USA BLOG: Ashley Van Dyke @ Formula D Road Atlanta

















The talented Road USA correspondent, Ashley Van Dyke gives us this ace blog from the weekend's second round of the Formula D championship at Road Atlanta: 
"With a different track configuration for the drifters, it was challenging for many in the field to find their marks. Driver of the #79 Hankook/Top 1 Oil Chevrolet Camaro was Conrad Grunewald, and he set the pace for entry speed on the first day of practice, and was looking sharp with his lines and angle.
"It was a little overcast with big dash of humidity when I arrived on Friday. Grunewald was fired up for the event and told me that Road Atlanta is one of his favorite places to drift and definitely one of the most fun to drive. The energy around the Hankook camp was positive and in good spirits, hopeful for a possible win.
"Also at the track when I arrived was Scoggin Dickey Parts Center. They came down from Texas to check out their first FD event. I met these guys down at PRI last year and learned so much about LS parts from them. It was an exciting site to see engines on display at the track. So many drivers prefer the LSX platforms in their competition drift cars, and street cars too.
"There were some “technical” issues with qualifying that had about half the drivers in the field in an absolute uproar. Your definition of technical might be a little bit different than what I am referring to. Never mind the details on that, it’s better to just report the facts. Grunewald would have sat as number one qualifier, had things been left alone, however it didn’t turn out to be that way and his ranking was moved to the fifth qualifying position. Everyone else also experienced a change in their original qualification order, some moving ahead in the order and some falling back.
"That really set the pace for the rest of the weekend for this Chevrolet team. Grunewald had issues with the car and even bigger issues with going up against Tony Angelo in Top 32. Angelo’s Scion tC was not in proper order for battle on track. Officials never should have let him take the line. His car was all over the place, the rear hatch went flying up during his drifts and bits and pieces were flying out from his car everywhere.
"It was a near flawless first run for the Hankook/Top 1 Oil Chevrolet Camaro but Grunewald found trouble when going tandem and having to follow Angelo. It was in the last turn heading back up the hill, when the car carried off line and pulled a hard slide-job into the left outside wall. The day was done for Grunewald just like that.
"The effort from Conrad to pull though these obstacles this weekend was truly a demonstration of a class act racer. Dedicated and always giving his best to taking care of the car is what I enjoy most about him. He loves what he does and it shows on and off the race track. Next round on the schedule is Palm Beach International Raceway coming up in a few weeks. Good luck, Conrad!" Thanks Ashley! And also to Andrew Bohan for the fabulous image above... 

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