Matt Marcu is finishing up his 2nd year as an official event photographer for PowerStop. His work can be seen on previous Formula Drift & GRIDLIFE galleries. He can be found on Instagram @_mm.photo
When I got the call in February that I’d be shooting for the PowerStop x KoruWorks team this season of Formula Drift, I was beyond excited. Shooting Formula Drift was always one of my biggest dreams ever since the day I picked up my first camera 3 years ago. Getting to shoot the series for a second season, for the whole season, was an absolute dream come true. Little did I know that this season would be an experience far beyond what I expected. The team was comprised of some of the most kind hearted, positive, hardworking, and aspiring individuals and I could not be more thankful that I got to work alongside these awesome people representing PowerStop.
Goals for the 2019 FD Season
This was a season about putting 100% of our heart into the improvement of the program and to campaign a car that didn’t need constant repair. It was a season that was really pushed us to continue developing the Powerstop x KoruWorks program overall including making the switch to a PowerStop off the shelf 370Z Nismo Sport Brake Kit, understanding what the judges wanted to see out of us, and seeing Ryan grow even more comfortable in the Powerstop x KoruWorks 350z. To us, it wasn’t just about far we went at an event, as long as we made an improvement in the program. Improving the program, for the long haul, is always the most important aspect to know that we can confidently come into the following seasons with a solid foundation. Heck, even now I can hear Gregg Buccell, the spotter for the team from KoruWorks, shouting “That’s a win in my book!” about every single improvement and lesson learned.
The KoruWorks x PowerStop Team
Every event was a blast to be at. The camaraderie from the team, on and off the track, was truly amazing to be apart of. Seeing how well the personalities and attributes of this team meshed together reassured me that this was the right team to be on. Off the track, dinners and other team bonding events gave us an opportunity to grow as a unit, sharing laughs and our own individual stories of how we got to be in these moments. On the track, the team flawlessly communicated and worked together to overcome every possible scenario professional drifting can throw at you. Whether it be a wreck or mechanical failures with the car, the team was always working well together to get the car running and get Ryan driving as much as possible. It truly never mattered what was wrong with the car, the team was always so prepared and beyond ready to fix it within a reasonable time to make sure Ryan was always able to get out there and shred for qualifying and battles.
Integrating the PowerStop Brake Kit
Opportunity arose for the team to test out a new brake setup when we got GRIDLIFE South, about half way through the Formula Drift season. The “racing” brakes the team had been using required nearly $1000 in maintenance every few events. This lead us to switch to a PowerStop Track Day brake kit. With the combination of Road Atlanta being a Formula D track, many professional drifters in attendance, and non-competitive atmosphere meant we could do real testing with no real consequences. After a successful test, the PowerStop Track Day kit proved to be reliable and low maintenance throughout the rest of the season, including Ryan’s highest finish in Texas a few weeks later.
When it came to adapting to every track each round was so unique in-terms of really testing the team. There was so much collectively learned. Whether it be individual skills, team communication, adjustments to the car, adjustments to driving, or even adjustments to the way I created content for our team, we were always improving. We were striving to become better than we were the previous round, and it really showed. Ryan was able to pull off a career-best Top 16 finish at Round 7 in Dallas. Litteral, who has been driving the series since 2014, is known for his swagger and aggressive style in both his liveries and driving that has quickly made him a fan favorite. More than just the fans jumped onboard the “Ryan Litteral Hype Train”, though. Ryan earned Most Improved Driver of the 2019 Formula Drift Pro 1 Season, voted on by his fellow drivers. He put 150% of his heart into this season and it was great to see him recognized for his hard work.
Looking forward to the 2020 Season
Needless to say, I’m beyond excited to see where 2020 takes us. The Powerstop x KoruWorks is hands down one of the hardest working teams in the FD fieldand will continue working harder than ever to ensure we dominate the 2020 Formula Drift season and continue to develop and solidify PowerStop’s involvement in drifting and motorsports as a whole.
Be sure to follow Matt Marcu (@_mm.photo) on Instagram to see more from him!
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