Irwindale Preview

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In just under a week, we’ll know who the 2012 Formula D champion is, but for now we can only look at the stats and make predictions. This was supposed to be Justin Pawlak’s year, but Daigo Saito and back to back Round of 32 losses at Evergreen and Las Vegas have been a serious hinderance. With the final round at Irwindale coming up fast, can JTP get back ahead of 2010 champ Vaughn Gittin, Jr.? Let’s take a look at some possible scenarios.

With 112 points possible per round, 7th place driver Ryan Tuerck is the lowest ranked driver who can still take the championship. He’s 89.5 points behind JR, so even if he qualified first and won at Irwindale, all JR would have to do is qualify and Ryan would be out.
 
Fredric Aasbø is currently in 6th place and 77.5 points behind JR, so if the Norwegian Hammer got a perfect score at Irwindale, JR would have to qualify second or make it to the Round of 16 in order to maintain his lead.
 
Defending champion Daijiro Yoshihara is in the mix too, currently sitting in 5th.  Leading by 71.5 points, JR needs at least a top 16 finish in order to guarantee staying ahead of him.
 
With a repeat win at Long Beach and again at Atlanta, JTP seemed unstoppable, until Daigo Saito stopped him at Palm Beach.
 
Pawlak slipped down to 4th place after his huge back to back upsets, but he’s still got a chance. Just like Dai, JR needs a Top 16 finish in order to stay ahead. If these two get paired up in the Round of 32 you’re sure to see a good show.
 
Rhys Millen was Formula D’s second champion, but he hasn’t been on top since then. The first half of his season was average, but with back to back podiums in the last two rounds – and one of those a win – Rhys is a serious threat. Currently in 3rd place with 428.25 points, a perfect score in Irwindale would mean JR needs to go all the way to the Final Four if he wants to keep the lead.
 
The most controversial driver in the series is none other than Daigo Saito. With fans and industry people alike questioning his rookie status, there’s no doubt he’s an absolutely fearless driver. The D1 champ can maintain proximity while following like no one else, though his shallow chase lines consistently irk his competitors.
 
Daigo crashed hard at Vegas, but the car is already back together and ready to go. If Daigo can pull off a perfect score, JR can qualify low and finish second, or qualify second and finish third and still keep him from winning it all. Given the 2nd place driver’s history with qualifying, a Final Four finish for JR should be enough.
 
Are we going to see this face again? JR certainly has his work cut out for him: nothing short of a Final Four finish will guarantee him another championship. Can he do it? Come to Irwindale next weekend and find out!
 
 
 
.:Bohan
Photos by Bohan & Ayala
 
 
 

5 thoughts on “Irwindale Preview

  1. The ‘rookie’? Idk how they can give him rookie stats when he’s the mist decorated drifter in the whole series, prolly ever.

  2. Eh, I am over that rookie talk. He is a rookie in this series for the fact that he has not earned points in it before. And they talk about him dialing in new tracks so fast and being competitive with everyone else. but a lot of them were new layouts for everyone. Also, he wasn’t always “dialed” into the tracks, smashing clipping points with the door over and over would have been a fail for many others.

  3. I love his car, he seems cool (or tries really hard to be), but I really don’t like how FD handles him. As far as his ontrack tricks, I don’t like them but the series is more interesting with that “villain driver” shit that has made other racing series more exciting.

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