Formula DRIFT Round 3: The Gauntlet Results

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Formula DRIFT Round 3: The Gauntlet Results;
Darren McNamara Takes the Victory and Rises to the Top of the Standings

Long Beach, Calif. – June 6, 2009 – Formula DRIFT returned to Wall Speedway in New Jersey after a 1 year absence for Round 3: The Gauntlet. Darren McNamara in the Falken Tires / Sears Auto Center Saturn Sky took the victory and the lead for the Formula DRIFT Championship point standings. Team Falken Tires finished the event strong filling the top 3 podium positions.

Despite the initial rain on Friday, the skies cleared for the main competition at Wall Speedway setting the stage for a great event. The fans were treated to temperatures in the mid 70’s and partly cloudy skies. Thousands of fans packed the grandstands of Wall Speedway and witnessed another spectacular drifting competition of the season.

“It was a trying event for our staff and for the teams given the rain on Friday forcing us to pack all the action into one day,” said Ryan Sage, vice president of marketing and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Yet at the end it was a huge payoff for everyone. Team Falken put together an incredible showing and swept the podium.”

For the first time Team Falken took each position on the podium with Tyler McQuarrie in the Falken Nissan 350Z taking 3rd place, Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Falken / Ford Racing Mustang GT taking 2nd place, and Darren McNamara in the Falken / Sears Auto Center Saturn Sky taking the victory and moving into 1st place overall in the Formula DRIFT point standings. Hometown hero, Ryan Tuerck moved into 2nd place overall in the Mobil 1 / Gardella Racing Pontiac Solstice right in front of Round 2 winner, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink / Maxxis Nissan 350Z. The victory for McNamara, the 2006 Pro Drift Champion and 2007 Formula DRIFT Rookie of Year, was well earned after putting on a great performance and laying it all out on the line at this event.

“All day I felt completely comfortable and confident behind the Falken / Sears Auto Center Saturn Sky,” said Darren McNamara, winner of Round 3: The Gauntlet. “I couldn’t have done this without the help of the Falken crew, Sears Auto Center, ASD, my girlfriend, and all my friends and family.”

Formula DRIFT returns to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Round 4: All In on July 10-11. Tickets are on-sale now.

Formula DRIFT Professional Championship 2009 Point Standings

1. McNamara, Darren Falken / Sears Auto Center Saturn Sky 260 Points
2. Tuerck, Ryan Gardella Racing / Mobil 1Pontiac Solstice 232 Points
3. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Maxxis Nissan 350Z 227 Points
4. Hubinette, Samuel NuFormz / Mopar Dodge Viper 213 Points
5. Gittin, Vaughn Falken Tire Ford Racing Mustang GT 211 Points
6. Nishida, Robbie Hankook Tires / Dynamic Autosports Nissan 350Z 197 Points
7. McQuarrie, Tyler Falken Nissan 350Z 195.50 Points
8. Pawlak, Justin Bergenholtz Racing / Nitto Mazda RX-8 178 Points
9. Aono, Taka Technosquare Toyota AE86 Corolla 174.50 Points
10. Maeng, Joon Maxxis / LS Auto Nissan S13.5 173 Points
11. Brakohiapa, Tony Cooper Tire Ford Mustang 170.75 Points
12. Millen, Rhys Red Bull / RMR / Toyo Hyundai Genesis Coupe 166.50 Points
13. Mordaunt, Patrick PM Racing Nissan S13 165.50 Points
14. Verdier, Stephan Cooper Tire / Crawford Performance Subaru STI 163 Points
15. Petty, Ross Garage Boso / Falken Nissan S15 158.50 Points
16. Yoshihara, Daijiro Falken Tire / Discount Tire Lexus IS350 156 Points

Round 3: The Gauntlet Event Results
1. McNamara, Darren Falken / Sears Auto Center Saturn Sky
2. Gittin, Vaughn Falken Tire Ford Racing Mustang GT
3. McQuarrie, Tyler Falken Nissan 350Z

Tires.com Triple Crown Point Standings after 1 of 3 events
1. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Maxxis Nissan 350Z 102 Points
2. McNamara, Darren Falken / Sears Auto Center Saturn Sky 94 Points
3. Tuerck, Ryan Gardella Racing / Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice 80 Points

Round 3: The Gauntlet Top 32 Qualifying

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Today’s Top 32 Qualifying was very exciting. Both Ken Gushi and Tyler McQuarrie tied with the same top score, but Ken had a higher speed so he earns the top spot. The biggest upset of the day comes with current Formula DRIFT champion Tanner Foust spinning in both his qualifying runs and failing to qualify into the Top 32 competition.

Be sure to stay tuned to the Formula DRIFT Blog and Twitter for live updates throughout the day.

Ken Gushi
Ken Gushi

Tyler McQuarrie
Tyler McQuarrie

Qualifying Drivers – Top 32

Driver: Car #: Score:

1 K. Gushi 5 95.9
2 T. McQuarrie 17 95.9
3 R. Millen 6 94.6
4 D. McNamara 8 93.9
5 S. Hubinette 77 93
6 V. Gittin 25 89.6
7 J. Pawlak 13 89.5
8 D. Yoshihara 9 88
9 P. Mordaunt 90 87.1
10 C. Forsberg 64 86.2
11 R. Tuerck 44 84.7
12 S. Verdier 12 84.4
13 R. Miki 26 84.1
14 R. Nishida 31 82.9
15 K. Yamanaka 7 80
16 R. Petty 808 77.9
17 C. Canul 30 77.7
18 M. Waldin 24 77.6
19 K. Mohan 99 76
20 M. Takatori 23 75.9
21 T. Brakohiapa 18 74.9
22 J. Maeng 51 74.1
23 D. VanDenBrink 19 72.6
24 E. O’Sullivan 35 70.6
25 T. Aono 86 70.4
26 C. Wan 3 66
27 T. Suell 777 63.8
28 J. Wagner 412 55.2
29 J. Jones 29 52.6
30 R. Ewerth 27 49
31 C. Kregorian 14 46
32 G. Lang 68 28

Formula D – ATL Autograph Session 35mm

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During the Formula Drift Atlanta event I was able to shoot a roll of film with my Canon EOS Elan 7. I didn’t get to take pictures of drifting because the film ISO was to high and the max shutter speed of the camera is 1/4000 sec. – I was able to capture the autograph session on Friday afternoon.

Team Rockstar

Rockstar Team

Golden Child – Tanner Foust

Tanner Foust

Ken “The Future” Gushi

Ken Gushi

Continue reading Formula D – ATL Autograph Session 35mm

Mopar Announces Plan To End Sponsorship Of NuFormz

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Formula DRIFT is saddened that the economy has caught up to another company close to Formula DRIFT.  Mopar took a big gamble with our start up Series from day one and believed in the sport of drifting.  During their partnership with NuFormz Racing and Samuel Hubinette, they amassed the most wins in FD history and 2 championships (2004 & 2006).  We look forward to Chrysler’s restructuring and their eventual return to Formula DRIFT.  In the meantime, we will work to assist NuFormz Racing to be able to finish off the 2009 season.  The NuFormz/Hubinette combination is a world class championship organization, fans and sponsors can count on more success from them in the future.

– Official Announcement by Formula DRIFT Holdings, LLC

Mopar® Announces Plan To End Sponsorship Of NuFormz Racing
Decision is part of Chrysler LLC’s comprehensive restructuring plan

Center Line, Mich. — Mopar®, Chrysler LLC’s Parts division, announced it will end its majority sponsorship of the NuFormz Racing team, which competes in the Formula Drift (FD) Series. Mopar’s sponsorship of the NuFormz Racing team will conclude following the June 5–6 event at Wall (N.J.) Speedway.

“As part of Chrysler’s comprehensive restructuring plan to revitalize our business and succeed as a stronger car company, we’re rigorously reviewing all expenditures and making tough business decisions,” said Mike Accavitti, Director of Brand Marketing and Strategy, Chrysler LLC. “The decision to end Team Mopar’s sponsorship of NuFormz Racing was difficult because of our long-term relationship with the team and all of the success we’ve enjoyed competing in Formula Drift.

“We wish the team nothing but the best in the future,” Accavitti added. “At this time, we plan to continue supporting our other racing sponsorships into the foreseeable future.”

NuFormz Racing team owner Shaun Carlson and driver Samuel Hübinette have enjoyed long and illustrious careers competing under the Team Mopar banner. Carlson debuted with Team Mopar beginning in 2002 as a driver in the NHRA Sport Compact division. He went on to pilot the Team Mopar/SRT® Dodge Stratus R/T NHRA Pro Stock car for Don Schumacher Racing during the 2006 season.

Carlson and Hübinette teamed up in the FD Series in 2004 and quickly shot to the top of the emerging new motorsport. Hübinette claimed victory in the first-ever FD event in his Mopar Dodge Viper, maintained by Carlson, and went on to capture three of four 2004 events and the overall championship in the inaugural FD season. Hübinette, with Carlson as team owner, powered to his second FD championship in 2006. Hübinette, owner of a series-high nine career FD wins, also claimed runner-up finishes in the FD point standings in 2005 and 2008.

“I had a great eight-year run as a member of the Team Mopar family, and want to thank the company for all the great memories I’m taking away,” said Carlson. “It’s a tough decision, but given the current economic environment inside and outside of racing, I certainly understand it.

We’re going to work as hard as ever to cap off our success with Team Mopar with a convincing win at The Gauntlet race in early June.”

More than 70 Years of Mopar
When Chrysler bought Dodge in 1928, the need for a dedicated parts manufacturer, supplier and distribution system to support the growing enterprise led to the formation of the Chrysler Motor Parts Corporation (CMPC) in 1929.

Mopar (a simple contraction of the words MOtor and PARts) was trademarked for a line of antifreeze products in 1937. It also was widely used as a moniker for the CMPC. The Mopar brand made its mark in the 1960’s–the muscle car era. The Chrysler Corporation built race-ready Dodge and Plymouth “package cars” equipped with special high-performance parts. Mopar carried a line of “special parts” for super stock drag racers and developed its racing parts division called Mopar Performance Parts to enhance speed and handling for both road and racing use.

Today, Chrysler LLC’s Parts division is responsible for the distribution of nearly 350,000 authentic Mopar replacement parts, components and accessories for Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge vehicles sold around the world. To assure quality, reliability and durability, all Mopar parts and accessories are designed in strict adherence to Chrysler engineering standards.