ESDA Exhibition Event Results from Lime Rock
Last weekend, the Forza Drifting Season kicked off to an exciting start as ESDA hosted their first round of the season on Lime Rock Park. Competitors got together from all over the world to compete in this exhibition round, (meaning results won’t reflect championship points) and there was certainly no shortage of talent. With over 200 sign-ups and over 170 drivers showing up for qualifying, the ESDA Staff members certainly had their work cut out for them. Qualifying was held on the Saturday of February 24th, with early qualifying time slots available for those who couldn’t make it over the weekend. With only 32 spots up for grabs, drivers had to give it their all on both of their runs, if they wanted a spot in the show. As a result we saw a lot of competitors putting themselves out of contention, whether it be the early season nerves, or just the sheer pressure of knowing there’s only a handful of spots up for grabs. However, there were plenty of drivers who rose to the occasion and happily took their spot amongst the Top 32. Here’s a look at the top 24 bracket before the battles got under way. Remember, ESDA uses a single elimination system to create the top 16 (Top 8 drivers from qualifying automatically move to top 16 battles, the other 8 battle through top 24) and then double elimination for the top 16 bracket.
Here’s a look at the 8 drivers who made it in the top 16 passed on series points from last season.
Once battles were underway, the official live stream, hosted on ESDA’s youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa8ojdQPKngq2Ovq5mLr0aA) was the place to be to catch all of the action. Almost immediately we were graced with some intense battles as we saw some big names have to duke it out early in competition, including HKS Mr Ink and XE Renjiro. In the end Renjiro narrowly snuck away with the win, though I would have liked to see both of these driver meet up later in competition, but that’s just how the points fall into place sometimes. Plenty of OMT’s were to be had as well, a testament to the amount of work that the staff has put in to balance out the rule book and allow for close, tight tandem battles to be seen regularly. Once top 16 began the pace only increased. Drivers now had a 2nd chance if something went wrong on one of their battles with the introduction of the double elimination “Losers” Bracket. This brought a new element into the competition that I wasn’t used to seeing. I found myself reminding myself throughout the event, that the losing driver wouldn’t be going home just yet. Numerous competitors were able to take advantage of this rule, including the round winner Typical Pylon. TUS Chilly also gained some extra points due to the 2nd chance rules and was able to bring home 3rd place as a result.
The Usual Suspects putting on a clinic, as usual…(TUS Chilly shown in lead)
When all was said and done, ESDA Rookie and first time competitor Typical Pylon brought home the victory in his trusty S13. Pylon’s car was under the 255mm/2,500lbs class and definitely put on the pressure for some other drivers who just didn’t seem to quite have the speed that he did in the little S13 coupe. SCS Wanted pulled away with 2nd after a hard fought and very close battle with Pylon in the finals. Of course, as mentioned, TUS Chilly rounded out the top 3 for the battle at Lime Rock Park. This event also hosted a charity fundraiser for a charity located in the United Kingdom that benefits victims of cancer. (https://twitter.com/CLIC_Sargent) The fundraiser was held on behalf of a dear member of the Forza drifting community, FNK Joshii, who recently passed away. The news has shaken the community deeply. Joshii was the team leader of Simply Funky, a well revered team within the Forza drifting community. I’m very proud of my drifting family as a whole, for coming together through this sad time, and wish Joshii’s friends, teammates, and family all the best as they move forward. So, where to next for the ESDA crew? The next round will be held on Mugello for the World Championship event. This event is invitational and the driver’s list has already been released! Look forward to watching these guys battle it out again on March 31st. All the action will be livestreamed as usual on the E-Sports Drifting Association’s Youtube channel, and of course look forward to more coverage of that event and many more right here!