10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Canada

fredricaasbo-corollaim

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?
marclanderville

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.

Read More…

Chris Forsberg Set to Return to Backup Car for Orlando

forsberg-backupcar

Forsberg has announced that this long hyped VQ engine cannot hold together still and he will be back in his backup V8 car for Orlando.  A huge bummer they cannot figure out this motor package and possibly bit off more than they thought with this ambitious project? This sure doesn’t feel like a championship team that cannot debut a new car after two Formula Drift rounds. I have to imagine they have a plan to get back on track by Atlanta or possibly be way far behind in points for a repeat championship.

A Historical Look at How the Formula Drift Long Beach Winner Finishes the Season

jamesdeane

I made some bold claims that Long Beach wasn’t very relevant to the big picture of a Formula Drift championship. I opted to put my money where my mouth was and crunch the numbers from the past 10 seasons. James Deane and his performance in Long Beach looks like it is about 30% likely to bring him home a Formula Drift championship. An impressive 50% chance he will finish in the Top 3 of Formula Drift this year and an even more impressive statistic of 70% likely to finish in the Top 5. Below is the data I compiled to create these statistics.

2007 Winner – Mitsuru Haraguchi (Finished Season 12th)
2008 Winner – Chris Forsberg (Finished Season 5th)
2009 Winner – Ryan Tuerck (Finished Season 2nd)
2010 Winner – Vaughn Gittin Jr. (Finish Season 1st)
2011 Winner – Justin Pawlak (Finish Season 2nd)
2012 Winner – Justin Pawlak (Finish Season 4th)
2013 Winner – Dai Yoshihara (Finish Season 11th)
2014 Winner – Chris Forsberg (Finish Season 1st)
2015 Winner – Fredric Aasbo (Finish Season 1st)

2016 Winner – Chelsea DeNofa (Finish Season 17th)

10 Things I Learned From Formula Drift Long Beach

mattcoffman
10. Have We Watched Matt Coffman Grow Up Before Our Eyes?
One of the most impressive improvements I saw at Long Beach was Matt Coffman. I’ve always found he had talent but really lacked on the mental side of the game. He would be amazing in practice and then fall apart in Top 32 or over commit and put himself in a bad spot. He was a smooth operator this weekend, finishing in sixth place overall, between Fredric Aasbo and Chris Forsberg. That is some good company. If he can keep that up I would watch out for this dark horse.

mattfield
9. Matt Field – My Biggest Disappointment of the Weekend
His car probably deserves the middle finger…. or whatever mess of a disaster happened this weekend for him hopefully can be forgotten real quick. He is sitting in 12th place right now but I had expectations he could really be a front runner in 2017. I hope he didn’t leave his good driving behind in with that customary yellow livery. He needs to turn things around quick if he wants to be relevant in 2017.

alexheilbrunn
8. Alex Heilbrunn is Where the Hype Should Be
When Alex Heilbrunn got done dominating Pro 2 everyone thought he would arrive in Formula Drift and win all seven rounds at the time. Reality proved to be way more difficult, but Alex has been fighting and fighting his way through the field. My guess is now he is ready to make a big swing for the fences and keep it together for seven more rounds. He landed on the podium last year in New Jersey and looked great in Orlando so another repeat of that performance and he can have a good jump in the standings early.

Read More…

Chris Forsberg and Ryan Tuerck Partner Up for 2017 Formula Drift Season

chrisforsberg

ryantuerck

Chris Forsberg (2016 Formula Drift champion) has partnered up with Ryan Tuerck for the 2017 Formula Drift season with the addition of Nameless Performance to the mix. This seems like an interesting partnership for the new year with the team seemingly fielding two different cars (Toyota 86 / Nissan 370z). I could see a small possibility in Ryan Tuerck jumping into a Nissan 370z but doubt Forsberg would leave the Z platform after 10+ years and a recent championship. Here is the announcement video from Donut Media.

Sorry about our mini hiatus. We are bringing on some awesome writers for 2017 to help out with the content load and cannot wait for this season to unfold!

10 Things I Learned at Formula Drift Texas

_MG_9695
10. Great Layout and Formula Drift Texas Gets A-
I liked the layout this year and the how the event ran/flowed as a whole. Formula Drift gets tons of criticism from all angles so when they do something really well I want to stop and take the oppurtunity to give them credit. The judging was pretty spot on with the exception of Ryan L. once who picked Aasbo when their was no scenario on earth he won but we cannot all be perfect. Texas has been an event with protests, drama, delays, and bad accidents in years past so it seems like they finally got this layout to work and I am looking forward to it next season.

FormulaDTexas
9. Looking Ahead to a Possible Lackluster Irwindale?
Chris Forsberg finished second at Texas after beating Aasbo in the Great 8 which kind of puts a damper on the Formula Drift Irwindale drama. With a podium or finishing two places about Aasbo at Irwindale Forsberg will lock down his third championship. Considering he has hopped on the podium the last six events in a row it seems like it could happen again. Vaughn is eliminated if Forsberg lands in the Great 8 so really it’s a repeat of last year at Irwindale with a larger points gap.
ChelseaDeNofa
8. Where Did It All Go Wrong for Chelsea DeNofa?
Chelsea DeNofa made some serious efforts to run this weekend in Texas by loaning a local Pro Am car and giving it hell but you have to wonder where it all went wrong. Just six months ago we watched DeNofa win his first career event and establish himself as a championship player. Two events later he was removed from grid for having glue on his tires and now after seven rounds he finds himself in 15th place and 288 points behind Chris Forsberg. Talk about the highs and lows of a Formula Drift season.

KennethMoen
7. Has Kenneth Moen Thrown in the Towel?
Kenneth Moen missed another round of Formula Drift and currently sits 29th in the championship points standings. In a realistic world, if the grid was more complete he would be relegated to Pro 2 for next season with a points score of 136 points through seven rounds. His style is so awesome it will be a shame if he doesn’t return for 2017.

Read More…

10 Things I Learned at Formula Drift Seattle Round 6

FredricAasbo
10. Fredric Aasbo Falls for a 6-1 Record
It almost seems like beating Fredric Aasbo this year is worthy of a trophy itself. Odi Bakchis all time before this weekend was 0-6 against Fredirc Aasbo. In fact, his most recent loss was last round at Formula Drift Montreal so surely that was fresh on his mind before they met this past weekend. These two drivers faced off against each other in the Great 8 and Odi Bakchis finally got his first career victory over Fredric Aasbo on the seventh attempt. The first time the two met was actually at Evergreen Speedway in 2013. Odi took that victory and momentum of beating Aasbo all the way to his second career victory.

OMT.FormulaDrift
9. Make Up Your Mind Already Judges
The judges played it way too safe this weekend when it came to making tough calls. Instead of really thinking about a run we got the OMT show. I found myself chanting No More Time towards the end of this event. We had around 10 OMT battles which means 33% of battles got a One More Time call. Sorry guys, the margins are just not that razor thin in this sport. Two battles that didn’t deserve an OMT call off the top of my head if you want a talking point are (Tyler McQuarrie vs. Ken Gushi in Great 8) and (Jhonnattan Castro vs. Tanner Foust Top 16)

VaughnGittinJr.S550Mustang

8. Vaughn Gittin Jr. Beat Dean Kearney in My Eyes
My other “shot” at the judges comes in the form of the Dean Kearney vs. Vaughn Gittin Jr. battle in the Top 16. I was doing a battle by battle recap for Driving Line this weekend and all of my notes favored Vaughn Gittin in this tandem run. I just felt like the overall impact of Vaughn Gittin’s follow run had to carry more weight than just focusing on outer zone one. If OZ1 is so important, why did they bother drifting the rest of the track? This was my big head scratcher of the event and sadly my #JUSTICE4VAUGHN hashtag got no traction. This call really hurt him in his championship chase to make the decision even worse in the big picture of things.

Read More…

Forrest Wang Lost – The Devil’s Advocate Perspective

ForrestWang.AMdrift

Behind the hype train of hate, confusion, and misinformation I am delaying the 10 Things post until tomorrow to whip up a full and in-depth review of the Forrest Wang vs. Chris Forsberg Top 16 battle. The fans and viewers keep screaming for consistency and rules to apply so Formula Drift can be more clear cut. Well, let’s dig deep into this one.

FormulaDriftAccelerationMap

This map was displayed clearly and discussed during the mandatory drivers meeting. This is referred to as an acceleration/deceleration map. The denotations of green should be a section of the course where you are on throttle and the red sections are acceptable braking/slowing down areas. This is a pretty clear understanding of the course. To promote very close proximity and tandem battles you have these maps so drifters can run close tandem and understand/expect where drivers will scrub speed/slow down.

MadMikeWhiddett

In fact, Mad Mike Whiddett addressed this very topic in the drivers meeting after going over the accel/deaccel map. Mad Mike went on to ask about having big angle off the bank and slowing up/scrubbing speed. The judges replied to him no, they want to see a nice balance of angle and speed, while being on throttle, to set up a re-initiation for outer zone two (seen above).

Read More…

Kelsey Rowlings – Formula Drift Pro 2 [INTERVIEW]

KelseyRowlings.BCRacing

*Editors Note*: This interview got lost in SPAM so it was delayed and I didn’t find out she filled it out until I was at Road Atlanta. So keep in mind she wrote these answers before starting off her Pro 2 season. Here is the interview in its entirity now before Round 2 in Orlando.

 

1. Who are you and how did you get your Pro 2 license?
I earned my Pro 2 license through the Three Palms Drift Pro Am series where I placed 2nd overall. I also competed in the Streetwise Drift Pro Am series where I placed 4th overall. I also have competed in select XDC and Lone Star Drift Pro Am events.

2. Can you give us a break down of your car and what sponsors you have on board?
We have a great car and a great group of Partners this year. Kaizen Performance helped us swap the supercharged Ford Performance Parts 5.0 Aluminator NA crate engine into our 240sx. Several other companies helped make this build possible: Vibrant Performance, BC racing NA, Haltech ECU, Canton Racing, Deatschwerks, ACT clutch, Traklite wheels, Thunderbolt Racing fuel, Champion Spark Plugs, Enjuku Racing, Wilwood disc brakes, SPL Parts, Fuel Safe, Sparco USA, Mishimoto, Achilles Radial, Sway Gear, Expert Car Care, Mazworx, SPA Technique and Guardian Wraps

3. What track are you most excited about and most nervous to tackle this season?
I’m most excited for Road Atlanta. It was the first formula drift event I ever attended back in 2009 and I have been every year since that first year. I always told myself that I would drive that track someday, and the time has finally arrived!

4. Can you name one drifter you really want to see in a battle in Pro 2 this year?
I’m honestly excited to battle everyone. I really want to see how our new car stacks up with the rest of the competition.

RobbieNishida.DaigoSaito

5. Who is your favorite drifter in the world and who to you derive driving inspiration from?
I’m very indecisive, so I have several favorite drivers. Some include, Frederic Aasbo, Robbie Nishida, and Chelsea DeNofa

6. Who do you think will win the Formula Drift Pro Championship this season?
I feel like Ken Gushi is looking extremely strong this year, but if Chelsea DeNofa can keep his car running well, I think he may also be a contender.

KelseyRowlings.MustangEngine
7. What is one hurdle or headache you ran into during the off-season gearing up for Pro 2?
Building the car was definitely a struggle. It was a lot of R&D and trial and error to complete a new swap in just four months!

8. What advice can you give to the upcoming Pro 2 drivers who are currently in Pro Am?
I would say to double or even triple the budget you have in mind. There will always be the mechanical failures you didn’t count on, or that trailer spare that you were forced to buy on the road because you already blew your last 2 spares. We blew up our dog box in testing and it was definitely a cost we weren’t ready for at the beginning of the season.

10 Things I Learned at Formula Drift Road Atlanta

DaiYoshihara

10. Is Dai Yoshihara Finally Back?
Watching Dai Yoshihara in qualifying I felt he was looking really good and finally putting some runs together. I looked over at Chelsea DeNofa’s spotter in fact (and told him that Dai Yoshihara would win the event during practice). Sadly, Vaughn Gittin Jr. spoiled my prediction but Dai Yoshihara is starting to look back to his old self. He has been a driver looking really short on confidence so perhaps the return to the podium will help him remember what winning feels like. This was his first podium since Long Beach in 2013. His car has looked far behind the other 86/BRZ chassis in the sport but maybe this was the start of his comeback tour!

AlecHohnadell.FormulaD

9.Alec Hohnadell Will Win An Event This Year
Alec Hohnadell has grown and developed faster than almost any drifter I have seen. The kid is world class and knows how to win things. His progression in Formula Drift is clear and I think he got a bad call in his Final Four battle with Dai Yoshihara (and actually won). Watching the battle more and more, it really seems like Alec Hohnadell should of been in the finals. I don’t think he should lose sleep over this at all however. Sometimes calls will go your way and sometimes they won’t go in your favor. I do think across these next six rounds he will score his first event victory. He currently sits 10th in the championship after his fourth place finish this weekend.

FormulaDriftPro2

8. Road Atlanta Highlights Pro 2 Behind the Curve
Pro 2 was ugly and borderline unwatchable this weekend. Drifters couldn’t enter right, couldn’t stop spinning, and also couldn’t manage to tandem. I almost want to pretend the new Pro 2 season didn’t start this weekend. Jeff Jones, Marc Landerville, and Ryan Litteral all had solid performances but that is about where it stopped for me. The event was slow and especially hard to watch as a fan. Perhaps, the need for a perfect line to run Road Atlanta well was just too much for these younger drifters. My vote is to remove Road Atlanta from the 2017 Pro 2 calendar and pretend this event never happened. I am hoping for vast improvements at Orlando Speed World.

Read More…

Categories