Formula Drift announced their annual awards at a special awards banquet over the weekend. Special thanks to Formula D ProAm partner US Drift for posting these on their Facebook page.
Here’s a look at all the awards that were handed out:
Fan Favorite Car of the Year: “Chucky” Ola Jaeger
Fan Favorite Driver of the Year: Dirk Stratton
Ace of the Year: Kevin Lawrence
Rookie of the Year: Travis Reeder
Fan Favorite Car of the Year: Kristaps Blušs
Fan Favorite Driver of the Year: Kristaps Blušs
Best Personal Style: Ken Gushi
Best Drifting Style: Chelsea DeNofa
Hard Charger: Jhonnattan Castro
Spotter of the Year: Amy Bakchis (Aurimas Bakchis (Odi))
Spirit of Drifting: Robbie Nishida
Crew of the Year: Worthouse Drift Team (Piotr Więcek / James Deane.)
Crew Chief of the Year: Alex (James Deane)
Team Manager of the Year: Brian Bridges (Bridges Racing)
Most Improved Driver (31st - 20th ): Jeff Jones
Comeback of the Year: Aurimas Bakchis
Top Qualifier of the Year: James Deane
Ace of the Year (29 wins – 3 losses / 90.6%): James Deane
Rookie of the Year: Piotr Więcek
Most One More Times (7): Odi Bakchis
Automotive Manufacturer Champion: Toyota Racing
Tire Manufacturer Champion: Falken Tire
Third Place Season: Odi Bakchis
Second Place Season: Fredric Aasbø
First Place Season: James Deane
Kevin Lawrence is the 2017 Formula Drift Pro 2 champion, taking the championship by just 2 points. Lawrence won the final event in Texas, bookending the season in which he started out on the highest high by winning his hometown event in Orlando but also hitting a season low in Atlanta by not qualifying for the main show. Travis Reeder finished in second after leading the points following rounds 2 and 3 in Atlanta and Seattle respectively. Reeder qualified 9th, but lost his first round tandem battle with Austin Meeks at the Texas season finale.
Following the final standings, the top 8 drivers have earned their Formula Drift Pro 1 licenses for the 2018 season:
FIA World Drifting Cup released their roster of 26 drivers today. From the list, seven drivers have Formula Drift ties. Current Formula Drift competitors Michael Essa, Matt Field, and Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis will be competing at the first event, scheduled to happen on September 30th and October 1st in Japan. Past competitors Charles Ng, Daigo Saito, and Masashi Yokoi are also scheduled to compete. 2009 and 2010 Formula Drift Asia champion Tengku Djan Ley will also be returning to competition for this event. Djan Ley has been away from drifting for a few years, but will be returning to compete in this monumental event. Also of note, Steve “Baggsy” Biagioni will also be competing. Biagioni was awarded a Formula Drift license for the 2017 season, but ended up not competing. He later put out a pretty impressive viral video dubbed “Monster Drift 2” with Daigo Saito earlier this year.
10. This Battle Was Worth the Price of Admission
Watching DeNofa and Vaughn Gittin put on a wild show in the Mustang’s made my event. The battle was clean, straight up, and was insanely close car to car contact. My biggest disappointment of this battle is that the judges didn’t call OMT. If you want to create a new drift fan just sit them down and have them watch this battle. I hope they meet again before this season is over. If you ever wanted an argument to make Formula Drift a spec series this would be exhibit A in your evidence folder.
9. Castro Has It Still in this 86
The progress of J Castro has been one of the most fun things to watch in Formula Drift over the last several seasons. His victory against Deane is still one of my favorite battles of this year. His defeat against Aasbo was a close one and without the contact he could of pushed his teammate to a OMT or loss in that battle in my opinion. If he can dial back that aggressive tandem just a bit and avoid contact he is top 5 driver with his form.
8. Matt Coffman!!!!!
He is just a driver who quietly grows and learns more and more as time passes in Formula Drift. His battle against Kristaps Bluss had one of the best lead runs of the night. He is just like Castro and just needs that little extra sauce to really be competitive in Formula Drift at a high level. If Dai Yoshihara wasn’t so in the zone at Seattle he could of found his way to the podium at Evergreen Speedway. Read More…
10. Fredric Aasbo Locks in the 3peat
Fredric Aasbo is now 15-0 at Autodrome St. DeSmash which is a pretty insane record for anyone at any track. He has taken on all comers and is now the most winning Formula Drift driver in history with 10 passing Sam Hubinette and Vaughn Gittin who both have 9 victories. His insane record at this track is a big part of that with 3o% of his career wins. Could he 4peat next year?
9. Give Marc Landerville Some Budget so he can run a full season
Marc Landerville really entertains me on the track and I wish his sponsors would pony him up for a real program run. Maybe FD can look at least letting him run Jersey and some other close events? We know the space is available in Top 32. His run with Aasbo was awesome and I agree with Andy Yen who wanted the OMT on that battle. Keep up the hard work Marc and figure out how to do more FD events in 2018.
The FIA has finally unveiled it’s plan for the first intercontinental drifting cup in Japan. We followed some of this event progress earlier this year but they now have an official time/place for this big event. FIA President, Jean Todt, said, “This is the beginning of a very important category for the FIA. As we continue to develop motor sport around the world, drifting has a great appeal to young people and has a passionate core following which is only going to get bigger.” More information about competitors and information will be available soon. I doubt many Formula Drift drivers will be competing with this falling one week before Irwindale Speedway.
Competition Name：FIA Intercontinental Drifting Cup
Date： 30 September – 1 October 2017
Place: Daiba, Tokyo
Governing body: FIA
Promotor: SUNPROS (D1 Grandprix Promotor)
Formula Drift Round 4 took on the famous Wall Stadium went in the books last week. Enjoy our great gallery from Andrew Jennings as Odi Bakchis took home an amazing victory in his Nissan 240sx. The event was a long one that went well into the evening providing fans in the northeast some great tandem battles and entertainment.
Note: Terry Henderson, who previously put on the Drift Buffet events in Southern California, has been living in China for several years now. He reached out to us and asked that we put some coverage up of some of the events he’s involved in. The below post was written by Terry and posted on his behalf.
Round one of the China Drift Championships took place the weekend of May 12-14th in Wuhan, China. The event featured 3 different classes of competition – A group – The top tier of drivers. B group ( similar to Pro 2 in FD ) and the Super group – combining all drivers together with international drivers as well.The judges for the CDC are : Terry Henderson and Wang Feng along with special guest judge Ryan Litteral.
The second round of the Top Drift ProAm series took place on the Horsethief Mile course at Willow Springs International Raceway. It was a beautiful day at the track, with some great tandem battles all around! The final podium featured some new names, which is always good to see as the diversity of drivers keeps the tandem action interesting.
Here are the final results from Round 2 of the Top Drift competition: