St. Louis was a wild round of Formula Drift 2022, won by Kazuya Taguchi in his Up-Garage, ISR Performance, VR-38-powered GT86. This was the fifth round of the 19th season and the fifth consecutive different winner of 2022. Quite the contrast from last season, in which two drivers, Chelsea Denofa and Odi Bakchis, won 3 rounds each, of the 8 in total. Kazuya Taguchi was the second driver this year, following Ryan Tuerck at Long beach, to have a perfect event, meaning number one qualifier, winning all of his individual battles, and climbing up to the top of the podium. This was a triple first for Kazuya Taguchi in his US Formula Drift career, first #1 Qualification, first podium in FD Pro, and first event win in FD Pro.
This was an emotional win for Taguchi, achieved through consistent and accurate driving, filling his zones in the lead position, and being aggressive but smooth in the chase. Although he was nearly robotic in his lead runs, with a buttery flow across the track, the same could not be said about those chasing him. Matt Field, 3rd place finisher, gave Taguchi several “love taps” around the track from the chase and sent Taguchi sliding off into the chainlink fence in outer zone four in the semifinals. Additionally, Ryan Tuerck, 2nd place finisher, crashed into Taguchi just feet from the finish line in the first portion of the final battle, breaking the 86’s rear subframe, and ultimately forcing the win for Taguchi.
Due to the incredibly exciting reality of 5 different event winners in the first 5 rounds, the championship standings have been consistently shaken up, and as always, things have come down to consistency. Matt Field, driver of the Falken Tires, Drift Cave, C6 Corvette, is in the lead, with an impressive run of placing no lower than 4th at each round so far this year. Matt Field placed 2nd in the 2021 Formula Drift championship and has vowed to his fans, team, and competitors that this will be his year to take home their biggest trophy.
The Formula Drift competitors faced several challenges in this crossroads round, battling the heat, with temperatures of over 103 degrees Fahrenheit on competition day, attrition of parts on their cars, (frequently done in by issues with power steering pumps) as well as lots of contact with other drivers, sometimes after the finish line. There was one wild crash in particular well after the finish line, luckily caught on camera by Daily Driver Media, involving Ferrari 599 driver Federico Sceriffo getting hit from behind by the chase driver, Daniel Stuke, in his Nissan S15, in which the Silvia had all 4 tires leave the ground, launched into the air by his front right tire making sticky contact with Federico’s rear left tire. Daniel Stuke – Federico Sceriffo CRASH – Formula Drift St. Louis
Rd 5 in St Louis was a steamy and fun competition to attend and spectate, capped off by an emotional and exciting win just after midnight for the final trophy ceremony.
In a very exciting turn of events, a St Louis native, Derek Madison, made it to 2nd place on the podium, flanked by Dimitry Brutskiy in 3rd and Evan Bogovich in 1st. It was a wild set of battles, riddled with one-more-times that resulted in Derek Madison making it to the finals. He battled the current points leader Robert Thorne in the great eight, a rookie and newcomer to FD, but a very talented racing driver, who’s accomplished in grip racing. Dimitry Brutskiy is the 2 time and defending champion of ProSpec, having won in 2020 and 2021.
Brutskiy, post-St. Louis is in 2nd place in the championship, behind rookie Robert Thorne by only ONE POINT. Evan Bogovich is just six points back from Brutskiy. With only four total rounds in the ProSpec championship, the final round in Utah will be crucial to earning points for the championship for all of the top 6 drivers.
Notable drivers and their cars:
Robert Thorne, ASMotorsports BMW E46 sedan
Dimitry Brutskiy, Drift HQ, Never Settle BMW E46 coupe
Evan Bogovich, Feal Suspension, Pedal Commander Nissan S14.9
Alex Jagger, NOS energy drink, Forsberg Racing Nissan 370z
Derek Madison, Fuelab fuel systems Nissan s14
Andy Hateley “Habenero” BMW E46 coupe
Amanda Sorensen, Air Force BMW