Matt Vankirk | Seattle
Name: Matt Vankirk
Home: Seattle, WA
I am a Pro-am drifter from Seattle, Washington and I have been drifting for about two years. I quickly realized drifting and racing in general is something that I would like to pursue. It is very hard for me financially and I am going to do my best and give it my absolute all to make my dream into a reality. I recently sold my only vehicle for transportation to fly down and compete in the west coast tryouts. I am determined to succeed and will not stop till I reach my goal, while carrying a smile on my face the whole way there!
In 2012 I made it to all 5 rounds of the Evergreen Pro-Am series and qualified 4/5 rounds. During the 3rd round my rocker arms shattered during practice and I was unable to replace them in time to qualify. I finished the season in 9th place with 2 podium finishes and not being able to participate in round 3. I was only 63 points away from earning my Formula Drift license. At Nissan Fest I was awarded with "Best Single Drift" which was my first ever trophy for drifting. During my second Pro-am event I finished in 3rd place! This was also my first time beating someone who held their Formula Drift license. During Pro-Am round 5 I placed 3rd, being my second podium out of 4 events! The Nwmotiv.com InMotion car show and drift event was the second biggest event of the year bringing drivers from all over the northwest with a $5,000 dollar purse. I was able to podium with two FD license holders and placed higher than 5 of the 7 licensed drivers that competed. Overall my 2012 season was a complete success and I cannot thank the people who helped me enough!
I think that Octane Academy is the perfect test for my skills to see if I can hang with professional drivers of other motorsports. I am very excited to meet all four hosts of the show and to see which driver I will be paired with! Naturally I would love to go face to face with JR and learn some of his outstanding skills, but I also would be ecstatic to learn from any of these fantastic idols in the racing community. My main goal for attending the Octane Academy is not only for the experience but also for the outstanding opportunity of the Ford scholarship and the elite driving school. With this phenomenal experience I believe it will give me the ability to prove myself as a person and a semi-professional driver!