What an amazing end to a very exciting season for the Super Drift Championship 2023 SoCal Region! This past weekend was Round 5 for the SoCal Region, and the Regional Finals. Bret Trevino (Slidelines RC / Tech 1 Drift) from Las Vegas had made SoCal his home region and has made the trek out to Super-G for every round. He has been an extremely strong competitor the entire season and we have all been watching him grow as a competitor as he became accustomed to the strict calls the judges make here. Bret came into Round 5 as the points leader for the series, followed closely by Jason Fordyce (Team Super-G), and Alfredo Chan III (Team RAZR / Tech 1 Drift). Everyone knew this round was going to be insane, and it proved to be just that.
Being the last round for SoCal for the 2023 season, I had decided to have the longest course of the year. In addition, we revered the direction to really level the playing field. Normally I see people practicing both directions throughout the month, but for some reason I have not seen that recently. This made for the perfect opportunity to switch it up. To mine, and everyone else’s surprise, everyone took to the new direction within minutes. This just goes to show the level of skill these competitors possess.
The Judges for this round were, Shaine Collins, Manny Campalans, and myself (Steve Fujita). We were expecting the drivers to go all out this round. In qualifying most seemed to be more on the conservative side. With the reverse direction, and the JDM P-Tile breaking in nicely, the surface was slicker this round and seemed make the drivers a bit more apprehensive in some areas of the track. Even the best drivers were taking it a bit easy.
In qualifying there were some good runs. Even the drivers scoring double zeros were still putting down good runs. Some just had a bit of an issue keeping off all the rails with such a long course. It all came down to two! Jason Fordyce (Team Super-G) and Alfredo Chan III (Team RAZR / Tech 1 Drift) tied at 82 each. We let them decide who goes first with a quick round of Roshambo. They had issues getting started, then proceeded to tie like 5 times in a row before Jason finally coming out the victor. Jason let Alfredo go first. Alfredo threw down a great run, bettering his previous score and earning a solid 83! Jason knowing he needed to pull off something really good, he was putting down an insane run. Then entering the last zone, he threw it a little too hard, and had contact with the wall, effectively giving him a zero. So the TQ of the event, Alfredo! With a score of 83!!! Congratulations Alfredo on a job well done!!! This also earned Alfredo an additional point for the series. At this stage in the game, everyone wanted all the points they could gather.
The Lower Bracket was filled with some excellent drivers. Some are no strangers to starting out in the Top 16, but due to the skills recently, it’s not a surprise to see some of the best starting in the Lower Bracket. After all was said and done, Thomas Carroll (Prototype) was victorious and advanced to the Top 16 to face TQ of the event, Alfredo Chan III.
Top 16 started out with Thomas Carroll (Prototype) vs. Alfredo Chan III (Team RAZR / Tech 1 Drift). Although Thomas had what it took to battle all the way thought the Lower Bracket to the Top 16, facing Alfredo – Top Qualifier of the day had proven to be a bit much, with Alfredo advancing.
The battles were awesome the entire event. It all came down to Alfredo vs. Bret Trevino (Slidelines RC / Tech 1 Drift) for 1st and 2nd, and Mikko Yang (ReveD) and Alan Benites (Team Zenshin). Being the Finals for the SoCal Point Series, both Alfredo and Bret were at the top of the points. Bret coming in with 45 points and Alfredo coming in with 40 points, plus his additional point for TQ, it was going to be close! First up with Mikko vs. Alan. Both put down good runs, but Mikko came out on top to take home 3rd place!
Then it was what this entire season was about, Bret vs. Alfredo for 1st and 2nd place!!! Their first runs, both Bret and Alfredo made equal mistakes. Being as they were so close, and being the finals, the judges opted for a OMT (One More Time). This time around both drivers really turned up with wick! Alfredo put down a near perfect lead, and Bret answered back with a solid chase! Then roles were reversed and Bret put down an insane deep lead with crazy angle! Alfredo put down the same on his chase, exhibiting why he’s always one of the top contenders! When all the dust settled, it came down to one deciding factor. On Alfredo’s lead, he went deep into the last turn and nailed Zone 4. Bret’s chase was on point until that last turn where a slight miscalculation on the entry caused him to take a shallower line. This was enough to clearly secure 1st Place for Alfredo, and 2nd for Bret!!!