Nate Hamilton

A Sit Down with Nate Hamilton After His Second Formula Drift Season

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Joey Redmond – What did you learn being a second season Formula Drift driver?
Nate Hamilton: Well, I think that round one thru round seven, every track and every lap, things happen so quickly. Formula Drift is a very fast pace sport. My skateboarding mind wants to describe it as a stair set with not much run up. ha You have to be focused. Then when you think your focused there is always room to improve. The most important lesson I took home from the 2014 season would simply be, to run each lap “my way” and not compare myself to everyone and get caught up in everyone else’s driving. I think its easy to ruin a practice session by not being focused, by that time you effect qualifying and before you know it the event is over. Stay Focused.

JR – Can you tell us about your engine package/setup in the Nissan 240sx?
NH: 2014 I ran a 490hp LS motor, built in Texas. It was extra difficult to keep up with the grip and smoke levels Formula Drift Demands. Looking forwards our chassis is on the way to Enjuku Racing for some REAL power. I will keep Wrecked updated!
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JR- Why have you opted to stick with the Nissan 240sx chassis platform in Formula Drift?
NH: Honestly, I would love to drive another chassis. I think a 350/370 or even a FRS would be exciting to pull up to the line. Formula Drift will force you to account for every dollar and every penny spent. This is simply the nature of a competitive sport. As a young guy in the sport building a program with my Dad, we simple don’t have the resources to move away from our Nissan package at the moment. Until we reach the next level I enjoy tossing a S13 around. Its CLASSIC.

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Nate Hamilton Releases 2014 Season Recap [VIDEO]

Nate Hamilton grew up this season in my opinion. He won the 2014 LS Fest and took home a second place finish in Florida for Pro 2. Here is the journey of his season as he sets himself a great 2015 comeback with a new look he unveiled with Enkei Wheels at the 2014 SEMA Show.

Nate Hamilton Shows Off 2015 Formula Drift Look

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Nate Hamilton also unveiled his 2015 Formula Drift look at the 2014 SEMA Show last week. His unveil/new car look was overshadowed by the likes of Robbie Nishida and Daigo Saito putting out their 2015 builds. Nate is sticking with the S13 chassis and bringing over a ton of the same partners from 2014 including Holley, Hoonigan, BC Racing and Enjuku Racing. Nate Hamilton finished 6th in Pro 2 for the 2014 season allowing him to return to the pro series for 2015.

2014 Formula Drift Championship [RESULTS]

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All seven rounds of Formula Drift are in the books for 2014. Chris Forsberg ends up the 2014 champion but a margin of just 11 points which came down to the very last tandem battle of 2014. Daigo Saito finally had a motor hold together and was able to make a huge jump in the championship points as well. All Top 32 drivers are given a Pro license for next year while 33 and beyond are relegated into Pro 2. Here is how they finished:

1. Chris Forsberg
2. Fredric Aasbo
3. Vaughn Gittin Jr.
4. Odi Bakchis
5. Forrest Wang
6. Kenneth Moen
7. Darren McNamara
8. Dean Kearney
9. Justin Pawlak
10. Conrad Grunewald
11. Robbie Nishida
12. Ryan Tuerck
13. Ken Gushi
14. Daigo Saito
15. Matt Field
16. Michael Essa
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2014 Formula Drift Pro 2 Final Points & Promotion [STANDINGS]

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Congratulations to Dan Savage for winning the inaugural Formula D Pro 2 championship! While we posted about how the qualifying points don’t matter in Pro 1, Savage solely won the Pro 2 championship based on his qualifying scores, particularly his top qualifier position on Thursday.  Both Stoneback and Savage tied with exactly 260 tandem points, and the extra 5.5 points that Savage earned on Thursday via qualifying are what put him over the edge. Had Savage qualified anywhere from 4th through 8th position, he would have earned exactly 4.5 points in qualifying alongside Stoneback and the championship would have been tied. Hopefully Formula Drift changes the points structure in future seasons to avoid this sort of scenario.

Alongside Savage, a huge congratulations goes out to all 8 drivers who have earned or retained their Pro 1 license through the new ‘Promotion’ system:

Promoted Drivers:

Dan Savage
Geoff Stoneback
Jeremy Lowe
Jeff JOnes
James Evans
Nate Hamilton
Matt Coffman
Brandon Wicknick

Drivers who earned at least 64 points will be allowed to continue in Pro 2 (unless they remain in the top 32 in Pro 1, in which case they can keep their Pro 1 license). This list includes:
Will Parsons
Tony Cisneros
Carl Rydquist
Juha Rintanen
Eric Hill
Dennis Mertzanis
Andy Hately
Jeff Wolfson
Ryan Litteral
Rob Primozich
Ron Ewerth
Hiro Sumida

All other drivers will be relegated to ProAm.

What it takes to win: Formula D Pro 2 Championship [ANALYSIS]

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With qualifying wrapped up, the chase is mathematically down to 5 drivers. With all remaining drivers earning at least 32 points for their top 16 appearance and an event win worth 100 points, only drivers who are within 68 points of current leader Geoff Stoneback have a chance at the title. Here’s the top 10 points standings entering tomorrow’s final Pro 2 competition of the season:

Rank Driver Name Points Pts Behind
1 Stoneback 233
2 Savage 206.5 26.5
3 Lowe 195 38
4 Evans 178 55
5 Hamilton 172 61
6 Coffman 150 83
7 Jones 146 87
8 Parsons 125.5 107.5
9 Rydquist 109 124
9 Wicknick 109 124

Drivers in Green still have a shot at the title, drivers in Red are mathematically eliminated. These points include the qualifying points from yesterday’s qualifying session, but don’t include the guaranteed 32 points for making top 16. Since Rydquist did not make a qualifying pass and will not be driving in the Irwindale main event, Wicknick is guaranteed to finish ahead of him and would be driving with the hopes of earning his Pro 1 license promotion by passing either Parsons or Jones. Here’s how the points break down for each round of tandem competition:

Top 16 finish – 32 points
Top 8 Finish – 48 points (+ 16 points from top 16)
Top 4 finish – 64 points (+ 32 points from top 16)
2nd place – 80 points (+ 48 points from top 16)
1st place – 100 points (+ 68 points from top 16)

For Stoneback, the answer is simple. Finish ahead of the competition and you’re good. Knowing he’s in a borrowed car, that may be too much to ask. An early top 16 finish and a top 4 appearance by Savage would give Savage the upper hand. If Stoneback makes top 8, and Savage makes the final round, Savage will again jump Stoneback. If Stoneback makes the final 4, then only a win by Savage gives him enough points to take over the lead. A final round appearance from Stoneback guarantees the championship. Even with Savage gaining the upper hand in some of these scenarios, the other three drivers still have a shot in some cases.

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2014 Formula Drift Pro 2 Irwindale Qualifying [RESULTS]

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Pro 2 Qualifying at the House of Drift went smoothly, and the championship race got a little tighter due to the results. Rapper Dan Savage laid down an awesome run that likely would have qualified him in the top 5 or 6 positions of Pro 1, and was rewarded with a nice 85 point score from the judges. As we highlighted earlier, Pro 2 leader Geoff Stoneback is driving a borrowed S13, and broke an axle towards the end of practice. The team was able to source a new one and get it swapped out before his qualifying run. Here’s how it all shook out:

1. Dan Savage – 85 pts
2. Jeff Jones – 82 pts
3. Brandon Wicknick – 79 pts
4. Matt Coffman – 77 pts
5. Juha Rintanen – 75 pts
6. James Evans – 70 pts
7. Geoff Stoneback – 69 pts
8. Rob Primozich – 67 pts
9. Nate Hamilton – 65 pts
10. Hiro Sumida – 65 pts
11. Will Parsons – 64 pts
12. Ryan Litteral – 64 pts
13. Jeremy Lowe – 63 pts
14. Dennis Mertzanis – 61 pts
15. Tony Cisneros – 61 pts
16. Eric Hill – 59 pts

Here’s a look at how the tandem matchups will work:

Left Bracket
Dan Savage vs. Eric Hill
Rob Primozich vs. Nate Hamilton
Matt Coffman vs. Jeremy Lowe
Juha Rintanen vs. Ryan Litteral

Right Bracket
Jeff Jones vs. Tony Cisneros
Geoff Stoneback vs. Hiro Sumida
Brandon Wicknick vs. Dennis Mertzanis
James Evans vs. Will Parsons

A Look at the Drift Cars Doing Battle inside LS Fest

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Holley’s LS Fest is a celebration of the amazing GM LS engine platform. During the weekend, you can experience road racing, drag racing, hard parking, autocross, and drifting at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky. The one thing you must have to participate is a Chevrolet V8. One of my favorite cars of the weekend was this four door BMW owned by Steve Topping. Inside his BMW engine bay he crammed a 5.3L iron block with a frankenstein of various LS parts and a Paxton Novi 2000 blower. His team was tuning the car during Friday night practice and then drove the thing to a second place finish.

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Only one drift car found at Beech Bend over the weekend actually came factory installed with a GM LS engine. It was Shane Whalley in this Pontiac GTO that ripped all weekend. Shane actually builds his own custom suspension parts for the Pontiac GTO to help guys worldwide drift these cars. You can find his own custom knuckles and other parts if you really want to go down the path of  drifting a Pontiac.
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2014 LS Fest at Beech Bend Raceway [GALLERY]

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LS Fest is one of the most fun events you can find in America today. A full weekend of drifting and any other fun car stuff you can do at one racetrack in Kentucky…. as long as you have an LS engine under the hood. Here is my gallery capturing photos from the weekend which saw some pretty solid tandem battles all weekend and one great competition won by Nate Hamilton.

 

Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=432

Holley LS Fest Was This Awesome [VIDEO]

Didn’t come to LS Fest this year? Well Subject Media did a great job putting together a video to put on display the awesome event that you guys missed out on. I have a recap coming out this week to dig into the fun  LS engine only party that happens every fall in Kentucky.