The Rookie Race in Formula Drift for 2013

Well the 2013 season marked the first time a single rookie failed to score any points during the first round of the championship series. Out of 11 rookies none of them managed to scrape a Top 32 position for the weekend. The question must be asked if the new qualifying structured hindered the performance of these rookies or changed the dynamic of the sport? I am convinced the new qualifying order helps these lower ranked drivers but the evidence sure doesn’t play in my favor at all.

The rookie race last year was ridiculous and invalid with Daigo Saito being granted rookie status after being a Formula Drift Asia champion really reducing the value of the prize overall. These rookies are in a fight to reclaim the validity of the position and chase an opportunity similar to Fredric Aasbo who took home rookie of the year honors and then replaced Tanner Foust as the driver of Papadakis Racing.

Many of the drivers staged for a rookie season were plagued with mechanical failures or just lacked an all around ability to complete the difficult Streets of Long Beach course. The last few seasons we have watched many rookies wad up a new chassis and never really return to the series or underperform the whole season. One positive note is that most of the rookies came out of Long Beach clean with the exception of Kory Keezer and his S13.

I am excited that we have an 11 way tie after one round of Formula Drift this season and all the rookie should keep an eye on this prize above all else as they swing through the new year. At least for 2013 we have our rookie race back! What rookie do you think can win the rookie race?

What 2013 Rookie will Take Home Rookie of the Year?

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I attended my first drift event at Road Atlanta in 2005 while shooting for Import Racer Magazine (RIP). Since then I have produced drift content for PAS Magazine, Modified Magazine, Drifting Magazine (RIP), and many more publications. I was the producer of the movie Slide America and then helped found this website in 2007.


  1. Brian says:

    I’m not to sure how D1NZ has their pro am developer series but when rookies make the jump up they do a real good job. Nico Reid and a guy that drives a white r33 skyline are killing it and it’s their rookie year!

  2. Ryan Clemens says:

    Mike Pollard.

    Pretty damn easy choice.

    He went head to head with Denofa last year and won. Remember, Denofa was the actual Rookie of the Year as far as I am concerned.

    He went 2 for 3 in final rounds against Forrest, who we all know is a super rad driver.

    He did better than Nate, Will, Josh, or anybody else on that list.

    He went up to Canada and had NO problem hanging with those dudes. He did awesome against guys that have been driving those tracks for YEARS. He won the Slide Open dealio.


    He is more exciting to watch than any other rookie out there.

  3. shitbox says:

    Nate Hamilton is all hype. he fuckin sucks

  4. Luke Pakula says:

    you will never out hax me mike!!!!

  5. Luke Pakula says:

    ultimate domination!!!!!!!!!

  6. Mike Pollard says:

    Actual driving > online poll ;p

  7. lookoutmike says:

    First one who qualifies in the Top 16 gets my vote.

  8. Mike Pollard says:

    #respect…… see you all at the track 🙂

  9. black man gets my vote!

  10. S13silvaaa says:

    I hope Victor Moore gets his car fixed! I wanna see him beast on some people.

  11. Nelson Ayra says:

    Yeah you guys forgot Victor Moore in the poll.

  12. S13silvaaa says:

    @ Nelson, victor isn’t consider a rookie cause its his “second year”