I don’t think anyone expected that.
I also don’t think that anyone could disagree with the result either. Florida was the first real unknown for the Worthouse Drift Team, with neither driver having experience at the Orlando Speed World oval, or the heat on the peninsula at this time of the year.
For all the euphoria that was felt after FD Long Beach, the atmosphere was very different as the sun set this evening.
Both cars were parked up after the Top 16, with James having been beaten fair and square by Jhonnattan Castro – who put in one of the all-time great chase runs, it has to be said – and Piotr being unable to return to the start line after making contact with the wall on his lead run against Dean Kearney.
Strong disappointment and frustration were definitely the initial reactions, but they were soon replaced by calm and considered reflection.
It’s only been a handful of hours since the event wrapped up, and fatigue has taken full hold of all involved, myself included. It’s just gone 1:00am in the morning, but already a careful dissection of the event has taken place within the team, which will likely continue over the next few days. Then, when all is understood, it will be time to implement whatever needs to be done before Atlanta. Just how much needs to be done remains to be seen.
In the meantime, while I gather my own thoughts on the last three days here in the Sunshine State, I’ve got to send some serious kudos and congratulations to Papadakis Racing and Fredric Aasbø for what they’ve been able to achieve with a brand new car after just two events. It was a sensational result.
Two down, six to go.