Coming off of a second-place finish at the Rally America rally for Rockstar Energy Drink last weekend, Tanner was cautiously optimistic that he would be able to secure a win at the new track in E-Town. "I like learning new tracks but this one certainly benefited the ultra horsepower cars on the long first corner," noted Tanner. "However, the NA superpowers driven by JR (Vaughn Gittin Jr.), Conrad (Grunewald) and Darren McNamara all had some issues as the event started, giving us an edge out of the gate."
Tanner wasn't too optimistic about his bracket, with pairings against Stephan Verdier, Ryuji Miki, Rhys Millen and ultimately Tyler McQuarrie in the finals. Verdier was quick, but the last three guys were the fastest in the competition by far. Tanner was able to take out Verdier's Subaru, stick to Ryuji's 160-decibel FD and take advantage of a small and rare error from Rhys Millen.
Leading Tyler in the Finals, the Rockstar/AEM Z topped 80 mph on the entry. Tyler fought hard to keep up but was only able to reel Tanner in on the last turn, giving Foxy the advantage. "Following Tyler's Porsche, I focused on getting the best acceleration possible off the line so he couldn't get out of reach. It worked out and I stayed in his draft through the entire track; that was enough to give Rockstar and AEM their second Motorsports podium in two weeks... for the second time this year; and our first win in Formula D this season!" exclaimed Tanner. "We're right on track for the season. Now if every month could just turn out like this we'll be set!"
BIG PAPA'S RESULTS
Steph performed very well in qualifying, ultimately capturing the #6 qualifier with a 91-point run to advance to eliminations. To put this in perspective, not even all of the top seeded drivers qualified over 90 points on the new track. On Saturday, Steph knew he would have to be aggressive to make the tandem rounds but was unable to advance to the Top 16, scoring 83 points in the 32-car elimination field.
"I was very pleased with my performance on Friday during qualifying," stated Steph. "This track is super fast and fun. It was also great to be back in E-Town again, having come full circle from drag racing to drifting and ending up at one of my all-time favorite venues. The staff at Englishtown and the fans here are incredible. I look forward to coming back next season."
This was the inaugural event for FD at Englishtown Raceway, after Wall Speedway was closed on short notice prior to the event...both cars have qualified for eliminations in 2008...the team has four top 5 qualifiers (one seeded 1st, 2nd, & 4th, one unseeded 5th) one victory and a third place finish this season...Tanner is the current series leader and both Rockstar/AEM drivers are ranked in the top 30 series competitors...the next event is at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on July 12th...
The Rockstar/AEM drift team is sponsored by Toyo Tires, Motegi Racing Wheels, Tokico Gas Shocks, Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT), Specialty Products Company (SPC), ChargeSpeed and C-West.