Taylor Hull returned to Wall Speedway, June 7-8, for Round 4 of the 2019 Formula Drift season.
Taylor was slow off the line on his first two practice laps which led to poorly driven runs. His spotter and wife, Tamarah Hull, noticed how other drivers were taking the course. With her suggestions to his initiation, the Comp Cams Cadillac looked dialed in, and Hull was comfortable with the course by the time the first practice was over.
Following the session, track officials noticed a portion of the track was falling apart. The crumbling road led to a change in the layout, which meant Hull and all the drivers had to relearn it.
While relearning the layout, Hull had some contact with Vaughn Gittin Jr., neither sustained any real damage.
Over the last three years of competing at the New Jersey circuit, 2019 served as the first time Hull and his car were able to make it through the Thursday practice without any major engine issues.
To celebrate, Hull and his team got to the track early. At their booth, fans could enter to win the NSR drift spec cam giveaway from Comp Cams and get information about the latest Yellowspeed Coilovers from the displays.
“I felt like I put up a pretty solid run in qualifying. This is the first time this year I am disappointed with my score,” Hull said. His first qualifying run earned him a score of 82, while his second run got a score of 84, snagging the 27th position in the top 32.
“Qualifying is so important in determining who you go against and we’re going to have a tough draw again. I think our Cadillac is fast, so I am up to the challenge, I just have to find a way to qualify higher,” Hull said.
Top 32 Battles
After getting some practice in and dialing in the tire pressure on his Achilles 123’s, Hull went up against current points leader, Odi Bakchis. The pair had battled once before in Texas 2018 that resulted in Bakchis victory after some contact was made. Hull was out to prove a point that he is capable of beating someone atop the list in Formula Drift this time.
The first battle saw Bakchis as the lead car with a seemingly flawless run, but Hull in the chase position wasn’t far behind as he managed to navigate the smoke.
When it was Hull’s turn to lead, he filled the zones and got close to all the front clips. Hull showed off some deep angle in several areas, but Bakchis was right on his door throughout the run. The points leader put his Nissan S14 in all the right places, and the judges’ awarded him the win.
“That was a lot of fun,” Hull said following his battle with Bakchis. He added, “Odi and I never really got to battle in Texas last time, so it was great to get two clean laps and just get to battle it out. He drove great in the lead and was right there in his chase, so he deserved the win for sure.”
Moving forward Hull said he wants to focus on qualifying higher to help increase his chances of moving through the rounds. “Going out in 32 is not what we strive for, obviously, but it was nice that Jersey didn’t claim my engine this year. This is the first time I’ve gotten to at least battle at this place, and it was fun.”
Hull’s next event will be Round 5 of the 2019 Formula Drift season, July 19-20, held in Monroe, Washington – a track he has historically performed well at.
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Photos by Frank Mirabelli