Formula DRIFT Driver Visits Campus

Posted on Friday, July 30, 2021


Jackson Orr, Torque, Rome Charpentier, and Jack Rousch

Written by Communications Specialist Georgia Beard

This summer two students, Jack Reusch and Jackson Orr, have been spending their free time as crew members for Rome Charpentier’s Formula DRIFT car. They immediately impressed Rome, as he flew them out to race in Florida with his team in June. “They're not even graduated yet,” Rome exclaimed. “They are extremely knowledgeable. Probably better than 50% of the people I've worked with on other teams.”

From stunt riding to Formula DRIFT, Rome has had an interesting career. He performed in Japan at a Drift event as a stunt rider, doing 100pmh wheelies and other tricks, all while falling in love with drifting. “I might not be able to do the Indy Car, the NASCAR, any of that, but I feel like I can do this,” Rome said. A few months later he found himself at a DRIFT event with an ’86 Toyota Corolla that didn’t work the best. But at this event, he made connections with people who are now his Crew Chief and Spotter, and knew this is what he wanted to do long term.

Today, Rome is a PRO Driver for Formula DRIFT with a couple UNOH students on his crew. Once working with these students, Rome knew he wanted to visit the campus. Rome made his way to Lima to meet students, share his story, and show off his skills. Students were ecstatic to see his drifting skills, even more so with the added rain showers.

Rome was impressed with the campus and all it had to offer. “I wish I went here instead of where I ended up going,” Rome confessed. “When we got here, we just thought it was this little, small school. And then, it just opened up more and opened up more and open up more and open up more. And then we started walking through and took a whole tour all the way around. And it's crazy. You guys have full engine rooms, not just one engine room, but how to fully assemble engines top to bottom.”

Not only impressed with the facilities and learning aids, but Rome instantly appreciated the hands-on learning happening in the classrooms. “I think a lot of the schools, they show, ‘Hey, look at all the fancy stuff we have.’ But you get to watch it or watch a teacher do it versus here, everyone's doing it hands-on and the welding is insane because you guys are actually welding for an application, not just welding for just random welding.”

Jack and Jackson are working for Rome’s team when opportunities arise and try to get involved with drifting in another form during any free time they have. Students on campus, including individuals on the Autocross Club, enjoyed having a professional driver visit and share his success stories with them as well as how to get started in the drifting industry after graduation.

Category: Applied Technologies

Keywords: Rome Charpentier, Formula Drift

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Last updated: 07/30/2021