Joon Maeng Let Go From Bergenholtz Racing [CONFIRMED]

So adding to our news about Chelsea DeNofa testing this car which we reported hours ago now we have a PR sent out from Bergenholtz Racing making it official that they have let go current driver Joon Maeng as of today! The complete PR is below but it sure sounds like the test drive by Chelsea DeNofa could lead to a new partnership at Formula Drift Seattle. Various sources have confirmed the two talking but no other information is available at this time. What would you think about DeNofa in the Bergenholtz Rx-8? More importantly is what does Daigo Saito think?


Bergenholtz Racing and Joon Maeng Part Ways.

Effective immediately, Bergenholtz Racing and Joon Maeng have both decided to part ways. “Though we both gave our blood sweat and tears to achieve podiums, we still couldn’t get the formula right. In our quest to win, we realize that change must occur and sometimes that involves tough decisions. It is with great heart-felt regret that this has to happen but I believe it is the best for the future of Joon and our team.” Said Ron Bergenholtz, Team Manager of Bergenholtz Racing.


  1. David Karey says:

    It was never Joon. It was always the car.

  2. hercules says:

    What Daigo thinks?hm
    Well just the same competitor in a different car

  3. Donkey says:

    Thats harsh, chelsea hasnt set the world on fire to justify knocking another driver out.

  4. Not trying to knock Bergenholtz, but I wouldn’t wanna drive for a team that would drop their driver mid-season who is doing pretty good considering the car trouble they’ve been having.


    Chealsea has a great program with his own setup, this just seems screwball.

  5. joon just needs to get back in to a S13 chassis. seems hes most comfortable in his private car anyhow.

  6. Casey says:

    From the sound of Joons Tweets he didnt even know about this until it happened.

    “Wow, came out from the left field! About to drift in Vegas & just got a call from Ed @BR an hr ago… need to sit, pray & ask for guidance!”

  7. Damn. This is interesting. Joon, you’re a very good and talented driver and I’ve seen you work your magic in the RX-8 two years ago at Sonoma. You’ve come a long way with a car that has so many problems. I hope things work out for you. Look what happened to JTP after he was let go by Bergenholtz. He’s achieved epicness.

    Does this mean that all of Chelsea’s sponsors move over with him? Maybe some? What happen’s to Chelsea’s crew?

    And isn’t Joon the godfather of one of the Bergenholtz’s kids? That’s gotta be weird now.

  8. “JOON MAENG is my hero.”
    -Bil Baldwin

  9. lifer says:

    It is tough making decisions like this. Especially making friends with people work with only to have to let them go. I understand why they let Joon go, but I’m not happy about it, and how they went about letting him know.

    Their personal relationship is just that, personal. I am sure Joon will handle this as a professional, and not let it stop him from doing what he loves.

    IMO the RX8 was holding him back. He was on fire the last season he ran with the S13.
    I’m sure there are some teams planning to talk to Joon in hopes of picking him up.

    I have met Joon back in Arizona during the fall 2008 HIN event. Forsberg busted an Axle in his 350Z so I got called, and brought mine down do he can run the show with Joon and Forrest. I got a chance to talk to Joon, and I have to say he is a very inspirational guy. Definitely strong in spirit and passion for drifting. If anyone gets a chance to say hi to him, I would recommend it.

  10. jstancel says:

    Joon was spoiled by V8 power when he drove my car! Joon, let me know if you need my LS1 Lexus to finish the season!!!

  11. Evan Fitch says:

    I can honestly say I don’t approve of a mid season driver drop. Joon needs team that will support him and a car that runs more reliably.

  12. rotarypower says:

    Nature of the business this is the part of drifting I hate.

  13. On the flipside of that Chelsea also needs a team that will support him.

    Joon’s car barely worked at Atlanta, and he is three spots down from Chelsea. Chelsea drives super-aggressive and tears up equipment, If they treat Joon like this I don’t see Chelsea fairing much better.

  14. Angry Earl says:

    Dannngggg pro-drifting…u br00tal…

  15. That Guy says:

    His time was coming. I think we all knew it.

  16. Harry G says:

    With PPIHC rescheduled 2 weeks back, which is the same weekend for Seattle Rd 5, he may end up piloting RMR Genesis, since Rhys would be racing with his unlimited AWD to the Peak.

  17. This whole deal sucks, Joon has a great attitude and has never had a reliable car with Bergenholtz, If i were Chelsea I would pass on the Bergenholtz deal because i think he is better off on his own.

    I have driven for teams before, they dont listen to drivers about their car set up preferences and its super stressfull when the driver has no say in anything…

    keep doing what your doing bud

  18. fobrichard says:

    “More importantly is what does Daigo Saito think?”

    why is that sooooo important???

    hey I just took a shit…….I wonder what daigo would think about that……

  19. Blaze1 says:

    But truth be told. Its really hard to adapt to a double wishbone car coming from a macpherson setup. Joon has been fighting a difficult learning curve while the rest of the field has been evolving chassis wise. And it is sad for me to say but I dont even think non V8 cars making less then 650ft-lb of torque even belong in the series anymore.

    Throw Joon in a LSX S13 and watch the rape party begin.

    For the record I love B-Holtz and Joon and wish them nothing but the best.


  20. eDavis says:

    Mike you dont know the whole story so stop instigating. There is a lot behind the driver change that nobody will probably know but it’s not just a random decision mid season

  21. Blaze1 says:

    Oh yeah, if things don’t work out with Chelsea I heard the Haruguchi is going to be in town for Formula D Seattle promoting 326Power.

    He has double wishbone experience and as willing to come back.

  22. jDub says:

    First Miki….Then JTP… Joon……Stop searching fellas…It’s not the driver……It’s your team/car.

  23. zachnthebox says:

    Joon is a great driver and has had nothing but bad luck in this car since the get go he would battle his ass off and then break a part that would be terminal failure and its like this year he has been doing very good just got matched up with some good competition and he puts on a show for the fans and alot of fans have become of drifting since they either have met joon or seen him on commercials. Lucas oil, Nitto tire, genius tools Enkei wheels they all put faith in joon and they get so much exposure sponsor wise during a drifting weekend and outside the events on twitter or on Facebook. Joon is happy to meet with fans and talk to them about drifting he also does a prayer meeting during a race weekend that makes you feel very humble that he is not only a drifter but a great person as well
    Chelsea Denofa is a great person and good drifter as well but he is on the gas so hard with the BMW i dont see that mazda holding up to him at all he should stay put fix the BMW and do like Fredric Aasbo did drift your own stuff and then get a real factory ride

  24. Uly jdmsquad says:

    Thats not fair the whole issue is the car Joon it’s a great driver but the Rx-8 keeps shutting down and on Chelsea driving the Rx-8 now it will be the end of the Mazda chasing Saito

  25. L.P. says:

    I was kinda thinking along the lines of jDub. BR pulling a surprisingly low-class move on a nice guy. If Chelsea can’t do well in that car no one can.

  26. Bob says:

    I wonder if BC Racing is willing to let him go? I mean sure it’s his car they let him run but they fully fund and support him in FD. Last I heard they were building him an e46 for Seattle. I guess we will see how this turns out. Good luck to each of them!

  27. Slider S15 says:

    SERIOUSLY gutted about this move.

    I Really hope that the sponsors follow Joon and follow the TALENT rather than the team.

    That RX8 has never really worked well and I hope the budget is around for Joon to compete under his own programme for the rest of the season (Hopefully with his V8 S13)

    As for Chealsea I hope that this is’nt the beginning of another driver being dragged down by a well funded but uncompetitive car… Chealsea is too talented for that, it would be a huge waste…

  28. Koa & Kojiro Chang says:

    Uncle Joon,
    Justice is coming, and know that you are on da kine/ right side of the lord. Remember Psalms 32:8
    Koa & Kojiro

  29. Powahh says:

    Wow such a low blow for Joon.
    Someone needs to pick him up. He’s super talented and great guy overall. And the amount of sponsor exposure he brings is on the Gittin level.
    Hope it’s a blessing in disguise for him. And DeNofa should pass this up. This car will definitely hold him back.