As can be seen I was invited to do a Need For Speed: SHIFT video game contest sponsored by Royal Purple, to which I qualified 2nd on the Thursday before the events.
Brands Hatch Indy, BMW M3 GT2 1 Quoc Ly 45.300 2 Carl Rydquist 45.500 3 Darren McNamara 45.830 4 Tony Brakohiapa 45.930 5 Tyler McQuarrie 46.620 6 Vaughn Gittin Jr. 46.660 7 Chris Forsberg 47.850 8 Daijiro Yoshihara 48.310 9 Michael Essa 48.340 10 Tanner Foust 49.790
For the finals I was to compete in a Maserati MC12 in Time Attack mode at the Nurburgring against two other FD drivers. Could it be any better? Sadly I was a bit thrown off by having to stand up(!) and play and I had already had big problems during practice and qualifying to manage to adjust to even use a game controller at all, I never raced a car standing up and I always used a steering wheel in all racecars so far...
The Nordschleife is my 2nd home and I can drive it mentally with closed eyes more or less spot on the second for each reference point if I am visualizing racing it with a Porsche 996 GT3 RSR. So that part was easy. The game is even so realistic that a few spots really reward you for taking the right line - or hurt you a lot for taking the wrong line. Impressive.
In practice I ran 6.53 at best and most of the time around 6.55-6.56 playing it a bit safe. However came the race challenge, the others got an important advantage as DMac was late and I had to go first; they could see me backing away from the screen several times during the first 3rd of the lap. The radio cord we had to wear was too short and the default standing position was too close to the screen so the perspective got really skewed and resulted in a couple of off-road excursions. Eventually got back enough to get a flow, almost snapping the radio cord off.
The few seconds lost didn't worry me yet, I had reference points and was still going for around 6.57-6.58 which I know would be hard to beat under these conditions, however a few additional errors with the game controller from standing up to play, were enough to loose more important seconds. Not good... I went all out towards the end and manged to limit the damage, but only took a 7.05. That hurt a lot.
It took almost a full day to accept such a lousy performance from myself. It had been easier to handle putting something like a regular 6.57 or so and then see Quac put a 6.56 and lose to that, then I would have at least did a decent job myself. As it was now, I gave it away and Quac took it easily with a 7.00. I am not used to performing poorly in a racing situation and I am incredibly competitive, which also has made for all the success so far, so this was tough to handle, especially in combination with a broken engine on the City Tire drift car.
Anyway, the Royal Purple sponsored Need for Speed: SHIFT competition was a brilliant idea and I am in a way proud after all, it was a super close qualifying between gamers and racers who are all very good Formula Drift drivers and Champions, so very cool to know that even though I suck at game controllers, my real racing skills made up for it.
It was a really good adrenaline rush, competitive action and great for the overall show. Jarrod DeAnda, the FD regular commentator came down from the FD booth to do a good job by entertaining the audience and making it sound authentic and exciting, giving facts about the drivers, the NFS: SHIFT game and also doing his share to be in our ears during our laps.
It also definitely served as even further motivation in my preparation for upcoming racing events, added to Formula Drift. I really missed competitive racing lately so I am glad I have some upcoming stuff already planned.
FD Round 7 - Irwindale: DNS despite huge team effort
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Practice on Thursday started out well, better already in the first run than we ended practice last time out at Irwindale so quick fast learning curve as usual. The new exhaust is really good for the throttle response in the City Tire/Kallusive Clothing 350Z TT, which helps a lot especially up on the steep banking of Irwindale Speedway. I played around a little with lines, started to move higher up on the bank and in general felt very good about the precision of the car setup and the track layout. Traction as always hugely improved since we got the Carbonetic diff in the car and very smooth, saw a lot of jerkiness/shifty behaviour on the bank from other cars on the banking. Our City Tire/Kallusive Clothing Nissan 350Z TT was also looking good with Sam's Autoland having taken care of painting some new AIT bodyparts for us.
To our great dismay our super strong engine started dropping oil pressure and making noise in the middle of my 5th or 6th run, I just had to abort and as I was rolling into the pits, there was some serious clonking going on, not good. We towed back to the team area and loaded up on the trailer to do some diagnostic work at the shop. At the end of Thu night, after discovering a pinched/seeping oil line and trying with the engine full of new oil we concluded this car won't run without a new engine.
Fri morning the team gets started with the very able hands of Technosquare to swap the engine. Work progress went really well, by lunchtime the old engine was out and the new one about to be dropped in. By this time I had to head over to the drivers meeting and then just wait at the track for the team to show, worst case for 2nd round of qualifying but at least a shot to get into top 32.
It was a loong afternoon. As my fellow FD drifters were lining up to qualify, the team was reporting from the workshop - "wastegates on", "exhaust on" etc and I was keeping them up to date with the progress of the qualifying which actually started a bit late. Ready with suit on and helmet in hand, I got to watch a lot of qualifying runs...
As 2nd cycle rolled around and the team was loading up over at Technosquare with the car now ready to rock again with a new engine, we all realized there's no way they'll make it through traffic on a Fri in LA in time to qualify. Anyway who knows, maybe someone releases a ton of oil on the track delaying the qualifying for clean-up - so the team kept moving anyway. However, 2nd cycle of qualifying went really fast and all of a sudden session is over - and our FD season is over. Not a great way to end it, sitting next to the track instead of in a car flying around the track, but absolutely nothing to do about it.
The team rolled in just as the autograph session started right after qualifying. After signing a huge amount of programs, helmets, t-shirts, bags etc - the line of fans was huge! - I head over with the team to setup our pit area, for the fans to see our car, and we stayed to watch and support our friend drivers at the track both Friday and Saturday.
Props for Matt Powers and Michael Essa for really doing well this event, I was sad to see fellow Z-drifter and Hankook driver Robbie get knocked out after some solid runs taking out already crowned 2009 FD Champion Chris Forsberg (congrats!).
Now, silly season is already at full speed. Even though most people take a week off from thinking too much about drifting after a busy season, it's the big topic now who's driving what car on what tires for what team next year. The FD Awards Banquet is tonight, it will not only be about trophies and awards but for sure also a huge gossip event...
From my side, there's one or two more race events coming up this year before this motorsports season is fully ended, more news on that soon.
Thanks to FD for a well run professional show and thanks to all fans for showing up and just being great and enthustiastic at the races - it rubs off on everyone!
Thanks to everyone who supported our first year in FD and made our car really competitive already by mid-season, Hankook, Kallusive, Carbonetic, AIT Racing, APR, Technosquare, South Gate Collision, Sam's Autoland, Endless, Zeal, Everitt Boles Motorsports Insurance, all the people involved - Chaz Kallusive - Justin (building on the car) - Carey (gearbox swap Atlanta) - Howard (engine swap).
Additionally from my side a huge huge thanks to City Tire Online!
See you on a track soon. Keep your eyes on this blog to know when and where. Carl
Here's a video from shaking down the City Tire/Kallusive Clothing 350Z and drifting for the first time at Irwindale Speedway. Wise from Vegas wall love I took it a little conservative and it was a good test of the car and good to feel out the course. It's a very fun layout with a nice fast rhytm to it during the mid-section, and the car behaves really well, we really did great improvements from Long Beach until Vegas and now we are only needing fine-tuning. I look fwd to next practice which is just before the last Formula Drift event of this season - this weekend. Stay tuned! Aiming for another good qualifying result to start.
Name: Carl Rydquist Age: 35 Home: Redondo Beach, CA Web:CarlRydquist.com Reel:Click to watch Highlights: Winner of Zandvoort 500 (2005), Winner of Swedish Endurance 3h GT Racing Championship (2004), Winner of Swedish Endurance 8/12h GT Racing Championship (2001), Winner of Eurosport Super Racing Weekend Challenge (2001), Winner Super Lap Battle Lim RWD (2011), Winner Redline Time Attack Mod RWD (2010). 24 Hours of Nurburgring (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011). 24 Hours of Barcelona (2011). 25 Hours of Thunderhill (2010). Memberships: FIA (intl racing license), SAG Stunt Driver (Screen Actors Guild), Formula D, Performance Two Stunt & Precision Driving Team (Hollywood, CA). Teams: Berk Technology, City Tire, AE Performance, Steam Racing, STORM GT Racing.