My first ever round as a competitor in Formula Drift is in the books.
From the moment I arrived at the track, it was clear that I was in a whole new world - the level of professionalism and attention to detail was on a completely different level than I had ever experienced in drifting, from the tech experience to the driver's meetings, everyone was so on point.
From a driving perspective, the event didn't go as planned for me, and after a pretty hard impact in practice, my crew managed to turn the car around, getting the frame straightened and rebuilding the front end overnight to get me back out for pre-qualifying practice.
Each of my 3 practice (and first qualifying) runs revealed new residual technical issues with the car - and each time we found something, the guys managed to get that particular issue resolved in time for me to get back out on the track. Unfortunately, by the time we solved everything, I was unprepared for the changes in handling and overshot my initiation on my second qualifying run, getting my own personal visit to the infamous "kitty litter".
In spite of not making the show, my experience was so overwhelmingly positive, from getting to see behind the curtain how invested in the sport and the success of the drivers the entire Formula Drift team is, meeting all the fans that make the sport such a success, and getting to watch the pro battles from beneath the judges station.
This was the first event for my entire crew to work together as a unit and from that perspective, it was a complete success. I feel confident that this crew is well-prepared to tackle whatever challenges come our way.
One of my favourite things about drifting is getting to interact with the fans and to have the opportunity to share my passion with people. Most of all, to provide opportunities for young women to interact with race cars and see themselves in the driver's seat.
To that end, I got to pick the brain of some of my favourite young future race car drivers and show them my new NonStopTuning parts - they were unanimously approved, although some of the girls suggested that perhaps purple pulleys were more their style - luckily for them, NonStopTuning offers that option (and with free shipping!)
I feel very lucky and grateful to have the opportunity to be starting this journey, to be sharing this adventure with my NonStopTuning teammates. I have a long list of priorities to take care of before New Jersey, and I'm ready to come back to round two swinging!
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NST - NonStopTuning