After a few years competing in the DMCC series and also doing a number of American Pro Am events for the 2012 season Canadian driver Dave Briggs decided to make the jump to the big time…Formula D. The first step was getting a car that would be competitive at that level. Even though his tried and true S14 was a solid car it was time to build something new..something hardcore. After a few months and with the help of a few key sponsors Dave’s new 2012 ride was ready.
A Nice 350z built by Hot Line with the help of ASD and AVFab running a Mopar V8 that came out of a Nascar.
With only a few test days under its belt the car was loaded into the trailer and set off on its journey from Montreal Canada all the way to Long Beach California. Fast forward to the set up day.. When we first arrived to the track we decided to take a walk around to see the lay out and to see where the best photo/video spots would be..
One thing we noticed right from the start was how narrow the track actually is compared to how it looks in videos/photos.
We also noticed marks of what happens if you get it wrong… These were from the Media Day when Tony Angelo went a little wide.
Dave and his video guy Jordan of JHDProductions discussed how they wanted the video of the weekend to be.
I have shot drifting for a number of years but it was my first time shooting on an actual road course. Sections of the track actually stay open to traffic up until the very last moments since its pretty expensive to block off streets in Cali.
While we were walking the track the rest of the team was getting the car ready..Sporting its official FD number plate!
The HRE wheels look so good in the California sun!
Next order of business was to head over to the Falken/ASD trailer to pick up a a spare tranny..just in case.
It was pretty funny watching the guys try to fit it in the back of the rental car.
While we were there, the ASD guys gave Dave and his crew chief Ardo some very good tips and advice for the weekend. Its amazing about how much knowledge about drifting these guys have… it shows why they are at the top of the game.
It was time to go back to the car to do some final prep before the big day.
The boys from PCI Race Radios were nice enough to come out and do some final tuning to the radios.. Very impressive stuff..with how loud the car is the radios cut out all the extra noise so that the team can hear each other clearly..
Before putting everything away for the night we decided to go out and do a quick and dirty photo shoot out on the track.
Dave was very excited!
The next day it was time for action… Practice and Qualifications. It was a beautiful day for some drift action!
The team got the car and the rest of the gear ready for practice while Dave went off to the drivers meeting.
The Drivers meeting was packed. There was so many drivers it was crazy. With so many drivers track time in practice was very limited to 3 maybe 4 runs each before they had to qualify… not much time to learn the track or learn the new car.
After the drivers meeting and with the official X-Mini Rookie Challenge stickers on the car it was time to start practice.
With so few runs Dave had to make each one count… Not easy in a new car and on a track the he had never driven before… and a track that is very unforgiving.
Practice went pretty good, the car looked and sounded awesome out there . The only issue was a slight run in with some tires but nothing too serious.
With hardly any time to relax it was time for the qualification runs!
Both of Dave runs were decent. He put scores down on both runs but sadly it was just not enough to make the big show. It was not all bad though, it was a great learning experience with the car in an actual competition setting and a big plus is the car came out of Long Beach in one piece… something that a number of unfortunate teams were not able to do.
Back into the pit the team checks over the GoPro footage… Look for a kick ass videos of RD1 from JHD Productions very soon.
Finishing off the day Dave did an interview for the Drift Mania TV show about his experiences in his first ever FD event.
Even though Rd1 did not go as well as expected Dave is looking forward to Rd2 in Atlanta… It’s going to be a awesome event… with no walls!
For more info about Dave Briggs check out www.briggsdrift.com and all official Formula D info at www.formulad.com