Huge Highlights of 2022 Formula Drift Title Fight at Irwindale Speedway, House of Drift - by W&HM @formuladrift #formuladrift #fdirw #formulad

2022 Formula Drift Irwindale Title Fight - One of the Wildest Quests of FD Championship

★ On-Location Coverage, Photographed and Reported by Py Pai, with Additional Coverage Photo Contribution from RR Lopez in the Attached Gallery Section
★ W&HM - Wheels and Heels Magazine / / IG @wheelsandheelsmag

# 2022 Formula Drift Irwindale The Season Grand Finale

For the 2022 season, Formula Drift pro drivers have been fiercely chasing each other both on track and on the scoring board. Over the 7 stops across the nation, the final "Title Fight" is at the house of drift, Irwindale Speedway under a gloomy overcast that hinted unpredictability.

From Day 1 of the event, The weather was much cooler than the well-known So-Cal hot and dry norm. Throughout the day, the hanging overcast did not relent a bit. Sometimes, it sent some drizzles down the venue, sprinkled on the racing tracks. However, on Day 1, it was no big deal. Everything was still relatively dry and easy to deal with for drivers.  

The competition on Day 1 was already fierce. Drivers pushed their limits. The drifting track is a familiar one to most of these experienced drivers. The lead and chase format provided the two runs for each competition to determine their advance and scores. Any slip-up or hitting walls, or worse totally losing control of the vehicle would take a huge or detrimental consequence to their standing. When the race started, each driver was rushing both adrenaline to win as well as the fear of a small fraction of miscalculation that may terminate their place on the leaderboard.

We talked with a media peer, Jason about the final championship prediction. We think that it all comes down to Fredric Aasbo and Matt Field. For any of them making any mistake not advancing, then it would most likely give the other the title almost instantly. This is a very heavy psychological burden on both of them. This is especially the case for Aasbo, as he has won two championships already. If he can make it this time, that means he is one of the only three, with James Dean and Chris Forsberg that have three trophies in their hands, in Formula Drift history.

# 2022 Formula Drift Driver Autograph Sessions - In-Person and an Awesome Experience

There was a light-hearted break for both drivers and the audience. The formula Drift team set up a long line of autograph tables and chairs. Fans queued up to meet all the pro drivers of the race, and get autographs and sponsor swags. Some got a chance to show their admiration and have selfies together with their idols. It's a wonderful time for all.

# 2022 Formula Drift Irwindale Day 2, Wet, Very Wet

The highly anticipated event heated up on the final day, Day 2, of the Irwindale event. The entry to the parking lot was two long lines, one from the right turn and the other from the u-turn from the other side of Live Oak Ave. The sold-out event had to close the main parking lot due to full capacity around 2:30 pm. All the rest of the attendees must park at a remote lot that gets frequent shuttles in between.

Day 2 is never expected to be like this. The weather was beginning to be weird. It's in the sense that it would drizzle at first, and then downright storm pouring rain just came down soaking everything and everyone. This has thrown a monkey wrench to the whole competition. People had to wear rain ponchos. Vendors have to cover their products. The worst is that the track became slippery.

Right after the downpour has eased and the air was cool, the pro drivers started their warm-up runs. Unlike the usual dry surface condition, the track has become the condition in what is described in a driving written test question, "What is the most slippery condition? A: During the first rain after a dry spell." Some of the cars got substantially damaged or inoperational even during the warm-up test runs. It was appalling, as these are the pro of the pros drivers after huge amounts of practice and competitions to be here. However, mother natual together with the law of physics pulled a wet blanket on them.

# 2022 Formula Drift Opening Ceremony Back with Show of Power, Shower of Fireworks, and Huge Audience Enthusiasm

After the warm-up, a lighter side of Formula Drift came in front of the grandstand. It's the VIP experiential track walk, followed by the opening ceremony. The VIP guests and patrons got a chance to walk on the track that many champions have run their vehicles on and won their titles.

When the qualified pro drivers brought in their prized cars, the energy was high in the air. After they were lined up at the front of the grandstand, drivers and umbrella girls stood by their vehicles. The VIP guests got a chance to meet their idol drivers in person. They fist-bumped or got their T-shirts signed. It's awesome to see drivers and fans mingle together and build a friendship.

The opening ceremony proceeded after the field was cleared. It is carried first by the Air Force swore in 8 recruits, and then the national anthem played. At the end of the national anthem, immediately the fireworks started. This year's fireworks were super duper in both size and display. With the drivers, and umbrella girls facing the fireworks, it created a modern-day motorsports Rockwell moment. Some may be appreciating the beauty of the pyro show, and some may be wondering if they would win the title this year.

# The Road to 2022 Formula Drift Pro Championship Turned Topsy Toppy

Even though the track seemed to be semi-dry after the rain and cleanup, it's deceiving, not just to the eyes, but also to the tires on pro drivers' cars, and the hands of the pro drivers.

Just starting, the first race, Mohan, competing against Aasbo, unfortunately, hit the wall as he was at the end of the competition track. It's such an unfortunate event. However, it's not the only one. In fact, there were many followed in many different fashions.

Each time a car crashed or became inoperable, all kinds of trucks came to rescue, and the tow truck did the final deed and brought the disabled cars back to their safe havens. However, each this rescue would add more time to the schedule, which was getting tight.

Not far down the competition, all eyes were on the Field's performance, as he was the closest contender for the champion title again Aasbo. During the starting section, he touched the wall with the right front fender and his vehicle has become non-operable. It's highly anti-climactic of the whole event. People were expecting a fight-till-the-end type of fight for the title. However, this incident cost him the chance and propelled Aasbo to the top instantly.

As the competition moved on, more and more cars were in trouble. Even though drivers learned from the previous happenings and they run not as fast, as usual, there were still cases of crashes and vehicles towed by.

The night went into a more buzzard weather pattern. There was lightning around the Irwindale Speedway. According to our industry expert, Clinton Lum, it's so severe that the official had to have people leave the bleachers and leave the audience stand empty to prevent any electrocution. Not only this drastic measure, but the Irwindale Speedway also has a 10:30 pm curfew that would dead-stop any races.

We can say that this season's champion fight ended in a dramatic fashion! We've never seen anything like this before!

# 2022 Formula Drift Champion - Fredric Aasbo, with His Impeccable Performance

Fredric Aasbo is a super solid driver and has been in the pro driver circle for many years. Every time we watched him drive, it was always with conviction and determination, and power. The Norwegen pro driver has prevailed in many + many races.

This year, though the track surface condition was unfriendly. It's no deterrence to Aasbo. As it turned out, it's an advantage! According to Clinton Lum, Aasbo used to drift in snow, which has a sleek condition already. His performance on this year's champion fight in Irwindale, after the big rain, was confident, poised, and in control.  That's definitely put him in the fitting place of the champion.

Aasbo's 2022 title has earned him a highly regarded position to be the only three drivers that have reached three-peat status, together with James Deane and Chris Forsberg. Our hats off to this amazing driver!

# FDIRW Lifestyle Expo - Full of Life, Music, Foods, and Excitement

It's always fun to check out the lifestyle expo at the Formula Drift event. Here in Irwindale, the lifestyle expo area was full of people. It's like the pandemic has been long gone, and people came out and enjoyed the outdoor activities here at the Speedway. There were so many people that some of the lines were super long. We saw the line for Rock Star energy drink line was winding like a teenage concert ticket line. And of course, the food concession lines were always long. There was always a line for each food stand.

# 2022 Formula Drift Irwindale Vendor Presence and Cool Show Cars


At the lifestyle expo, there were rows and rows of vendors. They brought their products as well as experts to help clients. Especially during halftime, it's packed with people carrying the merchandise they bought.

One of the cool things with vendors is that some of them brought their display cars. These are the prestige cars that have unique features that earned them a place at the lifestyle expo. Among them all, Turn 14 hit the ball out of the ballpark by bringing some of the coolest rides to the show. Whether they were vintage, exotic or heavily mod'd, they were just a beautiful sight to have!

# An Amazing and Exciting Formula Drift Event

This is one of the most exciting Formula Drift events that we have attended. Not only the competitions were strong and unexpected, but we were also so glad that it seems the full event spirit is back in full swing.

We congratulate Aasbo for his tremendous achievements. We thank and congratulate the Formula Drift Team for putting on such an amazing season, especially here in Irwindale despite the unpredicted weather condition and completing the season. Our hats off to you!!

We also want to thank specifically the Formula Drift Irwindale media team. They have done a great job in providing great pre-show updates, and the media briefing was quick and to the point accommodated a huge number of media people. It's very well run and we highly appreciate their great work! 

We totally cannot wait to cover the next year's event and perhaps watch a new history in the making!

Here are more coverage photos from the W&HM's in-person coverage: 


2022 Formula Drift Irwindale Title Fight - Day 1 Coverage From Contributing Photographer RR Lopez (Instagram 


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