354 registered drivers, capped media personnel locked in at 80, and a crowd attendance that could rival INDY; this is what makes Winter Jam at Sonoma Raceway the largest drifting event in the country and potentially in the world from a drivers registration standpoint! Each year this event grows more in every aspect. Between 2016 and 17′ our registered drivers increased by over 100, and having been around and involved since the beginning of this event; it is rewarding to see the lengths people go to make this event happen.
Day 1 (Saturday): I can’t lie…I wasn’t there. I was stuck in the gridlocked traffic on HW37 in my ‘Ljuba-ru’, and didn’t have the patience to deal with it, so I went home. Elijah on the other hand took full advantage of Winter Jam and its elaborate venue by driving on every layout available excluding the FD layout (Turn 7). Elijah’s presence + new look + new power was the combination that brought much attention to not only the team, but Elijah as an individual. Elijah’s partners made him priority by getting him much needed product to make this event possible for him. Shout out to SFG Wraps for getting him all of his partner stickers with just 1-day notice! If you need any vinyl please contact Danny at SFG Wraps! He will take care of you.
Day 2 (Sunday): With Crick battling the mechanics of his car it was all or nothing. Luckily he was able to tune his car at Newtech Performance in Hayward, CA late night Saturday after his rockers broke on his MAST heads the previous day. The solution was swapping the MAST with the LSX heads. Crick would leave the tuning session putting 912whp/840tq down to the ground.
Better late than never…Crick showed up to the track in-time to do one practice run (blowing off his power steering return line). Once repaired, it was time to qualify and he would seal up the 9th spot out of 16. Crick battled it out and served as victor until the Top 4 battle when he’d go against Matt Madrigali, a familiar face to those who have been drifting in NorCal. Crick put the pressure on in his follow run…a little too much, which would cause him to collide into Matt’s passenger door. Crick did not resume drifting which led the judges to giving him a 0 in that run. Crick would go onto battle for 3rd as Matt would go battle for top spot. In the end the podium would look like: Travis R.-1st, Matt M.-2nd, and Crick F. 3rd. This was a huge accomplishment for us and brought the fire back in Crick. Though this event didn’t put fourth the abuse of a Formula Drift event, it does look promising that we now have a reliable setup to compete with in 2018.
Elijah was at it again! Putting his footprint on all layouts and stirring up some serious smoke down the Summer Jam course. Elijah’s E36 planted by Stance XR1 coilovers, and XXR Wheels wrapped in Zestino rubber is a recipe for huge clouds and consistent grip. We have nothing, but love for these companies and the products they manufacture. Elijah holds a whole new confidence in his chassis after Winter Jam put it through extensive testing. We hope to see Elijah on grid at Top Drift Limited in 2018.