When I left off the first post, I had just got done making my rounds in the pit, getting acquainted with a few people, and generally just getting a lay of the land. It was my first time at US Air and really wasn’t familiar with any of the track layout. After Mico introduced me to Nick from Touge Factory, I was able to get a media pass and head out to the infield to start getting some shots of the open practice session that was going on.
There were plenty of cars out on track; in fact, I don’t think any of the drivers were wasting precious track time. Remember a majority of the teams had to drive a really long distance to get here, so any free sessions were met with open arms. At noon, lunch would take place, and shortly after the main event would commence.
The teams would line up in the staging area, and do their runs. One team would run, shortly followed by a second, which gave the first team time to make their way back to the start for their second and final judged run. The system worked out very well, and for the most part there were no major accidents or mechanical failures. The competition itself was very smooth in how it played out.
Riskey Devil, although one of the larger teams, did well staying together in tandem.
A few of the High Fade cars.
The Dark Squad duo, looking straight out of 90’s Japan
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Ilia, Josh, and Chob from Proceed.
AFR lined up, waiting for their judged runs.
After a few hours or so, each team had made there judged passes and after a short break, the top 5 were selected to run one more time. Risky Devil, Team Faction, Sha Dynasty, Heat Bloom and (if I recall correctly High Fade – someone correct me if I’m wrong) made it past the initial runs and onto the next round. The next round would see the drop off of two teams, with Risky, Faction and Heat Bloom advancing to the finals.
After a couple passes from each team, it was Risky Devil who kept it together the best, and took the trophy from last year’s winners High Fade.
After the podium celebration the track was opened up again for open sessions; I understood this as ‘time to hide in the air conditioned media building with Joey and Yogi’.
After my mental and physical health recovered a bit from the elements, I found Dylan, Mitch, and Oli and got the hell outta Dodge. It was time for a beer, air conditioning and to not be standing. We promptly made our way to Perkin’s where all four of us dined on the finest breakfast plates in Shawano.
Just prior to our extravagant evening breakfast indulgence, Kou and I had talked about possibly photographing his car that night. I’ve always been a fan of his build, and to be honest, it is easily the best FC build in North America (my opinion of course). So he met up with us at Perkins and we did our best with the lighting Shawano had to offer. I’ll have more on this later…
The next day was more of the same; drifting…and then more drifting. Not one to be stagnant, especially at events really far from home. I hit up Damon and Tony to see if they’d want to drive off track a bit and have an impromptu photoshoot of their cars (of which I am a huge fan of). They happily obliged, and on their way out of Shawano, we got together on some random road. Again, more on this later…funny story actually.
The two Touge Factory cars that were in attendance.
Having fun with the 20mm
Fred was getting down in his FC for a few laps.
Overall I had a great experience at Final Bout; the people above all else made this happen. I’m looking forward to see if they move the event further West next year.