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Trackside: Kelsey Rowlings at Formula Drift Pro 2, Orlando

Shortly after debuting a brand new livery for 2019 at the Voodoo Ride Bash Kelsey headed to Orlando, Florida for the first round of Formula Drift Pro 2 Championship.

Competing on her home track Kelsey was in comfortable territory. Unfortunately her confidence was short lived.

“We had power steering pump issues plaguing us since we built the car. We decided to replace everything in the system to brand new parts so we could rule that out as a possible culprit for the failure.”

After driving 60 laps at the Import Alliance Atlanta demo with no power steering issues, the team were relieved. After the event however metal specs were found at the bottom of the power steering fluid reservoir. A brand new pump was fitted ahead of FD Thursday qualifying.

“Being comfortable with the track, I decided to go all in for the first lap of practice. I put the car on a very high line around the bank of the first turn. Everything was feeling great until half to three-quarters of the way around the bank.”

“My power steering cut out and tried to rip the wheel from my hands. I tried to save it, but I was already so close to the wall that there was little I could do to avoid a collision.”

The damage was fairly extensive. All of the suspension on the driver’s side was broken, and the front strut tower was pushed in. The car would need a frame machine to be repaired safely, and qualifying was that evening.

Because of the time crunch, and because the wreck happened in the first “open practice” session not the “official practice” session, Kelsey decided she had a better chance of getting back on track if she switched to a different car instead of fixing the wrecked car for this round.

Crew Chief Dan and Tom drove the 45 minutes home to get the SR22 powered S14 demo car running, while Daniel stayed behind to get new suspension parts on the Ford powered FD car to get it at least rolling again.
With the help of Andrew DiMartino from Haltech we got to work trying to set the timing and diagnose any issues. Despite the team’s best efforts it was just not meant to be.

“Although we were unable to make a qualifying lap, I know that the team and I did everything we could.”

“The support from the fans has been overwhelming and we now have parts on the way and plan to make the changes as soon as we return home. We stay in good spirits and are looking for redemption in Atlanta!”