After our initial post went live, we got the official weight class list back from FD Technical Manager Kevin Wells. In case you missed our update to the original post, here are the weight classes for 2013:
Weight and Tire Classes-
2100-2399lbs up to 240mm
2400-2699lbs up to 250mm
2700-2799lbs up to 260mm
2800-2899lbs up to 270mm
2900-2999lbs up to 280mm
3000-3099lbs up to 290mm
3100-3199lbs up to 300mm
3200-3299lbs up to 310mm
Per the rulebook, here is the exact classification process:
Cars are limited to the size of the rear tire that can be used, depending on the weight of the vehicle.
A car must be track-ready and running when it is weighed and registered to a weight
class. A car will be weighed WITH the driver
Once the car is registered to a weight class, it will be recorded, and issued a class specific sticker that must be displayed prominently on the windshield. A car’s weight may fluctuate within the limits of its weight class, but it can never weigh less than the minimum weight for its registered class.
Tire sizes are AS MEASURED in mm with the official Formula Drift tire tool, across the span of the contact patch. The Formula Drift tire tool will determine class compliance regardlessof the advertised sidewall size.
Tires will be measured on the rim, while on the car, while the car is on the ground.
Tire size must not exceed the maximum size dictated by class at any time on track.
Tire size will be measured and verified on track before the start of every tandem round and qualifying. A FORMULA DRIFT official may also check tire size at any time during the event.
Here are some additional parameters of the Weight Class rules:
● Cars will be weighed WITH driver, complete with all required bodywork and safety equipment installed.
● Drivers must be fully suited with helmets during the weigh-in process. Cars may only be weighed and registered upon passing their annual safety and technical inspection.
● A car can only be weighed and registered before the official start of a FORMULA DRIFT event. Cars may be weighed before any event and only during the regular technical inspection hours provided.
● The vehicle may not change weight classes at any time during an event. It is required of each competitor to inform the TECHNICAL MANAGER in writing of any modification(s) to their vehicle that alters the weight of the vehicle by more than 10 lbs.
● FORMULA DRIFT will be impounding all podium finishers immediately after end of competition and they will be checked for weight and tire size compliance.
I asked Kevin Wells if a team could request a lower weight class, per the example I gave in the last post. If a car weighs 3,020 pounds and technically qualifies for the 3,000 to 3,099 lb 290mm class, could they request to be placed in the 2,900 to 2,999lb 280mm weight class? The theory is that if the driver only plans to run a 265mm tire due to what is available from their tire supplier or due to what works best with their setup, they would still be well above the minimum weight in case of body damage, low fuel load, or other variables that might change during the course of the event instead of having to be in limbo of underweight penalties at nearly all times. He informed me that it would be possible, but must be requested.
I also asked about how often the cars are re-classed. He informed me that he always has the scales available prior to the Thursday practice for teams interested in changing classes or even just confirming their weight in the current setup. Typically, only two or three teams per round tend to take advantage of this.
From what we have heard, Daigo Saito was under the weight of his class based on his windshield sticker by less than 10 pounds. His weight was over the weight required by the size of the tire he was running at the time of the violation. Again, the weight class on the windshield determines the minimum weight allowed, and classification changes can only be made BEFORE the start of an event.
Currently, the weight according to the sticker on the windshield is the determining factor in what tire the car is allowed to run and what the minimum weight is, not the other way around. Should this be reversed? Should the tire size that the driver chooses to run determine the minimum weight they need to weigh? This would allow drivers to make adjustments to their tire during the course of the event in case they lose major body panels or other weight adjustments outside of their control in order to stay within compliance.
The former judge now returned drifter Tony Angelo isn’t very pleased about how the judges called his battle versus Odi Bakchis in the Top 32 of Formula Drift at Evergreen Speedway over the weekend. Tony has taken to social media with these two images posted above showing that the “correct line” would be considered the wall per the guidelines set in play for the weekend. As you can see in the second frame Tony maintained that line on the wall and Odi went super shallow putting his trunk past Tony Angelo’s Scion. What do you think of the call?
Since everyone tends to always swarm the web with comments, conspiracy theories, and meme’s (some I will admit are pretty funny) after each event; and it seems especially abundant with the last round in Atlanta, I figured I would chime in and give some insight from the judges’ side regarding some of the match-ups this past weekend. Like Jarod has said before to many of the crowds at the events; you wouldn’t speak up if you didn’t care, and I feel the exact same way and am glad you all show so much emotion and enthusiasm for the sport. My initial take on most comments about the events are that many people may not fully understand our side of things. I used to be the exact same way, I would either sit at home or be present in the crowd and wonder why the judges voted one way as opposed to what I thought was the obvious right call. Having now been on both sides of the fence, I hope I can help shed some light into this and make things more transparent for everyone.
First, you have to understand and accept the face that the rules may change from year to year. Drifting is still a new sport and things will (and I hope) continually evolve as the sport continues to grow. Therefore, you can’t always base one season against another season, the rules may be completely contradictory in certain circumstances. If we took the 2004 season and compared it to the 2013 season, I’m sure many calls and events would end up with very different results. This is even the case if you compare the 2012 season versus the 2013 season [see Essa versus Hosford example below]. As for this season’s rules; we revisit them at each event’s first driver meeting so that drivers, spotters, and teams are made aware (if it’s their first round of the season) and reminded of them (even if they’ve been at every round). Here are some notable highlights regarding our rules and scoring for 2013 that some of you may or may not be aware of:
Eachjudge is responsible for 30 points and the remaining 10 points are based on speed. 100 points total = 40 Style (30 from Style judge + 5 points from Angle judge + 5 points from Line judge) + 25 Line + 25 Angle + 10 Speed
The Speed category is worth zero through 10 points and is measured at a specific point on the course as determined by the judges and made known during a driver’s meeting for each event. The judges will determine the median speed for qualifying and announce it at a driver’s meeting prior to qualifying. Drivers will receive 5 points for achieving the median speed set by the judges. For every 1/10th of a mile per hour achieved by the driver above the minimum speed set by the judges, the driver will receive 1/10th of a point up to a maximum of 10 total points. No points above a total of 10 will given for speeds exceeding the speed scoring range. For every 1/10th of a mile the driver misses the median speed by, 1/10th of a point will be deducted from the possible 5 point median score, down to a minimum score of 0 points. Negative scores will not be given. The Line, Angle and Style judges may award points in one (1) point increments or whole numbers for their specific criterion.
Speed is set on a median speed determined on practice sessions and scaling based on exact MPH to 1/10th of a MPH.
Qualifying Score Example w/Median Speed of 55MPH
Line Judge: 22 points + 4 points Style
Angle Judge: 22 points + 3 points Style
Style Judge: 26 points
Speed: 51.2MPH = 1.2 points Line (22 pts) + Angle (22 pts) + Style (33 pts) + Speed (1.2 pts)
Total Score: 78.2 pts
A median dry speed will be set by the judges prior to Qualifying based on speeds recorded during the practice sessions. Dry speed conditions will be in effect as long as a green flag is displaying from the judges tower. In cases of wet speed conditions, a yellow flag will replace the green flag and be displayed from the judges tower. A median wet speed will be calculated by averaging the speeds of all runs made by drivers during the duration of the yellow flag being displayed and using a multiplier to make the wet speed average equal the median dry speed. All wet speed runs made by drivers will then have the multiplier added to their speed scores to offset the wet track conditions. This wet median speed multiplier will be relayed to the teams once the yellow flag session has ended, either by returning to dry conditions or a driver making the last qualifying run of the session.
During a qualifying run, drivers are responsible for exhibiting high levels of control, finesse, and speed to navigate a course layout that will be defined and described by the judges. Drivers can score up to a 100 point total based on their ability to complete each course to the level of speed, vehicle angle, and adherence to the line deemed perfect by the Judges. Drivers will be deducted points for any deviance from the desired speed, angle, and line during each run, while deductions will also be made for corrections and mistakes performed by the drivers while trying to navigate the course as outlined by the judges. A score of zero (0) will be given for mistakes listed in the sporting rules under ‘what constitutes a zero’.
QUALIFYING – STYLE
Initiation - Initiations are expected to be quick, aggressive, confident, and performed no later than the initiation point designated by the judges. Deductions will be made for the following initiations:
Weak – An initiation that is considered lazy and lacking confidence. (-2 points)
Late – An initiation performed later than the initiation point designated by the judges. (-4 points)
Double- An initiation that is not sufficient to achieve a drift, causing the driver to reinitiate at a later point on the track. A combination of A and B above. (-6 points)
Corrections - A correction is something the driver does to compensate for an impending deviation from, or to avoid a deviation from, one of the 3 tenets of drifting: Speed, Angle, or Line.
Excessive E-brake – When the e-brake is used excessively to adjust or correct a driver error. (-2.5 points)
Bobble – When a car’s angle fluctuates in an area where steady angle should be maintained, to either correct an error or as the result of an error. (-2.5 points)
Heavy Lift/Off Throttle – When the throttle is released for an unnatural length of time to slow the car to avoid making a mistake. (-2.5 points)
Excessive Rev Limiter - When the throttle is applied at or near the maximum while in the wrong gear, generally to avoid a stall as listed under “mistakes”. (-2.5 points)
Miscellaneous- For use by the judges in the case of corrections not listed above. (-1 to -5 points)
Mistakes - A mistake is a deviation from one of the 3 tenets of drifting: Speed, Angle or Line. Mistakes are deducted at a rate of twice that of corrections.
Stall- Angle and Line have been adhered to, but the speed has not been maintained through a specific area on the track, causing the car to slow abruptly. (-5 points)
One Tire Off- One of the car’s tires has gone outside the designated course outline. (-5 points)
Contact with Inner Clipping Point – The car has made contact with one of the inner clipping points – impact severity at judge’s discretion. (-5points)
Zero- A zero score will be given when one of the following errors is made:
Loss of Drift – Includes: Spin, straightening, understeer.
Opposite Drift – Performing a manji where constant angle is required.
Two Tires Off – Two of the car’s tires have gone outside of the designated course outline.
Hood, Hatch/Trunk and/or Doors Opening During a Run- Any of the body parts listed have opened during a run.
Wall Hit - Contact that causes an abrupt change in the vehicle’s angle, line or speed and/or causes a spin.
Contact with “Off Course Markers” – At specified areas on certain tracks where the judges’ visibility is compromised, markers will be placed in strategic areas off of the course to aid in determining if a vehicle has gone two tires off, as listed in C above. These areas will be discussed in detail prior to the Qualifying in the drivers meeting.
TANDEM: Passing – Passing is allowed in Formula DRIFT. Passing is allowed anywhere on course as long as the lead car is clearly off the line the judges have specified. A pass is considered to occur once the chase car’s front wheels surpass the plane of the lead car’s front wheels. Any passing that occurs outside the scope of the aforementioned criteria will be deemed illegal and constitute an equivalence to a zero (0) run.
Two Strikes – Two or more of the following items constitute and automatic zero in tandem:
One tire off course
Hitting a cone or course marker
Zero– same as in Qualifying [see above].
Last year, we had a rule that said if two tires were off, it was scored as a zero run. In Seattle, Justin Pawlak was running against Jeremy Lowe and there was a critical decision made as they transitioned from the bank into the infield. We [the judges] determined that JTP had two tires off the track and scored his run as a zero, potentially causing to him lose the matchup. At the time, based on our live view from the judges stand and the replay footage, it appeared that our call was correct. However, after the event, we were able to watch a different camera angle (unavailable to us at the time of the decision) which showed a very compelling argument that only one tire was off track. It didn’t 100% disprove our call, but it did raise potential doubt. Therefore, this year we changed the rulebook to now err in the favor of the driver. The 2013 rule is that a tire is considered on track unless we can clearly determine that the tire is without a doubt off track. We are now giving the driver the benefit of doubt and essentially making them innocent of the deduction unless proven guilty. This now puts the burden of proving a tire was off track on the judges, rather than having the driver protest later and show that a tire was in fact on the track after the decision has already been made.
In the matchup of Michael Essa versus Corey Hosford in Atlanta, this was a prime example of the new rule being enforced. Now before I continue, I must make it known that the rumble strip was considered part of the track, and therefore drivers would not be penalized for a tire on the rumble strip. This also allowed drivers an extra foot of wiggle room for Outer Zone 1, because the track had an additional foot of asphalt paved on the other side of the rumble strip [see George versus Tuerck example below]. Based on our live view from the judges stand and the replay footage, it was deemed inconclusive to positively determine if the passenger front or driver rear tires were past the edge of the rumble strip and in the dirt. By not being able to 100% confirm that the second tire was off the rumble strip, we erred on the side of the driver [Essa] and agreed that only one tire was off course for Essa’s run. Now as for our individual scores on this matchup, I contacted the other judges to get their side of their decision making process:
IC = Inner Clip, OZ = Outer Zone, TAG = Touch and Go point (this was the rumble strip on the driver’s right between IC1 and OZ1. It was limited to the middle of the rumble strip to the end of the rumble strip closest to OZ1 and was mentioned during the driver’s meetings).
Run 1. Essa leading Hosford.
Essa was off track and scored him a zero.
Hosford straightened up entering the horseshoe with an under and re-initiate, and therefore scored him a zero.
Ruled both drivers with a zero.
Run 2. Hosford leading Essa.
Hosford was very shallow on line going into horseshoe and went way wide on IC2.
Essa chase was decent with about 45-50% of proximity and looses a good amount of it due to Hosford’s poor exit after IC2 exiting the horseshoe. Ruled that run even.
Result = could not determine a clear winner, OMT.
Run 1. Essa leading Hosford.
Essa drops one tire.
Hosford straightens at OZ1 and then falls back. Ruled Essa one strike for one tire off and Hosford a zero. Run 2. Hosford leading Essa.
Hosford initiates far off the rumble strip and is off on IC1.
Essa had a nice initiation in sync with Hosford.
Hosford is shallow coming up towards OZ1.
Hosford is off at OZ2 and missed IC2.
Essa has a bobble at IC2 and falls back. Ruled that run in favor of Essa. Essa made a correction while chasing, but it was nowhere near Hosford’s mistake while chasing.
Result = Essa.
Run 1. Essa leading Hosford.
Essa had good entry and made it to the rumble strip. Hosford had a shallower line and angle on entry.
Essa slightly off at IC1 and carried too much speed past IC1 and drops one tire off opposite side of track.
Essa managed to stay on track and hit TAG1. Hosford ran the middle of the track and as a result missed the TAG1.
Essa was able to fill both OZ1 and OZ2 with good angle. Hosford ran shallow line and angle at OZ1 and OZ2. .
Essa was right on IC2. Hosford swung wide past IC2 and missed it.
Essa hits TAG2 on return and Hosford barely misses TAG2.
Both drivers hit IC1 on return. Ruled even for both drivers. Run 2. Hosford leading Essa.
Hosford ran a shallower line on entry. Essa follows the same line and angle as Hosford.
Both drivers are fairly close to IC1.
Hosford slightly off at TAG1. Essa follows same line at TAG1.
Hosford runs a shallow line at OZ1 and OZ2. Essa runs same line, possibly a little deeper in both zones.
Hosford runs wide and missds IC2. Essa bobbled at IC2.
Hosford missed the TAG2 on the return. Essa hit TAG2 on return. Ruled slight advantage to Essa.
Result = Essa
As for Danny George versus Ryan Tuerck in Atlanta, the reason George lost wasn’t solely for the contact made with Tuerck on the second run. George earned a zero on his lead run for drawing two strikes; one strike for “one tire off” at OZ1 and one strike for “hitting a cone or course marker” at OZ1. Other than that, George’s lead run was impressive, but unfortunately he drew two strikes in the same portion of the track off of one mistake. Had his car been just a few inches further up the track, he may have missed the OZ1 clipping point marker and then only drawn one strike for having “one tire off”. We applaud George for being honest on the second run and alerting us that he did make contact with Tuerck.
I’m sure this doesn’t even scrape the surface about the confusion that may be experienced by some people, but I hope that this at least brings some of the rules and logic behind the decisions we make in some of the matchups to light. This took quite a bit of time to write up, so obviously we couldn’t do this for every matchup at each event, but maybe for some of the more controversial battles it may help in the future if we could explain in greater detail how we reach our decisions. Hopefully this will help heading into Round 3 in Palm Beach at the end of the month.
Some teams could care less about the mid-season tech day while other teams are scrambling to comply with the new changes that go into effect for the weight/tire rules. While some people have said they are not concerned about the new changes in rules we have heard of teams adding weight and reducing weight in prep for this tech day. Some teams such as Nitto Tire drivers are having problems with limited tire size availability looking towards the rest of the season. The cars will be getting on the scales along with a general tech overlook. If any teams have issues we will be reporting of these issues next Thursday!
It looks like Formula Drift has issued some updates on the new tire/weight rules which appears to be what Conrad Grunewald spoke of earlier in a post. The whole section seems to have some changes so we went ahead and posted it all up. The weight/tire rule is now divided by 100lbs. each instead of the 200lbs. as previously listed in November. What are your new thoughts on the rule update?
9.1 TIRE SIZE REGULATION
Cars are limited to the size of the rear tire that can be used, depending on the weight of the vehicle. There are 13 weight classes, each spanning 100 lbs. A car must be track-ready, and running when it is weighed and registered to a weight class. A car will be weighed WITH the driver, and once the car is registered to a weight class, it will be recorded, and issued a class-specific sticker that must be displayed prominently on the windshield. A car’s weight may fluctuate within the limits of its weight class, but it can never weigh less than the minimum weight for its registered class. Tire sizes are AS MEASURED in mm, across the span of the contact patch. Tires will be measured on the rim, while on the car, while the car is on the ground. Tire size must not exceed the maximum size dictated by class at any time on track. Tire size will be measured and verified on track before the start of every tandem round. A Formula D official may also check tire size at any time during the event.
Weight and Tire Classes-
2000-2099lbs up to 215mm
2100-2199lbs up to 225mm
2200-2299lbs up to 235mm
2300-2399lbs up to 245mm
2400-2499lbs up to 255mm
2500-2599lbs up to 265mm
2600-2699lbs up to 275mm
2700-2799lbs up to 285mm
2800-2899lbs up to 295mm
2900-2999lbs up to 305mm
3000-3099lbs up to 315mm
3100-3199lbs up to 325mm
3200-3299lbs up to 335mm
All cars must be weighed in a ready to drive state. Formula Drift will include this weighing at a mandatory pre-event inspection before the first event. Cars will be weighed WITH driver, complete with all required bodywork and safety equipment installed. Drivers must be fully suited with helmets during the weigh-in process. Cars may only be weighed and registered upon passing their annual safety and technical inspection.
A car can only be weighed and registered before the official start of a Formula Drift event. Cars may be weighed before any event, only during the regular technical inspection hours provided. The vehicle may not change weight classes at any time during an event. It is required of each competitor to inform Formula Drift Professional Drifting 2011 Rules and Regulations 39 As of 1/28/2011
the Formula Drift Technical Manager in writing of any modification(s) to their vehicle that alters the weight of the vehicle by more than 10 lbs. Formula Drift will be impounding all podium finishers immediately after end of competition and they will be checked for weight and tire size compliance. There will also be random compliance checks at any time during the Formula Drift events, at Formula Drift’s discretion. Formula Drift reserves the right to weigh cars at any time before, during or after an event.
A car may have up to 50 lbs of ballast weight added to it. Ballast must serve only the unique purpose of adding weight to a vehicle. Formula Drift officials must approve all weight material. Blocks must weight no less than 5 pounds each and cannot be made of liquid of any type, pellets or any other granulated material. Added weight must be securely bolted in place on the vehicle. No weight shifting devices are allowed. This included but not limited to hydraulic or electronic devices. Ballast must be mounted ahead of the rear axle.
Tire Measuring Procedure
Rear tires will be measured while on the vehicle, on the ground, in a ready-to-drive state. Tires will be measured across the width of the tread 3” up from where the tread meets the ground, from the rear of the car. The measuring device is a flat sliding ruler with 2 legs extending out from the flat at 45 degrees. With the legs contacting the sidewall, and the flat contacting the tread, the measure “A” is the width of the tire, measured across the tips of the legs.
For a tire to be compliant for a certain weight class it must fall within the designated size range within the measuring device.
The official measuring tool will be available from Formula D directly for purchase.
With a new year comes a new set of rules issued by the sanctioning body. XDC has rattled out a new 2011 schedule extending events and adding Canada to the series. They have added almost $100,000 in payouts and are firing away to have a bigger season than the premiere season last year. Now onto the boring crap to keep all you cheaters from cheating, it’s the 2011 rulebook.
The new 2011 Formula Drift rulebook has been released today and one of the bigger changes to the rule book fall into this 9.1 section that covers Tire Size Regulation and a new weight/tire chassis rule. I think this is a fantastic rule to keep teams from strip weighting their vehicles and running a huge tire in the future. This should effect some of the bigger teams in the series for the 2011 Formula Drift series.
TIRE SIZE REGULATION
Cars are limited to the size of the rear tire that can be used, depending on the weight
of the vehicle. There are 7 weight classes, each spanning 200 lbs. A car must be
track-ready, and running when it is weighed and registered to a weight class. A car will
be weighed without the driver, and once the car is registered to a weight class, it will
be recorded, and issued a class-specific sticker that must be displayed prominently on
the windshield. A car’s weight may fluctuate within the limits of it’s weight class, but it
can never weigh less than the minimum weight for its’ registered class. Tire sizes are
AS MEASURED in mm, across the span of the contact patch. Tires will be measured
on the rim, while on the car, while the car is on the ground. Tire size must not exceed
the maximum size dictated by class at any time on track. Tire size will be measured
and verified on track before the start of every tandem round. A Formula D official may
also check tire size at any time during the event.
The 2010 Formula Drift Rulebook has arrived in the hands of all competitors for the new upcoming season. Not really any big changes that I noticed after reading it today. I did find a whole piece on Collisions which I thought was a good quick read to understand how they will be handled from here on forward.
Vehicle contact in drifting is something that Formula DRIFT recognizes as part of the sport, however contact of vehicles while in head-to-head battle requires specific rulings and guidelines as follows.
A) LEAD CAR:
The lead car must be required at all times to run the line given by the
judges and also maintain adequate speed through out the course. If the
lead car measures untypical speed, this may result in a score against that
driver. Untypical speed is defined as speeds of equivalent measurement
from qualifying speeds. Some slight variance (+5, -5) is in most cases
If the lead car loses drift, goes off line or reduces speed too drastically in
comparison to that particular driver’s qualifying speeds and the chase car
hits the lead car, the lead car will in most cases be deemed at fault for the
contact. It is each individual judge’s job to ascertain fault. There may be
circumstances where the lead car is not at fault for the contact, but this will
be left to each individual judge to ascertain fault.
B) CHASE CAR:
The chase car is required at all times to follow and chase the lead car. The
driver of the chase car is encouraged to know the approximate speed of the
lead car through the entire course. If the chase car makes contact, in most
cases that driver will be deemed at fault for the contact unless otherwise
noted as per above. Contact known as “rubbing” is acceptable, however
the chase car cannot affect the lead car where loss of drift or loss of line
C) DAMAGE DUE TO CONTACT:
Once contact is made and damage occurs to either vehicle, the Judges
using majority rule will ascertain fault. If damage due to contact occurs,
both drivers have a right to have their spotter enact a “5 Minute Rule.” It is
expected that in most cases damaged vehicles can be repaired in this time
In some cases, damage sustained to the vehicles may require more time to
repair. At this point ONLY the vehicle not at fault may ask for additional
time. (NOTE: This does not preempt teams ability to call 5 Minutes for other
purposes). In the spirit of time and the show, the CHIEF STEWARD also
reserves the right to continue the competition with the outstanding head-
to-head matches of that particular round. The CHIEF STEWARD will re-
assess the vehicle between subsequent head-to-head match up’s or even
at the end of the round.
If a team cannot repair their vehicle and the team was also not at fault
during the incident, a Formula DRIFT official will verify that indeed the car
is not repairable in time for the next round and declare the driver the
winner of the match. The driver may move onto the next round or if the
damage is too extreme, may exit from the competition. competition.