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2016 Formula Drift Pro 2 – Atlanta Round 1 Qualifying [RESULTS]

Landreville-ATL-Qualify

The 2016 season of Formula Drift kicked off in Atlanta this year, an inaugural visit for the Pro 2 class. Many drivers in our recent Pro 2 driver interviews mentioned that they were most excited to drive at this track because of how iconic it is in Formula Drift history. In total, 22 drivers made qualifying passes, but only the top 16 would move on to the main tandem ladder.

Here are the results from the first round of Pro 2 qualifying, along with their qualifying score:

1 – Marc Landreville – 84
2 – Ryan Litteral – 83
3 – Jeff Jones – 82
4 – Dan Burkett – 80
5 – Andrew Lewis – 74
6 – Josh McGuire – 72
7 – Doug VanDenBrink – 70
8 – Trent Beechum – 67
9 – Taylor Hull – 65
10 – Kevin Lawrence – 64
11 – Ethan Hunter – 62
12 – Aaron Day – 61
13 – Sheng Ng Nian – 61
14 – Austin Meeks – 59
15 – Matt Madrigali – 59
16 – Dirk Stratton – 49

Tandem Ladder:

Landreville vs Stratton
Beechum vs Hull
Burkett vs Nian
Lewis vs Day

Litteral vs Madrigali
VanDenBrink vs Lawrence
Jones vs Meeks
McGuire vs Hunter

Trenton Beechum – Formula Drift Pro 2 [INTERVIEW]

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Wrecked Magazine: Who are you and how did you get your Pro 2 license?
Trenton Beechum: I am a FD Pro 2 Rookie and i was the champion of the 2015 Top Drift Series at Willow Springs Raceway

Wrecked Magazine: Can you give us a break down of your car and what sponsors you have on board?
Trenton Beechum:My car this year is a 2014 ford mustang running a 5.0 aluminator engine with a roush supercharger, for this year are major sponsors consist of Falken Tire and JoyHollyWood.com

Wrecked Magazine: What track are you most excited about and most nervous to tackle this season?
Trenton Beechum: I’d say I am most excited about Atlanta. I have heard the environment and fans are awesome. Also, I’m ready to get the season started and get a feel for this new field of talented drivers

Wrecked Magazine: Can you name one drifter you really want to see in a battle in Pro 2 this year?
Trenton Beechum: With so many drivers in Pro 2 I am excited to see every battle from the first person view after always watching from the stands. I am just stoked to be apart of the field!

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Wrecked Magazine:Who is your favorite drifter in the world and who to you derive driving inspiration from?
Trenton Beechum: I am m not sure I have a favorite drifter, I think I take certain things from certain drivers and kind of apply them to myself. If I had to pick – Top two would be Chris Forsberg and Forrest Wang.

Wrecked Magazine: Who do you think will win the Formula Drift Pro Championship this season?
Trenton Beechum: I think its to early to predict the champion for this season until after ATL but the way Chelsea Denofa was driving at long beach he seems to be a threat to some of the bigger teams this year

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Wrecked Magazine: What is one hurdle or headache you ran into during the off-season gearing up for Pro 2?
Trenton Beechum: So far we have been having some slight issues on and off with are motec system which has killed some of are practice days and lost us are battle at the Long Beach Motegi Super Drift event but the car runs now and we are hoping everything goes smoothly from here on out

Wrecked Magazine: What advise can you give to the upcoming Pro 2 drivers who are currently in Pro Am?
Trenton Beechum: Be hungry and aggressive in battles and always keep learning!

Kevin Lawrence – Formula Drift Pro 2 [INTERVIEW]

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Wrecked Magazine: Who are you and how did you get your Pro 2 license ?
Kevin Lawrence: I am from Clermont, FL. I earned my pro2 license through the Three Palms drift series that ended up being a pretty big flop of a series.

Wrecked Magazine: Can you give us a break down of your car and what sponsors you have on board?
Kevin Lawrence:This year I will be running a RHD S14 Chassis powered by an RB25 engine that we are pushing 770whp out of this year! Enjuku Racing is my title sponsor this year and with out them specifically I wouldn’t have a drifting career at all.
A big sponsor I partnered up with is Fortune Auto who has been giving us ( team Enjuku) outstanding support with helping us get the cars dialed in perfect on their coilovers so we are 100% ready for all our events. A few other sponsors I also am excited to have on board this year include. Konig Wheels, Lucas Oils, Design Engineering Inc. “DEI”, 2f Performance, Wilwood Brakes, and Chase

I am also very thankful to have a bunch of my last years sponsors still on board with me who see great potential in my driving and program so a big thank you goes out to. Vibrant Performance, Falken Tire, Competition Clutch, Turbo By Garrett, BridgeMoto, R.S. Enthalpy,Bink Industries, ISR Performance, The Drivesaft Shop, DOC Race, and Thunderbolt Race Fuels

Wrecked Magazine: What track are you most excited about and most nervous to tackle this season?
Kevin Lawrence: Definitely Atlanta! I have been so eager to get a chance to drive that track since the first time I visited it back in 2006. The elevation changes the track has kinda makes me a bit nervous being from Florida and not having much experience driving any tracks with changes in elevation but I think I’am ready to tackle it!

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Wrecked Magazine: Can you name one drifter you really want to see in a battle in Pro 2 this year?
Kevin Lawrence:This year I specifically want to see battle with Josh McGuire in Texas again after our double OMT battles last year that he advanced from. So I really want redemption for that. haha

Wrecked Magazine: Who is your favorite drifter in the world and who to you derive driving inspiration from?
Kevin Lawrence: It’s honestly hard for me to pick a single favorite, I look up to quite a few drivers and have always been a huge fan of the underdog so to speak since they are the drivers who in my opinion are truly driving their hardest to compete and the ones who want the win more than anyone else. Aasbo, Denofa and Bakchis are the ones I have been watching mostly the last few years and it was great seeing Aasbo take the championship last year, Denofa Take first and Irwindale and I have a feeling Odi this year is going to get quite a few podiums.

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Wrecked Magazine: Who do you think will win the Formula Drift Pro Championship this season?
Kevin Lawrence: Denofa is who I would be betting on this year, after his win in Long Beach I believe that was the biggest mental boost anyone could get for someone who has been struggling in past seasons and truly wants the championship. Knowing Chelsea’s past in driving he will continue to show up at all the rounds this year swinging!

Wrecked Magazine: What is one hurdle or headache you ran into during the off-season gearing up for Pro 2?
Kevin Lawrence: Haha! This is an easy one. I am at just under 2 weeks before the first Pro2 event this year my engine threw a connecting rod out both sides of the block which i am currently working on to get our spare in now.

Wrecked Magazine: What advice can you give to the upcoming Pro 2 drivers who are currently in Pro Am?
Kevin Lawrence: Work as hard as you can on the relationships with your sponsors you have now so that they are just as eager to work with you as you are with them. Pro2 is a huge step from Pro Am and you will absolutely need all of their help in many different ways along your first year in Pro 2.

Robbie Nishida Set to Miss Formula Drift Atlanta

RobbieNishida

The news was broken that Robbie Nishida will be missing Formula Drift Atlanta this weekend for a personal matter. I cannot even remember the last time I was at a pro drift event without Robbie Nishida present! His new looking Infiniti G37 will be put away this weekend but he has confirmed he will be back for Round 3 at Orlando Speed World.

Ryan Litteral – – Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver [INTERVIEW]

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Wrecked Magazine: Who are you and how did you get your Pro 2 license (please mention Pro Am and/or former drift experience)?

Ryan Litteral: I’m from Southern California. I have been drifting since 2006 and have done numerous pro-am and professional events internationally in that time frame. I acquired my pro 2 license in 2013 while competing at Just Drift Official’s Top Drift Series.

WM:Can you give us a break down of your car and what sponsors you have on board?
Ryan Litteral: My car is a 98 kouki s14. It has an extensively built RB25 that I’ve been running going on 3 years now. I am sponsored by GT Radial, Megan Racing, NRG innovations, Borg Warner, Clutchmasters, Wisefab, Full- Race Motorsports, Animal Auto, US Versus THEM, HPS, driftmotion, seven apple, Gonzales Garage, G&J aircraft, and Andy’s Tire

WM: What track are you most excited about and most nervous to tackle this season?
Ryan Litteral:Road Atlanta FOR SURE

WM: Can you name one drifter you really want to see in a battle in Pro 2 this year?
Ryan Litteral:Whoever’s door is in front of me. With a few guys stepping down from pro1 and some up and comers coming out its definitely hard to pin point one exact driver. I’m just excited to put on a good show for everyone this year and to even be fortunate enough to be able to compete.

WM: Who is your favorite drifter in the world and who to you derive driving inspiration from? Of all time?
Ryan Litteral: I’d say Kazama and Naoki Nakamura as far as pure driver inspiration. Smooth and precise but VERY aggressive. Stateside and personally goes? I’d say Forrest and Justin. Both of those guys have helped me a bunch in my career with advice that not only pertains to on the track but off of it as well. Those are two hammer down drivers that definitely have their head and their hearts in their right place and it absolutely shines through.

WM: Who do you think will win the Formula Drift Pro Championship this season?
Ryan Litteral:I gotta root for my GT Teammate Chelsea. If he can keep that car together and keep the throttle down (he doesn’t have a problem with that whatsoever. I think he may install lead into his driving shoes) he will do just fine.

WM: What is one hurdle or headache you ran into during the off-season gearing up for Pro 2?
Ryan Litteral:One of my major crew members was involved in a serious motorcycle accident and has been bed ridden during most of the off season which was definitely a speed bump for me and this program. Danny Anguiano has been a huge part of my growth over the past couple years and he’s always helped me tremendously with getting the car ready with stuff that is out of my expertise. So I’ve had to man up a lot and with the help of my close friends at and outside of Megan Racing we have been able to make it happen. We will miss you out there Danny!

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WM: What advise can you give to the upcoming Pro 2 drivers who are currently in Pro Am?
Ryan Litteral:It’s hard to show a good ROI for companies to drivers just strictly running pro 2 or pro am and that’s understandable. It’s not that we aren’t marketable or talented enough it’s just that we aren’t in the major spotlight to make the justified expense. Which is why you have to take matters into your own hands and get yourself known. Prove that you are a valuable asset and not just a mooch looking for free shit. Build solid foundations and take care of those that take care of you. Ensure that you take the proper time to build a good team of guys and make sure you have realistic goals and expectations going into something like this. It is a huge emotional, physical and financial commitment that is not for the faint of heart.

Austin Meeks – Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver [INTERVIEW]

AustinMeeks.Pro2
Wrecked Magazine: Who are you and how did you get your Pro 2 license?
Austin Meeks: My Name is Austin Meeks, I have been involved in drifting since 2007 and I earned my Pro 2 license by placing second overall in the best Pro-am series around, US Drift

WM. Can you give us a break down of your car and what sponsors you have on board?

AM: I have a 1995 nissan s14.5 with a magnuson supercharged Chevrolet ls. This year I am partnered up with Committed Service Brand, Achilles tire, Fortune Auto, Cinema Animal Talent, Revolution Brakes, Root’d design, Lucas Oil, and Wisefab.

WM. What track are you most excited about and most nervous to tackle this season?
AM: This year I am most excited about Road Atlanta, It will be the first round of my Formula Drift journey and it’s really close to home so hopefully I’ll have a lot of friends and support there. As far as nerves go, I feel like Texas Motor Speedway would have to take the cake, We were out there last year, and it just appeared to be the most difficult tracks for even some of the more experienced drivers to grasp. So I’d have to say I’m a little nervous, but at the same time stoked to see how I can tackle it.

WM: Can you name one drifter you really want to see in a battle in Pro 2 this year?
AM: This is a tough one for me, Honestly I’m just excited to be out there. Its a completely new field of drivers for me so anyone should be interesting in battle! But just because of where we finished in US Drift last year, I’d love to go head to head with Jonathan Nerren.

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WM: Who is your favorite drifter in the world and who to you derive driving inspiration from?
AM: Chris Forsberg was the first professional drifter I ever saw, he was at a demo in NC in his convertible 350z many years ago. When I saw him drive it literally blew my mind and I knew thats what I wanted to do. The drifting community is a great bunch, but i would have to say he’s my favorite solely because he started my addiction. When it comes to inspiration I would have to say Rapper Dan Savage. WE met in 2011 and have become great friends, achieved awesome goals and are still working together now. He always has a smile on his face and a positive attitude to back it up. He has pushed me to points where I didn’t even imagine. So I would have to thank him for inspiring me and helping me achieve what i have in the past couple of years.

WM: Who do you think will win the Formula Drift Pro Championship this season?
AM: Chelsea Denofa, he is a mad man on track! If his car holds up this year, I definitely think he will be the one everyone is going to have to watch out for, especially coming off of his win at Long Beach. He has tasted victory, and I’m sure he only wants more.

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WM: What is one hurdle or headache you ran into during the off-season gearing up for Pro 2? I can only choose one?
AM: Luckily we didn’t have to make any major changes to the car or start from scratch like many other teams have been doing during the off season. So thanks to Committed Service Brand there haven’t really been any issues that I would consider hurdles.

WM: What advice can you give to the upcoming Pro 2 drivers who are currently in Pro Am?
AM: Seat time, enter as many events as you possibly can, and compete with as many drivers as you possibly can. There are so many driving styles right now, and when you get thrown into a new group of drivers it will be super beneficial if you have already taken the time to adapt to a broad range of techniques that can help you overcome anything placed in front of you.

2016 Southwest Drift ProAm: Round 1 Las Vegas [RESULTS]

SouthwestDriftRound1

Southwest Drift, operated by Vegas Drift, kicked off their 2016 Pro Am season with an event at their home track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Several Formula Drift alumni were on hand, including Danny George and Forrest Wang in the judges tower. The competition grid included a handful of drivers who either currently hold or have previously held Formula Drift Pro 2 licenses, which meant some insanely good tandem battles! At the end of the day, Andy Hately’s supercharged LS3-powered BMW E30 held together long enough to take the top step of the podium.

Here’s a look at the full results from Round 1:

1st – Andy Hateley – BMW E30
2nd – Blake Olsen – Nissan S13
3rd – George Kiriakopoulos – Nissan S13

2016 Golden Gate Drift ProAm: Round 2 Thunderhill [RESULTS]

GoldenGateDrift-Round2

Golden Gate Drift held their second round of Formula Drift ProAm over the weekend at Thunderhill Raceway. Judging was handled by experienced Formula D veterans in Matt Field, Matt Coffman, and Matt Pat Mordaunt. Unfortunately, 14-year-old phenom Dominic Martinez wasn’t allowed to compete due to the track insurance policy, but the rest of the competition was quite fierce. Here’s how the final results shook out:

1st – Nathan von Tuchlinski
2nd – Justin Usuray
3rd – Tyler Knudsen

Matt Madrigali – Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver [INTERVIEW]

MattMadrigaliRacing

Wrecked Magazine: Who are you and how did you get your Pro 2 license?

Matt Madrigali: My name is Matt Madrigali and I’ve been drifting in Northern California for about 12 years. I have been competing in the Golden Gate Drift ProAm series where I won the championship in 2015 and earned my 2016 Formula Drift Pro2 License.

WM. Can you give us a break down of your car and what sponsors you have on board?

Matt Madrigali: My car is the same car I’ve been driving for 9 years now with a host of upgrades to make it safer and more competitive for Formula D. It’s your standard S13 240sx with a Chevy LS3 which I pulled out of Rapper Dan Savage’s Sikky truck back in 2013. I’ve switched to Wisefab front and rear suspension this year as well. Transmission and diff have been upgraded to a GSR 4 speed and a Winters quick change unit for 2016. The car is underpowered for professional drifting, but reliable. I currently have a fantastic group of sponsors who have helped me rebuild the car for 2016. Car N Bike Moto is a body shop based in Vallejo California. Alfred and his team did a complete color change to my car with exceptional quality under a very tight schedule. I have always had my car painted there and their quality and attention to detail is second to none. Exedy Clutch has been another huge supporter of my program. Their products are simply the best and I’m happy to have them be a part of my team as reliability is the main focus of my build. Cosmis Racing Wheels bring style and performance to the car. I currently run their MR2 and SR5 wheels with a 17/18 stagger. D-Magic was the brains behind the new look for 2016. The time Michael spent making my ideas reality really shows in the detail and style that the car has. I couldn’t be happier with the new look. It brings something a little different, a Japanese style to Formula D. Nitto Tire has stepped up and helped me with tires for this season as well. Very excited to be running such a high end tire, and I’ve very excited to be a part of the Nitto team. Sikky Manufacturing has been a big part of my program even before taking an interest in my team. I have their full engine swap mount kit, heads and Winters quick change subframe setup in my car currently. The quality of their parts is unsurpassed in the industry and I’m happy to be working with them for the 2016 season. Finally, Fineline tuning has been a big help with dyno time and build advice for my program. Miles and his crew are based out of Santa Rosa, California and focus mainly on Subaru performance, though they do have a big hand in the drifting community. They work with some local friends from Drift Team Animal Style, keeping their cars all running perfectly.

WM. What track are you most excited about and most nervous to tackle this season?

Matt Madrigali: Road Atlanta. Road Atlanta. ROAD ATLANTA! Easily my favorite track on the calendar.

WM: Can you name one drifter you really want to see in a battle in Pro 2 this year?

I always love driving with the local guys. I would have to say that I’m most excited to drive with Joe Tardiff. We have been driving together in ProAm for a few years now. We would go back in fourth on qualifying 1-2 and finishing 1-2 all year last year. I relished our battles and I look forward to throwing down on the biggest stage with one of the best!

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WM: Who is your favorite drifter in the world and who to you derive driving inspiration from?

Matt Madrigali: Favorite drifter has to be Vaughn. He’s consistent and aggressive at the same time. I remember watching during his championship year and knowing that he was on another level that year. I just see him as someone I would like to emulate on and off the track.

WM: Who do you think will win the Formula Drift Pro Championship this season?

Matt Madrigali: It’s going to be tight. I think Odi could put a good championship run together. From a car build standpoint Odi is my spirit animal. With my car being underpowered compared to some of the vehicles coming to the championship, I look to examples like Odi for inspiration. Chassis setup and grip are just as important as raw numbers and I think he has all the tools and talent necessary to take home the biggest prize in drifting.

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WM: What is one hurdle or headache you ran into during the off-season gearing up for Pro 2? I can only choose one?

Matt Madrigali: It’s basically been everything, the whole process. Getting the car ready in my garage with limited funding, and also working full time builds a lot of pressure. I can’t forget to thank Golden Gate Drift’s organizer Luke Crowell and Red Baron Racing’s Donovan Brockway for all their help. Without them this wouldn’t be possible.

WM: What advice can you give to the upcoming Pro 2 drivers who are currently in Pro Am?

Matt Madrigali: Regardless of budget be ready to dedicate everything to this. Professional motorsports take dedication.

Ng Sheng Nian – Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver [INTERVIEW]

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Wrecked Magazine: Who are you and how did you get your Pro 2 license?

Ng Sheng Nian:
Hello! I’m Nian from Singapore, I was granted my Pro 2 license through a petition. I’ve been competing for about 3 years and last year I competed in the full Formula Drift Japan series.

WM: Can you give us a break down of your car and what sponsors you have on board?

Ng Sheng Nian: I’m driving a JZX100 Chaser built by Jono & Andy(Andrew grey) of Powervehicles! Trust me , Andy is a JZX wizard hahaha! It has a 3.4 2J with a GTX42 Turbocharger. Achilles is helping me out with tires ! Tonnka from Malaysia makes the sexiest intakes for me.

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WM: What track are you most excited about and most nervous to tackle this season?

Nian:Atlanta actually! It is my first time competing in the States and i’m really excited to check out the atmosphere and the competitors .

WM: Who is your favorite drifter in the world and who to you derive driving inspiration from?

Nian: ANDREW GREY (ANDY) He is not only my teammate but he is also the guy i really want to drive like! He has got a really good style, big flicks, full smoke and is a really composed driver! I wanna drive like Andy ! and I’m really glad that he is so willing to share his driving with me! haha

WM: Who do you think will win the Formula Drift Pro Championship this season?

Nian: Andy!! When he gets his groove he is going to annihilate !

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WM: What is one hurdle or headache you ran into during the off-season gearing up for Pro 2?

Logistics? I’m from Singapore . So it will take me about 30 hours to get to the states just for a weekend of drifting!

WM: What advise can you give to the upcoming Pro 2 drivers who are currently in Pro Am?

Nian: I can’t really advise as I’m still a shitty driver myself! haha