|Local Drifter Shines After Rain Storm|
|Written by Casey Kopp, Special to the Weekly|
Modern Drifting, a relatively new style of racing that has gained popularity since its official professional U.S. debut in 1993, is a sport that combines speed, skill and mettle (and to some, maybe even a little bit of insanity). Drivers are judged not on their overall time to complete a course, as most other types of racing are judged, but more for their speed, angle and ability to effectively navigate a tight course while sliding their cars in and out of the turns.
Drivers start with a 100 point score and receive point deductions for various infractions that are set out at each event. These infractions can range from wheels crossing outside of the track, drivers not keeping their “drift” throughout the course or even the lack of angle that a car has when drifting around a turn.
Drivers qualify by making two non-consecutive judged laps and having their top score place in the field of the top 32 racers. Once in the field of 32, racers are matched up similar to the yearly NCAA Tournament, where the #1 seed faces the #32 seed, and so on until a winner is crowned.
The Formula Drift event held on July 20th and 21st at the Evergreen Speedway in Monroe marked the 5th round of competition for the 2012 season and included some of the world’s top drifters. An early rain storm threatened to put a damper on track conditions, but the weather let up, and by race time the track was in prime shape.
Walker Wilkerson, a 22-year old drifter from Snohomish, is one of the newest and youngest racers on the circuit, and proved that he has what it takes to compete at this level. After qualifying in 8th place out of 58 competitors, Wilkerson won his first round matchup against rookie Chelsea DeNofa, and eventually lost in the round of 16 to #9 seed Matt Powers.
Vaughn Gittin, Jr., who had not qualified lower than third place in any event this year, took first place for his second straight Formula Drift Pro Championship victory.
For more information on Formula Drift events, please visit www.formulad.com.