FD Orlando – Conor beat James!

Check the Formula Drift Orlando Top32 bracket. The seeding bracket can be found here.

Sunny weather greeted the teams for the Top 32 competition heats before the event finished in darkness. All teams used the required Type S under car lighting.

After winning the previous round, Fredric Aasbo (Norway) made an ignominious departure from Orlando after spinning out during a close One More Time battle with Diego Higa (Brazil) in the Top 32 heats. Despite the poor finish, Aasbo climbed from fifth to fourth overall, with a bigger gap to the championship leader.

Simen Olsen (Norway) was knocked out of the Top 16 heats by 14-year-old Hiroya Minowa (Japan). Olsen remains second in the Championship but is now 44 points from the lead.

Minowa finished fourth, defeating Adam LZ (USA) in the Top 8. He lost to Deane in the Top 4 but remains the top PRO Championship Rookie, rising from eighth to sixth overall.

In an all-Irish Final, which went to One More Time, Shanahan was awarded the win after Deane made contact with the wall in Outside Zone 1 before running off the track. The reigning Drift Masters Champion needed to qualify for his place in the competition heats after missing Round 2. Shanahan did so comfortably by winning the Seeding Bracket on Friday. 

The Round 3 win propelled Shanahan from 25th to 11th place overall and the leading Rookie driver in Orlando.

Shanahan defeated 20-year-old Sorensen in an all-BMW Top 4 heat. The American driver claimed third position: his best result in FD PRO since joining the Championship in 2021. The points tally bumped Sorensen from 14th to fifth in the title race.

With Shanahan and Sorensen aged 20, Minowa 14 and Deane 32, the average age of the Top 4 finishers was under 22, making it the youngest Top 4 field in Championship history. The question is whether it signifies a changing of the guard.

After Round 3, the status quo was maintained, with Toyota continuing to lead the 2024 Auto Cup and Nitto heading the Tire Cup.

Formula DRIFT PRO Round 4 will take place at Englishtown Raceway on June 20-22, along with PROSPEC Round 2. 

Standings after round 3

1James Deane254
2Simen Olsen210
3Aurimas Bakchis196
4Fredric Aasbo184
5Branden Sorensen154
6Hiroya Minowa154
7Matt Field154
8Nick Noback140
9Rome Charpentier140
10Ken Gushi140
11Conor Shanahan128
12Chris Forsberg126
13Adam LZ112
14Dylan Hughes112
15Ryan Tuerck112
16Trenton Beechum112
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