Holley EFI Fuels Odi Bakchis' Victory at 2019 Formula Drift Season Opener in Long Beach

By: Todd Veney | 04/15/2019 < Back to Motor Life Home

Odi Bakchis racked up the fourth win of his flourishing career and opened the 2019 Formula Drift season in the strongest possible fashion with a huge victory at Formula Drift Long Beach in Long Beach, Calif. Driving his Holley EFI-powered Falken Tires/Feal Suspension Nissan S14, Bakchis screamed around the challenging "Streets of Long Beach" course, leaving billowing clouds of smoke and all of his competitors in his wake.

"The offseason testing and attention to detail to improve the chassis really paid off at round 1," said Bakchis, whose winning combination includes a Racepak CL2 data system, NOS nitrous, and Earl's plumbing. "It's an emotional win because we have a newborn at home and I was away from the family this weekend. Coming home with a 1st-place trophy makes it feel like the time away wasn’t wasted and we’ll have something to celebrate at home as a family."

Mastering the world-famous beachside course, Bakchis qualified a solid 5th with a nearly perfect score of 97 to rate as the favorite for the first round of five head-to-head rounds of tandem competition. He outdueled Ferrari driver Federico Sceriffo in the round of 32, then topped former series champ Michael Essa in the round of 16. In the "Great 8" round, he outdrove Falken teammate Justin Pawlak in a match too close for judges to call. Emerging victorious in the resulting "one-more-time" battle with Pawlak set up a "Final 4" showdown with another past series champion, Chris Forsberg, and a titanic final-round clash with veteran Forrest Wang. Adapting to Wang's vastly different ability put Bakchis over the top for a unanimous win, a fourth career event title, and the early lead in the 2019 Formula Drift championship standings.

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