Eric O’Sullivan 2011 Formula Drift Posts
27 June 2011
GR:PR: O’Sullivan remains positive despite an early exit from Wall,NJ
June 23, 2011 (Howell, NJ) Eric O’Sullivan has today explained that although disappointed with an early exit from Formula Drift Round 4, New Jersey, he is satisfied with the significant progress that was made with the Gardella Racing Team and Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice at Wall Speedway.
Approaching this event, Eric and his team had planned to cautiously manage the Thursday practice session in order to get comfortable with the car on the technical oval circuit. “Although not particularly fast, it is very easy to do a lot of damage at this track” explained Eric. “We approached Thursday practice very conservatively and it paid off. The car was in perfect condition for Friday and the team were all in good spirits”.
Two solid qualifying passes of the course during Friday was enough to see the Dublin driver progress to Saturdays main event where he would battle against Ken Gushi in the RSR Scion TC in the Top 32 elimination rounds. O’Sullivans performance against the Scion was not enough to sway the judges in his favor; however, and Gushi progressed to the Top 16.
O’Sullivan remained positive about the performance explaining that a lot of progress had been made over the course of the weekend with the Gardella Racing Pontiac Solstice. “Of course it is disappointing to leave your home event at such an early stage” explained Eric. “However, I believe we made some really good progress over the course of the 3 days at Wall Speedway. We are now getting the Nitto Tires to perform brilliantly and I am more confident in the speeds and angles that this car can achieve. With some more practice before our next competition I am certain that we will make significant improvements and begin to really challenge for high scores”.
Having collected championship points from each of his 3 competitive outings in 2011, The Gardella Racing team and Eric O’Sullivan have set a solid foundation for improvements throughout the remainder of the 2011 Formula Drift Pro Championship. Now returning to the West Coast for the remaining 3 events of the season, the New Jeresy team will be pushing hard to finish out O’Sullivan’s debut season with improved results.
For updates on Eric O’Sullivan and Gardella Racing during the remaining rounds,
Sunday, August 14th, 2011
This entry was posted on Sunday, August 14th, 2011 at 8:04 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site
At every Formula Drift event I meet new people, get introduced to new brands and usually make some great friends in the process. The Wall speedway event this year was no exception and because it is the Gardella Racing team’s local event the social side of things was almost more hectic than the action on track !
Being a fan of Toyotas and particularly big toyota trucks I had spotted the Eat Sleep Race crew’s awesome Tundra in the vendor area on Friday. On Saturday Rich G introduced me to Fran Mabatus at their trade stand and I finally got to look around and check out some of their gear.
The ESR crew are heavily involved in the NJ car scene and have been for many years now so when Fran offered to hook me up with some of their apparel he didn’t have to ask twice !. Being so new to this area its always great to meet people that are involved in all sorts of local motorsports, Im looking forward to hanging out some more with these guys and rocking their brand at all the events.
Check out the Eat Sleep Race website here , full of awesome gear.
August 4th, 2011
My favorite event of the Formula Drift season has always been Seattle, one of the fastest tracks with the best atmosphere and situated in the beautiful Washington state that always reminds me of home.
This year I would be approaching the event a little differently however, the plan had always been to step into the Gardella Racing solstice for the east coast FD events only so I was traveling to Seattle as part of the crew to help get Tuerck his first podium finish of the year.
With a much more relaxed attitude I was looking forward to the weekend, I’d made quite a few friends up in the North West over the past few years most of which would be competing in the highly competitive Pro Am class. The Evergreen Speedway track is fast, unforgiving and difficult enough to master for the top level Pro drivers but the Pro Am guys always put on a good show for their home town fans.
Arriving at the track Thursday morning we were greeted with some good old Irish style rain !. The Mobil 1, Red Bull Chevy camaro was scheduled for mid season tech inspection mid morning so once that was concluded with no issues to resolve we loaded up and headed for some lunch. Official practice had been cancelled due to the weather so it was a short day at the track for once !.
With a brief practice session on friday morning, Tuerck was looking good until a small clutch issue began to effect his entry onto the bank. After some adjustment it became clear that with little time before qualifying it would not be possible to fully resolve the issue and he would have to make his two runs as is.
Despite struggling with the initial entry Tuerck finished up in a respectable 10th place and with the car back in the pit Scott and Mike began a full tear down of the clutch assembly.
I took that as an opportunity to wander the pits and catch up with some of the lads, Deane Kearney had put in a stormer of a run to qualify in 8th after personally making some steering mods to the car late on tuesday night . Kyle Pollard, formerly the driver of the most bad ass Corolla in the Pro Am series was now out of the competition due to a broken output shaft in his S13. Almost as disappointing as not hearing the ITB’d F20 engined ’86 screaming around the bank this weekend !.
The drift Safari boys were looking good, Trent Stromkins in his usual Sr powered Corolla now had a heap more power to play with thanks to a fully built motor and Ian Fournier was running a Vk Nissan V8 in his 4 door 32 skyline. I asked Ian how the V8 felt and what sort of power it made, ” the dyno was closed and it felt awesome on the mountain roads as we tuned it last night ” was the response !.
With the clutch issue resolved Tuerck attacked top 32 practice on saturday morning and got as many laps as possible. Everything was working 100% and things were looking good for the first round of 32 against Yoshioka in his S13.
Before that all kicked off though it was time for the Pro Am top 16 main event.Steve Thompson in his awesome Drift Union wide body Toyota Soarer was one of the guys I thought would finish strong until his auxiliary belt came off on both his runs causing him to lose power steering and straighten on the bank. Really tough luck but no doubt a man to watch in future events up in the north west. Trent Stromkins also fell victim to mechanical issues when his freshly built SR20 gave up on the bank in his second run giving another good friend Chris Jeanneret an easy ride in to the great 8.
After some transmission issues in practice Chris and his crew worked their asses off on the S14 to get him back in the competition. With plenty of seat time at this track he was looking strong and would finish in 3rd place after being defeated by Nik Jimenez in the final 4.
Ian Fournier was the man in charge this weekend though, with his new V8 power and consistent runs he landed himself the top spot on the podium. Not much of a surprise really after witnessing him take down some of the Pro FD guys in Irwindale last year, hopefully with some support we can see him back running with the big boys again.
Tuerck defeated Yoshioka and during the top 16 introductions there was one name and one very cool vehicle present some people might not be familiar with.Alex lee and his JZX81 Toyota Chaser had defeated Alex Pfeiffer in the first round, it was awesome to see one of my favorite Toyota chassis looking good and being so competitive in top level US drifting.
Tuerck faced Joon Meang and after a one more time progressed to the great 8 to take on Chris Forsberg. As Tuerck led on the first run he made a mistake on the final corner and over rotated, handing a huge advantage to Chris. All he could do while following was apply the pressure but Forsberg laid down a solid run to take the win and eliminate us from the competition.
Not the podium finish we all wanted but a very solid performance from Tuerck that showed the Camaro was still improving after some more developments since the Wall Speedway event.Next on the list is round 6 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in August where I might even be back on the entry list in the Gardella Racing Pontiac Solstice, watch this space !.