Finally, the weekend began to come to a close. The on and off-track party of Saturday night slowly bled into Sunday morning, and it was time for our competition. As much as the competition was seen as the main event of Final Bout, everyone who competed just wanted to watch the other teams throw down and make some great memories. Every team gathered on the hill of the USAIR staging area to watch each other run team by team, and each run was greeted with cheers and screams of excitement. In almost a decade of drifting I’ve never seen so many drivers share so much joy all together. For everyone at Final Bout it was truly a life changing experience.
Before we get into the photos, I’d like to thank everyone that was involved with Final Bout- Starting first with our drivers- without you all believing in this idea, Final Bout weekend would not have been what it was. This was ultimately a collective effort between all of us, and every single driver was a part of making history, together. Our amazing staff, along with the people who came together to organize Final Bout had to work incredibly quickly in a very high pressure environment to put the event together and keep each portion of the project reined in throughout this weekend. Without the help of everyone involved in ClubFR, Final Bout could have never been what it was. Thank you to our amazing judges! We were so lucky to have people who have contributed to drifting history judge Final Bout. Between Toshiki Yoshioka, Benson Hsu, and Rob Riter, I truly felt like we were in the presence of some of the most wise, experienced, and at the same time friendly people in American drifting. Our sponsors, who believed in us from the very beginning when Final Bout was just an idea, and trusted the Final Bout team to build our dream event from the ground up. Without Koyo, Kenda Tire, Touge Factory, Origin Lab, Stance suspension, Dodo Logic, GTR Garage and Earnest Clothing we could not have created this event, or had such amazing prized to give to our drivers. And now, without further ado, here are some great photos from Sunday by Brad Sillars.
-Ilia Smolov (Team Proceed)
Unfortunately some drivers experienced mechanical trouble on Sunday. Roy from Bosstown had a clutch failure and spent Saturday night and most of Sunday working to get the car back together. Although he couldn’t finish the car in time, I know he’ll be back next year.
Most people who grew up learning about drifting in America have at some point admired Toshiki, Benson, and Reiter. These guys have set examples for thousands of kids who learned to drift in the 2000s, and having them all in one place as judges was a bit surreal. To help them out with commentary we added Teddy from Auto Factory Realize and Brian Kolar, one of the oldest names in Chicago drifting. The judges were ready to see some exciting driving, and each one was talking a fair amount of trash, too. It’s not a drift contest without a bit of mockery from the judges!
Gold Star’s super low ride height cars didn’t have much power, but this team knew how to put on a show. Their runs were super exciting to watch!
Although the HotBoyz were short one member, Jack and Eric held it down together with help from Tyler in his silver 180sx. These guys were riding the wall for both of their competition runs, earning them 4th place.
ShaDynasty’s Celica and Corolla were amazing with their ITB’d 3S engines. With Mark’s 500 horsepower Cressida in the mix, these runs were definitely something to watch. The wail of the 3S engines and Mark getting huge angle right near the wall were sick! ShaDynasty took 2nd place in the competition.
Risky Devil came correct as always with perfectly coordinated cars and driving of a level that could only come from running together for years. Watching all of their cars drive at once got everyone on the hill psyched and cheering! Risky Devil took 3rd in the competition.
Team OOPS might have had a silly name, but these dudes have been driving for years. Brian Peter (seen here) has been a Formula D driver for many years, Fuminori Kaneko (in his white FC) has been drifting since the 90s in Japan, and David Lee (in the black 6666 customs S13) owns Touge Factory. Between them, this team had easily the most experienced drivers around. Their runs were rad to see.
Breaking’s cars have always had perfect color coordination, and although Derek King and Derek Bianski were not able to make Final Bout, the Breaking cars there had exciting runs all weekend.
BossTown threw in everything they had during the competition. Their S13s were some of the cleanest, best condition cars at Final Bout. That didn’t stop these dudes from driving with absolutely no fear, tapping the wall over and over again. This was the Final Bout spirit captured by Brad here!
My lead runs during Proceed’s competition runs weren’t my favorite. I slowed down a bit too much on this lead run, which caused Leigh to tap me a bit on the way down into the corkscrew. It did make for a great set of photos, though!
Tracker’s cars looked on point all weekend. Kam’s Grey S13 was always super stylish with his battleship grey color and white gram lights.
The D Squad corolla driven by Ryan was riding the wall all weekend, and his 3S engine made some amazing sounds!
High Fade laid down amazing runs with their gorgeous black team cars during the compeition. These dudes were as consistent as you could get and managed to get all four cars perfectly stacked up during their tandem. They were an easy choice for first place!
My team Proceed won Touge Factory’s award for best team unity. The guys at Touge Factory felt that our team reprensented as a group as well as we could. We’re so proud of that! For us being a team, being together, and being of the same mind set as brothers is more important than anything else. Thank you Touge Factory!
Congratulations to High Fade for their great looking cars, amazing driving, and awesome attitude! These guys had a great time all weekend, and everyone at Final Bout was happy to see them take home the Final Bout trophy for this year, at least .
All of the teams that drove deserve props. Coordinating car colors, team names, livery; making sure that all of the team cars run perfectly and are ready to drift, all of these are incredible feats. We are so grateful that you all came together to make Final Bout what it was. Thank you all, and see you at Final Bout 2!
As a bonus, here are some shots of the HotBoyz heading up the hill and into the wall, before Jordan crashed his car. He was able to recover after his big crash, and the last photo is an “after” image of his car post repairs, on Sunday. Everyone smiled and cheered when we saw his car run- he came back and dragged the wall first try on Sunday! The crowd support was incredible
Josh’s 180 made a huge impact at Final Bout also, but his engine failed early on. The few runs that he was able to get in were absolutely amazing. Thanks for checking out the last installment of our Final Bout coverage. If anything, I hope this encourages more people to attend next year!