Posted on: January 7, 2014

Moving forward on the momentum from the 2013 Formula Drift PRO Championship season premiere at the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit, Berk Technology has finished a short but intense period of developments to the Rydquist/Berk/City Tire powered by Champion Nissan 350Z and the team has finally sent it off to drift in the second Formula Drift PRO Championship round at Road Atlanta next week.


Photo: David Karey AMdrift.com



The team implemented a first few of many planned changes to the car, one being a very basic fix;  at Long Beach, Carl Rydquist had to drift with a too short final gear ratio with almost 20mph less wheel speed than desired in 3rd gear.

"This is really the basics, and I had planned a much longer gear ratio but we ran into a last minute unexpected problem that created a domino effect of adjustments we had to do", Carl says. "In the end the shorter ratio I ended up using caused some lost style points in qualifying and the non-optimal traction was painfully clear during my top 32 tandem battle where I lost approximately 4 car lengths off the launch to the lead car already into the first turn. It's not always about power itself but also about being able to put it down to the ground".

"We immediately went to work to update the 350Z suspension geometry. Formula Drift has very specific rules regarding the extent of changes that are allowed and we based our work on those rules", Berk Technology owner and crew chief Bryan explains. "The goal was simple, increase suspension geometry consistency and increase traction. Exactly what we did is a speed secret, let's first see how it works".


Road Atlanta is expected to become an incredibly competitive event and the Rydquist Racing / Berk Technolgoy team is hoping that these crucial chassis changes will help move them up the field.


All improvements are evaluated and analyzed in detail by Rydquist and the Berk team, then tested and hopefully proven at the track.

"I am super excited about these specific changes that we just did and I am equal amounts impressed with and proud of the amazing work that Berk did on the suspension, I can't wait to drive it", Carl says. "Working with Berk Technology, there is always something we discuss in order to improve the car".


 

The Rydquist Racing / Berk Technology / City Tire powered by Champion Sparkplugs 350Z will sport new Spyder headlights and taillights for Road Atlanta. Stay tuned for cool footage!

At the Road Atlanta event, Rydquist Racing / Berk Technology will collaborate closer with fellow Formula Drift driver Jhonattan Castro and City Tire Online, who is competing with their Progreso / City Tire / Hankook Nissan 350Z. This is the car that Rydquist was competing in Formula Drift with during 2009.


"In this case City Tire is family to me so the collaboration will be fun and a great experience. Jhonattan is also a really nice driver to be around and we are always trying to help eachother and share setup data when we can", Carl explains. "I will definitely miss the large Berk crowd, but at the remote events we can only bring the core of the Berk team and instead increase the collaboration and share resources with another team to find efficiencies".



Rydquist had a solid showing at Long Beach with the newly rebuilt car, coming back to Formula Drift after a 3 year long detour to different Time Attack races and racing in major around-the-clock races such as the 24 Hours of Nuerburgring, Barcelona and the 25 Hours of Thunderhill.

"I know we have a few limitations until we have developed the car a bit more, but we just have to stay focused and work systematically on the car and on my driving", Carl says. That we made Top 32 already at Long Beach was a huge reward and boost for the team, I really hope we can repeat and be even more competitive at Road Atlanta".



"Competition is not going to get any easier", Bryan Min adds in. "If you look at the top 29 names, they are all FD veterans more or less, and some of the top guys were out with mechanical issues at Long Beach. If everyone runs well, the fight for a Top 32 spot will be incredibly hard. We have to focus and prepare better than ever, to claim our ground and move forward from there."



The second round of the 2013 Formula Drift PRO Championship is set to take place on May 10-11 at Road Atlanta near Braselton, GA. Tickets can be purchased online at www.formulad.com, and news, livestream and all event info can also be found there.

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