Tony Angelo

6 Places That Could Replace Irwindale Speedway Once it Shuts Down

NateHamilton.IrwindaleSpeedway

I wrote an article last week about the future of Irwindale Speedway which you can read here if you want to know what the facts I was able to gather from various sources on what the future holds for the House of Drift. For the time being, the track is standing and operational but the future is not promising for this icon of American drifting. I put some serious thought into what Formula Drift will do once the track turns into a shopping mall and came up with these six realistic options.

D1GPdriversSearch.JICMagic
1. California Speedway in Fontana, California
The reality is that California Speedway is the only other large racing venue in Southern California that can house 20,000 people and provide a track event. California Speedway has been host to a D1GP Drivers Search back in 2004 and a JGTC weekend drift event on the infield. I think this is the most likely alternative for Formula Drift but it will be far from a turn key operation for them. The place needs grandstands moved onto the infield regardless of where they want to drift and the walk from the parking lot will be a HIKE. Let’s also not forget about how much hotter the weather can get in Fontana even though the tracks are 35 miles apart. My guess is they would setup a course on the infield (hopefully not the old JGTC course because it sucked) and build the event around whatever area they want to use.

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2. Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, Arizona
If I made this list before the 2015 SEMA Show I wouldn’t of had this track on my 12 Places to replace Irwindale Speedway list. However, Formula Drift added the Pro 2 finals here for 2016 and you have to consider they are test piloting this race facility for future expansion. Why else would they be rolling into Arizona and splitting off Pro 2 to have its own final? I have the least amount of personal knowledge with this venue but it seems like successful events have happened here such as the Turbo by Garrett event called Boostfest. Not sure how setup and layout would work but I imagine this venue is near the top of the list regardless of these issues. Saying this venue has proximity to Southern California is a stretch at a solid 6 hour drive for most fans in the area.

MattPowers.TopQualfier.LasVegas
3. Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada
A grand return to the City of Sin seems like a natural fit for the series. By their own records, they pulled in around 16,000 fans to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the past before leaving the venue and region for Texas. The event took place at night during August and still maintained a heat index of well over 100 degrees. I was always a voice shouting for an earlier in the year Las Vegas drift event but who knows what the cards would hold if they return. The Vegas scene is a strong one with frequent events hosted by Vegas Drift and now Street Driven Tour is throwing down every September at LVMS. I can see fans traveling to this one with the couple hour drive from SoCal along with the added bonus of a fun weekend in Vegas.

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Chris Forsberg vs. Tony Angelo and a Taser [VIDEO]

Chris Forsberg hopped in his missile car and headed out to Englishtown Raceway to complete the first taser drift challenge. Drift Alliance teammate sat in the passenger seat of his missile car zapping him with a taser in the throttle leg, heart, and shifting arm as he attempts to drift around a course.

Full List of LiveStreams Showing Drifting This Weekend


Morning: King of Europe Round 3 @ Lydden Hill UK (6:00am PST / 9:00am EST)
47 drivers will take on one of the UK’s toughest drift tracks this weekend known as Lydden Hill. Francesco Conti looks to defend his current hold he has on the championship while others plan to knock him down.

Watch Here: http://www.kingofeurope.net/live/

DmitiryIllyuk
Afternoon: Drift All-Stars Round 2 @ Sosnova Circuit (11:00am PST / 2:00pm EST)
You can see some of the top European talents all come together in the Czech Republic in the afternoon in America. The event kicks off at 8:00pm local time and by some Google research I found that Czech was a -9 from America (you probably want to check my math and logic before banking on the event starting when I have it listed). You will see James Deane, Dmitriy Illyuk, Nigel Coffer, and Piotr Więcek all banging doors on this impressively laid out road course. Keep an eye out for Benjamin Boulbes (pictured above) who is looking to make a strong showing in the main event as well.

Watch Here: http://live.drift-allstars.com/
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Evening: Triple Crown Drift @ Pikes Peak (2:00pm PST / 5:00pm EST)
To finish off the big drift Saturday you can watch some good old American drifting at Pikes Peak International Raceway. We haven’t found an official drivers list but Formula D driver Matt Field won the round last year and Tony Angelo found his way to the podium. We do know that Chris Forsberg and Odi Bakchis will be in attendance for the event tomorrow as well. The drift event will be streamed on this website for free tomorrow.

Watch Here: http://watchtcs.com/index.asp.html

StreetwiseDrift
Night Cap: Streetwise Drift Round 2 @ Orlando Speed World (4:30pm PST / 7:30pm EST)
Streetwise Drift Pro Am Round 2 appears to be the only Formula Drift Pro Am event of the weekend with a Livestream. The 4:30/7:30 kick off denotes Top 16 but they will also air all the practice runs so you can pretty much tune in all day and see drifting from OSW. Plenty of familiar Pro Am level drivers will be in competition fighting for a Formula Drift license.

Watch Here: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/1430667/events/3127168

IrishDriftChampionship
Sunday Morning: Irish Drift Championship Round 3 @ Mondello Park (4:00am PST / 7:00am EST)
The early morning drift fans will be treated to some amazing drifting at Mondello Park for IDC Round 3 Global Warfare. This is the closest track to Dublin and has some of the best fans you can find in Europe. If you need another reason to wake up early tomorrow is that you can find Daigo Saito, Robbie Nishida, Darren McNamara and Dean Kearney who American drift fans might be familiar with. The Irish drivers really have some local talent that will be on display as well.

Watch Here: http://www.irishdriftchampionship.com/livestream/#

2014 Formula Drift Round 4 – Wall Qualifying [RESULTS]

ForsbergAtlanta

Qualifying from Wall Speedway is in! One of the biggest (if not biggest) grid we have seen at Wall in history. Also, never have we seen so many ties in Formula Drift history. Almost 75% of drivers were on a point style that came down to style (style points denoted on tiebreakers. Style ties were broke by championship rank.) Here is how they finished up:

1. Chris Forsberg – 93
2. Chelsea DeNofa – 92
3. Michael Essa – 90
4. Dai Yoshihara – 89
5. Odi Bakchis – 87 (46 Style)
6. Tyler McQuarrie – 87 (45 Style)
7. Fredric Aasbo – 87 (44 Style)
8. Kenneth Moen – 85
9. Conrad Grunewald – 84 (43 Style)
10. Forrest Wang – 84 (41 Style)
11. Kyle Mohan – 83
12. Matt Field – 82 (42 Style)
13. Ryan Tuerck – 82 (41 Style)
14. Vaughn Gittin Jr. – 82 (40 Style)
15. Darren McNamara – 79 (42 Style)
16. Robbie Nishida – 79 (40 Style)
17. Marc Landerville – 79 (32 Style)
18. Pat Goodin – 78
19. Dennis Mertzanis – 76
20. Daigo Saito – 75 (37 Style)
21. Mats Baribeau – 75 (35 Style)
22. Justin Pawlak – 74 (35 Style)
23. Jhonnathan Castro – 74 (35 Style)
24. Karl Osaki – 74 (33 Style)
25. Ken Gushi – 73 (36 Style)
26. Tony Angelo – 73 (36 Style)
27. Charles Ng – 72 (36 Style)
28. Ryan Kado – 72 (33 Style)
29. Dave Briggs – 72 (32 Style)
30. Dean Kearney – 70 (37 Style)
31. Patrick Mordaunt – 70 (32 Style)
32. Joon Maeng – 68

 

 

LEFT BRACKET
Chris Forsberg vs. Joon Maeng
Robbie Nishida vs. Marc Landerville
Kenneth Moen vs. Ken Gushi
Conrad Grunewald vs. Karl Osaki
Dai Yoshihara vs. Dave Briggs
Ryan Tuerck vs. Daigo Saito
Odi Bakchis vs. Ryan Kado
Matt Field vs. Mats Baribeau

RIGHT BRACKET
Chelsea DeNofa vs. Patrick Mordaunt
Darren McNamara vs. Pat Goodin
Fredric Aasbo vs. Tony Angelo
Forrest Wang vs. Jhonnattan Castro
Michael Essa vs. Dean Kearney
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Dennis Mertzanis
Tyler McQuarrie vs. Charles Ng
Kyle Mohan vs. Justin Pawlak

2014 Formula Drift Round 3 at Miami Homestead Qualifying [RESULTS]

ChrisForsberg

Chris Forsberg won top qualifying circumstances in such odd conditions due to tiebreakers. The reason he won top qualifier today was due to him being first in the championship. Dai Yoshihara never turned a wheel in qualifying due to mechanical issues just like Round 2 in Road Atlanta. The other big name who failed to make Top 32 was Daigo Saito who continues to struggle through the 2014 season. Here is how the Top 32 finished:

1. Chris Forsberg- 89
2. Vaughn Gittin Jr.- 89
3. Kenneth Moen- 86
4. Conrad Grunewald- 86
5. Forrest Wang- 85
6. Tyler McQuarrie- 85
7. Fredric Aasbo- 84
8. Justin Pawlak- 83
9. Ken Gushi- 81
10. Alec Hohnadell- 81
11. Chelsea DeNofa- 81
12. Odi Bakchis- 80
13. Matt Field- 80
14. Charles Ng- 79
15. Jhonnathan Castro- 77
16. Ryan Tuerck- 77
17. Dan Savage- 77
18. Mats Baribeau- 76
19. Dave Briggs- 76
20. Michael Essa- 76
21. Geoff Stoneback- 75
22. Pat Goodin- 74
23. Carl Ryquist- 74
24. Robbie Nishida- 74
25. Jeff Jones- 73
26. Matt Coffman- 72
27. Kyle Mohan- 71
28. Dennis Mertzanis- 71
29. Dean Kearney- 70
30. Darren McNamara- 69
31. Danny George- 69
32. Tony Angelo- 68

Top 32 Tandem Battles (Edit: Bold names won the top 32 matchup)
Chris Forsberg vs. Tony Angelo
Ryan Tuerck vs. Rapper Dan Savage
Justin Pawlak vs. Jeff Jones
Ken Gushi vs. Robbie Nishida
Conrad Grunewald vs. Dean Kearney
Matt Field vs. Michael Essa
Forrest Wang vs. Dennis Mertzanis
Odi Bakchis vs. Geoff Stoneback

Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Danny George
Jhonnathan Castro vs. Mats Baribeau
Fredric Aasbo vs. Matt Coffman
Alec Hohnadell vs. Carl Rydquist
Kenneth Moen vs. Darren McNamara
Charles Ng vs. Dave Briggs
Tyler McQuarrie vs. Kyle Mohan
Chelsea DeNofa vs. Pat Goodin

Tandem Train over at East Coast Bash [VIDEO]

Chris Forsberg posted this Instagram video of the Drift Alliance and friends having a blast at Englishtown! Don’t worry, we have Dan Jenkins on the scene and will have a ton of images and content coming up on the site very soon!

2014 Formula Drift Round 1 – A Review of the Top 32

MichaelEssa

Michael Essa qualified first this weekend – backing up his top qualifying spot at Irwindale Speedway last year. This makes two events in a row with a top qualifying spot for his E46 BMW. His first battle of the weekend was against Jeremy Richter who zeroed out on his follow run and then called a competition timeout. He was unable to return to the event and gave Michael Essa a pass to the Top 16.

PatMordaunt.BlownMotor

Pat Mordaunt blew his second engine of the week in the final practice session and gave Mats Baribeau and easy pass into the Top 16. His Hyundai Genesis (with red seats – not to be confused with Dennis Mertzanis’ Genesis that has black seats) retained the V6 Lambda motor which has continued to be a problem setup for the ARK team.ChelseaDeNofa.DennisMertzanis

Chelsea DeNofa was seemingly on his way to a victory over Dennis Mertzanis when his car shut off right by the horseshoe exit. Sources tell me he broke an axle and the mechanical gremlins continue to fall apart with the build. Dennis was given an easy pass to the Top 16 in his 1000hp Hyundai.

ForrestWang.CarlRyqduist

These guys were the first Top 32 battle to actually make two successful passes on the weekend. In the lead run Carl made a huge error resulting in a zero from the judges or a huge deduction. Forrest Wang on his follow run just sat back a little took it easy, which got him into the Top 16. All three judges favored Forrest Wang to move on.

GeoffStoneback.KennethMoen

Geoff Stoneback was the highlighted rookie of this weekend. After overcoming transport issues and clutch issues he managed to drive his way into the Top 32. He was sent packing by Kenneth Moen after two battles, but proved as a rookie he can overcome the diversity of the sport. Kenneth also looked unbeatable through most of the weekend.

The highlight of this tandem battle was the big wreck on Kyle Mohan’s follow run. These guys actually put on the best show of the weekend until Kyle planted his car into the wall, shattering his wheel. Robbie actually spins in a separate incident (off camera to LiveStream viewers) resulting in both drivers getting a 0 on the second run. The judges, after reviewing the first tandem battle where Kyle Mohan led gave, him the victory.

KyleMohan.Damage

Kyle and his team borrowed some taillights from a car in their paddock and got to work on replacements. Speaking with Kyle after the round, the team managed to get the car back on the road with a new wheel, brake lines, other small items, and one serious alignment. He does get the car back on track for the Top 16 introductions which is quite impressive!

MarcLanderville

Marc Landerville and Fredric Aasbo was another actually solid battle. Marc maybe even had a slight advantage after the first run groupings but really messed up his exit on turn 10 and went way shallow. That was the nail in his coffin and allowing Fredric to advance into the 16. All three judges picked Fredric to advance into 16.JCastro.ConradGrunewald

Jhonnattan Castro looked impressive in his CFR built Nissan 370z this weekend, but ran a little too conservative to defeat Conrad Grunewald in the Camaro. Castro looked far improved from any performance he had given in the past. Conrad really outshined him on the chase run letting Conrad move into the 16.

DaveBriggs.VaughnGittinJr

Dave Briggs was on fire with his performance over the weekend. In fact, he was putting out WAY more smoke than Vaughn Gittin Jr. throughout these battles. He drove Vaughn to a OMT after the first set of runs. Dave Briggs had an insane lead run and Vaughn Gittin Jr. made contact with the wall throwing him off line through turn 10. After the contact Dave has a huge correction, forcing the judges into a OMT. All three judges called for the first OMT battle.

During the OMT battle, Dave  fell a little behind on the follow run probably leaving him at a slight disadvantage as Vaughn went wall to wall without hesitation. Briggs’ lead run was awesome but he couldn’t make up the big amount of space he left when chasing Vaughn. All three judges favored Vaughn to advance!

DeanKearney

The Irish battle took place with Dean Kearney facing Darren McNamara. Dean looked insane with the Dodge Viper when he could complete the course. He was bringing out one aggressive snap entry into 10 and flying through the course. After watching both runs again and again after the event, I think the judges could of taken this either way. The judges really should of sent this battle to a OMT in my opinion, but they ended up calling it all three for Darren McNamara.

DaiYoshihara

Neither of these drivers were excited about this Top 32 draw. Dai Yoshihara in a new twin turbo V8 Subaru BRZ surely wanted an easier tandem partner for his first competition round in the new car. Chris Forsberg showed little remorse with two insanely solid runs dispatching Dai in the Subaru BRZ. All three judges favored with Chris Forsberg to move into the 16.

PatGoodin.DaigoSaito

Pat Goodin and Daigo Saito was one for the ages! Pat Goodin actually out qualified Daigo Saito so he was given the ability to lead first. Daigo was glued to Pat Goodin and didn’t give him enough space to transition heading into the horseshoe. Daigo smashed into his rear quarter panel leaving his bumper behind.

Sadly for Daigo Saito he already used his competition timeout in qualifying so he was unable to fix his car. Daigo attempted to bring the car out back to the start line but clearly had a serious front suspension issue and had to let Pat Goodin advance into the Top 16.

TylerMcQuarrie

Tyler McQuarrie and Tony Angelo was a tame contest. Tyler was just clearly faster around the course and easily dispatched Tony Angelo who experienced various driveline issues throughout the week.

KenGushi.OdiBakchis

Ken Gushi and Odi Bakchis was one of my favorite battles of the Top 32. Odi Bakchis had an insane chase really showing he has progressed a ton in the off-season. In the photo above, Odi Bakchis is so close you cannot even see his car buried by Ken Gushi’s Scion FR-S. All three judges easily went with Odi Bakchis to move into the 16.

JTP.FordMustang

Justin Pawlak stole the playbook from old Falken Tire teammate Haraguchi and used a feint entry into Turn 9. Why the judges or anyone said this was okay is beyond me! He continued this entry to gap drivers on his lead and then dove in normally on his follow run. It was kind of a lame strategy but the judges allowed this to take place.

Justin then parked it (hence the photo) on his second run and didn’t take off. He claimed Jeff Jones jumped the light and he couldn’t catch up. Jeff Jones ran the whole course in quite an impressive fashion but managed to break an axle before he returned. Jeff Jones called a competition time out but couldn’t fix his car, so JTP was allowed to advance into the 16. It was quite a strategic play overall from his perspective , but really sold the fans short of a good battle.

AlecHohnadell

Alec Hohnadell was the one of the three rookies to qualify into the Top 32. In his follow, run he really held his own following Ryan Tuerck with only a minor steering correction as his only deduction. In the end, Ryan Tuerck dismissed the rookie but he really performed well. I feel like with an easier draw in the 32, Alec could have advanced into the Top 16.

 

This wraps up the Top 32 round guys and we will have a Top 16 to podium summary also coming out very soon!

Formula Drift Long Beach Practice/Qualifying [GALLERY]

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Formula Drift Long Beach kicks off this weekend. Check out the rest of the gallery:

http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=385

Formula Drift Round 1 Bracket Breakdown with Tandem Battles

KenGushi

Here are the Top 32 brackets and we grouped together the potential Top 16 pairings as well. Sit back and get ready for an insane Round 1 of Formula Drift with the new season officially underway. Here is how they are set:

LEFT BRACKET

1 Michael Essa vs. 32 Jeremy Richter
16 Patrick Mordaunt vs. 17 Mats Baribeau

8 Chelsea DeNofa vs. 25 Dennis Mertzanis
9 Forrest Wang vs. 24 Carl Rydquist

4 Kenneth Moen vs. 29 Geoff Stoneback
13 Kyle Mohan vs. 20 Robbie Nishida

5 Fredric Aasbo vs. 28 Marc Landerville
12 Conrad Grunewald vs. 21 Jhonnathan Castro

RIGHT BRACKET

2 Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. 30 Dave Briggs
15 Darren McNamara vs. 18 Dean Kearney

7 Chris Forsberg vs. 25 Daijiro Yoshihara
10 Pat Goodin vs. 23 Daigo Saito

3 Tyler McQuarrie vs. 30 Tony Angelo
14 Odi Bakchis vs. 19 Ken Gushi

6 Justin Pawlak vs. 27 Jeff Jones
12 Ryan Tuerck vs. 22 Alec Hohnadell

Formula Drift Long Beach 2014 Qualifying [RESULTS]

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1. Michael Essa
2. Vaughn Gittin
3. Tyler McQuarrie
4. Kenneth Moen
5. Fredric Aasbo
6. Justin Pawlak
7.Chris Forsberg
8. Chelesa Denofa
9. Forrest Wang
10. Pat Goodin
11. Ryan Tuerck
12. Conrad Gruenwald
13. Kyle Mohna
14. Odi Bakchis
15. Darren McNamara
16. Pat Mordaunt
17. Mats Baribeau
18. Dean Kearney
19. Ken Gushi
20. Robbie Nishida
21. Jhonnattan Castro
22. Alec Hohnadell
23. Daigo Saito
24. Carl Rydquist
25. Dennis Mertzanis
26. Dai Yoshihara
27. Jeff Jones
28. Marc Landreville
29. Geoff Stoneback
30. Tony Angelo
31. Dave Briggs
32. Jeremy Richter

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