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Nexen Tire Returns with Aggressive Driver Take Over for Formula Drift

KyleMohan.NexenTire

It was just the end of February in 2014 when Nexen made a quick announcement they were going to leave the sport of Formula Drift to build a new tire. It sounds like they are making a big return in 2016 to Formula Drift while stealing several high level drivers off other tire companies. I haven’t found anyone willing to talk about the tire from a competitive or quality stand point but it is possible we can confirm some teams running the tire sooner than later. What do you  think about the return of Nexen to the series?

6 Places That Could Replace Irwindale Speedway Once it Shuts Down

NateHamilton.IrwindaleSpeedway

I wrote an article last week about the future of Irwindale Speedway which you can read here if you want to know what the facts I was able to gather from various sources on what the future holds for the House of Drift. For the time being, the track is standing and operational but the future is not promising for this icon of American drifting. I put some serious thought into what Formula Drift will do once the track turns into a shopping mall and came up with these six realistic options.

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1. California Speedway in Fontana, California
The reality is that California Speedway is the only other large racing venue in Southern California that can house 20,000 people and provide a track event. California Speedway has been host to a D1GP Drivers Search back in 2004 and a JGTC weekend drift event on the infield. I think this is the most likely alternative for Formula Drift but it will be far from a turn key operation for them. The place needs grandstands moved onto the infield regardless of where they want to drift and the walk from the parking lot will be a HIKE. Let’s also not forget about how much hotter the weather can get in Fontana even though the tracks are 35 miles apart. My guess is they would setup a course on the infield (hopefully not the old JGTC course because it sucked) and build the event around whatever area they want to use.

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2. Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, Arizona
If I made this list before the 2015 SEMA Show I wouldn’t of had this track on my 12 Places to replace Irwindale Speedway list. However, Formula Drift added the Pro 2 finals here for 2016 and you have to consider they are test piloting this race facility for future expansion. Why else would they be rolling into Arizona and splitting off Pro 2 to have its own final? I have the least amount of personal knowledge with this venue but it seems like successful events have happened here such as the Turbo by Garrett event called Boostfest. Not sure how setup and layout would work but I imagine this venue is near the top of the list regardless of these issues. Saying this venue has proximity to Southern California is a stretch at a solid 6 hour drive for most fans in the area.

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3. Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada
A grand return to the City of Sin seems like a natural fit for the series. By their own records, they pulled in around 16,000 fans to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the past before leaving the venue and region for Texas. The event took place at night during August and still maintained a heat index of well over 100 degrees. I was always a voice shouting for an earlier in the year Las Vegas drift event but who knows what the cards would hold if they return. The Vegas scene is a strong one with frequent events hosted by Vegas Drift and now Street Driven Tour is throwing down every September at LVMS. I can see fans traveling to this one with the couple hour drive from SoCal along with the added bonus of a fun weekend in Vegas.

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Toyota to Carry on Formula Drift and Chase Back to Back Championship

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The former Scion brand and Ken Gushi has taken to the Internet and announced that they will be racing in 2016. It will be interesting to see if this corporate restructure takes a hit on budget and limits the programs of Aasbo or Gushi. Ken Gushi did confirm that he will still receive support for Formula Drift in 2016 with his Tweet posted below. I think Aasbo is set for a repeat championship or Gushi could easily land his first Formula Drift championship under the big caveat of what will change with each program and the money coming into it.

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Scion Wins Championship and Goes Out of Business

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I was just told the news tonight that Scion (under Toyota) in America has closed its doors for the last time. The struggling “youth” brand failed to really deliver a car the consumers wanted and after 13 years it has left the market. This hits home in Formula Drift in a big way as the championship team was a factory backed Scion program. Drivers such as Ken Gushi and Fredric Aasbo could find a big hit to the budget coming into 2017.

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Scion will be remembered for brilliant marketing strategies much more than its subpar car offering. The 2015 season brought 56,167 total car sales in for the whole brand. Without the Scion FR-S under its umbrella – I imagine the brand would be in much worse shape numbers wise. If Toyota wants to continue marketing inside Formula Drift I suggest they should look more towards how Ford has pushed into the market.

Source: CarBuzzard

Fredric Aasbo Reflects on his 2016 Championship [VIDEO]

Fredric Aasbo won the championship with the smallest engine in the Formula Drift series. He talks about some tricks with his Borgwarner turbo setup and how he loves drifting. I am starting to think Fredric Aasbo can win a second championship in 2016 if his team is focused and his great setup holds together.

2016 D1NZ Round 3 at Taupo [RESULTS]

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It turns out that Nico Reid might prove to be unstoppable at D1NZ this season. He takes home a second victory in a row after dominating the competition at ASB last week. Fanga Dan got a little aggressive in his tandem chase run trying to run through and over a Nissan Silvia in the process. The whole stream of the event is still available here if you want to check out how the action happened at D1NZ Round 3.

 

Here is how they finished:
1st – Nico Reid
2nd – Cole Armstrong
3rd – Bruce Tannock

TXSL Offers the Best Prize in American Drift History

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If you are drifting for the grand prize in a series you probably quit 15 years ago. The events are really based upon glory hunting, the thrill of victory, and feeling good about winning a competition. Some of the local and Am series offer great free products that help younger drivers and teams along in their career path. Holley’s LS Fest offers a huge prize for winning it’s Chevy V8 only Top 16 in Kentucky which I consider one of the best events in America.

However, Aaron Losey’s TX Street Legal series has offered the best prize in American drifting history. The fact that Formula Drift offers an embarrassing low payout compared against what running an event cost and the money they also rack up in driver fees. In fact, they did offer free transport to the World Championship round in China but it was canceled before a container left port. I am mostly excited for drivers about this deal because I know that Aaron and his organization will see it out and make this pie in the sky prize a reality for someone. For someone to replicate this package – I would imagine they are looking at $25,000 easy.

So for the winner of the 2016 TXSL series, they will get to make a choice when they win the series. Read More…

The Truth Behind the Closing of Irwindale Speedway

IrwindaleSpeedway

I keep reading a ton of incorrect information online about the impending doom of Irwindale Speedway so I talked to several people close to the situation and built this story. The rumors of it all being a fancy ploy to sell tickets is flat out not true sadly and soon our beloved Irwindale Speedway will come crashing down from the Los Angeles County map. Here is a timeline of what happened and why the structure is still standing to this day. In fact, last season at Irwindale I helped produce an awesome tribute video to Irwindale Speedway with Mobil 1 that should be released shortly.

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This first blip of news came to my attention in October 2013 just days after Michael Essa narrowly won his first championship in a BMW E46 chassis. A friend of mine sent me a link from CurbedLA indicating that a real estate group in Pasadena called Lindom Company purchased the 63.47-acre site of the San Gabriel Valley with plans to repurpose it. The company Nu-Way Industries sold the land to them who purchased it in 1966 and built the very racetrack that stands before us today.

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Yokoi Not Returning for 2016 Formula Drift Season

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Masashi Yokoi is slated to not return for the 2016 Formula Drift season. Our speculation is that Yokohama Tire leaving has triggered Yokoi not coming back for the new year since he carries a long term relationship with Yokohama. His style will be greatly missed in America this season but it does sound like he will campaign and drive in Japan for 2016. Thanks Jeffrey!

A Saab Powered 1953 Ford Drift Machine [VIDEO]

A pretty neat and unique drift car build that also tells a great story about man and machine. The project is a home built drift machine that just captures your attention in more ways than one. Hat Tip Jalopnik for the find.