San Bernardino and the Inland Empire
and the Pasadena Sun News ran this story over the week
DRIFTING AT IRWINDALE: Tuerck wins season finale, but Forsberg takes home series title
By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/17/2009 09:24:02 PM PDT
IRWINDALE – Ryan Tuerck went all-out to win the Formula Drift championship.
He did his part on Saturday night at the House of Drift, aka Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.
But it was not enough. The Derry, N.H., resident won the season finale in front of a track-record crowd of 12,000. But Chris Forsberg did just enough to claim the series title.
“Me and Chris are such good friends,” Tuerck said. “I expected him to win and if he didn’t, I’d actually be really disappointed in him.”
Forsberg, from Huntington Beach, only needed to win one round of the tandem competition to take the title. He defeated Doug Van Den Brink in a one-more-time run. On the second run, his Nissan 350Z seemed to sputter.
Forsberg took the full five minutes that he is allotted to make sure everything was OK.
“It was a little stall down the straight,” he said. “I don’t know what it was. Coming off the track, I was hoping for the one more time because I didn’t think I was going to get the win. I knew the judges were going to make me work for it.”
The crew checked the gas and the connections to the ignition. He then got enough of a gap on Van Den Brink to notch the victory and advance to the Round of 16, thus clinching the series title. He lost to Robbie Nishida in the Round of 16 when he clipped the exit wall while chasing on the second run.
“It was just clean,” he said of the first round. “A little gremlin almost got us. After that, I was real nervous. I thought it would be an issue.”
After he had taken off the safety harness in his convertible, he was pulled out of the car by the amateur drivers and his crew and then tossed several times in the air.
“They just ripped me out of the car,” he said. “I’ve never had that before. It still feels crazy. It will take a little while for (the title) to settle in.”
Tuerck, meanwhile, had to hope that Forsberg would lose in the Round of 32 and he would win the event to take the title. He defeated Tanner Foust, the 2007-08 series champion, in a tight semifinal race and Tyler McQuarrie in the finals. It was his second win of the season. He also won in the season opener at Long Beach.
McQuarrie beat surprising semifinalist Mat Powers. Foust downed Powers for third place.
In a first-round surprise, Diamond Bar’s Alex Pfeiffer, in his fifth race back in the series, knocked out 2008 Irwindale champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the first round.