James Deane Grabs the Top Spot at Formula Drift New Jersey

2017 Formula Drift Champion James Deane takes Round 4 at Wall Speedway in New Jersey. 

Danny Korecki

Last year's Formula Drift Champion James Deane grabbed the victory again for the fourth round of the 2018 Formula Drift season at Wall Speedway in Wall, New Jersey. This round was also the 100th round of Formula Drift.

"Having the weather clear up to have a capacity crowd at the 100th round mark during our 15th season was a great accomplishment for everyone involved," Jim Liaw President and Co-founder of Formula Drift told ​The Drive. "It has been in a volatile time in motorsports with sweeping changes, so being able to establish this kind of consistency speaks volumes to the efforts of our staff, partners, teams, supporting media and ever-growing fanbase."

For Deane's path to victory, he went through Matt Field, Ken Gushi, Kazuya Taguchi, and Worthhouse teammate Piotr Wiecek. When Deane and Wiecek battled in the top 16, the mutual respect between the teammates was heavily apparent. When Deane was called the winner of the battle, he did donuts around Wiecek and his car as a sign of respect. 

Deane's win at New Jersey brings him to the top spot in the 2018 Formula Drift championship standings. Sitting with 313 points, he is 17 points ahead of Fredric Aasbo who had a rough Round 4 and was knocked out in the top 16 by Forrest Wang. Speaking of Wang, for the top 32 he had to race his own car. Wang loaned his demo car to Dean Kearney and the car has a very similar livery to his Pro drift car. 

Coming in second behind Deane was driver Matt Field. Field's number two spot jumped him into the Top 10, currently sitting at nine with 190 points. Justin Pawlak had a rather interesting start to the competition as in the Top 32 during his BYE run he threw out his driveshaft, but was able to bandage it up and fight through the competition. When The Drive previewed Round 4 of FD New Jersey, we discussed how this early in the season that wins can torpedo drivers into the top five in the championship. While he did not win, Pawlak grabbed the number three spot behind Field and Deane at New Jersey. Grabbing a podium spot bumped Pawlak into the top five in the championship standings. 

Another look at the 2018 Formula Drift championship standings after New Jersey has Chris Forsberg holding the number three spot with 274 points, 39 behind Aasbo. Wiecek is right behind Forsberg in the fourth position, 87 points behind him with 226. 

Danny Korecki

Round 3 Road Atlanta winner Kristaps Bluss was bumped one spot out of the top five into sixth holding 208 points, 105 behind new top five driver Pawlak. Wang, Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis, and Ryan Tuerck fill in the rest of the top 10. 

The next round of 2018 Formula Drift season will bring the drivers to Monroe, Washington for Round 5: Throwdown July 20th through the 21st.