During the Top 32 tandem competition, Chelsea Denofa was sent off the starting line, giving Jhonnattan Castro a bye to face Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Top 16. At the time, it was mentioned that Denofa was disqualified due to a technical issue, but no explanation was given via the PA system or livestream. Later, it was discovered that some sort of adhesive was used between the tire and the rim.
Formula Drift issued an ‘official statement’ around the decision:
Car #88 driven by Chelsea Denofa was disqualified from the Round of 32 due to a violation of the2016 Formula Drift Pro Technical Rules and Regulations US Version 2.0. It was discovered that a chemical adhesive was used to bond the tire to the wheel. Additional aids, such as chemical adhesives used to prevent the tire from debeading allows teams to run tire pressures lower than those that do not use additional aids, which is specifically in violation of Section 3.6. Denofa will still receive qualifying points but will not receive any head-to-head competition points for this Round.
WHEELS Beadlocks, wheel screws and any additional form of attachment device between wheel and tire is prohibited.
Chelsea Denofa made the following post on Facebook, which he mirrored on Instagram. In one of his interactions on his Facebook, he asked if adhesive should be considered ‘a device’.
“Mad” Mike Whiddett was disqualified from his battle with Gushi due to debeading a tire and not being allowed to change the tire between runs, but several other drivers have had issues in previous rounds of both Pro 2 and Pro competition. In past seasons, debeading a tire during competition was considered a 0 for that run, but the rule was changed this year to allow you to finish the run and still be judged on the run.
Removing the 16 points Chelsea would have earned in his top 32 battle moves Denofa from 6th overall to 8th overall. We’ve updated our Points Standings post to reflect this
What are your thoughts on this? Should drivers be allowed to use adhesive or glue to prevent tires from de-beading? Should a debeaded tire be an automatic zero like in past years?