Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Formula D Irwindale Recap - Words from Matt Field

The Formula Drift season was wrapped up at Toyota Irwindale Speedway. It was one of those events that had to be watched. The crashes changed up the standings and made for a hardcore battle with Tyler McQuarrie taking the win. This year was Matt Field's first nation wide tour missing out on one event in Florida due to a fuel pump issue. All in all this season, Matt proved he's plenty capable to run with the big boys. Given more opportunities next season, Matt's skill and strategy will only make him stronger. We're honored to include Matt Field to the BlackTrax Family. To close out this drifting season, here are a few words from him about Irwindale. We'll see you next season!! 

"We left San Jose right after school on Wednesday, took the grueling 6 hour drive down south to Toyota Speedway Irwindale.Got in and checked into the hotel, watched some TV and tried to push past the excitement and fall asleep. Thursday morning came and I was ready to drift. Pactice was going alright; I was having some trouble riding the high line on the bank. The crew and I kept adjusting suspension, played with tire pressure and did as much as we could to get me high on the bank without sacrificing too much infield grip. By the end of Thursday practice we had a decent setup on the car, we left knowing that we had room to get better. The game plan for Friday was to dial the car in as much as possible to lay down a good qualifying run, then work on our night setup in Top 32 practice after qualifying.

Friday finally came around and I was ready to qualify. We made a few more adjustments on the car and we felt it was as good as it was going to get, so we were ready to do it. I was feeling good going into qualifying, not my usual nervous self. I was amped up, and ready to lay it down. I strap in and pull up to the line. Let’s do this! I slam it into 4th gear right before initiation, clutch kick and throw the car up towards the outer bank wall, here we go. I rode the bank well and came off it nice and high; I threw the car over the start finish clip and began to flick the car into the inner bank. "Ride that inner bank" I downshifted and use my angle to slow me down, then stood on the gas, pulled off the inner bank wall and began my transition to the next outer clipping point towards the end of the track. With an aggressive flick and large amounts of tire smoke I finish the run off strong with a 76.5. Not the best score but I made it in the show with this score. Feeling confident with a good score under my belt, I decided to throw down hard on the 2nd run. The run started off well with my car up on the bank but as I transitioned into the inner bank I wasn't as close to the wall as my first run, and if you’re not on the inner wall, you’re not going to beat a 76. I threw the car as hard as I could into the last corner and spun, the run wasn't going to be as good as my first run so I tried to just get super gangster angle going in there and just did not have the speed to correct the mass amounts of angle I was getting and I spun. No biggy, I’ll take the 76.5! I ended up qualifying 17th. I don’t like qualifying in the middle of the field because you normally end up going against the number 1 qualifier. Whatever, were in the show so let’s just stay focused on Top 32 practice. After debating with my crew and I decided that we were going to change out the rear sway bar in hopes that it would help me around the bank. I roll out on grid with just my crew chief in my passenger seat and a tire pressure gauge. I only had enough tires to burn up one set in this qualifying session. One set lasted about 3 runs. My first run out I could tell the car was 100x better, high on the bank and still sufficient grip on the infield. We played with tire pressure a bit and I went out for my second run. High on the bank with a wall tap on the inner bank. Perfection! Last run for the night was a follow run and it went great. I fell asleep confident on Friday night.

Morning sunshine, Top 32 here we come. We get to the track and the place is beginning to fill up. Crowds are gathering left and right, as the crew and I head out for Top 32 battle against Chris Forsberg. Chris really is my favorite driver in FD, He's a great guy and always willing to help me out, but now its game time! The first run I had to follow, as we initiate into the bank I start closing on him, I was a bit confused because I started to close in on him around the bank, As I reeled him in we came off the bank and threw it into the inner bank. I tried to close in on him as much as possible. We finished out the run and it was now my turn to lead. I take off down the straight and clutch kick into the bank; I ride the wall nice and high and come off the bank at full speed. I toss it into the inner bank and tap the wall, sweet. I come off the bank with my foot the floor and try to run away from Forsberg. It’s tough to run from that guy! The judges gave it to Forsberg, so my drifting weekend was over. I felt that the two runs against him were my best two runs of the whole weekend. The car felt great, I was feeling great, but I guess in the end he had some near perfect runs. I’d really like to thank my sponsors for all their help through the season. Without you guys this season would not have happened. I had an awesome time driving for all of you. I can't wait for next season; it’s time to bring the freakin’ HEAT!"

-matt field

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