Justin Pawlak

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


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?

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


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)

Falken Tire Returns to Formula DRIFT with Six Drivers in 2017


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.


2016 Formula Drift Round 5 in Canada [GALLERY]




Don’t miss all of our Formula Drift Canada coverage that was captured by our favorite Canadian photographer Jeremy Glover! He did an awesome job capturing the drama and drinking of Redbull that went down over the event weekend. Don’t miss an image by checking out our complete gallery below.

Full Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=473

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift’s Canada Invasion

10. Justin PAWLAKKKKK – WOW!
Justin Pawlak’s drifting was on another planet this weekend. He looked to be back to his old insane FC Mazda RX-7 style that everyone just loved so much. Perhaps he is just growing into the S550 Ford Mustang chassis? Either way, if he can keep it together a little more I think he is a serious threat for the remaining part of 2016. Let’s also not forget to mention, he threw in some super insane entry against Vaughn following that didn’t quite work out, then managed to catch up to Vaughn and he tried to punt him off the track. Love it! If you go back into qualifying videos and watch his runs you will be impressed 100%.

9. Odi Bakchis Has Turned a Hyundai into Gold
After years and years of watching people struggle to drift a Hyundai chassis you really have to tip the hat to Odi Bakchis as a suspension wizard. He makes his Genesis couple look and drift just like his Nissan 240sx and probably needs to receive a couple million dollars of Hyundai marketing money to help continue making their platform look so viable. Odi would be in the championship chase for me this year if he wasn’t just so conservative in his tandem chases sometimes. He needs to break that mental barrier of conservative in his head and find that bit of flair and he could run the whole way. He did really step up the game I felt like this weekend and should be recognized for it.

8. The Best Commentary Setup in Formula Drift History
Two things made this the best commentated event in Formula Drift history and I just hope Formula Drift can figure out how to keep doing it the future. #1, Ryan L. as a judge explaining things is genius even though I feel like it could pull away from his judging focus. Explanations are great and at least informing people is a huge plus (although I doubt most are listening/paying attention). #2 and more important is that Formula Drift had live commentary for the crowd itself. That means that Ryan Sage and Jarod DeAnda could focus on broadcasting a TV like show over the air and it worked like a charm. Nothing makes everyone want to turn off the Livestream more than when Jarod is asking for people to do the wave at Irwindale and you are sitting in your parents damp basement eating a PBJ sandwich. The overall quality of production just seemed so much better and it was great to hear the crowd randomly roaring up without being prompted in my ear. Just my .02 cents on that.

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2016 Formula Drift Round 4 New Jersey Qualifying [RESULTS]


Here is the qualifying results from a gorgeous day in New Jersey. Only 30 drivers managed to get points this weekend leaving two bye runs for the top qualifiers into the Top 32. Dai Yoshihara looked insane during qualifying with two 93 point runs to lock in first place on Odi Bakchis on a style score tie breaker.

1. Dai Yoshihara 93
2. Odi Bakchis 93
3. Chelsea DeNofa 92
4. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 91
5. Fredric Aasbo 90
6. Ryan Tuerck 89
7. Chris Forsberg 88
8. Robbie Nishida 87
9. Alex Heilbrunn 84
10. Tyler McQuarrie 84
11. Ken Gushi 82
12. Justin Pawlak 82
13. Krisptas Bluss 81
14. Matt Field 80
15. Michael Essa 78
16. Alec Hohnadell 78
17. Dean Kearney 77
18. Jhonnathan Castro 76
19. Charles Ng 75
20. Andy Gray 75
21. Kyle Mohan 75
22. Juna Rintanen 75
23. Forrest Wang 74
24. Geoff Stoneback 74
25. Matt Coffman 73
26. Jeff Jones 72
27. Pat Goodin 72
28. Pat Mordaunt 64
29. Cameron Moore 55
30. Faruk Kugay 54
31. Mad Mike Whiddett Did Not Run
32. Kenneth Moen Did Not Run

Tandem Bracket Left
Dai Yoshihara vs. BYE
Alec Hohnadell vs. Dean Kearney
Robbie Nishida vs. Matt Coffman
Alex Heilbrunn vs. Geoff Stoneback
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Cameron Moore
Kristaps Bluss vs. Andrew Gray
Fredric Aasbo vs. Pat Mordaunt
Justin Pawlak vs. Kyle Mohan

Tandem Bracket Right
Odi Bakchis vs. BYE
Michael Essa vs. Jhonnathan Castro
Chris Forsberg vs. Jeff Jones
Tyler McQaurrie vs. Forrest Wang
Chelsea DeNofa vs. Faruk Kugay
Matt Field vs. Charles Ng
Ryan Tuerck vs. Pat Goodin
Ken Gushi vs. Juha Rintanen

10 Things I Learned About Formula Drift Orlando

10. Can Jhonnattan Castro Keep Finding that Potential?
The last time I remember Castro driving this good was at Homestead in Miami two season ago. He actually looked solid and consistent out of the box and it wasn’t the biggest shock to me when he took out Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Top 16. Jhonnattan needs to spend some serious time figuring out why he manages to drift so good in Florida. I cannot figure out if its because he is close to home, the humidity, his family/friends around, or just a random round he focuses in on drifting. He has the driver ability and talents in my eyes. Now, he just needs to dig up what makes him more focused and repeat repeat repeat.

9. Chris Forsberg’s 370z Looked Slow and Off the Pace
This season seems to of left behind Chris Forsberg’s 370z in terms of pace and speed around the course. All weekend at Orlando Speed World his car looked visually slower than some other teams on the grid. This was highlighted in a major way with his battle against Kristaps Bluss in the Final Four. If you watch the runs, Forsberg enters on Bluss door but then the BMW just powers through the course and speeds up at angle around the bank and Forsberg’s 370z cannot seem to do that. The car isn’t so slow that is belongs in Pro 2 or anything but his speed while drifting could make the difference between a third championship and finishing fourth place.

8. Drifting without Tires
The rule changes with a tire debead seemingly have confused about 90% of Formula Drift fans out there. I will try and clear it up quickly but it might require its own follow up post. Last year the rule was – a tire debead at anytime in a tandem battle resulted in a loss. In 2016, the rules state you cannot fix a tire debead but it does not result or impact a zero score. So, for example, Jeff Jones in qualifying lost a tire and kept drifting around the course. He was given a 70 for his run and the tire had no impact directly on the score but you have to imagine it slowed him down impacting his score from him having say, four tires. So, if you are in the first part of a tandem battle, you lose, because a car without a tire doesn’t pass tech to run again. If its the second run of a battle and you can keep going then its fair game. Now, here are the list of battles impacted by this rule. I respect Formula Drift for putting a line in the sand and I think teams need to figure out other ways than running 11 PSI in tires to get grip out of the car. Also, in the case of JTP – let the dude put air in his tires for crying out loud after contact and deflation.

1. Nate Hamilton Pro 2 Top 16 Battle (Loss Due to Tire Debead)
2. Mad Mike Whiddett Top 32 Battle versus Ken Gushi (Loss Due to First Round)
3. Fredric Aasbo Top 16 Battle vs Kyle Mohan (Loss Tire in follow and still won)
4. Justin Pawlak Top 16 Battle after contact with Forsberg (Ran but Spun Due to Low Tire Pressure)
5. Fredric Aasbo Final 4 Battle with Tyler McQuarrie (Lost on First Run and Tire Remounted)

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Justin Pawlak in Grand Theft Atlanta [VIDEO]

We already shared this on Facebook but in case you don’t use the social media platform – check out this amazing video from Thirsty Film bringing Grand Theft Auto and Formula Drift together. Justin Pawlak gets an A+ acting award for this great video they put together as well.

Taylor Hull – Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver [INTERVIEW]


Wrecked Magazine: Who are you and how did you get your Pro 2 license (please mention Pro Am and/or former drift experience)?

Taylor Hull: My name is Taylor Hull, I’m 27 and I live just south of Atlanta, Georgia. I started racing on oval tracks when I was 13 and competed in various series with that until 2012 when I took up drifting just because it always looked fun, and I wanted something to just “have fun” driving. I didn’t take into account how competitive I am so it wasn’t long before I started going to grassroots competitions and realizing how much I really had to learn. I won my first grassroots competition in 2012 and decided to do Pro Am with Streetwise Drift in 2013 where I ran the first event, then blew my motor and was out for the rest of the season. I came back strong in 2014 with SWD and made all the events, had some great runs and ended up 3rd in points after going into the last event in 7th. All the stars aligned and I had a great event which gave me my Pro 2 license. I had no idea what I was in for.

WM: Can you give us a break down of your car?

Taylor Hull: We have some great new partners onboard this year as well as several returning from years past.

Aloha Green Tea Hawaii is a power based additive for water that tastes great and is very good for you, it helps with energy during the long days at the track as well. Affirm Consulting is a partner that helps business recognize and resolve deficiencies and be more productive, putting more to the bottom line. I know Dennis that runs the company very well and he has an amazing mind for business, anyone that gives him a chance won’t be disappointed.
Next, my wrap designer, installer, crew chief and friend, Sticker Shark is back and making my car look great again. I took the reins off him this year and let him be more creative on the design, I think people will really like the result. Rovos Wheels is back providing a great 18×9 up front and a 18×10.5 rear in their Durban style. I will be back on Falken Tire 615k Azenis again this year for max grip. Magnuson Superchargers provided a tvs2300 supercharger to go on the Daffron Race innovations built 408 LS engine. Driven Race Group is back for the fourth year providing all our safety equipment. Weir Performance got our back with their race spool for the Q45 rear end as well as the conversion to make it work with the stub shafts needed, it’s a very nice piece for higher powered cars if you aren’t going with a quick change. We are back on Feal Suspension coilovers and I look forward to working with Odi Bakchis on setup, especially now that he is also on Falken this year. Our fuel injection is powered by Donkey Power Injection for the 2nd year with 1000cc injectors. ATI dampers provide a 8 rib pulley setup to keep belts on the car. We have a twin disc ACT clutch to put the power to the ground, they are a new sponsor this season. Wiring Specialties is back on board this year as we are running a beautiful race harness that cleans up the engine bay significantly. Sikky Mfg is a great partner that we traveled with last season that we look forward to continuing to work with in the future. Finally, Enjuku racing is our official aftermarket parts supplier. Their team provides a wealth of knowledge and a vast range of parts that we have used on our build at great pricing.


WM: What track are you most excited about and most nervous to tackle this season?

Taylor Hull- I am stoked to be able to run at Road Atlanta. Since I live about an hour away, this is the first event that many of my friends and family will be able to come to, plus with the fastest initiations of the season should be a great time. I wouldn’t say I am nervous about going anywhere but I feel that Texas was a challenge last year. I have to get more consistent in my runs there and I was born there so I want to have a good showing for my family still there also.

WM: Can you name one drifter you really want to see in a battle in Pro 2 this year?

Taylor Hull: I look forward to all my battles, that’s what makes drifting fun to me. My battle with Brandon Wicknick at Seattle last season was the most fun I’ve ever had in a car I think. I hope to get to battle with some of my friends in the southeast though like Kevin Lawerence, Ricky Adams, and several of the others around here.

WM: Who is your favorite drifter in the world and who to you derive driving inspiration from?

Justin Pawlak.
Last year in Texas Justin took a few minutes to find me and give me some pointers that really helped me with my driving that day and it really meant a lot to me. Having a seasoned pro take the time to do something like that was really cool, so I try to help as many people with quick tips like that as well. We ended up making the same mistake in the competition that weekend so we were able to laugh about it on Saturday. He is a fierce competitor and you can tell how much he wants to win and how hard he works for it. Those qualities coupled with the fact that he’s such a nice guy gives me someone to try to model a career after.

WM: Who do you think will win the Formula Drift Pro Championship this season?

Taylor Hull: I think this may be the year that Odi Bakchis finishes the way he started last year. Again, he is someone I admire who builds his cars and does so much r&d.

WM: What is one hurdle or headache you ran into during the off-season gearing up for Pro 2?

Taylor Hull: We had to build a new motor and drivetrain setup this year, but the car is all mine now which is what I wanted. It’s a lot of work to make sure what you’re building and buying is compatible with what you have and falls within all the rules. We had a few struggles but have most of it worked out now. I build my car mostly myself so if I don’t know how to do something I have to learn.

WM: What advise can you give to the upcoming Pro 2 drivers who are currently in Pro Am?

Taylor Hull: Haha! Expect to spend WAY more money than you budget for each year. The sport is expensive and the competition is greater than you expect. Everyone is good at this level, there are no gimme battles and everyone has earned their right to be here. Also, expect a professionally run series that will top most anything you’ve ever been a part of, being involved with Formula D and interacting with the fans is really the experience of a lifetime.