The 2010 season was a roller coaster ride. Starting with the first event we had bumps in the road, evergreen speedway held the first open drift of the season and of course we had a lot of fine tuning to do so we were there ready to rock!
Shortly after we began the first issue struck……I blew out 3rd gear, which was a huge disappointment. Then…a few runs later the engine went. A great start to the season!
We missed one event while rebuilding the engine with parts assistance from ASP. After the rebuild and retune we reached 428hp 372tq thanks to Chris Jeanneret’s tuning abilities and Speed Factory’s dyno. With the support of Phil Su Atourney at law, AA used tires, and Big Boy Media we were ready for Evergreen Drift/Formula D Pro-Am round 1.
The car was running perfect and I had never felt more comfortable, we quickly worked through the ranks to the final battle. After a few one more time battles for first place Formula Drift with professional driver Ian Fournier, he took first leaving me to take the 2nd place spot on the podium.
Preparing for round 2 we acquired Northwestnissans.com as a new sponsor! In the 2nd round we were knocked out in the top 4 by Kohei Nakamura who had been riding on a streak of 1st place finished since the end of 2009. He went on to win round 2, leaving me to battle it out for 3rd.
Round 3 is when disaster struck. The thursday practice with the Formula Drift professionals was a long day. We blew the motor while chasing former Formula D champion Tanner Foust, we were down but not out. While tearing into the engine to see if we could pull an all nighter and replace the engine I received a call, Phil Su called and offered me his car, it was a similar car to mine and I gladly accepted. The car was Pro-Am legal but needed quite a bit of re-assembly and engine tuning before it would be ready for the battle in this round. Jeff Phillips and Mike“Nascar”Nason helped get the new car running and the morning of qualifying Chris Jeanneret of Car Nutz Customs fine tuned the engine and noticed an issue with the car.
The car would randomly cut out mid drift, this was not comforting to me but I had to make it work. After replacing multiple parts we finally found the issue and repaired it just in time to qualify. With little experience in the new car and the issues just being repaired we still qualified for the event, round 1 we were paired up with Kyle Pollard in his S2000 powered AE86. After our first run I had the advantage, then at the beginning of our 2nd run a coupler blew due to the issues we had the day before and we lost all power. This gave Kyle the win and he went on to take first place for the weekend.
After the excitement that was involved with Forumla D weekend, we decided to take the backup car to a drift demonstration at Pacific Raceways Road course. After a few runs of our drift course the car suffered a catastrophic engine failure…. so much for a relaxing weekend.
After another quick rebuild we had my original car back up and running and ready for Evergreen round 4! Going into round 4 we were 2nd place in the points championship and ready to fight. My first battle paired me with an Evergreen Drift Pro-Am veteran Trent Stromkins, after our first 2 battles the judges called for a one more time. The battle against Trent and his little SR20 powered AE86 was a good one, but unfortunately for me, he prevailed. My Next battle was with my friend and fellow driver Andrew Coomes, whom was catching up in points to me, and with Peter Funatake widening the gap for first I knew round 5 was going to be an all out battle.
This round re-introduced me to the final 4 where I fought a good hard battle against Andrew Coomes and his LS2 powered S13. Unfortunately he defeated me and moved on to the final 2 leaving me and Nik Jiminez to battle for 3rd. Nik is no stranger to these battles and he was bringing the fight to me as hard as I was to him…. In the end, I prevailed. This ended the season with another podium position and 2nd place overall in the Evergreen Drift Pro-Am Champinship.
I would like to thank Jeff Phillips, Mike Nason, Chris Jeanneret, Matt Brandow, Jay Ramos, Kristi Hughes, Natalie Phillips, Marc Hoglund, Phil Su Attourney at law, AA used tires, Northwestnissans.com, Big Boy Media, and our newest sponsor NissanParts.cc four all of your support this season.
Stay tuned for my adventure to irwindale!
- Mike Phillips