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2017 Formula Drift Long Beach Round 1 [GALLERY]

alechohnadell odibachkis-alexheilbrunn fredricaasbo-kristapsbluss

The 2017 kicked off with a great event shot by Justin Kaehler. We have a complete collection of images covering the Streets of Long Beach and the first career victory of James Deane in his S15 Silvia. Ryan Tuerck was on fire, DeNofa looked wild in his ne Mustang RTR, and a bunch of Europeans made their Formula Drift debut.

Check out the Gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wreckedmagazine/albums/72157682266689316

2017 Formula Drift Motegi Super Drift Challenge [RESULTS]

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For the fifth consecutive year, Motegi Wheels sponsored the tandem competition that happens at Long Beach Grand Prix, which means a nice prize pool for those drivers who stick around in Southern California after the first round of the season. This year, there would be two different competitions occuring, one Friday and one Saturday. With the expanded schedule, qualifying was skipped in favor of a random draw. Only 14 drivers would enter the event, which meant a few more bye runs this time around. But with two full nights of competition, the Grand Prix crowds got two full nights of drifting under the lights!

Forrest Wang and Ryan Litteral, who are both eligible to run in the Formula Drift Pro series but are choosing to sit the season out, would both enter the event. Formula Drift Pro 2 driver Trent Beechum would also drive in the event.

For the second consecutive year, Matt Field took home a first place trophy. Field won Friday’s competition, with Alex Heilbrunn taking home second place and Forrest Wang winning third place. Heilbrunn took home the bridesmaid trophy for the second consecutive weekend after a major collision between Heilbrunn and Field shortly after initiation was determined to be his fault. Both cars sustained pretty substantial damage in the collision, but both drivers were able to make repairs in less than 24 hours and return for the second night of action.

Motegi Super Drift Friday Results:

1st – Matt Field
2nd – Alex Heilbrunn
3rd – Forrest Wang

/2017-motegi-drift-saturday-podium

For the second night, the tandem brackets were again randomly drawn, and for the second consecutive evening, Alex Heilbrunn found himself in the final round. This time, he would face Forrest Wang, who has never won a Formula Drift event previously, exhibition or otherwise. Wang would emerge the victor, claiming his first career Formula Drift win. Heilbrunn earned his third consecutive carbon fiber trophy, while Dean Kearney would wheel his Dodge Viper to a third place finish.

Motegi Super Drift Saturday Results:

1st – Forrest Wang
2nd – Alex Heilbrunn
3rd – Dean Kearney

Federico Sceriffo Set to Debut Ferrari 599 in Formula Drift

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Rumor on the street is Italian Federico Sceriffo is headed to Formula Drift this season with this yellow Ferrari 599 in tow. A possible Orlando Speed World or Road Atlanta debut is just around the corner for this professional drifter. Here are some videos of him in action in case you have never seen him drift before.

More info on him and car:
https://www.instagram.com/fsceriffo/

https://www.instagram.com/fffdrifting/

A Historical Look at How the Formula Drift Long Beach Winner Finishes the Season

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I made some bold claims that Long Beach wasn’t very relevant to the big picture of a Formula Drift championship. I opted to put my money where my mouth was and crunch the numbers from the past 10 seasons. James Deane and his performance in Long Beach looks like it is about 30% likely to bring him home a Formula Drift championship. An impressive 50% chance he will finish in the Top 3 of Formula Drift this year and an even more impressive statistic of 70% likely to finish in the Top 5. Below is the data I compiled to create these statistics.

2007 Winner – Mitsuru Haraguchi (Finished Season 12th)
2008 Winner – Chris Forsberg (Finished Season 5th)
2009 Winner – Ryan Tuerck (Finished Season 2nd)
2010 Winner – Vaughn Gittin Jr. (Finish Season 1st)
2011 Winner – Justin Pawlak (Finish Season 2nd)
2012 Winner – Justin Pawlak (Finish Season 4th)
2013 Winner – Dai Yoshihara (Finish Season 11th)
2014 Winner – Chris Forsberg (Finish Season 1st)
2015 Winner – Fredric Aasbo (Finish Season 1st)

2016 Winner – Chelsea DeNofa (Finish Season 17th)

10 Things I Learned From Formula Drift Long Beach

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10. Have We Watched Matt Coffman Grow Up Before Our Eyes?
One of the most impressive improvements I saw at Long Beach was Matt Coffman. I’ve always found he had talent but really lacked on the mental side of the game. He would be amazing in practice and then fall apart in Top 32 or over commit and put himself in a bad spot. He was a smooth operator this weekend, finishing in sixth place overall, between Fredric Aasbo and Chris Forsberg. That is some good company. If he can keep that up I would watch out for this dark horse.

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9. Matt Field – My Biggest Disappointment of the Weekend
His car probably deserves the middle finger…. or whatever mess of a disaster happened this weekend for him hopefully can be forgotten real quick. He is sitting in 12th place right now but I had expectations he could really be a front runner in 2017. I hope he didn’t leave his good driving behind in with that customary yellow livery. He needs to turn things around quick if he wants to be relevant in 2017.

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8. Alex Heilbrunn is Where the Hype Should Be
When Alex Heilbrunn got done dominating Pro 2 everyone thought he would arrive in Formula Drift and win all seven rounds at the time. Reality proved to be way more difficult, but Alex has been fighting and fighting his way through the field. My guess is now he is ready to make a big swing for the fences and keep it together for seven more rounds. He landed on the podium last year in New Jersey and looked great in Orlando so another repeat of that performance and he can have a good jump in the standings early.

Read More…

2017 Formula Drift Round 1 at Long Beach [RESULTS]

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James Deane drove his way to a first place finish after qualifying second on the weekend in Long Beach. This track setup does favor a RHD setup but Deane just seemed to crush the competition hands down regardless of the advantage. Alex Heilbrunn was the most impressive driver on the weekend for me knocking out Odi Bakchis and Fredric Aasbo in two amazing battles. The 2017 season is off to a wild start with big name veterans very high up the championship standings. I am working on my 10 Things post already so stay tuned. Here is how they finished:

1st- James Deane
2nd- Alex Heilbrunn
3rd- Ryan Tuerck
4th- Odi Bakchis

 

2017 Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach Qualifying [RESULTS]

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Vaughn Gittin Jr. makes an insane 97 point qualifying run to steal the show on the Streets of Long Beach kicking off the 2017 season. This amazing qualifying run earns him a bye into the Top 16. The Irish wonder James Deane was just a point behind putting down a 96 in his Silvia on this streets course as well. New cars, new problems, and some crashes wrapped up the Friday of Long Beach. Three drivers were unable to get a qualifying point including Kyle Mohan, Charles Ng, and Faruk Kugay.

1. Vaughn Gittin Jr. (97)
2. James Deane (96/91)
3. Ryan Tuerck (96/90)
4. Fredric Aasbo (91/82)
5. Alex Heilbrunn (91/68)
6. Matt Coffman (90)
7. Chris Forsberg (89/87)
8. Odi Bakchis (89/86)
9. Piotr Wiecek (87)
10. Ken Gushi (86)
11. Matt Field (85)
12. Juha Rintanen (83)
13. Kristaps Bluss (81/0)
14. Justin Pawlak (81/0)
15. Michael Essa (81/0)
16. Dean Kearney (80/71)
17. Jhonnathan Castro (78/77)
18. Dai Yoshihara (78/0)
19. Pat Goodin (78/0)
20. Robbie Nishida (77/72)
21. Jeff Jones (77/71)
22. Nate Hamilton (75)
23. Gocha Chivchyan (73)
24. Chelsea DeNofa (72)
25. Cameron Moore (68)
26. Alec Hohnadell (67)
27. Dan Burkett (60)
28. Kyle Mohan (0)
29. Charles Ng (0)
30. Faruk Kugay (0)

Top 32 Bracket
(LEFT)
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs BYE
Dean Kearney vs. J Castro
Odi Bakchis vs. Cameron Moore
Piotr Wiekcek vs. Chelsea DeNofa
Fredric Aasbo vs. BYE
Kristaps Bluss vs. Robbie Nishida
Alex Heilbrunn vs. BYE
Juha Rintanen vs. Jeff Jones

(RIGHT)
James Deane vs. BYE
Michael Essa vs. Dai Yoshihara
Chris Forsberg vs. Alec Hohnadell
Ken Gushi vs. G Chivchyan
Ryan Tuerck vs. BYE
Justin Pawlak vs. Pat Goodin
Matt Coffman vs. Dan Burkett
Matt Field vs. Nate Hamilton

Russian driver Gocha “George” Chivchyan to debut at Formula D Long Beach

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Russian driver Gocha “George” Chivchyan has been testing his Nissan S15 this week up at Willow Springs in prep for his Formula Drift debut this weekend. He will be joining fellow Europeans Piotr Wiecek and James Deane in the competition for the ‘rookie of the year’ title. Here below is a highlight reel of him running in the D1 Grand Prix series. He seems like a solid addition to the growing European roster within Formula Drift.

2017 British Drifting Championship – Round 1 – Rockingham Motor Speedway [RESULTS]

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The British Drifting Championship kicked off the international schedule with their first round over the weekend at Rockingham Motor Speedway. Team Japspeed driver Matt Carter took out all competitors to claim the top step of the podium, while Oliver Evans won the ProAm competition on Saturday before beating most of the “Pro” competition on Sunday! Overall, it was a very competitive round, and the full competition was stream via Facebook and is currently still available on the BDC Facebook Page.

Here’s a look at the final results from Round 1:

1st – Matt Carter
2nd – Oliver Evans
3rd – Marc Huxley
4th – Simon Perry

2017 Just Drift Pro-Am Top Drift – Round 1 [RESULTS]

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Photo Credit: AmDrift

Just Drift kicked off their 2017 Top Drift Pro Am series with more than 40 drivers attempting to qualify for the top 16 tandem eliminations. In the end, some familiar faces found their way to the top of the podium. Sean Adriano, who already has his 2017 Formula D Pro 2 license, took the win over Dominic Martinez in the final battle. Kyle Cameron found the final spot on the podium, surviving the tough tandem ladder to earn his first podium of the season. Just Drift consistently has contributed some of the best drivers to both the Formula D and Formula D Pro 2 grid, so it will b interesting to see who emerges as the top drivers from the season this year.

Here’s a look at the final results of Round 1 of the Top Drift ProAm series:

1st – Sean Adriano
2nd – Dominic Martinez
3rd – Kyle Cameron

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