Stephan Verdier Overall Win at Formula D Rd 6
Sonoma (CA) – Driving a Garrett-powered, Crawford Performance-engineered Subaru, French drifter Stephan Verdier achieved a lifelong goal – his first-ever overall Formula D victory at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.
On Saturday, in head-to-head competition against series point leader Chris Forsberg, the relative unknown from France inched ahead of Forsberg in a formidable battle. Verdier’s next opponent was Vaughn Gittin, Jr. Verdier called on his own focus and fortitude to beat Gittin, Jr. and move to the top four, advancing to this level for the first time in his 3-year Formula D racing career.
Running in his 10th battle on the same set of tires and competing without a crew, privateer Verdier prepared for battle against Ruji Miki. At one point, Verdier glanced away from the track to evaluate his foe, setting him slightly behind Miki. In the next battle, Verdier regained his trademark focus, staying in tune with his car and the track, and exploited a correction by Miki to advance to the final.
Racing in his first final and pitted against Ken Gushi, the “goliath” to Verdier’s “David.” Verdier prepared mentally for the toughest battle of his racing career. In heated competition, Gushi’s car was splattering water and engine oil across the track as well as Verdier’s windshield, obstructing his view. Upon finishing the battle and hearing the roar of the crowd, Verdier emerged from his car, shouting for a rag to wipe his windshield, not realizing Gushi’s engine had been compromised during their first battle, Verdier emerged victorious.
His first-ever overall victory was the result of racing fast and clean and keeping mistakes to a minimum.