Wild! In one word, that sums up the Super Drift Championship Round 4 – SoCal Region. This was one of those rounds that just goes to show that anything can happen and it’s not always about the usual suspects.
As SoCal is coming to the end of the 2023 Season, things are heating up. The drivers seem to be more focused, and everyone knows the title of SoCal Drift King is at stake. The next round will determine who goes into the Super Drift Championship 2023 USA Finals as SoCal’s number one! Also, the DK will be awarded lodging for the Finals!
Super-G’s very own Christian has been manning the cameras during the comps, and with the help of Tyler (Scale Magic) we have been improving a broadcast footage. We hope it has been making the Live Stream better at home.
The Judges for this round were: Shaine Collins, Manny Campalans, and myself, Steve Fujita. It’s always a pleasure judging alongside these guys, as they are so well versed in the SDC rules. This round did put some of the more rarely used rules to the test, but they were able to ultimately able to make sure the correct calls and procedures were followed.
As always, qualifying was intense. The layout for this round was not easy. To score well, timing and setting up for the next zone was really key. The normal, zone at a high-speed entry was not present, but the key points were as you exited the high-speed sweeper, and how you set up for the following entry. Many went conservative in this area and the scores reflected this. After all was said and done, Shaine Collins managed to put together an amazing qualifying run! This landed him TQ (Top Qualifier) for the event! Congratulations Shaine!
As always the Top 15 qualifiers were seeded in the Top 16, with the 16th spot reserved for the winner of the Lower Bracket. Kris Steele battled his way up from the bottom and eliminated Jaycen Wong in the Lower Bracket to clinch the 16th spot in the Top 16!
With so many really good drivers emerging recently, it’s not surprising to see different names in the Top 16. Making it into the Top 16 is really a feat in itself nowadays. It was good to see Vittorio Santiago starting out in the Top 16 this round, since we have watched him start in the Lower Bracket and fight his way up to Top 16 every round. That’s a lot of rounds won for one person. Now he was starting a little higher up since he qualified 3rd.
It all came down to Vittorio Santiago (Tech 1 Drift), Chris Silva, Alfredo Chan III (Team RAZR / Tech 1 Drift), and Bret Trevino (Slidelines RC / Tech 1 Drift). Between Top 8 and Top 4, Alfredo had run into some technical issues. In the heat of the moment, he had a lapse in judgment, and was subsequently disqualified. (SDC has very strict rules when it comes to swapping parts after tech, as well as taking a car back to the pits during the competition) This landed Bret in the Third Spot on the podium. Still well fought for. Congratulations Bret!
Then it was the time for what this was all about, Vittorio vs. Chris. Both of these guys have been putting in the seat and tuning time leading up to this round. So it was no surprise to see them squaring up against each other for 1st and 2nd Place. First up was Chris on the Lead and Vittorio on the Chase. Chris put down a near flawless lead and Vittorio clapped back hard with a near perfect chase! It was clear both of these competitors wanted this bad. Next was Vittorio’s turn to lead and Chris on the Chase! Vittorio put down a really strong lead to challenge Chris’s lead and Chris’s chase was just as good! However, just before initiation into the first turn, Chris had contact with the track barrier, giving Vittorio the well deserved win, and the Top Spot on the Podium!!! Chris took the 2nd spot which is no easy task in a field of this much skill!