Road Atlanta is know for being one of the craziest stops in the Formula Drift series. The fans are rowdy, the track is fast and technical, and something that nobody expects seems to work its way into the show. ONE44 Motorsports came into Atlanta feeling confident and ready to compete. At Round 1 we learned to expect the unexpected. With rain in the forecast for Friday and Saturday, we arrived focused and with a game-plan. The team was hungry for results.
Thursday practice was a struggle. It forced the team to take a step back and work collectively to find a solution that would put us closer to our goals by Friday Practice. The next day we went into practice focused and ready to put down some clean passes. After the first 2 passes everything clicked. Our runs were consistent and, without a doubt, top 32 worthy. The team was confident by the end of practice but a formation of dark clouds started to roll in on us. Right as the second practice group starts running,
rain. And lots of it. The track was absolute madness. Drivers were doing multiple 360’s entering the first turn and hardly had any control throughout the rest of the course. This would be the first time this chassis has seen rain. ONE44 adapted the car as best as we could and went into qualifying.
Our first run was fantastic but the judges ruled that our two front tires came off track at the apex of the first turn, giving us a zero. Our second run would give us a score but would leave us just outside the top 32 bubble. A tough loss but the team was in high spirits. Afterwards, we received many compliments on our runs during practice and were told by many teams that they had no doubt we would have qualified had the conditions stayed consistent.
Saturday is always bittersweet when we don’t qualify. We want to be in the big show but we love hanging out with the fans! We watched an exciting main event and cheered on our friends! Round 3 is in Miami. A brand new venue for Formula Drift and the first event of the new Pro 2 series. ONE44 will be competing in Pro and Pro 2. This means twice as much time to practice and a greater chance of achieving the results we know we are capable of! See you in Miami! – Nate Hamilton
Nate Hamilton runs Enkei Kojin Tuning Series Wheels on his Formula Drift S13.