Formula Drift – Round 1- Long Beach

Hello Formula Drift fans!!!!

It’s that time of year that tires fear, and FD fans love. It’s Formula Drift season! And we are starting it off right on the streets of Long Beach! The best of the best have assembled with one thing in mind…. The Formula Drift championship!

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I woke up bright and early, ate a quick breakfast, grabbed my trusty Sony camera, orange vest and rushed out the door. My Jeep isn’t very good at sliding, so I figured I would leave it to the professionals, and kept in a straight line all the way to Long Beach. I arrived at the venue and was greeted by k rails that were set up almost like bunkers, ready for the war that was about to take place. The practice sessions were underway, and I saw several drift stars doing donuts to warm their tires. The weather couldn’t have been much better! I made my way to the media tent for the morning meeting. It is very clear that safety is the top priority here at FD.

I met up with another photographer and we walked around the show and the pits. It was awesome getting to see my favorite cars and drivers. I wanted to get a good spot to shoot from so we headed over to the track early. I found a little hole in the fence and got ready to shoot. You could feel the excitement in the air. And then it happened…. the announcer’s voice blared over the speakers, The crowd roared and off in the near distance you heard nearly 2 thousand horses come to life!

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The action was intense! As the cars screamed by, the deafening sound made you want to cover your ears, but at the same time, you just had to savor the beautiful noise!
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It was my first time being trackside at an FD event, and I will say it is intimidating seeing these cars coming straight at you with the throttle pinned and smoke bellowing out of the back.The drivers were pushing their cars and themselves to the limits in a heart pumping, tire massacre. The drifters were keeping it clean until Conrad Grunewald came a little hot into the first corner and slammed into Fredric Aasbo.

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Luckily both drivers were ok. There were several surprises in the match ups. One was Vaughn Gittin Jr. getting eliminated in the first round. There were several extremely hard fought battles on the streets of Long Beach. One great fight was Patrick Gooden vs Chris Forsberg. Patrick put up one heck of a fight, but in the end it just wasn’t enough to hold off Forsberg. Justin Pawlak and Ryan Turek also fought it out. Justin sent Ryan back to his trailer with a pair of solid runs. One other upset was Kenny Moen defeating last years champ Michael Essa due to a mistake by Essa on his following run.

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Forsberg later took to the track again to destroy Justin Pawlak. When all was said and done it came down to the consistently strong Kenny Moen going up against the dominant Chris Forsberg. The judges really had their work cut out for them because both runs were extremely strong by both drivers.

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But in the end Chris Forsberg was named thewinner for Formula Drift Long Beach! And man was he excited! He climbed the safety fence, He jumped on top of his car and he hugged everyone in sight.

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I would like to thank Everythingdrift for having me out! I had a great time! Congratulations Chris Forsberg on the well deserved win! Until we meet again, see you at the track, look for me in the smoke!

-Dustin Thompson

You can see the rest of my shots at the link below.

http://dustinthompsonphotography.pass.us/formuladrift/

Allow me to introduce myself

My name is Dustin. I was born and raised in Riverside, CA. i am 30 years old. I have amazing parents and friends who always support me in everything I do, without them I wouldn’t be where is am today! I love to have fun. I have found that laughing can get you through some extremely hard times. I have an unquenchable thirst for experiencing life, traveling and going on adventures. I am constantly researching what my next quest will be. I have been through some very tough challenges in my life. At the age of 8 I was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. Luckily it is not a life threatening disease, but it is at times very painful both mentally and physically. Tourette Syndrome is a condition that causes “ticks” or twitching, which results in sometimes painful muscle contractions and in some cases vocal outbursts. Evidently not to much was know about it at the time. I spent much of my youth doing strange medical tests including sleep deprivation, strobe lights, blood tests and trying a whole gammit of medications. Kids were very cruel due to the fact that they didn’t understand what was wrong with me. I was constantly ridiculed by classmates. I believe this is why I have so much compassion for others now. Some of the medications had very bad side effects. One in particular seemed to put me in slow motion. I gained a lot of weight and basically slept throughout much of my junior high school years. That medication also had me run/walking a 15 min half mile in p.e., Towards the end of 8th grade I made the choice to stop the medication and see what happened. It was rough getting back up to speed, but with the support of my parents I made it through! I ever received an award from the city for overcoming obstacles due to being nominated by my teachers! Then the high school years came. Luckily all my junior high friends went to the same school. I still felt the need to fit in, so I joined the track team! The funny part was that without all the medications i was actually pretty good! Running really got me in shape! I went from a 15 min half mile to a 5.55 mile! My sophomore year I was thrown against my will into the 400m dash, which ended up being my best event! I even got my time down to my goal of 55 seconds! I have always loved to beat the odds! If someone doubts that I can accomplish a challenge, I will do everything I can to prove them wrong! Who would have thought that someone that cant control their body could compete in running events? Most of the team was unaware of my condition until my coach ( who is a great guy) talked about it over the microphone at the senior banquet. I assume everyone knew something was up with me but didn’t know to what extent. It was kinda cool that people now kind of knew what I was up against. I also joined Choir my sophomore year, which gave me the amazing opportunity to perform all over europe my junior year. I hope to do that same trip and retrace my footsteps one day. I would probably appreciate it more now. Fast forward to college… I became certified in radio communications, and had my own show “The Dirt Show” broadcast all over the school for 3 years. I loved radio but unfortunately it is nearly impossible to break into it in this market. I ended up working meaningless jobs for horrible companies which i will not name, and went through several screwy relationships along the way. One day as I was driving my truck around on a job hunt i heard a commercial for a trade school. Make tons of money as a machinist! Thats it! Thats my calling! So before I knew it, I was deep in debt and bogged down with homework. I graduated that school at the top of my class and was placed immediately in a job. Ok… life check… Long term relationship – check… Career – Check.. I am set right? Not so fast! The relationship started to go south, and after one short miserable year I was transferred to the molding department. I was in a downward spiral. I had very poor exercise habits and a horrible diet consisting of mostly fast food runs with the ex. During the bad relationship I was introduced to her friend who was an amazing girl. We became the best of friends for 4 years. We stayed close through the break up and started dating shortly after (scandalous i know). Things were back on track! The career was still mediocre but I felt like I had found my soulmate. Unfortunately something (which i am still not sure what) happened and the relationship ended abruptly less than a year later. This left me heart broken and in a deep depression that would last the next 3 years. Luckily for me I was browsing the paper one day and saw an ad for a new rock climbing gym in town. I gave it a shot and fell in love! Climbing had saved my life! I have met some truly amazing people there. I found myself pushing myself to the limits, I needed to know what i was capable of. I started an intense workout schedule that has put me in the best shape of my life!  I was climbing harder , riding my quad faster and doing things i said i would never do! I went bungee jumping and laid down one of the best jumps of the day! I also completed an Aff skydive! I WAS ALIVE AGAIN! I have made several attempts to find a new career and haven’t gotten one to stick yet, I will not give up! I have taken up photography, and it has once again changed my life and given me a new outlook. I am told that i have a eye for it. Hopefully I will be able to one day turn it into a career! My photos have been featured on several websites, and my facebook page has almost 500 fans world wide! There is still many more adventures left for me out there! STAY TUNED! :)