April 10, 2012 (Signal Hill, Calif.) – Wanting to put on a strong show in front of his hometown crowd, and get his championship off to a strong start, Kyle Mohan was looking for a strong qualifying run when he rolled the Nexen/ Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8 to the starting line for his first of two qualifying runs. What he didn’t have in mind, however, was nosing his car into the turn 10 tire wall after making contact with the wall in the first clipping zone of the track.
Setting up an all-or-nothing second qualifying run, Mohan scored an 85.5 which would ultimately put him 13th in the field for the top-32 competition, meaning he would face Mike Essa in the first round. After two close runs, Mohan would defeat Essa and move on to the round of 16.
“I did not want to miss out on opening ceremonies at Long Beach, and I really wanted points for the championship,” said Mohan. “For a minute there in qualifying, I thought we might be in trouble, but I was able to relax a bit after our second qualifying pass. I knew our battle with Mike would be close, his BMW looked really fast all weekend, but our Nexen / Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8 is making great power and hooking up well, so we were able to take the win.”
In front of a large and supportive crowd, including a large contingent of Kyle Mohan Racing supporters, Mohan took part in the Opening Ceremonies alongside his Nexen Tires teammates Aurimas ‘Odi’ Bakchis and Ryan Kado. Mohan’s day would end after a close battle in the top-16, losing to Justin Pawlak, who would go on to win the event.
“I think I did a pretty good job battling with Justin, but I didn’t get off the start line well and he got a gap that I couldn’t overcome,” said Mohan. “We’ll just learn from that and move on to Road Atlanta. I’m really happy with how the car is working, everyone at KMR did a great job all weekend putting up with me and getting the car to work so well. We are in a good spot in the points – things are so competitive in Formula Drift that you really don’t want to start the year way behind everyone in the top-16.”
After the first round, Mohan sits 14th in the Formula Drift Pro Championship standings with 55 points. Mohan and his Nexen / Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8 will take part in next week’s Team Drifting Challenge, during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
The next round of the 2012 Formula Drift Pro Championship is the Road to the Championship at Road Atlanta, near Atlanta, Georgia on May 11-12.
About Kyle Mohan Racing
Kyle Mohan competes in the Formula Drift Pro Championship in the No.99 Nexen Tire / Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8, with support from Nexen Tire, Mazdatrix, and Mazda USA. More information can be found at www.kylemohanracing.com.