(Ontario, CA) – In what has been called the “most well-deserved win” in Formula Drift history, Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis took the victory at Formula Drift Round 4 at Wall Stadium in New Jersey on June 3, 2017. This win currently places Bakchis in 5th overall in the series championship.
Bakchis faced a challenging weekend both as a driver and as the crew chief of the Falken Tires Drifz Wheels 240SX. During practice the studs broke on one wheel, sending the car to a harsh crash onto the steep 30 degree bank of Wall Stadium. This landing compromised the engine and Bakchis did not have time to address the mechanical issues prior to qualifying. Bakchis qualified 15th with the compromised setup and decided to forego his second qualifying run to instead swap the motor prior to tandem competition on Saturday.
After completing the engine swap at 3:00 am, Bakchis and the team rested briefly only to be greeted by rain on the track Saturday morning. The track dried prior to Top 32 competition, where Bakchis advanced against fellow Falken Tires and Feal Suspension driver Piotr Wiecek.
Top 16 competition continued the non-stop action for Bakchis. After advancing against Ryan Tuerck in Top 16, a protest was filed against the win and Bakchis drove two more times against Tuerck to ultimately be awarded the win for a second time. This set Bakchis against Fredric Aasbo, where Bakchis faced yet another one-more-time call. Bakchis exhibited his driving precision through exceptional proximity again and again on track and made his way to the finals against Michael Essa. After an aggressive follow run against Essa, Bakchis led for the final lap of the evening. This lap also proved to be the final one for Bakchis’ second motor of the weekend.
Bakchis secured the win at Wall Stadium and gave the viewers quite a show with his extreme and consistent following technique on track. He battled both on an off track by driving against top drivers, facing an overturned call through a protest, multiple one-more-time calls, broken wheel studs, and a late night engine swap.
Bakchis thanked his team for their continued effort throughout the weekend and said this event “challenged me as a driver and in so many other ways. I didn’t know how to keep going, but I did again and again.” Bakchis thanked his crew, family, and the continued support from his sponsors including Falken Tires, Drifz Wheels, Ark Performance, Feal Suspension, Torco, NRG Innovations, Clutch Masters, CBM Motorsports, Holley Performance, NOS, Aeromotive, Treadstone Performance, Vortech, Swift Springs, Rehv Clothing, Deatschwerks, Rola Audio Video, Bink Industries, Canton Racing, HPS Silicone Hoses, Sparco, Turbosmart, 702 Graphics, Wisefab, Pro Things, Fuelsafe, 2F Performance, Extreme Dimensions, Ignite Race Fuels, and Turn One.