Round 7: Final Fight plays to sellout crowd.
Formula DRIFT returned to Irwindale Speedway for the 2014 Pro Championship season finale. Daigo Saito in the Achilles Radial Lexus SC430 (in photo) took the event victor, while Chris Forsberg in the Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z won his second career championship.
Round 7: Final Fight held at Irwindale Speedway did not disappoint the sold out crowd with an action packed weekend that featured the Pro Championship, PRO 2 Championship, Offset Kings car show and more. The Driftstream had over 200,000 unique viewers to the live stream for the event weekend.
“What a way to end the 2014 Pro Championship season,” says Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT. “We could not have asked for a more successful finale. The sold out crowd kept their high energy levels throughout the event and a majority stayed until the final run was complete and a new championship was named. We are thankful for our fans that are extremely engaged with this sport and our Series.”
Entering the event, Forsberg lead the Pro Championship chase by a mere 26 points. As the competition progressed through the night both Aasbo and Forsberg would meet in the Top 4 to control their championship destiny. Aasbo in one of the tightest battles of the evening got the better of Forsberg for the fourth time this season in head to head battles, yet he needed to win the entire event to win the championship.
“A wild season for us. We wanted the championship so bad after last year,” said Chris Forsberg, 2014 Formula DRIFT champion. “Taking the win in Long Beach and holding the lead throughout the season to the Finals only to basically lose to Aasbo every time we went up against him. He was our kryptonite all season long. We were able to hold him off just enough to take the championship home and we are super pumped and very proud of our team for giving us the best car we ever had.”
Wang top qualifier
The number one qualifier, Forrest Wang in the Get Nuts Lab / Hankook / STR Racing Nissan S14 went against Daigo Saito in the Top 4. In a close battle, Saito edged out Wang to make it into the Finals against Aasbo. In another closely fought battle, Saito beat out Aasbo, to win his third consecutive victory at Irwindale Speedway, having won the event in 2012 and 2013, and helping to award Forsberg with his second Pro Championship. Forsberg is only the third driver in Formula DRIFT history to hold two championships with his 2009 championship and now 2014 championship.
“This year we have had a very hard time with our results and ranking,” said Daigo Saito, winner of Round 7: Final Fight. “We are excited to earn a win to end the season here at Irwindale Speedway. This is also the third win for us in a row here and I am very happy.”
In addition to the 2014 Championship, both the Tire and Manufacturer Championships were determined at Round 7: Final Fight. Hankook Tire won the Tire Manufacturer Championship, while Scion won the Manufacturer Championship.