Team Falken Newcomers Carry Torch On Rain-Soaked Streets Of Long Beach
New Falken team members Odi Bakchis placing fourth after a close battle in the Top 4 round, while Matt Field placed seventh.
Continuous rain throughout the weekend made track conditions slippery and control strategies challenging during the two-day Formula Drift event.
It was rare for rain to cancel qualifying, resulting in the 2015 final seeding used to determine qualifying order. In the Top 32 Round, Field and Bakchis, along with teammate Tyler McQuarrie, came out swinging, with McQuarrie unfortunately defeating another Falken teammate, Dai Yoshihara. Final Falken entrant Justin Pawlak also went down during this round.
Both Field and Bakchis advanced to the Top 16, with Bakchis continuing on to the Top 4, where he lost to Fredric Aasbo, who finished second to winner Chelsea Denofa.
“It was strange weather all around us,” stated Jonathan Bradford, Falken Manager, Motorsports and Events. “The rain impacted our efforts with the lack of qualifying. Formula D officials determined it was better to start with a full field of 32 entrants based on last year’s finishing order rather than wreck cars – which did happen throughout the actual competition – during Friday’s practice session. I’m proud of our team as a whole as they worked together to have a very respectable start to the 2016 season.”