Formula DRIFT driver, Rhys Millen will be featured on tonight’s show of “Last Call with Carson Daly”. Tuesday Nov. 17 at 1:35/12:35 CT on NBC.
The inaugural Formula Drift Thailand, presented by Goodyear, ended with a climactic battle as “Mad Mike” Whiddett, New Zealand’s champion drifter, and 2004 D1 Japan Grand Prix winner Ryuji Miki competed head to head in a final showdown last weekend.
Ultimately, Mad Mike was declared the winner after a heart-stopping three-round battle. Third place honors went to Malaysian drifter Tengku Djan, who was the 2009 Formula Drift Singapore champion last July.
“Mad Mike” Whiddett, drifting with Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric tires, overcame an equally gruelling knockout round with Tengku Djan in wet weather conditions as the rain poured before the Final Four began.
Thailand’s first and only world-class drifting ground, Wonderworld Park, Ramindra, was filled to capacity as drift fans flowed in to pack the racing ground during the two-day competition. The 7,000 strong venue was fully booked.
Intensity mounted on the second day when 32 qualifiers, including 23 Thai competitors, demonstrated their skills and techniques on the smoke-filled racing track, accompanied by the roar of powerful engines as the drifters revved up. The three American judges invited from Formula Drift lent an air of stringency to the proceedings as the organizers aimed to bring Formula Drift Thailand standards to a new, more professional level.
Thai drift king – Kiki Nana – was among the qualifying drifters and successfully sailed through to the final eight before being defeated and exiting from the competition. All Thai drifters taking part mentioned that this was the most impressive drift competition they had been involved in, and even though they were unable to bring the trophy home, the two days on the drifting ground with super drifters from across the region was an amazing experience. They also noted that they find international competing standards tough but very challenging.
The two drifters from New Zealand and Japan sweated it out in the final battle. Instead of two rounds of battle like the other competitions, the two drifters had to compete in three rounds since their skills were highly matched. Judges were put in the hot seat as they just could not agree on an unanimous winner. It was decided that the competition would be settled in a third round of battle.
Finally, it appeared that the third round had done the trick. Whiddett and Miki stood side by side on the stage. Tension rose to a peak as the third judge revealed his final score for Whiddett, and broke in a wave of emotion as the New Zealand drift hero was crowned the winner of Formula Drift Thailand with 2:1 score. The crowd went wild, cheering and clapping.
After the trophy presentation, the winners had to stay on stage for more than half an hour as drift fans kept coming onstage to congratulate them in person. The organizers also kept the crowd entertained with stunt shows and highly energizing percussion numbers.
Formula Drift now moves to Malaysia as Goodyear hosts the final competition in the ASEAN drift series, to be held in December 19-20 at the MAEPS (Malaysian Agro Exposition Park Serdang) grounds.
1st Place – Mike Whiddet
2nd Place – Ryuji Miki
3rd Place – Tengku Djan
Click for more information about Formula DRIFT ASIA
2009 SEMA: Hankook, Conrad Grunewald Launch 2010 Camaro for Formula Drift
From Motor Trend
Let’s face it: The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro is a hit with show car builders here at SEMA, the land of trends and all things cool when it comes to cars. So it’s only fitting that one of Formula Drift’s veterans, Conrad Grunewald, along with Hankook Tire and BR Racing, will be fielding a newly completed drift-spec Camaro for 2010.
Grunewald is accustomed to American Muscle. For the past few seasons, he’s been drifting in a bright red C5 Corvette. As he explained to us, after finishing the 2009 season, he expressed his desire to his sponsors of wanting to have a bigger role in team management. Unwilling to find a middle ground, Grunewald went his own way and landed a Camaro with Hankook Tire.
Finding a home under the carbon fiber hood is a fully modified GM Performance LSA crate engine. It’s supercharged to make in the range of 600 hp. Having enough grunt to kill tires, of course, is only half the equation when it comes to drifting. That’s where AEM and Eibach stepped in with their respective engine management and suspension setup.
Jump inside and BR Racing’s craftsmanship continues. The usual Sparco bucket seats and steering wheel dominate the driver’s side, while a bevy of gauges and switches on the dash allow Grunewald to better setup the car on the fly.
Preseason testing is planned for immediately after the SEMA Show. Expect big things to come from Hankook and Grunewald, so stay tuned to this channel for more.
Read more: http://wot.motortrend.com/6588146/motorsports/2009-sema-hankook-conrad-grunewald-launch-2010-camaro-for-formula-drift/index.html#ixzz0W7HOf6bj
GSR Autosport and Michael Essa to Campaign a BMW 335i in the
2010 Formula Drift Championship Series
LOS ANGELES, Calif., October 30, 2009 – GSR Autosport and Michael Essa have partnered to campaign a 2008 BMW 335i sport coupe in the upcoming 2010 Formula Drift Championship Series. It will be the first BMW 3 Series, powered by a turbocharged BMW M3 engine, to campaign in a national drifting series.
“The BMW 335i is a powerful rear-engine sports coupe with a rock-solid chassis leaving us plenty of room for aftermarket development—the platform will easily handle the 550-hp turbocharged 3.2-liter M3 powerplant which we are finishing development on. Michael Essa was the natural choice to drive this innovative new drift car. Not only does he have a strong motorsport racing background, but he possesses the demanding drifting creativity and competitiveness necessary to win,” says Nick Richards, President of GSR Autosport.
Entering its sixth season, Formula DRIFT is recognized as the North American professional drifting championship series. As the first official series in North America, Formula DRIFT has taken competitive motorsports to the extreme, attracting fans and car enthusiasts from all walks of life. This high-skilled, high-powered motor sport where drivers intentionally maneuver their cars into well executed, controlled sideways slides at high speeds through a marked course, has more than 60 professional drivers competing in all seven competitions this year. Judged on execution and style, rather than who finishes the course in the fastest time, drifting is a guaranteed crowd pleaser, and is often compared to the freestyle nature of skateboarding and motocross. Formula DRIFT and the drivers serve as ambassadors for the sport of drifting bringing exhibitions to traditional/mainstream motor sports events across the country which have included: multiple Champ Car World Series races, American Le Mans, USAC, NASCAR Busch North & Featherlite Southwest and the SPEED World Challenge, among others.
Residing in Los Angeles, Michael Essa has been racing cars since he was seventeen. He has always focused on the machine and the track, building a solid foundation to create a legacy in global motorsports. He has held positions as Crew Chief and Lead Tech Inspector building and developing his talent from the ground up. Essa not only worships racing but supports the community by offering driving instruction for both Porsche racers and drift drivers. Essa opened Tech Trix Motorsports in Anaheim, California, in the Spring of 2001. The company supplies custom fabrication, specialized maintenance, optimization and management of privately owned Porsche racecars. He and his expert team maintain an average of 20 cars annually and are significant players on the P.O.C. and P.C.A. circuits. Essa campaigned a Mazda in the 2009 Formula Drift Championship Series where he was runner-up for the 2009 Rookie of the Year.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, GSR Autosport is a multi-facetted professional automotive racing business. Founded and operated by genuine racing enthusiasts, GSR Autosport is a race car manufacturer that designs, develops, and builds turn-key vehicles, competitive automotive components, and race safety equipment in various facilities around the country. GSR Autosport is also the parent company to GoSpecRacing.com, a retail race parts supplier, and SpecBoxster.com, a club-level record-holding Porsche Boxster racing team.
SEMA Show: Formula Drift stays course
by Mark Vaughn
Like many enterprises, making a living sliding cars sideways around racetracks was not easy in 2009. But . . .
“We survived,” said Formula Drift president and cofounder Jim Liaw, speaking at SEMA of his series’ 2009 season. “Sponsorship amounts were down, but we had an increase in ticket sales and an increase in fan support.”
For next year, Formula Drift will return to the same seven tracks it ran in 2009, and there will be a separate Asian series. There also will be 32-car brackets, which Liaw says will be exciting for fans and challenging for teams, “pushing the limits of car reliabiltiy and driver stamina.”
Some new cars will be on the grid, including a BMW M3, at least one new Camaro and the Dynamic Autosports Team Skyline GT-R R35.
Liaw also is looking at online branding and TV exposure.
“It helps us analyze what we’re doing and where we’re going,” he said. “Our Twitter, MySpace and Facebook pages are constantly being updated. Our fans are young, motivated and have disposable income. And we use different products and methods to create new series value and exposure.”
For instance, last year, there were 2.5 billion impressions, or instances where a fan saw a Formula D car or driver in the media.
Liaw said that “2.5 billion impressions for a little series like ours is pretty good. That trickles down to everybody, especially the teams.”
Formula Drift will continue to be shown on the Versus network, the same channel that carries NHL and college football games and the IndyCar series, not to mention the pro bull-riding tour.
“Drifting is a viable sport and a viable investment,” said Liaw. “Maybe Formula Drift is the best bang for the buck in sports.”
For more information, see www.formulad.com.
Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20091105/SEMA/911059996#ixzz0W6v0mBRB