Chelsea DeNofa

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Seattle

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10. This Battle Was Worth the Price of Admission

Watching DeNofa and Vaughn Gittin put on a wild show in the Mustang’s made my event. The battle was clean, straight up, and was insanely close car to car contact. My biggest disappointment of this battle is that the judges didn’t call OMT. If you want to create a new drift fan just sit them down and have them watch this battle. I hope they meet again before this season is over. If you ever wanted an argument to make Formula Drift a spec series this would be exhibit A in your evidence folder.

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9. Castro Has It Still in this 86
The progress of J Castro has been one of the most fun things to watch in Formula Drift over the last several seasons. His victory against Deane is still one of my favorite battles of this year. His defeat against Aasbo was a close one and without the contact he could of pushed his teammate to a OMT or loss in that battle in my opinion. If he can dial back that aggressive tandem just a bit and avoid contact he is top 5 driver with his form.

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8. Matt Coffman!!!!!
He is just a driver who quietly grows and learns more and more as time passes in Formula Drift. His battle against Kristaps Bluss had one of the best lead runs of the night. He is just like Castro and just needs that little extra sauce to really be competitive in Formula Drift at a high level. If Dai Yoshihara wasn’t so in the zone at Seattle he could of found his way to the podium at Evergreen Speedway.
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2017 Formula Drift Seattle Round 6 [GALLERY]

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Andrew Jennings rocked out with some amazing Formula Drift Seattle snaps. All the dirty tricks, tandem drifting, and Formula Drift paddock action in one great gallery.

Check out the Gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wreckedmagazine/albums/72157684890609220

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Canada

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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?
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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.

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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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2017 Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach Qualifying [RESULTS]

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Vaughn Gittin Jr. makes an insane 97 point qualifying run to steal the show on the Streets of Long Beach kicking off the 2017 season. This amazing qualifying run earns him a bye into the Top 16. The Irish wonder James Deane was just a point behind putting down a 96 in his Silvia on this streets course as well. New cars, new problems, and some crashes wrapped up the Friday of Long Beach. Three drivers were unable to get a qualifying point including Kyle Mohan, Charles Ng, and Faruk Kugay.

1. Vaughn Gittin Jr. (97)
2. James Deane (96/91)
3. Ryan Tuerck (96/90)
4. Fredric Aasbo (91/82)
5. Alex Heilbrunn (91/68)
6. Matt Coffman (90)
7. Chris Forsberg (89/87)
8. Odi Bakchis (89/86)
9. Piotr Wiecek (87)
10. Ken Gushi (86)
11. Matt Field (85)
12. Juha Rintanen (83)
13. Kristaps Bluss (81/0)
14. Justin Pawlak (81/0)
15. Michael Essa (81/0)
16. Dean Kearney (80/71)
17. Jhonnathan Castro (78/77)
18. Dai Yoshihara (78/0)
19. Pat Goodin (78/0)
20. Robbie Nishida (77/72)
21. Jeff Jones (77/71)
22. Nate Hamilton (75)
23. Gocha Chivchyan (73)
24. Chelsea DeNofa (72)
25. Cameron Moore (68)
26. Alec Hohnadell (67)
27. Dan Burkett (60)
28. Kyle Mohan (0)
29. Charles Ng (0)
30. Faruk Kugay (0)

Top 32 Bracket
(LEFT)
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs BYE
Dean Kearney vs. J Castro
Odi Bakchis vs. Cameron Moore
Piotr Wiekcek vs. Chelsea DeNofa
Fredric Aasbo vs. BYE
Kristaps Bluss vs. Robbie Nishida
Alex Heilbrunn vs. BYE
Juha Rintanen vs. Jeff Jones

(RIGHT)
James Deane vs. BYE
Michael Essa vs. Dai Yoshihara
Chris Forsberg vs. Alec Hohnadell
Ken Gushi vs. G Chivchyan
Ryan Tuerck vs. BYE
Justin Pawlak vs. Pat Goodin
Matt Coffman vs. Dan Burkett
Matt Field vs. Nate Hamilton

Vaughn Gittin JR and Chelsea DeNofa Team Up for the 2017 Formula DRIFT Season


As we approach Round 1 of the 2017 Formula DRIFT season in just a couple weeks, it looks like this relatively slow off season may finally start getting a lot more announcements between now and then. Kicking this Monday off is 2010 Formula DRIFT Champion Vaughn Gittin JR and his RTR Motorsports team officially announcing the addition of Chelsea DeNofa as a teammate. DeNofa will be in a brand new 2017 Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D while Gittin will return in his Mustang RTR with an updated look.

Both the Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D driven by Vaughn and BC Racing Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D driven by Chelsea are powered by brand new Ford Performance/Roush Yates Engines RY45 motors, producing 2,000 combined horsepower with a 9,000-rpm redline. The RY45 builds on the continued relationship with Ford Performance and Roush Yates in developing competition based motors specifically for the RTR Motorsports Formula Drift program. A proprietary BC Racing coilover suspension system allows both Vaughn and Chelsea to perfectly tune the dynamics of their RTRs, with sticky Nitto NT05s putting all that power to the ground.

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2016 Formula Drift Irwindale Qualifying [RESULTS]

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Dai Yoshihara laid down an amazing first qualifying run in his car scoring an 89 and backing it up with a 86 for his second pass on the day. The championship chase basically eliminated Odi Bakchis with the other three qualifying for championship news. Chelsea DeNofa stops drifting inches before the finish line giving him a zero and really adding to the end of a terrible season after his Long Beach victory. Here is how they finished:

1. Dai Yoshihara 89
2. Ryan Tuerck 88
3. Forrest Wang 86
4. Chris Forsberg 85
5. Justin Pawlak 84
6. Matt Field 83 (83)
7. Tyler McQuarrie 83 (81)
8. Michael Essa 82 (80)
9. Matt Coffman 82 (80)
10. Charles Ng 81 (76)
11. Fredric Aasbo 81 (76)
12. Alex Heilbrunn 80 (73)
13. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 80 (72)
14. Odi Bakchis 79 (78)
15. Ken Gushi 79 (70)
16. Geoff Stoneback 78
17. Robbie Nishida 77
18. Mad Mike Whiddett 75
19. Pat Goodin 73
20. Pat Mordaunt 73
21. Kyle Mohan 72
22. Dean Kearney 70
23. J Castro 69
24. Juha Rintanen 65
25. Kristaps Bluss 64
26. Cameron Moore 63 (50)
27. Kenneth Moen 63 (0)
28. Alec Hohnadell 61
29. Faruk Kugay 42
30. Jeff Jones 0
31. Chelsea DeNofa 0

RIGHT BRACKET
Dai Yoshihara vs. BYE RUN
Geoff Stoneback vs. Robbie Nishida
Michael Essa vs. Kristaps Bluss
Matt Coffman vs. Juha Rintanen
Chris Forsberg vs. Faruk Kugay
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Pat Mordaunt
Justin Pawlak vs. Alec Hohnadell
Alex Heilbrunn vs. Kyle Mohan

LEFT BRACKET
Ryan Tuerck vs. BYE RUN
Ken Gushi vs. Mad Mike Whiddett
Tyler McQuarrie vs. Cameron Moore
Charles Ng vs. J Castro
Forrest Wang vs. BYE
Odi Bakchis vs. Pat Goodin
Matt Field vs. Kenneth Moen
Fredric Aasbo vs. Dean Kearney

10 Things I Learned at Formula Drift Texas

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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.

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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.
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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.

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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.

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2016 HGK 10th Anniversary Drift Challenge [RESULTS]

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Famed Latvian drift team HGK celebrated their tenth anniversary with a shootout that included several top name drivers in the sport who they are proud to call their friends. American drivers Chelsea Denofa, Ryan Tuerck, and Matt Powers all made their way out to Latvia for the shootout, driving in well-equipped cars against some of the best drivers from Eastern Europe. In the end, Polish driver Piotr Wiecek took the top spot, narrowly taking out his Budmat Auto teammate David Karkosik in the final. The consolation round was an All-American affair, where Chelsea Denofa piloted an E92 chassis past Ryan Tuerck’s borrowed E46 chassis for the final podium position at Bikernieki raceway. We’ve been told that some pretty awesome videos will be dropping shortly from Donut Media, so keep an eye out for those.

Final Results from the HGK Challenge are as follows:

1st – Piotr Wiecek
2nd – David Karkosik
3rd – Chelsea DeNofa
4th – Ryan Tuerck

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