News and big whispers of a return from the energy drink giant Rockstar have been floating around the 2014 SEMA Show about the return of this drink brand with a big driver for 2015 Formula Drift. Rockstar lacks a large international market so the sponsorship carrying into a world championship program is probably unlikely. However, the driver we have heard receiving this partnership is Fredric Aasbo with people even claiming to see renders/mock ups of the car already placed and being pitched to sponsors this weekend as a 2015 program.
In other big news circling around the 2014 SEMA Show we find many people in talks of a Team Orange duo leaving Japan to run in Formula Drift and most likely make a run at the World Championship. The two drivers from Team Orange we hear about coming to America are Nobushige Kumakubo and Naoto Suenaga. Kumakubo already built a LS3 powered S15 Silvia this season which you can check out here with many people implying it had a Formula Drift rulebook in the glovebox. It sounds like on top of Mad Mike heading into Formula Drift we will see a big growth in the international drivers at this rate.
*EDIT 11/7/14 @ 12:50pm- Several people such as Tyler Kelly have reached out to us to let us know it is actually Masao Suenaga’s brother coming to Formula Drift (Naoto Suenaga)
Watch as Ryan Tuerck takes on Matt Field & Pat Goodin in a series of mini competitions at Texas Motor Speedway in all their respective Formula Drift cars. Hand less drift, 360 entries, reverse entry and fastest entry speed are all on the books as Matt Coffman and Chris Forsberg join as judges. Tune in and enjoy the newest installment of Tuerck’d.
The rumormill around the 2014 SEMA Show is that Mad Mike is making a return to Formula Drift in 2015. These rumors might be made even more likely based around the fact that he isn’t currently running in his home series D1NZ right now which just got under way. Mad Mike had an entertaining stint in Formula Drift earlier in his career that didn’t go well on the track. His RX-8 fell short of competition at times. We imagine if the rumors are true he will be competing in the World Championship series which also visits China, Japan, and Canada for 2015. We also hear that Nitto Tire will be supporting and helping him for the return season if it happens. What do you think?
1 Formula D Long Beach USA April 10-11th
2 Formula D Atlanta USA May 8-9th
3 Formula D Orlando USA June 5-6th (PRO 2)
4 Formula D Wall USA June 26-27
5 Formula D Seattle USA July 24-25th (PRO 2)
6 Formula D Texas USA August 21-22nd (PRO 2)
7 Formula D Irwindale October 9-10th (PRO 2)
World Championship Rounds
Japan – Fuji Speedway July 11-12
Canada – September 4-5th
China – November TBA
Robbie Nishida unveiled his Infiniti G37 today as well next to Daigo Saito’s GT-R for the 2015 season. Daigo is going to run a square setup on the ATR Sport 2 with a 275 tire on an 18 inch rim for the new season. I just talked to Robbie Nishida and he will be running a VQ37 engine setup with a turbo. Robbie thinks the extra displacement from the VQ over the 2JZ might even allow him to leave the nitrous at home for 2015. This also means that Robbie Nishida will be eligable for the Infiniti OEM championship points wise for the new season. Robbie is way more excited about this car than the mode in this photo, I promise.
Daigo Saito just unveiled his 2015 Formula Drift build which happens to be a Nissan GT-R in collaboration with HKS. It’s nice to see some of the old school JDM powerhouses coming back into Formula Drift and drifting in America. We did confirm the car will run a VR38DETT and make 1000hp. WE did confirm that he is set to run a 295/35R/21 in the rear and a 275/35/21 all ATR Sport 2 for Formula Drift next year. This is the first car drifting on dubs or wheels larger than 20′s in the sport of drifting as far as we know. The car sounds like it will be a wild build.
For those of you attending the 2014 SEMA Show you can come out and discover what Daigo Saito and Robbie Nishida will be driving for the 2015 Formula Drift season. We have already dropped a rumor mill on what we think maybe possibly Daigo Saito is drifting next year but it will be cool to see it in Formula Drift spec. The silver lot space, Booth #62205 is right outside the monorail entrance out front (just look for the two big Achilles Radial rigs). We have also heard Robbie Nishida could be drifting something from the same OEM family as Daigo Saito AND both should be eligible for the OEM manufactures championship in 2015 implying the 2JZ engines might be getting left behind. Come find out tomorrow morning at 9:00am what is going down!
Vaughn Gittin Jr. just unveiled his 2015 Ford Mustang RTR to the world this morning just ahead of the 2014 SEMA Show. The new OEM package will be available at Ford dealerships so you can score a numerical serialized Mustang. The wheels and tons of parts have a slight variation for the new body style which has also hit dealerships in three packages; Ecoboost 4 Cylinder Turbo, V6, and a traditional 5.0 V8 engine. Here is what Vaughn had to say about the build;
“The all new platform has very easily allowed us to mesh RTR’s tastefully-aggressive styling and modified performance to offer our most capable, best-handling fun-to-drive RTR’s to date. If the slightly modified performance of the our Spec 1 is not enough, customers that demand more are sure to get their kicks with the up to 725 horsepower and optional fully-adjustable suspension that allows the driver to easily adjust the balance of the chassis to their liking.”
We got a hold of the 2015 Formula Drift technical rulebook this morning which looks to be mostly the same as last season with some small tweaks. We have been digging into the rules today and ignoring the advertisements (yes, they added advertisements to the rulebook) as we combed through the technical regulations. One noted change in the rulebook has to do with seats. Below we have a full listing of the 8.4 seat rule found in the new rulebook. Do note that drivers will all have halo style tops, seen in the photo above, to protect drivers from side impact. Please drop us a note in the comments or via our contact page to let us know of any other rule changes you catch!
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