Something we reported on back in November is the 2011 Formula Drift new tire/weight rule they added to the rulebook. We have heard some mixed feedback from the grid but some positive ones from large teams in the industry. One team spoke off the record with me about how horrible of an idea it was but nobody has said something publicly until now. Conrad issued this statement out on his Facebook page a few minutes ago. The quote below comes from him and 441lbs. is quite a task for weight reduction.
“Really bummed out at the updated Formula Drift tire to weight rule. It basically hasn’t changed anything as far as evening out the field. I would have to shave another 441lbs. out of my Camaro to be competitive.”
The Drivers Search for Gardella Racing has come to a close and Gary Gardella has picked a new driver for the 2011 season. That driver is Irishman Eric O’Sullivan who has a ProDrift championship and two years of Formula Drift experience under his belt. We are not quite sure what car Eric will be in for the new season. We still stand by our Nitto Tire rumor that we reported on earlier and that the team will be leaving Maxxis to partner with Nitto for the 2011 season. Congrats to Eric O’Sullivan for winning the Drivers Search and we hear an official release should be out this week from Gardella Racing.
Word from some reliable sources has it that Papadakis Racing (team owner of Tanner Foust’s Scion tC) has a new Scion FT-86 in it’s possession. We have also been told it might already be caged! We revealed 10 days ago a caged Scion tC that we are certain will be his 2011 Formula Drift car. Judging by the rumored release dates of this Scion FT-86 it appears that Tanner and Steph could be building a 2012 car already to start testing and make this thing a contender in 2012.
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.
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