Team Falken continued its winning ways when Falken driver James Deane scored yet another first place finish in Round 3 of the 2017 Formula Drift Championship at Road Atlanta. Deane fought tough battles all evening to take top honors and move into the lead for this year’s Black Magic Pro Driver’s Championship.
Twenty-eight entries qualified for Road Atlanta, with Falken teammates Matt Field in 4th; Justin Pawlak in 9th; Piotr Wiecek in 11th, Deane in 13th; and Daijiro Yoshihara, 23rd. Deane, piloting his Nissan Silvia S15, and running on Falken Azenis RT615k+ tires, continued moving forward, defeating Dean Kearney in the final. His podium finish continues a record of strong finishes at Road Atlanta, which was the 14th time Formula Drift had visited the legendary racetrack.
“This is an important win for us,” stated Steven Wong, Supervisor, Passenger Car Events. “Falken’s continued success in Formula Drift with our new Azenis RT615K+ once again proves that this tire is a strong, consistent championship contender.
“Deane has proven to be an excellent representative of Falken, on and off the track,” Wong continued. “His exuberance is just remarkable. You can hear it in his voice every time he steps out of his car.”
“This was my first time being here,” Deane noted. “I really enjoyed the track, though initially, I only got one lap, like everyone else, before qualifying, so I wasn’t really comfortable. However, on race day, we made some changes to the car, and I immediately felt much better leading into the battles. For the final, I was up against Dean Kearney, my good friend from Ireland, and I felt the Irish luck was on my side. I wasn’t even thinking about championships or winning or anything, it was just about pushing hard and rubbing doors. I think the fans enjoyed it; I know I enjoyed it, and I have to thank Falken and everyone else who made it possible for me to be standing here.”
After three rounds, Falken also leads the Tire Cup championship, and points toward the 2017 Formula D Pro Championship have Deane first, followed by Falken teammates Wiecek, 11th; Bakchis, 12th, Yoshihara, 13th, Field, 15th, and Pawlak, 19th.
Round four – “the Gauntlet” – will be held June 2-3, at the infamous Wall Speedway in Wall, New Jersey.