Formula Drift - Pro-Am
Born in Germany to Iranian parents and moved to the US at age 5. Joe started racing BMX at age 7 and has been hooked on competition since. He raced BMX at the expert level through age 15. Joe was well-known for his wild style and was always a crowd favorite at the track.
The style and aggression of drifting was a natural evolution. Joe placed 3rd overall in the Super Am series in 2012. In 2013, Joe placed 3rd overall in the Sonoma Drift series. In 2014, Joe placed 2nd at Sonoma Summer Jam. He helped create the Sonoma Drift series in 2009 and is still involved today.
He is dedicated to the drifting community. When he's not driving, he volunteers at Sonoma Raceway setting up drift courses for Wednesday Night Drift and other raceway events. He's currently living in sunny Petaluma, California.
It's official, our 2016 season has clutch-kicked off and we entered the new year sideways at full lock with plenty of tire smoke! Round 1 of Golden Gate Drift was held at sunny Thunderhill Raceway on the west course. Luke 'Dread' Crowell put a lot of thought into the layout for this year, and the track is a healthy mix of fun entries and challenging transitions.
Before we get into the actual driving, we need to first acknowledge some of the amazing new partnerships we have this year that all helped prep the car for what is sure to be a competitive season. Working a 9-5 job with a wife and a newborn #driftbaby does not leave much time for driving, much less preparing and maintaining the car.
That being said, we are enormously thankful to collaborate with the guys at FFTEC Motorsports who will be providing us with mechanical, tuning and track-side support. We cannot say enough about the knowledge and professionalism of this crew, Anthony especially has been invaluable to going over the car thoroughly and refining the tune.
In other exciting news, we are running a Borg Warner SXE turbo from the dudes at Full-Race Motorsports this year. Geoff and Corell spent countless emails with us to pick the right turbo for our needs, and after getting the car dialed in on the dyno and one round of driving in anger, we can tell you that this thing is no joke!
This pinwheel makes some serious jam, so we needed some serious cooling to keep things safe when we smash the limiter. Mishimoto came on board with one of their X-Line radiators and a girthy front-mount intercooler. We added an oil cooler from B&M Racing and our on-track temps are steady as can be.
Lastly, our new hydraulic handbrake set-up from the boys at Nameless Performance really lets us grip it and rip it. The quality of their parts really is top-notch and entirely motorsport-grade. We have some other really cool things in the works with these guys, so stay tuned!
OK Joe, enough politics, what about the driving?! Well, our first few practice runs felt really good and we pushed a little more and more each time as we explored the limits of these new Accelera Tires we are testing. So much for a learning curve, but adapting on the fly is a big part of competitive drifting.
We qualified 6th out of 22 drivers and drew Justin Rodini in his S13 240 as our first tandem battle. Our lead run was ultra solid, connecting clipping points smoothly with snappy transitions. The crowd was stoked and so were we. We are continually surprised, impressed and appreciative of all the fans who come out to support GGD.
Our chase run was unfortunately a different story. Justin put a couple lengths on us from the start line and we tried too hard to catch up which resulted in a careless mistake and going off track. Mega bummer for sure, but just some of the wrinkles to be ironed out as the season progresses.
Ultimately, we ended up 10th for the day, which is admittedly disappointing, but sometimes we are our own biggest challenge. Many lessons were learned and we are already looking forward to Round 2 on 05/01. Congrats to Joe 'Trailer Joe' Tardiff for 1st place, Julian Dumay for 2nd and Travis Ragona for 3rd. Good pedaling guys!