Formula D

2017 Formula Drift Round 1 at Long Beach [RESULTS]

jamesdeane

James Deane drove his way to a first place finish after qualifying second on the weekend in Long Beach. This track setup does favor a RHD setup but Deane just seemed to crush the competition hands down regardless of the advantage. Alex Heilbrunn was the most impressive driver on the weekend for me knocking out Odi Bakchis and Fredric Aasbo in two amazing battles. The 2017 season is off to a wild start with big name veterans very high up the championship standings. I am working on my 10 Things post already so stay tuned. Here is how they finished:

1st- James Deane
2nd- Alex Heilbrunn
3rd- Ryan Tuerck
4th- Odi Bakchis

 

2017 Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach Qualifying [RESULTS]

vaughngittinjr

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

Russian driver Gocha “George” Chivchyan to debut at Formula D Long Beach

gocha-nissans15

Russian driver Gocha “George” Chivchyan has been testing his Nissan S15 this week up at Willow Springs in prep for his Formula Drift debut this weekend. He will be joining fellow Europeans Piotr Wiecek and James Deane in the competition for the ‘rookie of the year’ title. Here below is a highlight reel of him running in the D1 Grand Prix series. He seems like a solid addition to the growing European roster within Formula Drift.

Bridges Racing to support James Deane, Piotr Wiecek in addition to Dean Kearney for 2017

worthouse-s15 kearney-2017-livery

Bridges Racing will be supporting both James Deane and Piotr Więcek for their 2017 Formula Drift campaign in addition to Dean Kearney. Bridges Racing has supported Kearney for the past five seasons, but has supported multiple drivers in past seasons including the championship season of Daigo Saito in 2012. Deane and Więcek’s entry into Formula Drift has been some of the biggest news in the off-season, and seeing them team up with a team that has operated logistics for multiple cars in Formula Drift can only be seen as an advantage that will let them focus on learning the new courses and judging criteria.

The Worthouse Nissan S15’s are already being prepped at Bridges Racing HQ in Huntington Beach since they landed last week, and will make their competitive debut this weekend at Long Beach.

Fredric Aasbo to drive Toyota Corolla iM in Formula Drift for 2017

Fredric Aasbo debuted his Toyota Corolla iM today on the internet by recreating the opening scene of the famed Initial D series from Japan in his new car. Aasbo’s new car, built by Stephan Papadakis, maintains the same 2.7L 2AR-FE powerplant as his Scion tC, which should ease the transition between the two cars. While the Corolla iM seems like a short car due to the hatchback nature and lack of a rear bumper, the wheelbase is actually 1″ longer than the Toyota GT86 at 102.4″, so it shouldn’t face any of the twitchiness that shorter wheelbase cars sometimes face.

Here’s a great behind-the-scenes video of the car build by our friends over at Speed Academy. This video was shot back in January, when the car was still very naked, but there’s a lot of technical description of the build from Stephan Papadakis. Sounds like the suspension geometry is very similar to the tC, which will also aid in the car being competitive quickly.
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Falken Tire Returns to Formula DRIFT with Six Drivers in 2017

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Falken Tire, winner of the 2016 Tire Manufacturers Cup has returned to Formula DRIFT as the Official Tire Sponsor of Formula DRIFT.

In addition, they have announced six drivers competing on Falken Tires in the series this year; veterans Daijiro ‘Dai’ Yoshihara and Justin ‘JTP’ Pawlak, the return of the famous Falken Tire teal and blue liveries for Matt Field and Aurimas ‘Odi’ Bakchis, and Europeans James Deane and Piotr Wieck.

Falken Tire will also be offering additional activation at events in the form of dealer hospitality, spokesmodel meet & greets, drier autograph signings, and a learning center display through its Falken rig at most of the 8 rounds.

For more information, click here.

 

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.

2017-Gittin-RTR 2017-DeNofa-RTR 2017-RTR-Mustangs

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Here’s Your Chance to Own a 9,000 RPM Nissan V8

CFR VK56 For Sale

Chris Forsberg recently posted up on Instagram that one of his extremely loud and reliable 9,000 RPM Nissan VK56 V8 engines are up for sale due to the buildout of his new twin-turbo V6 engine. According to Chris, it is the most powerful, naturally aspirated Nissan engine in the world and built to handle nitrous if you need even more power. Hopefully it’ll end up in the hands of someone that will enjoy it and use it to continue burning up tires and tracks somewhere nearby. Serious inquiries can contact chris@chrisforsberg.com.

CFR VK56 Engine BayCFR VK56 CloseupCFR VK56 Engine

Daigo Saito is Back with a Corvette in 2017 and a Formula Drift Return

daigosaito

It looks like Daigo Saito will be running a C6 Corvette in D1 Grand Prix in Japan and according to Wanli, is set to return to Formula Drift for 2017. The Wanli release isn’t quite clear on their return to Formula Drift but we assume Daigo Saito will be running with them. Not sure on any other drivers that will be running with them but Fredric Aasbo did run on them in Asia last year from what we understand. Here is what the Wanli release says from Tokyo Auto Salon.

 

  “In 2017, Wanli Tire will keep cooperating with Daigo Saito in D1 to defend champion honor and to participate in American FORMULA DRIFT to realize Wanli Tire’ dream dominating the drift fields of China, Japan, USA, Russia. Daigo Saito’s car participating in D1 Grand Prix 2017, CORVETTE, also appeared in TAS in advance which indicated its determination to win the champion again.”

Here’s Your Chance to Gain Some Experience in Formula DRIFT

Bridges Racing
Bridges Racing and Dean Kearney are expanding and looking to fill various full and part-time positions. Any time there is a chance to get your foot in the door, it is extremely valuable, no matter what work you do. And it just so happens that a great opportunity is currently presenting itself in professional drifting for upcoming fabricators, admin, race support/prep crew, videographers, etc. looking to grow within the sport. Not only will you be working with a top level team, but you may also get to travel, work in various conditions, and build your network within the industry.

Some driver examples that have had similar experiences working on a Formula DRIFT team and learned from their experience within the sport are Rapper Dan Savage who crewed with Chelsea DeNofa before winning the 2014 PRO2 Championship, Jonathan Nerren who crewed with Vaughn Gittin JR before starting his own multi-car team competing in Formula DRIFT Canada, and Dylan Hughes who currently crews with Chris Forsberg and won the 2016 USDrift PRO/AM Series in his first full year of competition. I also know of countless others that are definitely on their way to make an impact in the sport in some form or another.

As for videographer examples, you have Mark Lenardon (late videographer for Motor Trend Magazine) who started filming with Drift Indy and Midwest Drift Union, moved on to film for Club Loose and Bloodmasters, traveled with numerous drivers in Formula DRIFT such as Tony Angelo and Geoff Stoneback, and then went on to create content and film for productions such as Hot Rod Garage and Road Kill. Sam Nalven (1/3 of Maximum Driftcast) paid his own way to attend and cover Formula DRIFT events when he started producing his “Drift Chronicles” before he worked on “Tuerck’d“, “Drift Garage“, “Off Track” and more recently with “Vaughn Gittin JR“, “Snap-On”, and “Donut Media“.

If you’re still interested and think you have the drive for it, interviews will be held this Saturday morning at the Race Shop in Huntington Beach, CA for local people and those not lucky enough to live in sunny SoCal can schedule a Skype interview. Information about drivers, team, work shop, and schedule for 2017 will be disclosed to selected applicants only. CV’s/Resume sent to info@bridgesracing.com

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