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  • Evan Engstrom

Formula Drift Seattle 2017


The day is finally here! A 5 am flight out of Southern Oregon brings me to SeaTac Airport. The closer I get the more excited I get. This is my first time shooting Formula Drift, so you could say I am extremely nervous and excited all at the same time!

As we pulled into the track, my stomach dropped. Here I am, a dream coming true! After getting my wrist band, I walked past the half mile long line and into the speedway. The smell of race fuel and burning tires fill the air, and I couldn't be happier!

My overall goal with this article is to provide a view inside the world of Formula Drift, and the life of the teams, in the pits, as well as on track, so without further due, lets jump in! Welcome to Formula Drift Seattle 2017

As soon as you enter the pits, one of the first cars you would notice would be Daijiro Yoshihara's amazing Subaru Brz, sporting a Rocket Bunny V3 Aero kit and a APR Wing and Canards.

This shot of Chris Forsberg is a perfect representation of pre race prep and the stress that can come before showtime. It's really cool to see the drivers work on their own cars along side their team mechanics. I can only imagine the amount of stress and anxiety each driver and their team endures before and during the event!

As I made my way through the pits, I stopped in and got to hangout with FD Pro Jeff Jones and his team. They were extremely kind and let me hangout in their pit, which gave me a home base to review photos, swap lenses, batteries and such. Jeff is one of the most humble racers out there, doing what he does with what he has and I think that is absolutely incredible!

I continued to wander around the pits and made my way to the starting line, just in time to catch Jeff Jones lining up for a practice run! Surrounded by other photographers and FD fans, the starting line was incredible to witness, as they warmed up their tires and prepared for takeoff.

After a few hours of practice runs, it was time for the autograph signing. A time where race fans can get up close with the drivers. This is one of the many things that sets Formula Drift apart from other racing series, as you get the chance to personally meet each driver before the competition begins. Shameless plug to Doc Drinks for making an awesome and refreshing drink, which was very handy for a hot weekend at Evergreen!

This photo of Yoshihara is pretty cool, as it captures a little bit of his attitude and vibe! He is here to shred tires and go for the win, and have a little fun. A little confidence never hurt!

Okay, Fan girl time: It was absolutely insane to see and shoot along side my biggest inspiration in automotive photography, Larry Chen. Seeing him at this event and being able to meet him was mind blowing. I'm really here, doing what I love, along side my biggest inspirations. (Sorry for the sappy post)

Matt Field's beautiful S14 sporting a beastly Vortech supercharged LSX, pumping out 1060 Bald Eagles to the wheels, and 990tq: a true beast of a car! Especially the design, which was created by Ian Dillon at Factory83, a true master at his craft.

Nothing shows the intensity of drift like a motion packed picture, and Dai Yoshihara is a great demonstrator! Thank you Dai!

Along with all the crazy pro cars, some of the show cars were absolutely insane as well, like this stunning S550, which was displayed at the Ford Motors Trailer. I'm a sucker for a clean S550, especially if its bagged and wide body!

I found this gem sitting in the back side of the pits. Easily the cleanest Supra I have ever seen. And those Cosmis XT-206R wheels are perfect for this beautiful car!

Speaking of Supra's, Dan Burkett truly has a monster of a Toyota Supra! at 900hp, you could say it melts some rubber!

I assumed Brembo would be the brake of choice for the majority of the drivers, but to my surprise, wilwood was easily the #1 choice for most FD Teams. I would imagine most teams run Wilwood brakes to ensure wheel clearance, as the caliper and rotor size seem a bit smaller than most brembo kits.

Worthhouse defiantly knows how to throw down a fantastic run!! James Deane and Piotr Wiecek are two amazing drivers who have incredible drive and passion for the sport and the skill to back it up! Great job, James and Piotr!!

And lastly, A huge congratulations to James Deane and Worthhouse Drift Team for taking home the win in Seattle!! It was truly an amazing weekend, packed full of intense battles and some surprising knockouts.

- It was an honor to be at Formula Drift Seattle, and I am so thankful for the opportunities I've been able to have, to pursue my passion! I hope you truly enjoyed this article! I will post a full gallery shortly!

#FormulaDrift #jeffjonesracing #chrisforsberg #raddanburkett #toyotasupra #EvanEngstrom

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