While in Texas for a Formula Drift exhibition, my car caught fire. It was a wild ride to say the least, but could have been so much worse! This car was repaired to go on to perform the next day by the guys at Singergy who did a great job. This is our demo-only car, and we are getting a new car ready for Formula Drift Round 5 in Seattle, WA. Check out the videos and then read the full press release for more details.
User imoon001 graciously sent a youtube link of the SpeedTV footage of my car fire. Check it out below:
Here is another video post from Jalopnik from a different perspective:
Brakohiapa escapes dramatic car fire at Formula Drift Texas Motor Speedway Demo
June 27, 2011
San Francisco, CA: A routine drifting demo in front of a NASCAR and Indy Car crowd turned extra hot for Formula Drift veteran driver Tony Brakohiapa earlier this month.
Brakohiapa’s Mustang was ready to put on a great show at the Texas Motor Speedway after initial engine problems appeared to be resolved. However, Brakohiapa’s car troubles would unexpectedly get worse during the first two-lap exhibition. Just as the Mustang drifted onto the front straight, a weak fuel-line fastener near the fuel filter broke under pressure and sprayed fuel onto the exhaust system.
The sudden loss of power got Brakohiapa’s attention. As he idled his way back to the pits, he looked in his side mirror and noticed the flames. The resulting fire trail then dragged spectacularly behind the car for an impressive 200 feet with flames ultimately enveloping the rear part of the car.
Brakohiapa’s long racing experience kicked in and he calmly coasted the car straight to the pit lane where the fire safety marshals were waiting with extinguishers. Brakohiapa commented that this action was the best choice since remaining on the front straight and waiting for the fire safety crew would have cost precious time and damage to the car would have much more severe. He said that since the flames were outside the car, pulling the fire suppression lever inside the car would have been ineffective. Brakohiapa was unhurt and unfazed by the situation and thankful for the quick response of the track’s fire team.
The damage to Brakohiapa’s Mustang was cosmetic only. Experienced crewmembers Adam Lewis and Mark Skorka repaired the car to 100% performance. The following day, Brakohiapa and his Mustang put on a great show with fellow FD drivers in front of a pumped up NASCAR and Indy Car crowd. Only minor visual cues bore witness to the earlier dramatic blaze. “I certainly never expected to be on national television with a fire tail wagging the Mustang, à la “Back to the Future,” Brakohiapa quipped. Pictures and video of the fire can be viewed at Brakohiapa’s new website: (www.tonybracing.com).
Now back at his California base, Brakohiapa is preparing his return to the 2011 Formula Drift Championship with a newly built Mustang. He will pick up the west coast schedule July 22-23 in Seattle, WA.
Brakohiapa would like to thank his sponsors for all their support. Specifically Adam Lewis of Calfin Fabrication, San Clemente, CA, and Mark Skorka of Sinergy Motorsports, Upland, CA, for preparing Brakohiapa’s Mustang; and Cooper Tires for supplying tires for this special event. Other sponsors include LethalPerformance.com, Glazier Ironworks, Sam’s Autoland, Exedy, Eibach, Enkei, Seibon, Wilwood, Go Pro, Sparco, and Realperformancemustangs.com.
About Tony Brakohiapa
Tony has been a professional race driver for nearly 10 years. His experience includes Formula Mazdas, Stock Cars, Sports and Touring cars, etc. Tony has been a driver in the Formula Drift Championship since 2005. Tony is a senior instructor at Jim Russell Racing School and Audi Sportscar Experience at Infineon Raceway. He has also worked as a private driving coach for various vintage (C.S.R.G.-Classic Sportscar Racing Group) and A.L.M.S. sportscar teams such as T.R.G. (The Racers Group). Tony is an accomplished film/TV precision and stunt driver for many top car manufacturers. He was the stunt driving double for the rap artist Bow Wow in the movie “The Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift”. Tony was born in Kumasi, Ghana, West Africa. He has called the Bay Area home for over 10 years.