Over the course of three days in August, Formula Drift sets up shop and calls Evergreen Speedway home for Round 6 of the FD series. The sun was out, the heat was menacing, and the action was turned up to 11, FD Seattle had it all and then some. It felt like Pro and Pro2 put it all on the line this year, as the neck and neck battles just kept coming and no one was holding back. It was already hot enough out as it was on and off track, but with intensity and aggressive driving that these drivers brought this year it felt like you were front and center at a Pantera show having your face melted off during a righteous guitar solo, it was incredible. So let’s take a re-cap on this in your face good time.
What you need to know about Pro2 at FD Seattle.
The excitement was real for Pro2 as it made its big return to Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington for round 3 of 4 in the Formula Drift 2017 series. The pro2 division made it very clear that they meant business over Thursday’s practice followed into qualifying later that day, along with Friday’s top 16 main event. They came out swinging over the two days that they had their time to shine, and shine they did for the PNW Formula Drift fans.
What also added to this exciting return for Pro2 to the Pacific Northwest, were the local boys who came out to throwdown for their local crowd. Brandon Schmidt (@brandon_schmidt11), Travis Reeder (@travisreeder), Brody Goble (@brodygoble), and Matt Vankirk (@mattvankirk18) definitely had some added weight on their shoulders, as Evergreen Speedway is the stomping grounds for these rowdy fellas. So to see the locals on this stage reppin their home track, was a great moment to experience.
But let’s get back to all of Pro2, like I said they came out swinging, and with doing so they sent a message for everyone in the Formula Drift community. That message was that Pro2 is here, and we want this, we want to be seen as a group to look out for, Pro2 wants what Pro has. Now I’m not saying that the level of driving in Pro2 is right there with Pro, there is still room for growth with these Pro2 drivers as they continue to climb this ladder and eventually make the leap into the Pro class.
I’m not saying there’s a huge gap either between the divisions, but like all walks in life you have to build yourself up over time before you make these leaps. Although after seeing how Pro2 took to the stage at FDSEA and made it clear that they mean business, I think we as an FD community and Formula Drift need to look at Pro2 in the ways that we look at Pro, but on a Pro2 level. Because in all seriousness and how the ways of progression works throughout time is that new feet will fill Pro2 shoes, Pro2 will start stepping out and into Pro shoes, it’s a life cycle that will never stop.
When it was time for the gloves to come off in the top 16, the battles were heated and full of door to door action. This all lead to the top 8, Stratton vs Schmidt, Vankirk vs Lawrence, Robinson vs Brockway, and Hughes vs Reeder. The battles just intensified throughout top 8 as three of the four local boys also made it into this bracket. But not all could carry on through into the final 4, essentially all Pacific Northwest FD fans eyes were set on Matt Vankirk as he was the last of the locals sanding for representing the PNW.
Vankirk went up against Stratton and his monster of an LS7 powered Corvette, which was quite the site to see and hear. The nail biting continued as Vankirk took out Stratton and moved on into the finals, Stratton locked down a third place podium finish. Robertson fell to Dylan Hughes, as Hughes moved on against Vankirk, and then the excitement was at an all time high with Vankirk already securing a spot on the podium regardless of taking home a victory or settling for second place. But in the end of it all, Vankirk came out on top and landed a 1st place victory over Hughes on home turf.
From left to right, Dylan Hughes 2nd place, Matt Vankirk 1st place, Dirk Stratton 3rd place.
Pro2 – Gallery