Formula Drift, the professional drifting series in the United States, comes to Seattle, Washington once a year. For the past four years we have had the pleasure of attending the event and partnering with our good friends from Tein Suspension. At every Formula Drift event Tein has a vendor booth where they demonstrate their awesome line of suspension parts and typically at the Seattle events one of our drivers, #19 Damir Pecenkovic, joins Paul of Tein’s Marketing team in running that booth. This year was a bit special as Paul informed us that he wanted to feature the #19 Mazda MX-5 Miata in the Tein booth as the official display car. This was quite a surprise and honor for us as we know the kind of cars that you normally see in Formula Drift vendor booth displays. Typically, and this was the exact case at this particular event, you see modified drift cars or heavily modified show cars such as widebody Nissan GTRs. In this case, the booth to the right and the booth to the left of the Tein booth both featured a widebody Nissan R35 GTR. With that said, we definitely knew that the #19 Mazda MX-5 Miata was not going to be your typical booth car, and with it being mostly modified for the track with not much in the “show car department” going on, we didn’t expect it to get much attention as a booth vehicle. Boy were we surprised, the #19 Mazda MX-5 Miata created quite a large crowd around the Tein booth for the entirety of the Formula Drift event. Many spectators came up and asked questions about the new generation Miata and admired its new look compared the the older Miatas that they are used to seeing. Many of the booths visitors also had questions about the cars suspension setup and questions on the cars other modifications as they saw photos (the booth had track photos of the car on display) of the car on track and wanted to know what was done to the car to make it perform the way that it did. Many people inquired about what the car was like to drive on and off the track. Naturally we were more than happy to discuss the particulars of the car as we always enjoy talking cars with other car enthusiasts. All in all we would say that having the #19 Mazda MX-5 Miata as a booth car was fun and entertaining and allowed us to talk to many awesome car enthusiasts.
Outside of the time that Damir spent working at the Tein booth Damir was able to check out the awesome and super exciting Formula Drift action as well as reconnect with some of the Formula Drift drivers that he has know for some time now and normally gets to see only a few times a year. The event itself was excellent as usual with the Seattle based crowd getting quite rowdy for the racing and getting extremely loud any time a “One More Time” run took place. The event had some really exciting battles as well as the moment when Dean Kearney’s twin turbo, Oracle Lighting, Achilles Radial Dodge Viper lost its wing by touching the wall. This was a rather exciting moment as the wing took off a good thirty to forty feet in to the air after taping the wall ever so slightly. Results wise the event was spectacular with the two Worthouse cars batteling it out in the end and basically touching doors on one run. All and all it was really difficult to find any complaining when it comes to the racing, the weather on the other hand was a different story. The thing is, this is Seattle, and weather wise you never really know what you are going to get Two years ago it rained all race weekend, last year was basically as perfect as it gets, and this year, well it was hot! The weekends before and after the event Seattle experienced a perfect low seventies weekend but sandwiched in between those perfect two weekends was race weekend that saw record highs in the high nineties and low hundreds. Combine that with the super hot tarmac of the track and heat being put off by the race cars and you have yourself a perfect recipe for a super hot weekend.
Still even with the heat, it was a phenomenal event just like it has been for years now and we look forward to attending it again next year. Who knows maybe we make another appearance as a booth car in the future. Outside of all of the booth work, if you can call it that, and the racing action, we had a chance to interact with the drivers and fans and even added some new “design” elements to the #19 car. We had a chance to meet up with Kyle Mohan and talk ND Miatas (mind you his is on a whole different level than the #19 car) and when he was done giving us a two thumbs up nod of approval for our setup of the #19 car he signed the fuse box cover. This gave us an idea and we had a few other drivers sign the #19 car under the hood including Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Ken Gushi. Who knows, maybe next year we can get a few more, should provide an interesting look under the hood.
With that being said the event was a complete success and we hope to join Paul and the Tein team again at next years event. Be sure to join us if you are in the area as the Formula Drift events at Evergreen Raceway in Monroe, WA are always a great time and one of the best stops on the Formula Drift calendar. See you next year.