Sports

June 22, 2012

Airmen drift for F-16 flight

Tags:
by Airman 1st Class David Owsianka
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Airmen and professional drivers pose for a picture during the Drift into the Blue competition at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Calif. The competitions were judged according to execution and style, rather than who finished in the fastest time.

Slamming on the brakes of a car and sliding around corners is typically a bad thing, but for four Airmen from Luke Air Force Base, it was actually very good.

Those Airmen took to the track May 17 through 19 to battle in the “Drift into the Blue” competition at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Calif. The event, sponsored by the Air Force Recruiting Service and Formula Drift, paired up the Airmen with four professional drivers who acted as personal driving coaches.

The winning Airman and driver will get F-16 flights at Luke later this summer.

Formula Drift was founded in 2003 as the first official drifting series in North America. The motorsport, which has been popular in Japan since the 1970s, involves intentionally oversteering the car to cause a loss of traction in the rear wheels while maintaining control throughout a turn.

Competitions are judged according to execution and style, rather than who finishes in the fastest time.

The Airmen selected to compete were Tech. Sgt. Brian Abel, 56th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron flightline expediter; Staff Sgt. Natasha Burroughs, 56th Medical Support Squadron diagnostic imaging technician; Staff Sgt. Steven Dauck, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team leader; and Senior Airman Semmi Quarles, 56th Operations Group F-16 intelligence analyst.

Preparation for the competition, the race itself, and the F-16 flights will be shown in five reality TV-style episodes on the Formula Drift website. The first episode, which shows the introductions and a sneak peak at the competition, is available to view at www.formulad.com.

Upcoming episodes will feature the Airmen’s challenges, their improvements and the camaraderie formed with their drivers. Those episodes are scheduled to air July 21, Aug. 25 and Oct. 13.

All of the Airmen agreed the competition was an unforgettable experience.

Burroughs’ father is a former drag racer, which she said gave her some confidence going into the competition.

“Growing up on the race track definitely allowed me to be at ease when I stepped into the car,” she said.

Quarles, who didn’t have as much exposure to the racetrack as his rival, said he was optimistic about the competition since he is usually fast at picking up new skills.

“After getting used to the performance cars, we began throwing the cars into a drift,” he said. “It was kind of crazy, because we were basically losing control of the vehicle and then learning how to control it after it was out of control.”

This was also Abel’s first racing experience.

“I think breaking it loose is going to be fairly easy, but controlling it is going to be the hard part,” he said in the first episode.

Dauck was the only contestant with prior racing experience.

“I’ve driven autocross and some other small-circuit racing, but nothing like this,” he said. “This experience taught me more about driving and gave me a different outlook on the Air Force. It was the best Air Force experience I’ve had yet.”

Stay tuned to find out which of the four will prevail.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Lightning II debrief …

Staff Sgt. Staci Miller Senior Airman Roger Combs, 61st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, downloads information from an F-35 Lightning II engine at Luke Air Force Base. Since 2010, more than 1,800 maintainers have been trained on the F-35. The first production F-35A rolled out of assembly in February 2006 in Fort Worth, Texas. Later...
 
 
Courtesy graphic

Commons provides ‘crib’ for Airmen

Courtesy graphic The Community Commons concept design. Renovation has begun and will be completed in May 2016. The Luke Air Force Base Community Center, Bldg. 700, where the 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron Wellness Center resi...
 
 

How do you stack up?

With upcoming changes to the enlisted performance report and Air Force promotion system, it’s important to understand how you stack up against your peers, not only within your job, but within your unit as well. The days of receiving time in grade and time in service points are numbered. They are being replaced with a...
 

 

CCAF offers jump on education

The Community College of the Air Force was established in 1972 to recognize academic achievements for technical training by Air Force schools. It awards an associate in applied science degree to enlisted members of the active-duty Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command who have completed the course work. Degree programs are...
 
 
Johnny Saldivar

Roberson takes command of AETC

Johnny Saldivar Lt. Gen Darryl Roberson, Air Education and Training Command commander, speaks during the AETC change of command ceremony Tuesday at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas. Roberson is a command pilot who has mor...
 
 
4_150710-F-NQ441-5x7-036

Salutes and Awards

FWSA announce awards The following individuals are quarterly awards winners: 56th Fighter Wing Staff Agencies Airman: Senior Airman Leanne Mathews NCO: Staff Sgt. Natalie Nelson Senior NCO: Master Sgt. Deanna Commack Company gr...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>