This topic has been the result of traffic, controversy, and the pride of nations over the last few months. Between Ireland, Canada, and Texas each driver seems to have quite a vocal following that Gardella has eliminated this program to. Instead of wondering who would be the most popular driver for the job I went ahead and made a poll so we can see where the voters really stand. So who do you want piloting a car for Gardella Racing in 2011?
Word from some friends in the industry is that a team is shopping a second driver program with none other than Formula Drift judge Tony Angelo. Some companies have told me that a well known drift team has been shopping a second car with Tony Angelo but looking for sponsorship to execute this proposition. So it is possible that Tony Angelo might be stepping down from the judges stand this year assuming they can lock down some cash for 2011. If your interested in sponsorship it sounds like you should reach out to Tony.
Rumor has it that Vaughn Gittin Jr. will be the eighth driver for the Formula Drift UAE event in late February. Michael Essa was announced earlier as the seventh driver and the first six drivers announced can be followed as this link. Vaughn Gittin Jr. will be a huge addition to the strong list of drivers signed up to attack and drift the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. We will let you know once this is confirmed or we get more information but it seems to be close to completed and confirmed.
My inbox, Facebook messages, and telephone rang today talking about this photo of Ryan Tuerck on Falken Azenies. Yes they have had these Falken’s forever and they are not the new 615-K. Keep in mind their Am driver Steve Angerman runs these tires. I have spoken to some sources and their are currently no talks of Falken Tire and Gardella Racing at current time. HOWEVER, my tip about Nitto Tire and Gardella Racing is true that we posted earlier! Thank you all for the hat tip on the Falken Tires on this car but no sign of things to come in 2011.
Photo Source: Jerseystreets.tv
I know that Cody Parkhouse was given the seat to the Lexus SC430 because Ryuji Miki wasn’t worth a trip from Japan for Gymkhana Grid. It was just very interesting to us to see the young Formula Drift star given the keys to the Hankook Tire/Lexus SC430 for Gymkhana. Cody did lose his S13 earlier this year after a Just Drift event when some thieves stole his trailer in front of his house. With all that being said it’s easy to see why Cody was in this car for the weekend but I wonder if it was a test of relationships for the future and possibly 2011 Formula Drift? What are your thoughts on this everyone because I think it is very possible and a good match.
Did anybody else notice that Tony Brakohiapa was running Hankook Tires this weekend at Gymkhana Grid and not Cooper Tires? The Ford Mustang looked basically the same in design but notably the big Hankook Logos with a white backdrop. Will Tony Brakiohapa being joining Rhys Millen, Chris Forsberg, and Ken Gushi as another new driver for team Hankook next year?
After this posting it looks like we got some tips and confirmation that Michael Essa will be running a BMW Z4, that he can hopefully make as good looking as this AC Schnitzer one above, for his 2011 Formula Drift car. We already hinted that it has a wheel base spec within one inch of a S13 Nissan 240sx and that should make it a much more qualified drifting machine compared to his 335i. The loud and obnoxious V10 M5 engine will sadly be replaced with a more sensible E46 M3 3.2L Inline 6 engine. He is going to have a hard time making it sound as amazing as that M5 engine but we do wish him the best of luck trying and hope he can make it happen.
One thing that seemed clear all season around the paddock is that Michael Essa had some issues with the BMW 335i in the grip/traction department that never could seem to be sorted out. Well after some buzz about this BMW being retired we got confirmation that a new chassis is in the works for 2011. I have a great feeling he won’t be building a 335 again but here are some things two different people have tipped me off on.
1- His new chassis will still be BMW
2- He will still be running under BMW power (presumably that expensive M5 motor he already owns)
I talked with our resident BMW owner Ricky and some other drifting experts we can only come up with two conclusive BMW chassis to use. One would be the 1 series (my pick) along with a few other experts in the field while a few people even tossed in the BMW Z4 hat into the arena. The BMW Z4 has an almost identical wheelbase to the S13 (one inch off) we found while the 1-series chassis is very similar to the 3 series being only separated by 3 inches. What would you like to see come from Michael Essa for next year?
Gardella Racing reported on Facebook they were taking one of the Pontiac Solstice out to Monticello Motor Club for what we assumed was some testing. Everyone at our office got abuzz wondering if it was being tested as a replacement for New Jersey’s Wall Speedway. After doing some homework and speaking to some people we were told that Monticello Motor Club couldn’t accommodate 10,000+ fans at an event so this should eliminate them from Formula Drift ready. However we heard that it does have some interest on a Pro Am level so it should be an interesting track to see drifting on that isn’t being done by supercars.
Tanner Foust is going to a four cylinder engine for 2011 leaving his NASCAR V8 engine long behind in the past. If your looking for a preview on how the new Scion tC will look for Tanner Foust next year should look no further than the Scion Tuner Challenge Car built by John Pangilinan. The car features a one of a kind Seibon Carbon widebody kit that we are told will now be built and put on Tanner Foust’s Scion tC. So a Seibon Carbon widebody tC is on it’s way for next season.
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