Darren McNamara apparently needs some new transportation for Formula Drift Round 2 after his big crash at Streets of Long Beach which you can watch again by viewing it in this post below. The 350z of controversy is back after a feather shaking Las Vegas last year with Justin Pawlak stepping into it while removing Tyler McQuarrie. Now in 2012 the 350z is collecting dust over at ASD and getting prepped for this debut at Road Atlanta. I am pretty sure this is the first time DMac will be driving LHD in competition. We hope that he will have some time at Lowes Motor Speedway to test before the big event at Road Atlanta in the car. Darren has stepped onto the podium many times in Atlanta so a new car and a huge lack of points in Long Beach really is going to put pressure on him to perform at this event trying to stay championship points relevant.
While some video has been posted of this car testing our photographer and others will get an up close look at the Nissan 350z running a NASCAR engine today at Tech Day. Here is a quick picture of how the 350z looks from the outside all put together. The car is running a Vertex Body Kit and features HRE wheels. Dave Briggs will be on Falken Tires for the 2012 season.
Today a magazine has been reporting that Tyler McQuarrie has a deal signed for 2012 and we have confirmed that is not the case at this current time. To catch you up back in the beginning of October he was left go from Falken Tire at the end of the 2011 season. Then we found out he was in New Jersey visiting Gardella Racing which he has continued to be linked with during this off-season. I have confirmed the two teams are still in talks so the deal is not dead but Tyler McQuarrie’s manager confirmed that nothing has been signed either. That about sums up the report but just wanted to confirm that other media outlets are reporting incorrect information this morning. Good luck to Tyler landing a deal for this new season!
We found a picture making the car swap for the weekend a done deal. Justin Pawlak is on the Nissan 350z with his #13 car and all. Tyler McQuarrie is now in the Calvin Wan/James Deane S15. We wish James Deane could be driving it but nobody wants to bring him in from Ireland. This is going to shake up things and make Las Vegas quite the interesting weekend. We will keep you posted on how things wind up between these two drivers after qualifying.
One of our friends was driving up the I-15 heading into Las Vegas, Nevada and passed the Falken Tire S15 being pulled by our favorite tow truck (Emergency Hookers) heading to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The car was dropped off over an hour ago to the track and we are not sure what the plans are for the weekend. Justin Pawlak’s Mustang doesn’t sound like it has been fixed as of yet (camshaft broken) and I am waiting from Falken Team Manager to return my call in a few minutes. So I will update this post as I get more information but I do know Tyler McQuarrie has driven RHD before and Justin Pawlak never has before. Not sure what the details of this will be but seems interested they have trailered up a spec legal Formula Drift car to the track. Sadly James Deane is still in Ireland so we won’t be seeing him!
UPDATE at 3:17pm PST: I spoke with J Brad and the Falken S15 is sitting at the track for Tyler McQuarrie in case they cannot get Justin Pawlak’s Ford Mustang fixed.
Another dominate show by Justin Pawlak brought him second place to close off the east coast tour leaving him just a hair short to Conrad Grunewald who took the win. Conrad Grunewald just grabbed his first podium spot since Houston 2005 and his first ever win in Formula Drift history! Conrad goes in the history books at the 15th Formula Drift event winner in history. Justin Pawlak defeated Vaughn Gittin Jr. again this year on his road to the 2nd place on the podium. Conrad beat Ryan Tuerck in the Final Four after a horrific accident giving Dai Yoshihara and automatic bye onto the podium. This marks the first non Falken victory in 2011. This is the first Hankook Tire podium of 2011 as well. Congrats to everyone at Hankook who put together a great team this season.
Patrick Mordaunt’s S14 was loaded up with some other cars for the IRL Texas demo coming up this weekend. Rumor has it with all the engine troubles in his Nissan 350z he is in the process of towing out his Nissan 350z to IRL and swapping cars with his S14 after the IRL demo. Basically he would send his Nissan 350z back to California and then get the S14 to New Jersey quickly so he can qualify. It sounds like a logistical nightmare but doing anything to get a solid working car seems to make the most sense.
This is one of the first images we have seen of rookie Ryan Kado’s Nissan 350z. Ryan is a rookie from Northern California who will be sporting Falken Tires for his debut season. The 350z looks pretty nice and we’ll get you some more information/documentation on it when we find it rolled in at the Streets of Long Beach this weekend.
Check out one old school flashback to 2004 when Vaughn Gittin Jr. wasn’t even driving a Ford Mustang yet in Formula Drift. The video offers a super cool flashback to the 2004 Formula Drift season showing some footage from the Road Atlanta event. A great video showing the progression of Formula Drift and the 2010 champion back with it roots.
The Discount Tire corporate office in Phoenix, Arizona just gained some new wall art. The guys at SPD Metal Works cut up the remaining scraps of the #9 Formula Drift car. They prepped it to be mounted on the wall at the Discount Tire offices which has actual parts from the drift car. The setup even has real Falken Tires/iForged wheels mounted to the wall. It also includes Seibon Carbon Fiber parts who are a proud sponsor of Wrecked Magazine.