Alec Robbins - Formula Drift Orlando
Formula Drift Orlando
Hear first hand from Alec Robbins as he talks about the exciting first round of Formula Drift Pro 2 in Orlando, Florida.
There were a lot of nerves going into our first round of Formula Drift Pro2 in Orlando, FL. We had made a lot of updates over the offseason and with time constraints and bad weather we weren’t able to test our new set up. Luckily we have some great new partners on the team, like Sandbeck Race Development, who had the car on the dyno for the first time just a week before the event. With a full, fresh engine build (upgrading our stock rods and pistons to a set of Manley platinum series pistons and pro series rods) SRD had everything on the engine compartment built and tuned perfectly. We ended up 100+hp over last season. Other changes included adding a Whiteline swaybar setup to the car after running no swaybars in past seasons, as well as some other geometry changes.
Having not driven the car since the final round at Irwindale Speedway in October, I was anxious to get behind the wheel. After our first run, the nerves faded and the car felt amazing. With 40 drivers registered for the round, we knew that we would be limited on practice time, luckily no major adjustments were needed aside from tire pressures. We were able to get 4 practice runs in before qualifying, which isn’t nearly as much as I would have liked after not driving for 6 months, but the car was feeling better than ever and I had a good amount of confidence going into qualifying.
Our first qualifying run we decided to go for a more conservative, safe run and landed an 83/100 which set us up to be in 9th place. By the time we were up for our 2nd run, our 83 had us sitting in 15th place and on the verge of not making top 16. I knew we needed to throw down a solid run. Not wanting to leave anything on the table I initiated slightly higher than I had in previous runs and got into the wall. Staying committed I held it wide open, tapped the wall again before pulling away from it enough to maintain angle. I kept it high on the bank and still wide open dropping down to the first and second inner clips getting them perfectly. When we tapped the wall, it was hard enough to crack the left rear wheel causing it to go flat. Going into the last outer zone, I overshot it just a little bit before pulling the car back on line and finishing the run off with a big angle right on the outside zone.
I could tell everyone in the stands was pumped, clapping and getting thumbs up as I pulled off track. The wall taps however impacted my score pretty heavily and we scored an 80 on our second run, leaving us 17th out of 40 drivers and sitting just outside of making it into the competition. It was a huge bummer. However, going into the next round we know that we have a killer car. My confidence in my driving and in the car has never been higher and are super excited to tear up one of our favorite tracks at Road Atlanta for round 2 next week!