James Deane Is The 2018 Formula Drift Champion
Worthouse Drift Team driver James Deane retains the Formula Drift championship in a tense and dramatic season finale at Irwindale Speedway, California, whilst teammate Piotr Więcek ends the season in third position.
The final round of the 2018 Formula Drift season would see some of the most dramatic events ever witnessed in the championship in front of a packed crowd at Irwindale Speedway. With a sizeable points lead going into the final round, James Deane looked set to secure a back-to-back Formula Drift Pro title over the next closest competitor, Fredric Aasbø. With Piotr Więcek sitting in third, the Worthouse team were aiming to close the season on a high.
During qualifying, the team’s plan looked to be working perfectly, with James scoring an almost-perfect 99-point run, taking P1. Piotr followed up with a 98-point run for P2, concreting Worthouse’s position at the top of the standings going into Saturday’s main event, and securing both James and Piotr a bye run into the Top 16.
|With the points stacked up, James would need to make it as far as the Top 4 to ensure Aasbø could not catch him on points. Should James be knocked out in either the Top 16 or Top 8, then Aasbø would need to win the event to take the championship from under James. Despite the odds being stacked in James’s favour, a steering fault during his Top 16 battle against Forrest Wang would cause James to understeer and correct his line: a big enough error for judges to award the victory to Wang. With James out of the competition in the Top 16, all he could do was wait to see what happened during Aasbø’s battles.
On the other side of the bracket, Piotr’s luck was no better as he would face an on-form Odi Bakchis. Piotr would drive hard, consistently running the rear of his S15 around Irwindale’s walls, however the judged would deem Bakchis’s performance superior, exiting Piotr from the competition in the Top 16 also. With Piotr eliminated, the fate of James’s championship was in Aasbø’s hands.
With the Worthouse team watching on, with each and every battle the tension rose as Aasbø defeated his opponents. James could do nothing more but watch as Aasbø’s points tally ate into James’s lead with each victory.
Aasbø would eventually reach the finals, where he would meet a hungry and rampant Vaughn Gittin Jr. A tremendously close battle would follow, and then another. The judges would end up calling not one but three One More Times as Aasbø and Gittin Jr stood toe to toe. It was down to the wire, however fate was on James’s side – the judges called Gittin Jr as the eventual winner: James had retained the Formula Drift championship by a margin of just four points! With Piotr finishing the season in a record-high third place, the Worthouse team ended the year on a high as the most successful team in Formula Drift!
“That was intense, words cannot describe the range of emotions the whole crew went through from top 16 up until the final. Fredric and Vaughn in the finals going three times, I have never experienced such a close and tense final before. In the end we managed to retain the Formula Drift Pro Championship and I have never been happier. To everyone that makes this dream a reality all I can say is Thank You”, James commented.
“I have had some of the most fun competing in Formula Drift this season, finishing 3rd on the championship podium with James is beyond what we expected. Already I cannot wait to return for 2019. Thank you to all our sponsors that make this possible” Piotr commented.