Deane X Więcek: Picking Up The Pieces by Speedhunters

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In some ways, I’m glad the first defeat has come.

There was a lot of hype about the arrival of the Worthouse Drift Team in Formula Drift for the 2017 season. Two new drivers on the grid, two new cars and a lot of unknowns. James’ victory in Long Beach was proof for many that he could walk the walk, although for some, his immediate success was enough for them to overturn their longtime support, instead preferring to take the more trendy view of him being overhyped and his win being a one-off.

Some of the things that I heard and read after Long Beach certainly elicited a laugh or two, including one claiming he had an advantage because the car was right-hand drive. Others, who previously sung his praises were now chomping at the bit, eager for his failure. Wait until he gets to the ovals they said…

2017 FD02 Orlando Worthouse Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-1

It just happened that Round 2 this year is an oval circuit, with the Orlando Speed World venue having swapped places with Road Atlanta in the Formula D schedule. One ex-Formula D competitor warned me in advance that OSW made Ireland’s Rosegreen – itself a tiny short oval in rural Tipperary – look like Talladega.

2017 FD02 Orlando Worthouse Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-2

It was an over exaggeration, of course, but we were certainly a long way from the well groomed streets of Long Beach. Orlando is the first stop on a tour which takes in four corners of the United States, a trip across to Canada, along with a round in the heart of Texas. Leaving the familiarity of California behind, it felt like we were about to enter the real war for the Formula Drift Championship.

2017 FD02 Orlando Worthouse Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-3

It was certainly less glamorous in Florida, but we were not there for the scenery. By the time I arrived on Thursday morning, the Bridges Racing crew already had a foothold established in the paddock. With the Orlando round also being a Pro 2 event, it meant an extra day of practice for all Pro 1 competitors.

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BlackVue Sponsors Formula Drift Driver Ken Gushi and GReddy Racing

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Seoul, Korea – April 28, 2017 – As a new Formula Drift Pro Championship season just started, presenting sponsor BlackVue announces new sponsorship.

During its first year as presenting sponsor, the representatives of BlackVue, the dash cam brand designed and manufactured by Pittasoft in South Korea, had the chance to be introduced to great personalities from the drift scene. Chief among them was Ken Gushi, driver of the number 21 Toyota 86 for GReddy Racing. Continue reading BlackVue Sponsors Formula Drift Driver Ken Gushi and GReddy Racing

Broadcast to Facebook Live With Your BlackVue Dashcam

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Now you can stream your dashcam footage to Facebook Live straight from your Cloud-connected BlackVue with the BlackVue app!

Along with the newest update of the BlackVue app (released in late April for iOS/Android) comes the feature to livestream your dashcam footage live on Facebook. Continue reading Broadcast to Facebook Live With Your BlackVue Dashcam

2017 Formula DRIFT Orlando Top 32 Play-by-Play by Driving Line

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The hot and humid action tearing up the track in Orlando matched the weather report for the Formula Drift Series‘ third visit to Orlando Speed World. By now the drivers have become accustomed to the 3/8-mile asphalt oval; the track has one of the rougher surfaces on the circuit, which is part of the reason that the course used is only two big turns.

FD Orlando crowd

ORLANDO SPEED WORLD COURSE

Drivers initiate on the back straight, running the track in clockwise fashion around the first bank. Judges have asked the drivers to ride the wall of the bank as much as possible, treating it like a giant outside clipping zone. There’s an inside clipping point towards the end of the bank, then drivers transition off the bank onto the bumpy infield portion of the track. Drivers will transition from left to right across the infield, hitting an inside clip at the end of the infield before riding the outside line on the flat bottom of the second turn. If any drivers push a tire up onto the bank of the second turn, there will be a deduction, while sliding the front tires up onto the bank will result in an “Incomplete Run” which is the new term for a zero-point run.

Chelsea DeNofa and Vaughn Gittin Jr.

QUALIFYING

Overall, only 27 drivers were able to put up a score in Qualifying, which meant that the top five drivers would earn a bye in the first round. Dai Yoshihara came out tires blazing and laid down a 95-point first Qualifying run which would hold up as the top score on the table. Fredric Aasbo and Ryan Tuerck both earned scores of 93, with Aasbo earning the higher qualifying position by virtue of a higher secondary score of 90 points to Tuerck’s 89-point secondary score. Long Beach winner James Deane earned 92 points on his run, while Michael Essa rounded out the top five Qualifying order with a score of 91.

Robbie Nishida, who qualified in Long Beach, moved into his new Nissan GTR for this round but was unable to put up a qualifying score. Additionally, Faruk Kugay had some teething issues getting his BMW car prepped for the event and didn’t make the trip, while Georgy Chivchyan also was absent from this round. In their place, Taylor Hull made his Formula D Pro debut by qualifying 25th, and Kyle Mohan put down his first qualifying score of the season to earn the 27th qualifier position. Continue reading 2017 Formula DRIFT Orlando Top 32 Play-by-Play by Driving Line