The way you become a Formula Drift driver has changed largely now that a promotion/relegation system is in place here in the United States. We are going to break down moving forward how you can now become a Formula Drift driver and how you get relegated back to Pro Am. The 2014 exemption rules are ignored for the sake of clarity in this post.
Formula Drift Pro Am
You must win a license from one of the following series by finishing in one of the top three places in a Pro Am series. Here is the list of series you can attend and each series has three licenses to gives away. These Pro 2 licenses are only allowed to be given to the top three ranking drivers of the series based on championship points:
Midwest Drift Union
Golden Gate Drift
Lone Star Drift
Vegas Pro Am
Formula Drift Asia
PR Pro Drift
Formula Drift Pro 2
Once you have earned a Pro Am license you will be placed into the Formula Drift Pro 2 series. This is how you must perform in the Pro 2 series to be promoted and avoid relegation.
Promotion: Top 8 Drivers in Pro 2 championship points will be granted a Pro license for following season.
Relegation: To avoid relegation back to your local Pro Am series you must score 64 points in the four round Pro 2 season based on the same points structure as the Pro Championship. This means in four rounds of competition you need a minimum of two Top 16 placements to retain a Pro 2 license. Pro 2 is only run as a Top 16 format and the final round at Irwindale can only be run if you do all other rounds first keep in mind.
Now that you finished in the Top 8 of the Pro 2 series you want to stay drifting with the big boys. No promotion is required past this point but with a poor performance you can be relegated back to Pro 2.
Relegation: Unlike years past that required a certain point count to retain your place it is now based on championship rank. You must retain a finish within the Top 32 of driver championship standings to keep your license for the next season.
*Note that all Formula Drift drivers not ranked in the Top 16 of driver points are allowed to enter and run Pro 2 to protect their respective Formula Drift license.