Formula DRIFT Announces Official Partnership with Ford for the 2013 Pro Championship Season

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Long Beach, Calif. – October 11, 2012 – Ford is expanding its involvement in professional drifting competition by becoming an official partner of Formula DRIFT and the 2013 Formula DRIFT championship.

“Our involvement with Formula DRIFT is not new, but we are taking it to the next level with this announcement,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “Enthusiasts can now see our great Mustangs on the track with great drivers like Vaughn Gittin, Jr. and Justin Pawlak, and they’ll get a better chance to interact with our stars as well as our exciting production vehicles off track through consumer outreach at all the events. Formula DRIFT is a major part of our action motorsports program targeting new audiences for Ford.”

Ford has actively supported the professional drifting efforts of Team Falken Tire and drivers including Gittin, Pawlak and others since 2005. Two-time D1 Grand Prix champion Gittin won the 2010 Formula DRIFT championship at the wheel of a Mustang GT and leads the 2012 series going into this weekend’s finale. Pawlak, the 2011 Formula DRIFT series runner-up, won the first two rounds in 2012 and currently sits fourth – 70 points behind Gittin.

Initially popularized by fans of import sport compacts, professional drifting has taken root with a younger, more active audience that’s interested in nontraditional, emerging motorsports. Formula DRIFT estimates 87 percent of its fan base is 18 to 34 years old. Ford involvement in Formula DRIFT is a significant part of the company’s outreach to this group that might consider a Ford vehicle like the Fiesta, Focus, Mustang or Raptor.

Drifting is one of many nontraditional approaches Ford is using to reach new customers including social network conversations, soliciting user-generated content through programs like Fiesta Movement and Social.Ford.com, cross-platform marketing programs like Random Acts of Fusion, and the Octane Academy experiential program featuring Gittin, Ken Block, Brian Deegan and Tanner Foust.

“Ever since Ford came into the series competitively in 2005, we have seen the power of what a factory-backed effort can do,” said Ryan Sage, co-founder/vice-president, Formula DRIFT. “Now we are even more excited to have them on as an official partner for the final event of the year and into 2013.”

The finale of the 2012 season of the Formula DRIFT championship is taking place this weekend at Irwindale Speedway (east of Los Angeles) on October 12-13, 2012 for the final event of its ninth season. The Mustangs of Gittin and Pawlak are both in contention for the championship. The Formula DRIFT championship event will be broadcast live on www.FormulaD.com/live Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUKPP01Kx-U&feature=plcp[/youtube]

Formula DRIFT Signs Takata Racing as a Premier Driftstream Sponsor for the 2012 Pro Championship Finale

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Long Beach, Calif. – October 10, 2012 – Formula DRIFT is proud to announce Takata Racing as a premier Driftstream sponsor for Round 7: Title Fight this weekend. Takata Racing will be a premier sponsor of the Driftstream with exclusive naming rights of the final head-to-head battle and Saturday practice session.

“Takata Racing is excited to join Formula DRIFT as a premier Driftstream sponsor for the final season finale at Irwindale Speedway. Takata is a world leader in automotive and motorsport safety and we look forward to working with Formula DRIFT to optimize their safety systems for the teams,” Joe Marko of Takata Racing NA. “We have worked with multiple other motorsport organizations such as NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula 1 and we see the association with Formula DRIFT as a terrific way to promote safety to the new generation of enthusiasts.”

As a premier sponsor, Takata Racing will be integrated into Formula DRIFT’s Driftstream live webcast during Round 7: Title Fight beginning on Friday, Oct. 12 to Saturday, Oct. 13. For the 2013 season Takata Racing will sponsoring Formula DRIFT driver Ken Gushi in the Greddy / Hankook / Scion Racing FR-S.

“We are excited to have Takata Racing as a new partner in Formula DRIFT,” president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Takata will bring its years of safety and technical knowledge to the Series and the sport of Drifting.”

The Driftstream will air Friday and Saturday, October 12-13 starting at 2PM (PST) during Round 7: Title Fight, which is the conclusion of the 2012 Formula DRIFT Pro Championship season. The Driftstream is available on www.formulad.com/live.

Formula DRIFT Premieres on NBC Sports this Sunday, September 2

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For Immediate Release

August 31, 2012

Formula DRIFT Premieres on NBC Sports this Sunday, September 2; Season Preview to Air at 5:00 PM (EST) / 2:00 PM (PST) 

Long Beach, Calif. – August 31, 2012 – The Formula DRIFT television program to air this Sunday, September 2, 2012 on NBC Sports at 5:00 PM (EST) / 2:00 PM (PST). The premiere episode will feature a season preview.

The “Formula DRIFT,” television program will air for the first time on NBC Sports, formerly the VERSUS network. The twelve half-hour long episodes will run for fourteen consecutive weeks on Sundays at 5:00 PM (EST) beginning on September 2 with re-airs showing on Tuesdays at 5:30 PM (EST) beginning on September 4.

“To be part of the NBC Sports family of programming is very exciting and shows the progression of our Sport and Series,” said Ryan Sage vice-president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “NBC Sports is currently in over 80 million households combined with an additional 300 million household distribution internationally. To be able to share the action and excitement of Formula DRIFT to this large of an audience is amazing.”

The episodes will highlight the seven Pro Championship rounds of competition from the ninth season and will be hosted by Formula DRIFT co-founder, Ryan Sage, Courtney Day and Formula DRIFT announcer, Jarod DeAnda.

Rhys Millen is Victorious at Formula DRIFT Round 6: After Dark

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Rhys Millen is Victorious at Formula DRIFT Round 6: After Dark;
Championship Will Come Down to Final Event of the Season

Long Beach, Calif. – August 26, 2012 – Formula DRIFT returned to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Round 6: After Dark. Rhys Millen in the RMR / Hankook Hyundai Genesis Coupe takes the victory and moves up to third place in the overall points standings leading into the final event of the season.

Round 6: After Dark brought drifting back to Sin City and treated fans to a night spectacle that included the Vegas ProAm championship, Slammed Society car show, Targa Trophy display of vehicles and more. The Driftstream saw an estimated 150,000 viewers in a 24-hour period.

“The Las Vegas round of competition is always one of the most action-packed, but with a completely new course it challenged the drivers and excited the fans,“ said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Each year we have seen an increase in attendance and have accommodated with the addition of extra grand stands. This was a very exciting event to lead into the championship round in October. This was another tight championship chase with three former champions in the top five.”

A new track configuration was added to the event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway giving an extra challenge for the drivers to adjust to the new course along with the weather conditions of the desert. Robbie Nishida in the Bridges Racing / Achilles Tires Lexus SC300 faced points leader Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in the Monster Energy / Falken Ford Mustang in a battle for third place. Gittin took the win and secures his point lead in the chase for the championship. The final battle pitted second place qualifier, Rhys Millen, fresh off his record setting victory at Pikes Peak in the same Hyundai Genesis Coupe that he competed in at this event, against the number one qualifier, Frederic Aasbo in the Need for Speed / Hankook Scion tC. On his lead run, Aasbo met the wall to give the advantage to Millen. On the second run Millen kept a consistent line to take the victory moving him to third place overall and within striking distance of the point leaders.

“It was an incredible victory for our entire crew at RMR, for Hyundai, Pulse and Hankook. To come here from Pikes Peak in the exact same car in a different configuration and in a different driving style and to do it back to back,” said Rhys Millen, winner of Round 6: After Dark. “This is a true drivers course and suits the car well and we were flawless all day long. Unfortunately, some of our competitors gifted us a couple wins, but at the end of the day we put the pressure on them to run deep and fast.”

The chase for the championship is as tight as it has ever been and will be decided at the final event of the season. The Formula DRIFT Pro Championship Round 7: Title Fight on October 12-13 at Irwindale Speedway. Tickets are on-sale now and can be purchased on the Formula DRIFT website.

Formula DRIFT Round 7: Title Fight Tickets On-Sale

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Formula DRIFT Round 7: Title Fight Tickets On-Sale;
Final Event of the 2012 Season at Irwindale Speedway on October 12-13

Long Beach, Calif. – August 15, 2012 – Tickets for the finale event of the 2012 Formula DRIFT season are on-sale now. Round 7: Title Fight on October 12-13, 2012 will be held at Irwindale Speedway.

Formula DRIFT will be the first major event to return to Irwindale Speedway since the new management group has taken over the day-to-day operations of the venue. The event has sold out for the past two seasons and to accommodate the growth in attendance expanded seating will be made available. Tickets are on-sale now and available on www.formulad.com. Tickets are expected to sell-out again and early purchase is highly recommended.

“Irwindale Speedway is hallow ground for drifting, something that we made it to be. So it’s significant not only to our Series but to the world drifting community,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “We are both proud and excited to be able to continue to hold the finale of our ninth season at Irwindale and look forward to closing our tenth season there as well.”

Ticketing options include the following:

Main Grandstands
– $28 for Saturday Only when purchased online
– $33 for 2-day pass when purchased online
– Includes assigned / reserved seat

Start Line VIP
– $45 for a 2-day pass when purchased online
– Includes exclusive restroom and concession access for start line grand stand ticket holders and a FD gift

Trackside VIP
– $65 for 2-day pass when purchased online
– Includes exclusive restroom and concession access for trackside grand stand ticket holders and a FD gift bag

Skybox VIP
– First time access for Formula DRIFT fans available
– $5,000
Includes:
– 30 passes to the event and access to the skybox
– 10 parking passes
– FD gifts
– Non-alcoholic beverages (NOS, SmartWater, and Vitamin Water)

With less than 63 points separating the top 5 drivers leading into Round 6: After Dark at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the chase for the Championship is as close as it has ever been. Round 7: Title Fight will also feature the revealing of the 10 year anniversary logo, announcement of the Tires.com Triple Crown winner, the Slammed Society car show, the Formula Drift ProAm All Star competition along with much more.