The Long Road To Long Beach

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At the time of writing, there’s just one month and 18 days to the first round of the 2017 Formula Drift championship.

While we might have to wait until then, for some, the new season has been underway since the day immediately after the 2016 Irwindale finale, if not earlier, as is the case for this particular story. By now, you’re likely aware of James Deane’s and Piotr Więcek’s intention to contest the entire 2017 FD season; you might also have seen the renders and details of their new cars.

For the newly-formed Worthouse Drift Team, these announcements and reveals may have been the easiest part of the puzzle. The real challenge is in the preparation for competing a full championship on another continent.

2017 James Deane S15 Build Speedhunters Part 02 by Paddy McGrath-19

 

Further to this, there’s the extra challenge of building the two new cars some 2,000 miles apart from each other. The cars for all intents and purposes will be practically identical; the only considerable difference being that James’ car will be right-hand drive while Piotr’s will be left-hand drive. This was a deliberate decision, as it means the team only needs to carry one set of spares from event to event.

It’s also meant that the two new teammates have had to co-design the new cars, with compromises being made along the way. It has also meant a near never-ending stream of phone calls and messages between both sides of the team in Ireland and Poland. To keep things simple, I’ve been following James’ side of the build at Deane Msport while Piotr’s build progresses in Poland.

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Thursday Night DRIFT at Irwindale Speedway | February 23, 2017

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February 23rd TND

Each of the monthly Thursday night sessions will start with a (public invited) technical inspection for the competition vehicles at 4:00PM and drift practice will run flat out from 5:00PM to 9:00PM. The fan gates open at 4PM and there’s plenty of close-free parking.

Open to the public (fans can watch from the stands and visit the pits as well) admission is only $10 per person. These will be nights when fans can see some of the best of the best getting tuned-up for the 2017 season as well as catching the acts of some of new, upcoming Drift talent as they test their driving skills and machines against the established pros.

Anyone can run their properly-equipped* car for $75 and they can register right at the track on Thursday night.

Thursday Night Drift one sheet 2017

The New Team That’s About To Shake Up FD

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Since the announcement late last year that James Deane and Piotr Wieçek would tackle the 2017 Formula D championship, details of the newest team on the grid have been kept under wraps. Speculation has been rife, but both drivers have remained quiet on any rumours sent their way, and there’s been a good reason for this.

It’s not been out of ignorance or some sort of superiority complex, but rather that they’ve waited until everything has been set in stone before announcing the next part of their 2017 campaign: their cars. And as you’ve already seen both above and below, Deane and Wieçek will be campaigning two almost identical Nissan Silvia S15s as part of the newly formed Worthouse Drift Team.

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Formula D Rd.8 Irwindale Speedway Title Fight Gallery By Everythingdrift.com

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Formula Drift made its final stop of the year at the House of Drift Irwindale Speedway for it’s signature final round of the season. Three drivers would enter into the round in contention for the championship – Points leader Chris Forsberg, 2nd place Fredric Aasbo and 3rd Vaughn Gittin Jr. Forsberg would be chasing down his 3rd championship title trying to pass Samuel Hubinette and Tanner Foust on the list with 2 titles. Aasbo would be defending by trying to defend his 2015 title and become the second driver to win consecutive championships.

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Forsberg was able to put down a Qualifying run of 85 putting him in 4th place beating out his Championship contenders.

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Daijiro Yoshihara showed a resurgence and put down one amazing Qualifying run and earning the #1 Qualifier position and in doing so earned him one of the three bye run’s for the weekend due to zeroes and mechanical failures in qualifying.

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