For the 2010 season, Joon has teamed up with Bergenholtz Racing and will be driving the Full Tilt Poker Mazda / Nitto RX-8 in the Formula D series. He finished 17th overall in points in the 2009 season as a privateer.
The Formula Drift season is coming up quick, and Joon and the team have been working around the clock to make sure that driver, vehicle, and team are all fully-prepared to make a grand entrance come first round. The RX-8 has seen track time once so far this year for a test day, and Joon made sure to push the vehicle to its limits in order to give as much feedback to his team as possible. More practice sessions are on the agenda "so that if there are hidden problems laying dormant from within" says Joon, "these practice sessions can shake the glitches to the surface and have them rectified by team."
Repetitive test sessions can take a toll on any race-prepped vehicle, so Joon and the team rely on K&N products for the Full Tilt Poker Mazda / Nitto RX-8. "The K&N oil filter and breathers keep the Mazdatrix 3-rotor and TiAL turbo running strong and clean. Not only do they help keep junk out of the engine, but they also perform reliably. In drifting we are constantly driving at high RPMs, and to have a phenomenal filtration system helps the longevity of the rotary engine and turbo. It's practical to run on a proven system that works."
With a new car and a new team, Joon is glad to be able to relieve himself (at least a tiny bit) from the challenges and pressures of being a privateer. "In the short time we've been together, every member of Bergenholtz Racing strives above and beyond to get me out there on the track so that I am a step closer to victory," says Joon. "Their diligence and faith in me prove that it's not just about the driver; it's also about those behind the driver who, in my case, really are the powerhouse of all that's in store this year. In return, I want to bring to the forefront our amazing collaborative energy in hopes of it being seen as a direct reflection of what comprises this team's core."
Joon admits that one of his biggest challenges this upcoming season may be liberating himself from the total control that he once had as a privateer. "I have been relying on myself to be the alpha and omega of my ambitions for almost all my life, so it's hard to detach myself from the direct process of control," says Joon. "With my inception to Bergenholtz Racing, the present is a good a time as any to end one chapter of my life and start a new one. So far it's been amazing since everyone is uber responsible and just as passionate, if not more, about this sport as I am. I'm just riding the waves right now and enjoying it."
First up for Joon is the season opener of Formula Drift which takes place April 9-10 in downtown Long Beach, California, where the city streets are shut down to be used and abused by fast speeds and smoking tires. What is Joon's key ingredient for success at the first round of America's pro drift series? "It's fairly simple actually: expect the worst and hope for the best."
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