There’s California; home of the Golden Gate Bridge…and then there’s Northern California; home of Golden Gate Drift! The weekend of April 19th, The TBTM drivers and myself made our way to our first Pro-Am event as a team. We were able to get all the vehicles ready and prepped in time to compete in GGD’s Round 2 event at Stockton 99 Raceway. As stated by Luke, the founder of the GGD series, “This wasn’t going to be a walk in the park to make top 16.” As the morning unfolded and the track layout was revealed I started seeing our drivers getting a grip of the course, and was looking forward to qualifying.
TBTM never ceases to disappoint. Though we had a few hiccups in qualifying we still got all 3 of the drivers into Top 16:
Chris Filippi: 1st
Joe Tardiff: 5th
Elijah Wright: 14th
Top 16 was a tough battle for everyone that day. Elijah was partnered up with Jose Flores of Team Mint/Limitless Motorsports who has been around for a long time, and has similar seat time to Elijah. Their first battle was so close it was voted to be a OMT (one more time); so they had to tighten their belts, flex hard, put visors down, and show out! In the end it was a great battle, but Elijah was eliminated and finished in 8th place!
There were so many good battles throughout the day its hard to break down each and every one turn by turn. Here are some battles that lead up to the top 3 battle!
This is what I’d like to call the Love/Hate battle because we love to see the team challenge each other however we hate to see one advance and the other “lose”. Needless to say I was very proud with Joe and Crick on how they battled it out to see who would advance to the final round. Despite Joe’s experience in years he definitely proved that he could drive by hanging in close proximity to Crick. The crowd was very excited to watch these two go head-to-head. In the end Crick walked away with the win, and Joe finished in 3rd which made it his first podium finish in a Pro-Am event!
Things never unfold like you think they would at a drift event. On this particular day we had the #1 qualifier (Crick Filippi) battle the #2 qualifier (Faruk Kugay) for all the marbles! Faruk is also a member of Team Mint/Limitless Motorsports who is powered by a very nasty 1JZ tuned on E85 (car tuned by Racetune). This match up had the crowds on their feet due to both drivers aggressive style. Both drivers weren’t letting one another pull too far away without earning that distance. There was actually a point where Faruk rubbed Crick coming into the infield and strategically pulled a piece of his rear bumper off, and got it wedged in his bash bar. The battle was a great display of what we can expect the rest of this year! Crick hung in the battle until a bent tie rod caused him to straighten out on his follow run, that lead him to 2nd place. Congratulations to Faruk, Team Mint, and Limitless on the win! We look forward to more battles!
We’d like to thank the entire Golden Gate Drift Staff, the judges, Stockton 99 Staff, the folks at Ignited Clothing and any other company who partook in making this event happen! We can’t wait for round 3!