Formula Drift 2022 - Atlanta
May 24, 2022
There were mixed fortunes for the MOMO / Forgestar-sponsored drivers at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on May 7 for Round 2 of the Formula DRIFT PRO Championship. Matt Field arrived with a repaired Drift Cave / Falken Tire C6 Corvette after its brush(es) with the wall at the opening round on the Streets of Long Beach. An eager Fredric Aasbo had inadvertently made contact with Field’s rear bumper, causing the Vette to spin, damaging every corner on the unforgiving concrete barriers.
Despite the trauma, Field finished second in Long Beach and arrived in Atlanta in good spirits. This resulted in a 93-point qualifying run and first position for the competition heats. Dylan Hughes driving the DHR / Royal Purple / Falken Tire BMW scored 84 points, and placed 13th overall in qualifying. Hughes was paired against Mike Power in the Top 32 competition heats, and set a blistering pace from the starting line. However, Hughes broke an axle on this BMW and, despite a Competition Time Out (CTO) to make repairs, was unable to complete the second run. Eliminated from the round, Hughes finished 18th overall.
Field had a far more successful FD ATL weekend but not without drama. In the Top 32 heats, paired against Yves Meyer, the Swiss driver collided with the Corvette at Outside Zone 2 (OZ2) as he surged into the corner in an attempt to maintain proximity. Damaging the front right corner, Field limped to the pits and made repairs in time to win the heat despite appearing with no front bodywork for the second run.
In the Top 16, Field faced Alec Robbins who was struggling against the speed of the Drift Cave / Falken Tire C6 Corvette. After going wide at Inside Clip 1 (IC1), Robbins found himself on the grass at Outside Zone 1 (OZ1) and spun to a halt with two tires de- beaded from the wheels. After both drivers were allowed to replace tires and check their cars, Robbins went off again at the Touch & Go, possibly as a result of the earlier damage but undoubtedly in an unsuccessful attempt to put pressure on Field.
Advancing to the Top 8, Field’s next opponent was Jeff Jones. On their first run, both drivers did exceptionally and received a huge ovation from the crowd. On the second run, Jones slowed unexpectedly at IC1, causing Field to lift and adjust his line. Field then struggled to regain his composure and catch Jones but, as the victim of Jones’ error, Field was awarded the win.
In the Top 4, Field met Forsberg in a battle to the death. Leading the first run, Field set an astonishing pace that Forsberg struggled to match on the uphill chase but closed the gap in the technical sections and finished with good proximity. With an advantage going into the second run, Field just needed a clean lap to reach the finals. However, the car broke at OZ2, but thanks to his first qualifying position, Field took third overall and finished the weekend sitting in second in the 2022 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship standings.