from in between the valve covers with that unmistakable smell of a coil pack destroying itself. No way we are going to find a new coil pack before the event in Albuquerque.

So now the car still doesn't run, and many many things need to happen to pass the looming tech date of the 2nd. Luigi and I have spent 14 -16 hour days all week prepping the little things that go into an FD chassis. Pouring over the rulebook and minimizing the inevitable failings we will get when we actually go through tech. Disheartened and frustrated, this is how the car sat leaving the shop that night.
So much left to do!

Friday, March 28th
Since we had already chapped a few bits off the black cars harness, and there was no way we could find an RB25 coilpack in time, we hacked off the ls1 coilpack harness and spent a part of the day wiring that in. We also put the finishing touches on the dash wiring and gauges, and threw it in the car. Now that we had painted the wheels, and mounted tires the car could be a roller for the first time! #smallvictories Luigi and Foxy made a pretty sweet cover for the plugs that the LS coilpacks mounted too as well. Really cleaned up the bay. We put the mesh on the trunk and riveted the rings in place, I love the way it turned out. Once the small stuff was buttoned and we fired the motor for the first time, we tossed on the body panels and wheels to see what it looked like. Luigi put her up on to the alignment rack and got her rolling right. We then ran it over to Motiva to have my tuner Scotty put it on the rollers. It was late and cops were called (sorry guys!!!) But it made decent power and gave us something to test with. 520hp, 490tq.

Turbosmart e-Boost 2

Reliable coilpacks mounted!

Roller for the first time!

It even looked good grey, and you can see the uber sexy Status Racing seat

Saturday, March 29th
The long hours and stress had gotten the best of us and we decided to take a small break after working during the morning with intentions to test the car on Sunday. 2one3 Graphics came in full throttle with Josh Resner, Keith Slight, Kory Slight, Aoki Chan, and Jesse Wood who all came to the shop around 9 to start the all night wrap the car party. I bought a 50 pack of nuggets and off we went wrapping. Again, cannot thank them enough, especially since we didn't finish until 6am.

Sunday, March 30th
With the car wrapped and running, we slapped on a few sets of Hankook Ventus RS-3's and we headed to the track for a very small amount of test time since the track was doing some sort of nascar drive experience thing.

Testing went well enough for what we needed and we headed back to pack up the rig for the trip. There were a few things we wanted to fix but we had no time. Out tech day was on weds, and the glass still wasnt in the car.

Monday, March 31st
We took the car back to the dyno to fix some last minute issues (which would end up haunting us), put the glass in it, buttoned her all together for the first time, snapped a few pics and rolled her into the trailer that Jim was kind enough to let us use for the first event... Thank you Jim!!

Tuesday, May 1st
We packed her up and headed to LBC for Formula Drift Round 1! My first ever pro event. What a run up, but super proud of all we have accomplished. Stay tuned for the FDLBC post soon!!

<3 Dan