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RTR Mustang Wins at Formula Drift Seattle

We've gone past the halfway point of the 2021 Formula Drift championship. After Chelsea Denofa's victory in Erie, Pennsylvania, the show moved on to the west coast, some 2,500 miles (4,023 km) away. Round 5 of Formula Drift was in full effect this weekend, at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington.
RTR Mustang Wins at Formula Drift Seattle 8 photos
RTR Mustang Wins at Formula Drift SeattleRTR Mustang Wins at Formula Drift SeattleRTR Mustang Wins at Formula Drift SeattleRTR Mustang Wins at Formula Drift SeattleRTR Mustang Wins at Formula Drift SeattleRTR Mustang Wins at Formula Drift SeattleRTR Mustang Wins at Formula Drift Seattle
The Seattle round has always been both a driver and a fan favorite. It has been on the calendar since 2006, which is a long time considering the series was founded in 2003. There are only two other venues in the United States that have seen more drifting action over the years: Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, and Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, California.

With Chelsea Denofa piloting his Mustang RTR to victory at Lake Erie, Fredric Aasbo took 2nd and Matt Field finished in 3rd. With this in mind, Chelsea Denofa managed to get closer to Matt Field in the overall rankings. He has always been a fan favorite with his down-to-earth attitude, and it's no wonder that Vaughn Gittin Jr. took him on board for his Formula Drift campaign.

Qualifying went down on Friday, and the fight was as intense as ever for a place on the podium. It has been 8 years since Michael Essa was crowned Formula Drift Champion, but he sure hasn't abandoned the fight. He had the highest qualifying score -95 points- on Friday, driving his GT Radial BMW M3. Chris Forsberg was poised by technical issues all day long but finally managed to claim 2nd place in his GT Radial Nissan 370Z.

Ryan Tuerck was third overall, with a total of 90 points, which brings the Gumout Toyota Corolla back in the spotlight. As opposed to last year, the grandstands were packed with spectators, and most of them were shocked to see Chelsea Denofa qualifying in 28th. But there are whispers that this was part of his strategy all along. This may have given him the upper hand when climbing up the Top32 ladder.

With 33 drivers registered for this event, the only one who didn't make it to the Top32 was Wataru Masuyama from Japan. Everyone was looking forward to race day, and there's a full online replay of how it all went down. All of these races benefit from live broadcasting, so it's good to keep that in mind if you can't go see them with your own eyes.

Looking at the Top32 battles, it felt strange to see both Adam LZ and Daijiro Yoshihara being knocked out of the race. Out of the Top16 battles, it was interesting to see Michael Essa going up against Ken Gushi, Ryan Tuerck taking on Justin Pawlak, and Matt Field fighting off Vaughn Gittin Jr. It's no wonder that the judges requested "One More Time" on eight occasions throughout the event. Whenever two drivers are very close to each other in terms of their performance, the One More Time rule is the only way out.

If you don't have the time to watch the full race, I'll just give you the facts. Chelsea Denofa drove his RTR Mustang to victory once again. This is his second win in a row, and the third one this season. This means he is now leading the championship, but Matt Field is just one point behind. Sadly enough, Ryan Tuerck wasn't able to compete in the final battle against Denofa, as he was suffering from overheating issues, but I guess 2nd place is better than nothing. Dylan Hughes took third place in Seattle, which puts him in 10th in the overall rankings, 133 points behind Chelsea Denofa. The next race is scheduled for the 27th and 28th of August, in St. Louis, Missouri.

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