SpeedTV Article w/ Chris Forsberg and IndyCar’s Dan Wheldon

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SpeedTV.com journalist Marshall Pruett wrote a great article in his “Triple Stint” column.  The article features NOS Energy Teammates Formula DRIFT’s Chris Forsberg and IndyCar’s Dan Wheldon.  The two drivers got together during the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend / Formula DRIFT Round 6: Locked and Loaded event.

Driftin’ Dan

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Dan Wheldon loves driving anything…open-wheel…sportscar…and drifting?

“Dorifto Dan” connected with fellow NOS-sponsored driver Chris Forsberg in the FormulaD paddock at Infineon last month, and while he didn’t get a chance to spend time at right angles in Forsberg’s V-8-powered Nissan 350Z. Once the IndyCar season winds down, all that could change, Wheldon says.

“We’ve definitely had some conversations about setting it up where I could drive Chris’ car and try some drifting. Those guys are talented and it’s really entertaining to watch in person. If you’re drifting in an IndyCar it’s never really a good thing! I know driving the NOS car is something I would enjoy, and it’s always good fun when you’re fortunate enough to get the opportunity to drive a racecar from a different discipline. A few years ago I competed in the Race of Champions and was able to try to rally, and that was fun as well. We’ve had the same conversations with Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. about swapping out our National Guard cars for a test, but we’ve all got busy schedules and it’s always difficult to pull off, but hopefully that’s something we can work out. The off-season in IndyCar is really long, and I’m not the type of person that can go too long outside of a racecar.”

For Forsberg, he’s a rare character. Unlike most of the other FormulaD competitors, he comes to the sport with an empty resume. The Doylestown, PA-native is leading the 2009 FD standings with one round to go, and if he winds up with the title, he’ll be looking to expand his reach beyond Formula D.

“I have no other motorsports experience other than drifting, but after watching the precision driving and the abilities of the IndyCar drivers — to have control their cars at such high rates of speed – it’s really fascinating. Karting seems to be an easy transition for most drivers to get that type of experience and I would love to get more seat time behind a kart and expand my skills. I don’t know if Dan’s ready to put me in the National Guard car quite yet…but I’m up for the swap if he is!”

To my surprise, I learned another British IndyCar driver has some ties to drifting.

“I did it once back in England when I was driving for Jaguar in F1,” Justin Wilson told me. “They had a drift car — I can’t remember what it was called – some XKR-R – which wasn’t really set up for drifting! They had a competition going on at Silverstone and all different people there with different road cars. Some setup for drifting, some not. And people just went out and played. And that’s when it kind of first started to come across the UK. Jaguar just gave me this car…we had a bit of fun, but it was more of a race car. It’s a little snappy as opposed to a nice, fluid drift car.

Wilson could hold the distinction of being the only F1 driver-turned drifter-turned IndyCar driver, and given the opportunity, he wouldn’t mind giving it another go. Next time, he’d want a serious machine to drive.

“Yeah, that Jag was fun; we did a run through a couple of corners at Silverstone, but I’d want a proper car next time. It was more like I was fighting an ill-handling GT car than actually getting to grips with a well-balanced drift car.”

Wilson pulled off an impromptu drifting session at the final corner at Sonoma when an aggressive pass attempt left his Z-Line Designs IndyCar in a lurid broadslide. Bad Ass quickly gathered it up and left a haze of Firestone rubber hanging in the air. And how did he rate his Infineon performance?

“It was average…I could have done more tire smoke but it’s always a trade-off between style and speed. We’ll see what the judges think of me next time!”

Formula D – you guys taking notes?

Formula D Programming Starts this Weekend on VERSUS

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For Immediate Release

August 27, 2009

Formula DRIFT Programming Starts this Weekend on VERSUS

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LONG BEACH, Calif. – August 27, 2009 – Formula DRIFT will debut the start of their comprehensive programming schedule on VERSUS this weekend. Formula DRIFT content will be made available in more than 75 million U.S. homes. The seven-stop Formula DRIFT Championship Series programs will air over fourteen Sundays during the 2 PM (EST) / 11 AM (PST) time slot beginning this Sunday, August 30.

The first episode features a comprehensive overview of the sport and drivers. Viewers will then experience Round 1 “The Streets of Long Beach” and all of the events leading up to the final episode showcasing the Formula DRIFT Championship Finale from Irwindale, California on November 29. Each episode will showcase all the on- and off-track action as the world’s top drift drivers battle for the coveted title of Formula DRIFT Champion.

The Formula DRIFT Pro Championship Series will be featured in HiDef and will focus on all the head-to-head action, technology, equipment and the personalities and behind-the-scenes drama. Check your local listings or visit the Formula DRIFT website at www.formuladrift.com for more information.

“We are excited to showcase Formula DRIFT and the sport of drifting on VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country,” says Ryan Sage, VP of Marketing and Co-Founder of Formula DRIFT. “On VERSUS, we are able to showcase our teams and drivers on a weekly basis, at a consistent time slot; all on a network in more than 75 million homes.”

Formula DRIFT is also viewed worldwide through international syndication to an additional 200 million homes. All this combined with several new broadband and internet media strategies; Formula DRIFT continues to be the most watched drifting property in the world.

2009 Sparco Garage Sale

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It’s about that time of the year again! Sparco USA is having a sale, come for some great deals on discontinued items, helmets, shoes, and much more!

Saturday September 26, 2009
9:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M

Sparco USA
1852 Kaiser Ave
Irvine, CA 92614

– ceso

Round 6: Locked and Loaded Results

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For Immediate Release

August 22, 2009

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Formula DRIFT Round 6: Locked and Loaded Results;
Stephan Verdier Takes His First Victory and the Championship Comes Down to the Finals

Long Beach, Calif. – August 22, 2009 – Formula DRIFT returned to Infineon Raceway for Round 6: Locked and Loaded joining the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend. Stephan Verdier in the Cooper Tires / Crawford Performance Subaru STI takes his first victory in Formula DRIFT competition.

“This is a dream come true,” said Stephan Verdier, winner of Round 6: Locked and Loaded. “My first victory after 3 years of competition and it is also the first victory for a Subaru and for Cooper Tires. Today I’m number 1 and it’s a great feeling.”

Round 6: Locked and Loaded was the first event in Formula DRIFT history to share the same weekend with IndyCar for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. Fans were treated to both drifting and open wheel racing action for an exciting combination of motorsports that kept everyone entertained.

Current Formula DRIFT champion Tanner Foust in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Scion Racing TC battled against Hankook teammate Ryuji Miki in the APEXi / Hankook Mazda RX-7 for third place and after 2 hard fought One More Time battles Miki finds the podium once again. The final round had Ken Gushi in the RS*R / Scion Racing TC and Stephan Verdier battle for the top spot. On the first run of the final battle, Ken Gushi ended his run with a blown motor forcing him to take a bow and give Verdier the victory.

“This event proved that drifting can co-exist with other motorsports and provide quality entertainment for all fans and we are very proud to be a part of the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma weekend,” said Ryan Sage, vice president of marketing and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “With only 1 event remaining in the season it will come down to the wire and we will be crowning a new champion.”

Formula DRIFT returns to the “House of Drift” at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on October 15-16 for Round 7: Judgment Day for the season finale. Reserved tickets are available now via the Formula DRIFT website at: www.formuladrift.com

Formula DRIFT Professional Championship 2009 Point Standings

1. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Maxxis Nissan 350Z 470 Points
2. Tuerck, Ryan Gardella Racing / Mobil 1Pontiac Solstice 414 Points
3. Gittin, Vaughn Falken Tire Ford Racing Mustang GT 401.50 Points
4. Hubinette, Samuel NuFormz Dodge Viper 399.25 Points
5. McQuarrie, Tyler Falken Nissan 350Z 396 Points
6. Foust, Tanner Rockstar / Hankook Scion Racing tC 373 Points
7. McNamara, Darren Falken / Sears Auto Center Saturn Sky 370.50 Points
8. Verdier, Stephan Cooper Tire / Crawford Performance Subaru STI 364 Points
9. Nishida, Robbie Hankook Tires / Dynamic Autosports Nissan 350Z 362.25 Points
10. Pawlak, Justin Bergenholtz Racing / Nitto Mazda RX-8 354 Points
11. Miki, Ryuji APEXi / Hankook Mazda RX-7 341.75 Points
12. Gushi, Ken RS*R Scion Racing TC 333.50 Points
13. Brakohiapa, Tony Cooper Tire Ford Mustang 331 Points
14. Petty, Ross Garage Boso / Falken Nissan S15 329 Points
15. Aono, Taka Technosquare Toyota AE86 Corolla 321.25 Points
16. Mordaunt, Patrick PM Racing Nissan S13 317.25 Points

Round 6: Locked and Loaded Event Results
1. Verdier, Stephan Cooper Tire / Crawford Performance Subaru STI Winner
2. Gushi, Ken RS*R Scion Racing TC 2nd Place
3. Miki, Ryuji APEXi / Hankook Mazda RX-7 3rd Place

Tires.com Triple Crown Bonus Point Standings after 2 of 3 events
1. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Maxxis Nissan 350Z 205 Points
2. McNamara, Darren Falken / Sears Auto Center Saturn Sky 150 Points
3. Tuerck, Ryan Gardella Racing / Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice 149 Points

Formula DRIFT News Update

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Formula DRIFT Memorandum

Date: August 22, 2009
Re: Decision regarding tandem match-up between Chris Forsberg and Calvin Wan

Due to various external communications based on poor information from unqualified sources, Formula Drift has issued the following clarification ruling regarding the Round of 32 match-up between Chris Forsberg and Calvin Wan.

– On the first run of the head to head match-up contact was made between Chris Forsberg and Calvin Wan. Calvin Wan, who was chasing, was deemed at fault for the contact. Subsequently Chris Forsberg’s car was damaged. Specifically a lower control arm was broken.
– Chris Forsberg Racing enacted the 5 Minute Rule via their spotter; legally per the guidelines of the Formula Drift rulebook.
– The 5 Minutes expired and Chris Forsberg Racing brought the vehicle back to the line to run the second run of the head to head match-up.
– The judges’ decision was One More Time.
– Chris Forsberg Racing asked for a second 5 Minute and was denied by the Chief Steward
– The match continued and Calvin Wan was deemed the victor.
– 8 minutes past the expiration of the Head-to-Head battle Chris Forsberg Racing filed a legal protest deeming that they were unjustly refused additional time to fix their vehicle according Appendix E/”5 Minute Time Out” of the 2009 Formula DRIFT Rulebook. Chris Forsberg Racing stated that there is no provision that would NOT allow additional time if the team requests and that the Chief Steward can allow for additional time to fix the vehicle if deemed warranted.
– The protest by Chris Forsberg Racing was deemed legal and valid and that additional time should have been allowed which would have easily repaired the minor issue with the car
– The Chief Steward ruled to run the One More Time battle between Chris Forsberg and Calvin Wan.

Formula DRIFT understands that this is a rare and isolated incident and in no way sets precedent for “Re-runs”. This is an example of a team properly using the protest provision on a non-subjective call and finding error in a specific ruling by a Formula DRIFT official.
Any questions and comments, can be addressed to Randy Hembrey, Jim Liaw, or Ryan Sage. Contacts are listed on the Formula DRIFT website.