The offseason “water cooler” talk is already heating up, and the latest rumor is that Bridges Racing will be expanding their operations for 2014 to include a fourth driver under the Achilles rig. In addition to the flagship Achilles team of Daigo Saito and Robbie Nishida, Bridges provided support for Dean Kearney for part of 2012 and all of 2013. Saito and Nishida contributed to winning the first ever OEM Manufacturers Championship for Lexus (along with Pat Mordaunt), and finished third in the first ever Tire Manufacturer Championship for Achilles. We can only assume that the fourth car would also be on Achilles rubber.
Bridges Racing and Daigo Saito also claimed the 2012 Formula D Championship, and placed Third and Ninth overall in the 2013 standings.
Who do you think would be the best addition to the Bridges Racing team?
During the broadcast of Formula Drift Thailand the announcer Jarod DeAnda first mentioned a Formula Drift Japan event at Fuji Speedway which was a huge shock to everyone in our office! He then mentioned it again about 5 minutes later saying the Formula Drift Japan event at Fuji Speedway in collaboration with MSC will take place over the Independence Day weekend here in America (July 4th). Haven’t seen any news or posting of this event anywhere else but Jarod has been announcing drift events for 10+ years now and we can imagine he is a reliable source for this information. More updates if they become available. This Fuji Speedway event will seemingly be the one in collaboration with the Formula Drift Asia series for the 2014 calendar championship.
Patrick Mordaunt is set to join a new team for the 2014 Formula Drift season which we can confirm but we don’t quite know many details. He still has a good relationship with APEX’i but they are not providing the title sponsorship and full support from the Lexus for the new season.
Some very good sources have confirmed he is in the works with a new team/program for 2014 but we haven’t quite unraveled all the details just yet. He has been taking to Facebook and social media posting a good bit of content with his old Nissan 350z he ran in 2011 (see image above) so perhaps that is making a grand return for the new year?
A very reliable source this evening has told us that the D1GP series in Japan has made provisions for the 2014 season to ban the power adder nitrous. While exact details are not clear yet (I have reached out to D1GP for exact clarification of rule change) it seems that various teams are changing how they build a car for the 2014 season. We have heard talks of drivers swapping to smaller turbo setups already due to the inability to spool fast without nitrous along for the ride. This is quite a shake up announcement for the world of drifting as the race for big horsepower cars is giving nitrous an ever more frequent home within the drift world. D1GP is one of the most loosely regulated professional drift series in existence so a blanket ban on a product is a tad shocking. Companies like NOS and NX will be looking closely at other series to hope they don’t make the same rulings we are sure!
While the car is not quite officially unveiled we got this sneak preview email image and a little bit of information to go with the original rumor about a Honda s2000 coming to Formula Drift which Jacob Leveton leaked back on December 10th. Speedfactory is well known for its success in import drag racing is hoping to translate that into a successful Formula Drift series run. The engine will be a turbocharged K24 making 800hp and they hope 700 ft. lbs of torque. General Manager Matthew Hurlbut said, “We’ve known Chris for a long time and we’re fully confident in his abilities to pilot this one of a kind drift car this year.” What does everyone think of the new build in the hands of Chris Jeanneret?
While we have heard whispers of the changes that Danny George was going to expand his program for 2014 and he has now published notes on his changes. The chart is actually interesting to see a three year progression of a driver on one piece of paper as well. His migration from Falken to Hankook is noted along with a move from a 225/50/16 to a 245/50/17 in 2014.
His engine program has been a constant change as well going from 380hp to 560hp and looking for 750hp in 2014. His power was made with various LS engines from a LS1 to a LSX in 14. He has also gained 20 degrees of steering angle since his arrival into Formula Drift. Moving to a 4 speed dog box and a quick change should really make for some insane Mazda Miata next season. What does everyone think of Danny George’s slow progression into a serious Formula Drift title contender?
A reliable source has told us that a Honda S2000 is in the works for the 2014 season. While the source declined to say who the driver would be, they indicated to us that the car has already been purchased and is being prepped as we speak. The last Honda on grid was James Robinson’s Honda Element which competed in Formula D in 2010 (and a few seasons of NOPI Drift). Previously, Stephan Papadakis campaigned an S2000 from 2005 to 2008 before parking the car to focus on running Tanner Foust’s program, and RS*R campaigned an S2000 from 2004 to 2006 with Alex Pfeiffer and later Tyler McQuarrie behind the wheel. Pfeiffer earned a 3rd place finish at Irwindale in 2004, and a 2nd place finish at New Jersey in 2005, while McQuarrie earned a 3rd place finish at Chicago in 2006. 11 different OEM manufacturers competed in 2013, the addition of this car and Charles Ng’s Infiniti G37 would bring that number up to 13.
Who do you think will bring the S2000 to Formula D in 2014?
A rumor going around the pre SEMA parties last night was that Bilstein will be stepping up with GSR Autosport and Michael Essa in 2014 for a possible title sponsorship. They just did collaborate on a BMW 335i giveaway build and Michael Essa brought them a championship early in their relationship. This could be something huge to boost the GSR Autosport team in 2014 as I have heard they are on the hunt for new sponsorships. What do you guys think of this possible partnership?
So if you have noticed all the photos of Dai Yoshihara’s BRZ are showing it plain white (like a canvas you would say) and I confirmed this evening it is sitting in the Falken booth in this stark white form. An eagle eyed reader of Wrecked Magazine pointed out to me today that the windshield banner clearly states a Falken x Forza livery contest to design the car. While details have not been released yet that we could find we only imagine they will come to light this week at the SEMA Show.
The buzz around the paddock this Labor Day weekend is a championship contending driver most likely will face fines/points deduction for actions at Round 5 Evergreen Speedway. We placed our S13 project at tech in the photo above since we didn’t know what to post(so take no hints). We don’t know many details about the violation/issue but it must be pretty substantial if they have taken this long to think it over and issue it I would imagine. Remember Jacob Leveton wrote a report talking about how Ryan Tuerck and Daigo Saito were fined qualifying points for not making a routine weigh in at Round 5 as well. We will keep you posted on the final call made by Formula Drift when it arrives (if any) but we imagine some official ruling will be made by Round 6 at Texas Motor Speedway in two weeks.
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