EVD 80 Grassroots Recap
This Year our Final round of grassroots and Pro-Am competition was held during the Evergreen State fair, which set a proper festive mood behind the cumulating efforts of the season. After rolling past “Carney-camp” and heading into the event, the usual large turnout made me anxious to get things started. At the end of the day would be crowning a new grassroots champion, new pro-am champion, and I would also be awarding 4 new Formula D professional Licenses.
The sounds of fun and the smell of fair food was lingering the whole event. Dropping stomachs in the morning as drivers made their preparations and got ready for practice. I took advantage of my free time and grabbed a bag of scones; fair scones are the breakfast of champions.
Grassroots saw its share of both new talent, and returning favorites. Dio Ortiz of Nissan Parts Debuts his new vinyl wrapped s13 type x. And Congrats to Gaelen Norman of Northwest Nissans, he took top qualifier in grassroots.
Casey Torres was back in his new car, the Fatsack Drifters/ Intec Racing convertible s13.4, unfortunately met the wall before the big competition due to broken tie rod. The rest of qualifying went fairly smoothly and we had our top 32 drivers for grassroots set in stone.
Top 32 even saw some close battles. A One more time was called between the SC300 of Tom Ake and the Ford Mustang GT. Bro Stang drivers name always seems to escape me, but he has been a blast to watch progress this season. Tom as well running strongly on his run and ended with an exclamation wall tap.
Trevor Mohror, in his potato cannon, coming from Idaho and taking the win over Tommy Bennys.
Also saw the first competition showing of the Hotboys turbo Miata, Jordan Hall from Canada, but he too fell victim to a spin.
We Had made our way to top 16. The Judges were realizing that the calls were getting close. One very close Pseudo tandem was between Canadian Joey Portelli and Kristian Watkins. Team Midnighters got the advance but Kristians performance was great and he’s looking really strong with the new power and changes he’s made
Trevor Mohror went up against Nikki San Miguel in Top 16. Trevor spun on his first run after looking really strong. Nikki did have a big correction coming off the bank on one of her runs, but a good save and decent finish lead her on to top 8. Which would be her best finish thus far!
Clayton McWade drove well for his first event on at new SR20. Beating out Peter Taylor who continues to hold strong in his KA S14.
Another American – Canadian battle, but quiet carnage ensues as Marc-Andre falls out of drift and heads to the pit after one of his runs; due to either a broken axle or something. Giving the advance to John Raymer.
The 1st Grassroots tandem battle of the day paired Jesse Hayes and Trais Taylor. Drivers were setting up for a proper battle making strong initiations on the bank, but Taylor spun in front on the bank, so Jesse Hays advanced on to the top 8.
Our Top 8 in Grassroots started with Gaelen N going up in a friendly battle against his Canadian brethren Joey Portelli. Joey took the win.
The highlight of the top 8 was when Nikki was paired up against Chris Goldie wells. Chris laid down a high line on the bank, and set the bar high for Nikki. Going into her final run she made the right move and tried to get close to the wall, but ended up washing a lil to wide… the result was a spectacular crash into tires sending them everywhere along with dirt and debris alike. She walked away giggling…
Pressure was on in the Final Four. Everyone wants in on Podium! Possibly having motor problems, Rocker Chris was knocked out by Joey Portelli, who remained consistent. It was another close battle between Travis Takamori and John Raymer, but Travis spun on his second run so he ends up paired with Rocker Chris while John will go on to battle Portelli.
Battle For 3rd. A High line on the bank from Rocker Chris into a nice tight inside line around the 2nd clipping point. But he cuts his line on the last two clipping points and spins out through the hairpin. Takamori answers with a flawless 1st run. Chris cleaned things up on his second run, but it was too little too late as Travis Takamori rocks another solid run for a ride into 3rd place!
Final Fight! Joey Portelli was down to the last of life on his tires. Was strong on his first run but was lacking a little bit of speed. Johnathan Raymer would be a tough opponent as both of these guys have been clean and progressive all season long. Joey was the veteran having a previous season under his belt ranking fairly well in 2011, but this was Johnathan Raymer's first year competing, and was not going to make things easy for Joey. Raymer had a decent start but fell off line during the hairpin. Things were fairly even at this point. The Canadian Cleans it up on his final run just enough to pull the advantage over Raymer and take the #1 spot on podium.
A Great Finish for the Grassroots Season. 2013 will certainly see more new drivers and tighter competition.
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