In its fourth year coming to the greater Seattle area, Formula D returned stronger and more exciting than ever this past Saturday, August 8th. I’ve been covering Formula D for Subiesport/DrivingSports each year it’s come to Seattle, and I honestly do believe it gets better and better every year. In past years, I’ve endured scorching heat (100+ temps on the track) and pouring rain, but this year the overcast weather held up nice and dry, without being too hot or too cold. While the weather conditions seemed ideal all around, the newly redone track surface proved to be challenging for most of the drivers this year, resulting in more crashes, injuries, and broken cars than any of the past 3 years. Dai Yoshihara had a mechanical failure in his Lexus IS350 in practice that resulted in him slamming into the wall right at the first break and he had to be taken to the hospital with a mild concussion. Other cars lost front and/or rear bumpers, Ken Gushi’s Scion tC broke a driveshaft, and even the Pro-Am racers preceding the Top 16 raced fender-less and with duct-taped hoods. All of this action continued to wow the packed grandstands and paddock, to which the Formula D officials always mention as being among the best crowds throughout the entire tour. Ultimately, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy / Maxxis Tires Nissan 350Z went on to win the event and widen his points lead for the Formula D 2009 Championship.
Being among the crowd and the media, it was clear to me that Formula D could be seen as a saving grace for the import car enthusiast scene in the greater Seattle area, or perhaps even the entire Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia. With Battle of the Imports not coming to the Seattle area this year and all of the major import car shows canceling their Seattle and Vancouver BC shows this year as well, the import car enthusiasts in this area very much need an event like Formula D. I believe that given the sheer numbers and enthusiasm of the crowd, many of these people would agree with me. Those of us who live in this are can only hope that more events such as this will pay visit to the greater Seattle area next year.