Formula Drift made its return to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton Ga, for the 18th anniversary of the first round of FD This past weekend. Team Pedal Commander Driver Odi Bakchis certainly brought the heat to Atlanta with his S15. Bakchis and his Supercharged V8 S15 were looking strong during practice Friday morning. Following practice Bakchis qualified third overall with an aggressive and smokey solo run through the keyhole Friday evening.
The 2021 Formula Drift Championship officially kicked off Saturday Afternoon when drivers saw their first competition battles of the year. Bakchis was matched up against the 30th overall qualifier Johnathan Hurst. Hurst in his 800HP LS powered Infiniti G37 Pulled to the line ready to chase, however off the line Hurst ran into some trouble and had to shut his run down early, giving Bakchis the advantage going into the second half of the battle. Bakchis gave chase in the second half of the battle and as both drivers approached the keyhole Hurst had to shut down again. Luckily Bakchis was able to brake hard and spin just inches from Hurst bumper and avoided any contact. Due to Hurst’s issues Bakchis was able to advance to top 16 without issue.
Moving on to Top 16 Bakchis was next matched with Travis Reeder and his V8 Powered E46. Bakchis Led first in the top 16 battle and on initiation began pulling away from Reeder. The run continued in the same fashion and Bakchis pulled across the line with a clean pass. Reeder was forced to use his competition time-out to try and fix issues he ran into but was unfortunately not able to finish and Bakchis advanced to Top 8.
Bakchis’s Great 8 Battle was LS S15 Vs. 2JZ S15 when Bakchis was paired up with YouTube Legend Adam LZ. The two iconic chassis with two equally iconic motors lined up with Bakchis set to lead. Off the line both cars shot out sounding and looking better than ever, as both drivers initiated LZ surged forward into the side of Bakchis and caused the run to come to an end. Unfortunately, LZ was unable to repair his car in the 5-minute window and was forced to bow out.
In the Final 4 Bakchis found himself up against Jeff Jones and his Supercharged V8 powered 370z. Jones had been riding high all night after knocking out Fredric Aasbo in top 16 and Dean Kearney in the Great 8. In the First run Bakchis took the lead position and put down a textbook run, with Jones holding at his door as best as possible. The battle was decided in the second run where Bakchis maintained a great following distance and almost perfectly mirrored Jones’s driving to pull out the win.
After advancing past Jones, Bakchis moved to the championship battle against his teammate Matt Field, and his Supercharged Corvette. With Bakchis following close off the line both drivers threw big angle into inner clip one. As both passed inner clip two Bakchis surged forward into the side of FIelds car shutting down the run and giving advantage to Field for the second run. After both drivers looked over their cars, they returned to the line for the second half. Bakchis led the second run with a large gap off the touch and go zone, Field reduced his angle and gave Bakchis a chance to pull away. Field's error in run two was enough to cause a “one more time” battle sending the drivers back to the starting line. Field led and initially pulled away from Odi off the touch and go, however Bakchis was able to recover ground into the keyhole and close the gap. Into run number two Field held great proximity to Bakchis all the way through the keyhole, but on the exit of the keyhole field cut too close to the inside. This disrupted his line and forced him to correct his angle. This gave Bakchis a chance to pull away and secure a round one win.