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Formula Drift Title Fight: Drivers to Watch

by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via Josh Tons

Three drivers remain mathematically eligible for the 2018 Formula Drift championship heading into this weekend’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Title Fight at Irwindale Speedway. After the “House of Drift” made its long-term return to the series schedule thanks to another 11th hour resolution to save it, the sport will crown its champion once again at its traditional home.

Defending series champion James Deane, winningest all-time driver Fredric Aasbo, and defending event winner Piotr Wiecek are the trio of drivers who could leave California with the trophy. Today, we’ll take a look at how each of them can do it, as well as their past performances at Irwindale:

2017 Performances

  • Piotr Wiecek: Event winner (qualified 2nd, BYE, def. Kristaps Bluss, def. Fredric Aasbo, def. James Deane, def. Dai Yoshihara); 106 points
  • James Deane: 3rd place (qualified 3rd, BYE, def. Ken Gushi, def. Odi Bakchis, lost to Piotr Wiecek); 69 points
  • Fredric Aasbo: Top 8 (qualified 7th, def. Faruk Kugay, def. Alec Hohnadell, lost to Piotr Wiecek); 52 points

2018 Points Table

  1. James Deane, 556 points
  2. Fredric Aasbo, 507 points (-49)
  3. Piotr Wiecek, 469 points (-87)

Clinch Scenarios

A maximum of 107 points (100 for a race win, 7 for qualifying) are available. With a perfect weekend, Aasbo would have 614 points and the tiebreaker on wins (3-2), meaning Deane would need to score 59 points to maintain the points lead. This means that Deane clinches the championship outright with a Semifinal appearance, no matter what Aasbo does.

If Deane is eliminated in the Top 8, he will have between 606 and 611 points depending on qualifying. Aasbo will need to win (+52 points), and earn no fewer than two less qualifying points than Deane (aggregate total +50).

If Deane is eliminated in the Top 16, he will have between 590 and 595 points depending on qualifying. Aasbo will need to at least reach the Final (+52 points), and earn no fewer than two less qualifying points than Deane (aggregate total +50). A win would guarantee a title for Aasbo.

If Deane is eliminated in the top 32, he will have between 574 and 579 points depending on qualifying. Aasbo will need to reach the Semifinals and earn at least one more qualifying point than Deane (aggregate total +49) to win with the tiebreaker on third-place finishes (1-0). A Final appearance would guarantee a title for Aasbo.

In the unlikely event that Deane fails to qualify, he will have 557 points. Aasbo will need to qualify and reach the Top 8 (aggregate total +50). A Semifinal appearance would guarantee a title for Aasbo.

With a perfect weekend, Wiecek would have 576 points. Deane eliminates Wiecek by qualifying eighth or better; even with a Wiecek win, Deane would hold the tiebreaker between them on second place finishes, 2-0. Even if Deane qualifies ninth or worse and is eliminated in the Top 32, Wiecek is eliminated if Aasbo makes it to the Final, or Aasbo qualifies fourth or better and makes it to the Semifinal. Aasbo also holds the tiebreaker between them on second place finishes.

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