Posted by Armin H. Ausejo
Snaps by Kyle Pope – Words by Armin “Hammer” Ausejo
Formula Drift Round 6: “After Dark” in Las Vegas, Nevada
Despite being outside of the Pacific Northwest, Formula Drift Las Vegas played host to a number of Northwest drifting favorites, so it seemed only appropriate to cover their experiences outside of the local area. We sent our traveling ringer photographer Kyle Pope to cover the event for NWMotiv and he came back with a fantastic set of photos. While the event is called “After Dark” since it takes place at night in hopes for colder temperatures, the Las Vegas weather still unleashed 105+ degree temperatures and even some rain, making it extremely hot and a bit humid even for our Arizona-native photographer.
Unfortunately for our Northwest drift heroes, each one of them had some sort of mechanical issue to force them to retire. Nikolay Konstantinov hoped to make his triumphant comeback to Formula Drift, but his car had too many issues after the initial shakedown runs. Fan favorite Walker Wilkerson was also riddled with mechanical problems as well, which prevented him from making the Top 16. Wall taps and big angles were standard for the rest of the field, with Matt Field and Matt Powers putting on a show that wowed even the most veteran drift media in attendance. Famed Japanese drifter Daigo Saito also braved the sweltering heat by making an appearance that completely surprised the crowd.
The intense heat combined with wall taps and mechanical problems took their toll on all of the Formula Drift drivers, resulting in many of the point leaders taken out of the Top 16. At the end of the day, former champion Rhys Millen held off Darren McNamara for the Round 6 win, while each of the Northwest drivers packed up and started preparing for the final round of Formula Drift in Irwindale, California.