Papadakis Racing Works Out Bugs Just In Time To Win Formula DRIFT Round 4 In Las Vegas!

There are many challenges when building a new racecar. Not only is the race team attempting to build a vehicle that has the potential to win, the racecar must be comfortable for the driver, and the vehicle must meet the sanctioning body's regulations as well. Even more challenges arise when an unconventional build is being attempted such as the rear-wheel drive, V8-powered Scion built for Tanner Foust of Papadakis Racing. These are just a couple of the hurdles that Papadakis Racing has worked through with the construction of their new Scion tC drift car. These issues weren't tackled overnight. It's been a long road for the team.
Tanner Foust in the winner's circle at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Tanner Foust in the winner's circle at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Several changes were needed to make the Scion tC perform flawlessly
The Scion tC driven by Tanner Foust has undergone a handful of changes in the weeks leading up to Formula DRIFT's Round 4 (photo credit: John Choi)
Tanner is seen here sliding around a corner
Tanner was able to beat out the competition and take home the 1st-place trophy at the 4th Round of Formula DRIFT (photo credit: John Choi)

The first three rounds of racing were discouraging for the Papadakis crew. The opening round of drifting in the Formula DRIFT series was held in Long Beach, California. The Scion was completed literally weeks before this event and Tanner hadn't had much seat time before getting out on the track. At any rate, the outcome looked promising as Tanner locked in the 3rd-place win and took his spot on the podium alongside Ryan Tuerck and Samuel Hubinette. As the season moved forward, the team made its way out to Braselton, Georgia to the Road Atlanta racetrack for Formula DRIFT's ''Proving Ground'' event. This race proved to be anything but a ''Proving Ground'' for Tanner as he was quickly eliminated in the Top 16 by Ken Gushi. The following round of racing did not turn around for Foust either as he failed to qualify for competition at the Wall Speedway in New Jersey.

After two consecutive non-podium finishes for Papadakis Racing, their main mission became to dial in the Scion so Tanner could do what he does best… win. The weekend of July 10th and 11th was set to be Formula DRIFT's ''All In'' event, which marked the fourth round of racing for the series. Papadakis Racing showed up to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway with their game faces on and demonstrated a good practice session the day before the race. According to reports from the racetrack, there was actually an exchange between Team Manager Stephan Papadakis and Tanner that they were not going to hold back in the least bit at this event.

The race kicked off in a good way for Papadakis Racing. Tanner was matched up against Bill Sherman in the Top 32 battle. Tanner led with Bill behind and making a correction on entry. This race was followed by Bill leading with a very aggressive entry angle, however he corrected on the sweeper and Tanner moved forward. In the Top 16, Joon Maeng follows Tanner as the Scion rips into the entry with a speed of 88.4 mph. There was so much smoke from Tanner's Scion that it created a smoke screen and Joon was just trying to keep up. This followed with Joon leading and unfortunately hitting the wall on entry giving the win to Tanner. In the Great 8 battles, Tanner lined up against Kazu Hayashida. In the first run Tanner came in with a huge smoke screen and Hayashida was not able to stay close to the Scion. The following run had Hayashida leading but spinning on the sweeper entry. Tanner continued his drift and ran the course, moving on to the Final 4.

In the Final 4, Tanner raced Tyler McQuarrie and it was a very exciting matchup. First, Tanner leads with Tyler aggressively entering and tapping the wall. Aside from tapping the wall, it was solid run from both racers. The following run has Tanner leaving a massive smoke cloud and Tyler sticking right behind him. A ''One More Time'' is called by the judges and Tyler leads with Tanner mirroring his every move. As the roles switch, Tanner leads and smokes out Tyler to the point where Tyler backs off. Tanner goes onto the finals. In the final round, Tanner drifts against Ryuji Miki. Miki trails Tanner and mistakenly enters shallow and straightens out while Tanner was very aggressive with extreme angle. The following run, Tanner is on Miki through the entire sweeper. The judges call it and Tanner takes his very first win of the season!

What makes the Round 4 win for Tanner even more exceptional is that he delivered huge successes for more than just himself. This victory was the first win of 2009 for the Team Rockstar/AEM Scion, the first win for Scion Racing in the sport of drift, and the first win for Hankook Tires in drift as well. We would like to congratulate Tanner, Papadakis Racing and all the other sponsors on this magnificent win of the season. May many more come your way!