The guys over at Falken Tire finally have come to the conclusion we hear at Wrecked Magazine to pull Darren McNamara from the left hand drive Nissan 350z as some pretty lackluster performances since crashing the Saturn Sky at Streets of Long Beach. This switch out of the 350z is huge and from what we told cuts him from the ASD program all together.
Two different sources have confirmed however that SPD Metal Works (team who runs 2011 FD Champion Dai Yoshihara S13) will be taking the reigns of the Falken S15 which is now V8 powered. While some drivers like Calvin Wan struggled with the Falken S15 Silvia it was used later by James Deane with great success.
The car is now revamped with a V8 engine since it has seen competition and is also RHD which is the natural driving side Darren McNamara has been driving in during his drift career. The deal seems to still be in the works but we think it will be active by Formula Drift Round 4 at Wall Stadium. What does everyone think of this car swap?
We stumbled upon this photo of Tyler Wolfson’s FD RX-7, currently one of the points leaders after landing on the podium at the most recent round of Top Drift, a Formula Drift Pro-Am Feeder Series. What we noticed was that Tyler appears to have picked up a title sponsor in the form of GT Radial.
GT Radial is already in competition use over in the Formula Drift Asia series and we wonder if this could be a sign of the Chinese manufacturer making it’s way across the pond to chase the success that Achilles is having it’s first year in US Formula Drift competition.
It looks like Hankook is on fire this week after a 2JZ Toyota 86 announcement last night and now they are taking the reigns of a new title sponsorship with a FC Rx-7. The car looks to be overseas (note a MCNSPORT) sticker on the door but not sure if the car is coming to the United States for competition or going somewhere overseas? This was slipped to us in an e-mail we cannot wait to see what is brewing over this sponsorship project.
A rumor we caught wind of at the 2012 Formula Drift Tech Day is that Ryan Tuerck will be driving this Retaks S13.5 formerly piloted by Japanese star Toshiki Yoshioka. The car last time we saw it was a LS7 engine supercharged. I really like the solid silver color of the car they have going this year. No word on sponsorships since the car seems to be blank minus part of Retaks on the rear bumper. Can Ryan Tuerck pull off another Top 10 finish in this car for the new season?
The Dominican Republic champion Jnonnattan Castro is coming to Formula Drift in 2012 to compete. Rumor has it he will be driving the City Tire 350z that was driven by Carl Rydquist in 2009. While it doesn’t sound like Castro will be running the full season he will be around for some events (we guess the West Coast) running this 350z as a Dominican Republic champion. Another international star is heading to America to compete in Formula Drift.
The biggest rumor of the 2012 season floating around is that Patrick Mordaunt has signed a deal with a top four gun company to sponsor his car (which we think is the old APEX’i Lexus SC430). They have kept a pretty good wrap on his new program but once the big announcement comes out we think you will have guns, luxury, and a new tire sponsor. Patrick is a few steps into becoming a third world country warlord at this rate. He just needs to secure some rare resources and more weapons partnerships. All kidding aside we cannot wait to see which of the big gun companies he has brought on board for 2012. Any guesses as to which gun company is stepping up to team up with Patrick for 2012?
Some huge questions have been surrounding the Gardella Racing program and if it will be at Formula Drift for 2012. With just over a month until Formula Drift Streets of Long Beach it seems like this team might not be attending the season opener or the 2012 season at all. Gary Gardella was reached out to by us and we have received nothing back from him.
Here is what we know in a quick little paragraph. For starters Nitto Tire just shot out a press release listing all the teams they are partnering with in 2012 and Gardella Racing wasn’t on the list. They don’t seemingly have a driver signed for the new year. We rumormilled about a partnership with Tyler McQuarrie and Gardella Racing as early as last October but we have confirmed that Tyler hasn’t signed a driver contract to date.
We have been told through other people (so completely hearsay) that Redbull Energy Drink walked away from the program at the end of 2011. The other big sponsor of the program Mobil 1 cannot confirm either way or tell me anything about the program. All in all it sounds like the team has had some big changes and struggles this off-season. Regardless of what the reality is we hope the team will show up in 2012 and perform well with a top driver.
A rumor is floating around that Maxxis Tires might be returning with the MA-Z1 tire for the 2012 season. We did report that BFGoodrich has left drifting for this season so naturally the series has a good place for a replacement. Maxxis Tire at one point was one of the top programs in the sport backing up the likes of Chris Forsberg, Ryan Tuerck, Michael Essa, Joon Maeng, Tony Angelo along with a huge list of grassroots and local drivers. Maxxis Tire is the one of the few tires companies to have a championship under their belt with Chris Forsberg in 2009. The changing of the guard at Maxxis had them pull out of the sport but now they are looking to make a return for 2012! What drivers do you want to see running Maxxis?
The rumormill in the drift industry is buzzing about Patrick Mordaunt stepping into the APEX’i Lexus SC430 for the 2012 season. Earlier this year some people mentioned hearing about Walker Wilkerson stepping into this ride for the season but nothing has surfaced recently about him hopping into the car.
Now in recent weeks several people have mentioned Patrick hopping into this car although he has a prepped S14 and 350z in his possession that could run the series. This build would bring the first opportunity to Patrick Mordaunt to drive a V8 in the Formula Drift series. How do you think he can handle his first go around with a V8 assuming the rumors are true?
Today a magazine has been reporting that Tyler McQuarrie has a deal signed for 2012 and we have confirmed that is not the case at this current time. To catch you up back in the beginning of October he was left go from Falken Tire at the end of the 2011 season. Then we found out he was in New Jersey visiting Gardella Racing which he has continued to be linked with during this off-season. I have confirmed the two teams are still in talks so the deal is not dead but Tyler McQuarrie’s manager confirmed that nothing has been signed either. That about sums up the report but just wanted to confirm that other media outlets are reporting incorrect information this morning. Good luck to Tyler landing a deal for this new season!
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