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.


 
 

 
square

Luke conducts first F-35 training deployment

Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A 61st Fighter Squadron F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis prior to take off April 15 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Ten F-35s from the 61st Fighter Squadron were sent to Nellis for th...
 
 

The gift of leadership

Gen. Mark Welsh III may have said it best, “Leadership is a gift. It’s given by those who follow. You have to be worthy of it.” As the people of this nation give their children up to serve in the armed forces we as leaders need to be ready to lead them as they are...
 
 

Have faith in Air Force system

Throughout our Air Force careers, we have all received extensive training covering the Air Force core values — integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. We talk about them on a daily basis in one capacity or another using them as buzz words to drive our point home or steer a...
 

 

Sidewinders fly missing-man formation

A missing-man formation flyover took place at the Air Force Academy Cemetery April 14, to honor a fallen Airman whose remains were repatriated and laid to rest. Pilots from the 311th Fighter Squadron of the 54th Fighter Group from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, flew it. Capt. Richard Chorlins, U.S. Air Force Academy class...
 
 

Birth of a flagship

Courtesy photo An F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility just before its first flight March 31. This jet is one of several Lightning IIs destined for Luke Air Force Base in the near future after flight testing. Tail number 5056 is scheduled to be the 56th Fighter...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

Days of Remembrance There will be a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Luke Air Force Base Chapel sanctuary. The Hiding Place exhibit will be on display 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 1 in the chapel annex. AFA golf tournament The 16th Annual Air...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin