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Are We Going to See A Matt Powers 2015 Return?

MattPowers_Texas

We just noticed that Matt Powers was added to the Pro 2 drivers list on the Formula Drift website. This could be a pretty interesting return as Matt is easily one of the most fan favorite drivers in the series history. Matt Powers has been active overseas with special events like the Redbull Drift Shifters in New Zealand. Matt even brought in new sponsorship with Fenix Performance for the season which debuted at Drift Shifters recently as well. What do you think of his potential return?

Michael Essa Makes Camaro and SLP Sponsorship Official for 2015

EssaAutosport

A couple weeks ago we reported on a rumormill about Michael Essa stepping into a Chevrolet Camaro. Today, Essa Autosport confirmed our suspicions today with an official PR announcing his debut of a Chevrolet Camaro and a partnership with SLP (Street Legal Performance). The Essa Autosport team is sure on a thin deadline to get this car ready for testing and a debut at Streets of Long Beach.

ChevroletCamaro.FormulaDrift

Even more interesting is together with SLP and parent company Roush, Essa Autosport will be teaming up with friend Justin Pawlak, making for an interesting Chevy vs. Ford battle in the Formula Drift paddock. How do you think Essa will do in this American V8 for 2015?

Three Palms Drift Pro Am Round 2 [RECAP]

ThreePalmsDrift
Coming into the second round of Three Palms Drift, the driver list showed some familiar names returning as well as some new drivers gunning for their Pro-2 licenses. This round showed many driver’s weak and strong points, resulting in more than one upset. Round 2 was held under the lights for its Top 16 competition which threw a lot of the top contenders off. Judges consisted of Pat Goodin, Gregg Bucell and guest judge, Geoff Stoneback. Needless to say, it was one hell of a fun event.

KelseyRowlings.ThreePalms

The biggest upset of the event had to be the number one qualifier, Kelsey Rowlings, being knocked out in the Top 8 after her Top 16 by-run. It was a tough break for Rowlings and her team because her run started off to be one of the best of the night. On the first outside zone, Rowlings wall tapped a little too hard, forcing in her to straighten out and later spin, coming off the bank. She did an amazing job recovering and kept the car off the wall, resulting in no further damage.

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Conrad Grunewald goes drifting on Mythbusters [VIDEO]


Conrad Grunewald will be making a special guest appearance on the famed Mythbusters TV show this coming weekend. Discovery Channel posted this cool trailer to the episode on their webpage, where you can clearly see Conrad’s 900hp+ Chevy Camaro. Be sure to tune in on Saturday at 9pm / 8 Central on the Discovery Channel to watch the full episode!

Vegas Drift Pro Am Now Expands to Southwest Drift Pro Am

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The Formula Drift Pro Am series Vegas Drift has expanded to cover the complete region of the southwest in 2015. The series is now five rounds expanding into Phoenix, Denver, and Albuquerque. The top three drivers in the series will be issued a Formula Drift Pro 2 license for the following year.

Schedule
2/4 Round 1 – Phoenix, AZ @ Bondurant Racing School West
4/26 Round 2 – Las Vegas, NV @ LVMS
5/30 Round 3 – Las Vegas, NV @ LVMS
6/28 Round 4 – Denver, CO @ Colorado National Speedway
9/5-9/6 Round 5 – Albuquerque, NM @ Napa Speedway

Full Schedule of Drift Events Here: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/find-an-event-the-best-drift-event-calendar/

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The Southwest Drift Pro Am will also be providing a Livestream starting this year at the Phoenix Pro Am Round 1 upcoming this weekend. Spotters and teams can also be provided live scoring information direct from the judges stand showing a huge advancement in technical capabilities from the series itself.  Listed judges for the 2015 season are Forrest Wang, Odi Bakchis, Brandon Wicknick, George Marstanovic, Tommy Suell, and Ernie Fixmer.

Odi Bakchis Set to Drive ARK Hyundai Genesis in 2015? [RUMORMILL]

DennisMertzanis

A few people hinted us that Odi Bakchis could be taking over the ARK Hyundai Genesis ride for the 2015 Formula Drift season. We didn’t have much evidence to back up this rumor until Odi took to Instagram last night and posted the Genesis itself. Odi hinted at he was fixing “the other car” which could easily imply his new Formula Drift ride.

OdiBakchis.Instgram2

We do know that Patrick Mordaunt has already stepped down from the ARK team which we reported on recently. Even though the cars look very similar we do know that the photograph Odi posted is actually of the Hyundai Genesis driven by Dennis Mertzanis. The photo Odi posted features a yellow roll cage and Takata Racing seats which are both unique traits of the 1000hp V8 Hyundai used by Dennis in 2014. You can find some photos of the cars interior to confirm they are the same vehicle here. Dennis Mertzanis did fail to keep his pro license after a very poor performance in the car. How do you think Odi could do in this Genesis if he winds up making the move to it for 2015?

UPDATE @ 4:13pm PST / February 10th

I emailed with Odi and posted a schedule of his car usage for the 2015 season. The pending issue might be the Canada round and if his car can return from Japan or not with shipping. If the car doesn’t make it, he will run his 240sx at this round.

Odi Bakchis 2015 Schedule
Long Beach – Genesis
Atlanta – 240sx
Orlando – 240sx
Wall – 240sx
Japan – Genesis
Seattle – 240sx
Texas – 240sx
Canada – Genesis
Irwindale – 240sx
China – Genesis

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Drift Buffet’s Comeback: All You Can Drift

MazdaRX7

February has been a good month so far – the Patriots won the Superbowl (shocking, I know), the Groundhog saw his shadow (YAY just what I wanted, six more weeks of winter), and Drift Buffet made a comeback. Yep, you heard me – DRIFT BUFFET is back.

In a nutshell, Drift Buffet was and is a big deal for the drivers here on the West Coast. The East Coast has a premiere grassroots drifting scene, especially with a series like Club Loose that breeds world-class drivers, while maintaining the passion and sense of grassroots drifting. On the West Coast, however, there haven’t been many long lasting grassroots series.

The first Drift Buffet event of this decade happened on February 1 at Grange Motor Circuit and it was full of “all you can drift” epic, non-stop drift action. This last event featured dozens of drivers, with a few Formula Drift (FD) competitors in attendance.

FD driver Eric Hill summarizes the event perfectly,

“Drift Buffet’s event at Grange [Motor Circuit] was an extremely fun event. I was skeptical at first since go kart tracks are usually small and slow. Don’t let the size fool you though, 80 mph entries and tons of really tight and technical turns allowed friends to enjoy some tight tandems. Plus with the small amount of drivers, seat time was definitely not an issue. The only thing I should have done differently was to bring more tires.”

 

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Kristaps Blušs of HGK Motorsports and 2014 EEDC Champion is Coming to Formula Drift

EEDC.Latvia

A third driver petition has been accepted allowing them to compete in the big show for 2015. The driver is Kristaps Blušs who dominated the EEDC series this season in his HGK Motorsports build BMW. Kristaps has some very unique flair to his driving style which I think will him a really interesting competitor for 2015 Rookie of the Year against Masashi Yokoi and Nikolett Szanto. Kristaps drives his BMW in a similar fashion to how Forrest Wang throws his Silvia around from what I have seen of his driving. He is a big WiseFab driver and some of the builds that I have seen come out of HGK Motorsports are nothing short of impressive. However, most of their builds are not even close to Formula Drift legal so it will be interesting to see if they opt to build a new car for the Formula Drift rulebook or maybe purchase an E46 that won a championship in Formula D and is now collecting dust down in Orange County from Michael Essa?

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Masashi Yokoi is the Next Japanese Driver Heading into Formula Drift

MasashiYokoi

Masashi Yokoi, who dominated Formula Drift Japan last year, is now heading to Formula Drift for the 2015 season. He had some insane style over at FD Japan in December sweeping up everyone who got in his way and finishing in front of Formula Drift top ranked drivers Daigo Saito and Fredric Aasbo to get the win. Back in the FD Japan results page we hinted at rumors that he was filing for a Formula Drift petition and it seems that the series has accepted it. He is now listed on the Formula Drift website as a Pro 1 driver with a rookie class that currently features Nikolett Szanto. Not a ton of details have been released about what he will be driving and who his partnerships are but we will keep you updated as soon as we know anything. Videos below.
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Two Drift Videos That Will Make You Wish You Attended Sonoma Winter Jam

I like that we are putting these two videos together because it represents two complete different experiences at the same event weekend. The video above by Carbon Studios puts tons of focus and content on the old Formula Drift course layout while the video below from KDF puts a ton of focus on the parking lot course at the main entrance. It goes to show you this event brings together a ton of fun and awesome drifting at a terrible time of the year to be outside in Northern California.