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.
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
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:
Bridges Racing will be supporting both James Deane and Piotr Więcek for their 2017 Formula Drift campaign in addition to Dean Kearney. Bridges Racing has supported Kearney for the past five seasons, but has supported multiple drivers in past seasons including the championship season of Daigo Saito in 2012. Deane and Więcek’s entry into Formula Drift has been some of the biggest news in the off-season, and seeing them team up with a team that has operated logistics for multiple cars in Formula Drift can only be seen as an advantage that will let them focus on learning the new courses and judging criteria.
The Worthouse Nissan S15’s are already being prepped at Bridges Racing HQ in Huntington Beach since they landed last week, and will make their competitive debut this weekend at Long Beach.
Fredric Aasbo debuted his Toyota Corolla iM today on the internet by recreating the opening scene of the famed Initial D series from Japan in his new car. Aasbo’s new car, built by Stephan Papadakis, maintains the same 2.7L 2AR-FE powerplant as his Scion tC, which should ease the transition between the two cars. While the Corolla iM seems like a short car due to the hatchback nature and lack of a rear bumper, the wheelbase is actually 1″ longer than the Toyota GT86 at 102.4″, so it shouldn’t face any of the twitchiness that shorter wheelbase cars sometimes face.
Here’s a great behind-the-scenes video of the car build by our friends over at Speed Academy. This video was shot back in January, when the car was still very naked, but there’s a lot of technical description of the build from Stephan Papadakis. Sounds like the suspension geometry is very similar to the tC, which will also aid in the car being competitive quickly. Read More…
Falken Tire, winner of the 2016 Tire Manufacturers Cup has returned to Formula DRIFT as the Official Tire Sponsor of Formula DRIFT.
In addition, they have announced six drivers competing on Falken Tires in the series this year; veterans Daijiro ‘Dai’ Yoshihara and Justin ‘JTP’ Pawlak, the return of the famous Falken Tire teal and blue liveries for Matt Field and Aurimas ‘Odi’ Bakchis, and Europeans James Deane and Piotr Wieck.
Falken Tire will also be offering additional activation at events in the form of dealer hospitality, spokesmodel meet & greets, drier autograph signings, and a learning center display through its Falken rig at most of the 8 rounds.
As we approach Round 1 of the 2017 Formula DRIFT season in just a couple weeks, it looks like this relatively slow off season may finally start getting a lot more announcements between now and then. Kicking this Monday off is 2010 Formula DRIFT Champion Vaughn Gittin JR and his RTR Motorsports team officially announcing the addition of Chelsea DeNofa as a teammate. DeNofa will be in a brand new 2017 Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D while Gittin will return in his Mustang RTR with an updated look.
Both the Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D driven by Vaughn and BC Racing Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D driven by Chelsea are powered by brand new Ford Performance/Roush Yates Engines RY45 motors, producing 2,000 combined horsepower with a 9,000-rpm redline. The RY45 builds on the continued relationship with Ford Performance and Roush Yates in developing competition based motors specifically for the RTR Motorsports Formula Drift program. A proprietary BC Racing coilover suspension system allows both Vaughn and Chelsea to perfectly tune the dynamics of their RTRs, with sticky Nitto NT05s putting all that power to the ground.
Two years ago, the guys over at Villians dreamt up the idea of building a replica track of Meihan in Walla Walla, WA. Fast forward to today, and it looks like they are pretty close to making that dream a reality. After dealing with the usual red tape, they’ve got a plan together and they need your support to make it finalized within the next 30 days (March 7 – April 6).
They plan to offer 3 events a year for the next 10 years (length of the lease), with the events in 2017 scheduled for June 23, August 4, and September 8. They are offering 3 options for support:
Lifetime Membership (10 years) – $500 – Covers all your entry fees for the duration of the membership
Single Event – $165 – Gets you a single weekend entry
Support Pack – $50 – If you can’t or don’t plan to make it out to the venue, but love drifting and still want to see this project succeed you can donate
If the goal is met and you didn’t donate, you can still drive, but it’s going to cost you $165/event. If the goal is not met by the deadline, they will issue everyone who donated a full refund on April 7.
Chris Forsberg recently posted up on Instagram that one of his extremely loud and reliable 9,000 RPM Nissan VK56 V8 engines are up for sale due to the buildout of his new twin-turbo V6 engine. According to Chris, it is the most powerful, naturally aspirated Nissan engine in the world and built to handle nitrous if you need even more power. Hopefully it’ll end up in the hands of someone that will enjoy it and use it to continue burning up tires and tracks somewhere nearby. Serious inquiries can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
It looks like Daigo Saito will be running a C6 Corvette in D1 Grand Prix in Japan and according to Wanli, is set to return to Formula Drift for 2017. The Wanli release isn’t quite clear on their return to Formula Drift but we assume Daigo Saito will be running with them. Not sure on any other drivers that will be running with them but Fredric Aasbo did run on them in Asia last year from what we understand. Here is what the Wanli release says from Tokyo Auto Salon.
“In 2017, Wanli Tire will keep cooperating with Daigo Saito in D1 to defend champion honor and to participate in American FORMULA DRIFT to realize Wanli Tire’ dream dominating the drift fields of China, Japan, USA, Russia. Daigo Saito’s car participating in D1 Grand Prix 2017, CORVETTE, also appeared in TAS in advance which indicated its determination to win the champion again.”