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Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver Preview – Tommy Van Cleef

TommyVanCleef

The Streetwise Drift Champion, Tommy Van Cleef looks to make his 2015 Formula Drift Pro2 debut but his car got an early start thanks to Chelsea Denofa. Well, until Chelsea broke it. However, before the disaster struck at Round 2 of Road Atlanta, Tommy’s vintage liveried Toyota Mk III Supra looked good not only in a visual sense but a performance sense as the car was able to get Chelsea qualified. Tommy didn’t get his start in drifting but instead started at the very tender age of 7 in the World Karting Association. He was fast from that start as he won 6 Nationals and campaigned professionally in karts until 2006. He earned an invite to the Skip Barber Racing Scholarship Shootout, raced in the SCCA Show Room Stock C, and instructs at the BMW Performance Driving School. It was in 2011 that Tommy got his start in drifting with the Supra Turbo with its 7M-GTE until 2013 and replaced it with a 1JZ. Now, for 2015 the Mark III is powered by a 2JZ boosted by a Garrett Turbo to over 700-horsepower. Will his racing experience and sweet livery translate into an “Ironman” performance?

-by Justin Banner

Check out his driving:
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2015 Formula Drift Pro 2 Round 1 Orlando Speed World Qualifying [RESULTS]

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Pro 2 is in the books at Formula Drift Orlando Speed World and the 2015 season is kicked off! Here is the Top 16 for tomorrow’s Pro 2 event which will be Live Streamed.

1. Alex Heilbrunn
2. James Evans
3. Jeff Wolfson
4. Kevin Lawrence
5. Tommy Van Cleef
6. Brody Goble
7. Taylor Hull
8. Brandon Wicknick
9. Faruk Kugay
10. Jeff Jones
11. Andrey Gray
12. Brandon Patterson
13. Dave Briggs
14. Ryan Litteral
15. Juha Rintanen
16. Kelsey Rowlings
17. Chris Jeanneret

Top 16 Battles
Alex Heilbrunn vs. Kelsey Rowlings
Brandon Wicknick vs. Faruk Kugay
Kevin Lawerence vs. Dave Briggs
Tommy Van Cleef vs. Brandon Patterson

James Evans vs. Juha Rintanen
Taylor Hull vs. Jeff Jones
Jeff Wolfson vs. Ryan Litteral
Brody Goble vs. Andrew Gray

Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver Preview – Alex Youe

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Alex Youe is a guy who isn’t afraid to throw a car around, as his reverse entry at Virginia International Raceway should prove. He and his twin-Garrett turbo LS-V8 Nissan S14 come from Villa Rica, Georgia and while his sponsors have helped him get his car off the ground, it seems that he’s gone the Danny George route for further funding by crowd sourcing on GoFundMe.com.

-by Justin Banner

Check out his driving:

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Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver Preview – Cameron Moore

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Cameron Moore from Battle Field, Washington was another driver that decided that just doing one Formula Drift Pro Am wasn’t enough as he drove in both Vegas Drift and Evergreen Drift. He earned his license in the latter but also placed high enough that he could have earned it in Vegas as well! His SC300 is powered by a 2JZ engine built by VIP Performance in Portland. In Vegas Drift he was a consistent threat to win an event and took home the Evergreen Drift Pro Am championship with a win in the final round. His bright green SC300 won’t be hard to miss on the Pro2 field in 2015 but we expect his performance to be his actual highlight.

-by Justin Banner

Check out his driving:

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Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver Preview – Ryan Litteral

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Another favorite driver among the old school drift fans in SoCal, Lake Elsinore, California’s Ryan Litteral brings style and function with his S14 powered by an RB25 and deep lipped JDM wheels. This is Ryan’s second year in Pro2 after he earned his license in 2013 in Just Drift’s Top Drift, which was a rather controversial season. Last year he finished in seventeenth place in the Pro2 standings and he’s looking for a bigger push with bigger power and more speed. From his most recent test at Willow Springs, we’d have to say he’s found it and could be a dark horse in 2016.

-by Justin Banner

Check out below for videos of Ryan Litteral’s driving:

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Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver Preview – Kevin Lawrence

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Enjuku Racing employee now turning Pro2 driver for 2015, Kevin Lawrence looks to use his speed shop knowledge to make sure his Right-Hand Drive S13.4 will run hard and consistent. He earned his license from the new Three Palms Drift Pro Am series, where drivers who placed in the Top 3 of the series also gained cash sponsorships from Three Palms. Looks like he’s already put that money to good use on his S13 by building up a rather impressive looking RB25. Hopefully he’ll have better luck with the legendary Nissan engine than Dan Brockett had last year. Part of that longevity will come from using a Nissan 350Z CD009 six-speed transmission rather than the KA24 or SR20 FS5W71C five-speed. If you’ve never looked at a CD009, it’s massive for the S13 chassis but will take the abuse better than the FS5 transmission. He’s also going for massive lock with a Wisefab kit on the front end while ISIS Performance arms are used on the rear with BC Racing ER-Type coilovers controlling everything.

-by Justin Banner

Check out below for videos of Kevin Lawerence’s driving:
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Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver Preview – Dan Brockett

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If it wasn’t for bad luck, “Officer Dan” Brockett wouldn’t have any luck in 2014. His debut year was hampered by engine failures, car issues, or just a lack of performance. However, that didn’t stop him from continuing to create buzz around himself and keeping himself relevant with the “Drift” series of videos he’s created with Icon, the motorcycle helmet and gear manufacturer, and his own Whiskey Garage Chronicles produced by JWood Media. It also helps that he carries a positive attitude no matter what happens to him at the track and helps create a fan friendly persona that can overcome back luck and performance he had last year. Despite the issues, Dan is bringing back his “Old Faithful”, the Raw Brokerage Nissan S14 with an RB28 under hood and Hankook Tires around the wheels, however Motiva Performance will be doing his tuning and providing track support for Pro2.

-by Justin Banner

Check out below for videos of Faruk Kugay’s driving:
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Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver Preview – Chris Jeanneret

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While it may be a very popular car to drive on the road course or mountain passes, the Honda S2000 has not had the greatest reputation in the world of drifting. However, that repute and a year of setbacks aren’t stopping Chris Jeanneret from brining the S2000 back for 2015 in Pro2 Competition. This is also not his first difficult rodeo as he flipped his STR Racing Wheels S14 in 2013 at Irwindale Speedway. If anything, it is obstacles like these that make him keep coming back to prove that both he and the S2000 are a force to be reckoned with. Chris first earned his Pro license in 2011 through the Evergreen Drift Pro Am but before that he was a part of import drag racing in 2001. In 2006 he came on board with Falken Tire as a crew chief before becoming a driver. His Vibrant Performance Honda S2000 uses a Speedfactory built K24 Honda engine, which before last year seen use in John Russakoff’s AE86 Corolla when he was a part of Megan Racing. The combination of the 2.4-liter Honda and Garrett Turbo puts out 860-horespower, so we’ll have to see if it will be enough for the 2015 Pro2 field.

 

-by Justin Banner

Check out below for videos of Chris Jeanneret’s driving:

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Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver Preview – Andy Hateley

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Andy Hateley is no stranger to Formula Drift competition. He actually began drifting before FD was even around with a US Drift event in 2004 and with D1 when it was still going to Irwindale Speedway. While his first drift D1 competition didn’t quite go as planned, the next year Andy gained his D1GP license. In 2006 he began his first FD career, but in 2007 he lost his license by missing a Top 32. He went on to work on the RETAKS car before getting the itch to drive again in 2009 when he bought the E30 he uses today. It was a five year build that started off with an S54 engine but found an LS3 that he bought from Jegs. It may seem a little underpowered, but in a chassis as light as the E30 it’s nearly a little rocket. It never really got the chance to prove itself last year, but now Andy is in Pro2 we’ll see if either he or Donovan Brockway can bring some Bimmer pride back in 2015.

-by Justin Banner

Check out below for videos of Andy Hateley’s driving:
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Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver Preview – Andy Gray

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Coming from the home of drifting and driving in the D1 Grand Prix, Andy Gray will make his Formula Drift Pro2 debut in 2015. Andy was born and raised in Scotland and made the move to Japan in 2005 to start importing cars to Europe. When the financial crash of 2007 hit, Andy moved from Tokyo to Ebisu Circuit and sold cars locally instead and PowerVehicles grew. In 2008, he began drifting and found himself competing in the D1 Grand Prix Street Legal series. In 2012 he earned his D1 Grand Prix License and built a JZX100 Mark 2 that he also used in FD Japan last year. Andy is noted for making a podium at D1 Street Legal in 2013 and the only husband and wife to tandem against each other in 2014 D1SL when his wife, Emily, drove against each other at Ebisu. He’s built another JZX100 for Pro 2 competition for 2015 and it makes about 665-horsepower out of the 3.1-liter 2JZ.

-by Justin Banner

Check out below for videos of Andy Gray’s driving:
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