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!
The Scion Racing tC that ran with Ken Gushi and Hankook Tires for 2011 might not be retired from the sport after all. The rumormill is abuzz this weekend that Drift Alliance member Tony Angelo will be given the tC to run his 2012 season. Not really sure of the Scion tC will have 100% factory support like it did in 2011 with Ken Gushi but we can imagine some of the vehicle sponsors are coming along with the former Formula Drift judge for 2012. This sounds like a great start to the new season for a driver who hasn’t been behind the wheel in Formula Drift for several years. What do you think about Tony Angelo driving this Scion tC?
Robbie Nishida is currently working on this Lexus SC300 for the 2012 Formula Drift season! His new teammate Daigo Saito will also be in a Lexus next season making them the Lexus brothers in the new season. Both cars we can only imagine will come with 2JZ engine power plants and be presented at Streets of Long Beach. Former Urbanracer editor Bob Hernandez is working on a story for some other website and we will make sure the data/news comes to our readers as soon as its made public or we figure it out.
The big rumor and question still remains about the newfound funding/sponsor this team has received in 2012. We keep hearing about a tire company who has stepped on board for them but the 2012 Formula Drift rulebook shows no new approved tires to date for the series.
We have more information on this Scion FR-S build happening with Ken Gushi next season! It sounds like RS*R is taking a backseat like we posted a rumormill of earlier and they have a new company taking over building of the Scion. The Toyota GT-86 has been everywhere this weekend and we documented some production photos of what the car looks like as a production model. With a relationship already in place between Scion Racing and Greddy (see the Scion tC above) it sounds like they are going to call on them to complete the 2012 Scion FR-S build for Ken Gushi. We cannot wait to see what they will cook up for the new drifting season.
Its the off season and rumors are starting to pop up left and right. Walker Wilkerson just posted through his Facebook, and Twitter page that he’ll be driving a teal and blue Falken Tire silvia during drift demos at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. Since Tyler McQuarrie left Team Falken Tire there’s a seat to fill. Could Walker be hinting at whats to from this 2012 Formula Drift season?
In case you don’t follow the former Falken Tire driver Tyler McQuarrie on Facebook he threw up some mentions about being in New Jersey. Following his firing and telling Bill Wood he had some offers form other teams (and Ryan Tuerck being looked at by RMR) our eyes perked up at these posts. Well it turns out that after a few phone calls I made that Tyler McQuarrie did pay a visit to Gardella Racing on the trip. Not sure that was the only purpose of his trip but it sure seems to be that way. He did quite a bit of hanging out with Gary Gardella and around Gardella Racing HQ in New Jersey in general. What would everyone think about Tyler McQuarrie driving the Gardella Racing Chevrolet Camaro in Formula Drift for 2012?
Tony Angelo announced his retirement from the judges stand and a return to driving in 2012 last night at the 2011 Formula Drift banquet. The blog post has turned into a hot buzz of talk who people think should be his replacement in the hot seat. Who do you think should take the judges stand next year and why!? If we can get a few names said over and over again we will launch a poll later in the week.
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