Formula DRIFT Revs up for Eighth Championship Season

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Formula DRIFT Revs up for Eighth Championship Season;
Round 1: Streets of Long Beach April 8-9, 2011

Long Beach, Calif. – March 10, 2011 – Formula DRIFT prepares to begin the eighth professional championship season. Round 1: Streets of Long Beach on April 8-9 to feature world class drifting action, debut of new cars and drivers, vendor midway, driver autographs, open pits, car show and more.

“We are especially excited to kick-off the new season in Long Beach,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “This will be our fifth consecutive year utilizing the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Street Course, which is the only street course on the circuit. With new drivers, new competition vehicles and non-stop drifting action we are expecting another sell-out crowd.”

Round 1: Streets of Long Beach will feature the return of champion Vaughn Gittin, Jr., the much anticipated debut of the Need for Speed 2011 Scion TC of Papadakis Racing with Formula DRIFT rookie of the year Fredric Aasbo behind the wheel, 2009 Champion Chris Forsberg and his new NOS Energy Drink Nissan 370Z, along with the rest of the talented driver pool. Newly added for this event will be an expanded VIP section and multiple Jumbotrons for better viewing throughout the venue.

Tickets are now available for Round 1: Streets of Long Beach on April 8-9, including reserved seating, 2-day ticket packages, and VIP tickets. Tickets can be purchased through www.formuladrift.com, Ticketmaster outlets, and the Long Beach Convention Center box office. Ticket prices start at $27 online with reserved tickets available for Saturday’s competition day. 2-day packages are also available along with VIP ticket packages.

For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com

Formula DRIFT Announces Formula DRIFT Global Challenge on March 18 in Qatar

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Long Beach, Calif. – March 8, 2011 – Formula DRIFT announces the Formula DRIFT Global Challenge on March 18, 2011. The inaugural event will be held at the Qatar Racing Club in Doha, Qatar.

Following the successful Formula DRIFT UAE Invitational event at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, Formula DRIFT will be holding the first Formula DRIFT Global Challenge in Qatar. The Qatar Racing Club in Doha, Qatar will host the event on March 18, 2011. Nine drivers will compete, including seven of the top Formula DRIFT Pro Championship drivers: Chris Forsberg, Tanner Foust, Michael Essa, Tony Brakohiapa, Fredric Aasbo, Mike Whiddett and Daijiro Yoshihara. Those 7 drivers will joined by Formula DRIFT Asia Championship stars, Tengku Djan Ley of Malaysia and Kiki Sak Nana of Thailand. The competition will be in a similar to the 8 car head-to-head format to the UAE Invitational.

“It’s really exciting to have so much interest for the sport in the region,” said Formula DRIFT vice president, Ryan Sage. “After such a great event at Yas Marina, I can’t see any way better to bring drifting to this region than to head to the Qatar Racing Club as this is the epicenter for motor sports in that Qatar. We are honored to be working with His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani on what should be another great event.”

“We could not be more excited to be hosting a Formula DRIFT event at the Qatar Race Club in Doha,” stated Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani, Chairman of the QRC. “We have just completed the most successful drag racing season to date for the Arabian Drag Racing League. Adding Formula DRIFT to our schedule furthers our goal of providing the people of Qatar and the GCC region with an exceptional motor sports experience in a world-class motor sports facility. We will continue to be a leader in the GCC region in pursuing partnerships with organizations like Formula DRIFT, who can bring some of the world’s best motor sports events to Doha and the people of Qatar.”

The event will be streamed live via the DriftStream and will be featured on Formula DRIFT TV on VERSUS as a half-hour special. For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com

Formula DRIFT Announces 2011 ProAm Affiliate Series Partners

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Formula DRIFT Announces 2011 ProAm Affiliate Series Partners;
ProAm All-Star Invitational to Highlight the Best Up and Coming Drifters

Long Beach, Calif. – February 17, 2011 – Formula DRIFT has announced the official 2011 ProAm Affiliate Series partners. The best up and coming drivers will compete in the new Formula DRIFT ProAm All-Star Invitational at the end of the season at the Toyota Speedway in Irwindale.

“Formula DRIFT continues to work with grassroots and regional drifting programs to progress the sport,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Formula DRIFT and its ProAm partners continue to bridge the gap between regional drivers and the touring professional driver. These regional programs serve to help a driver and team gain the experience of competing on a professional stage where they understand the rigors of a multi-round competition, how to budget properly, and learn what it takes to be a professional driver & team.”

List of 2011 Approved Formula DRIFT ProAm Affiliates by region

Evergreen Drift – www.evergreendrift.com – Pacific Northwest

Hold the Line – www.htldrift.com – Northeast

Just Drift – www.justdrift.com – Southern California

Lone Star Drift – www.fabricatedmotorsports.com – Texas

Midwest Drift Union – www.mdudrift.com – Midwest

Streetwise Drift – www.streetwisedrift.com – Southeast

Thunder Drift – www.thunderdrift.com – Northern California

Vegas Drift- www.vegasdrift.com – Southwest

**Additional programs may be added.

Formula DRIFT introduces the “ProAm All-Star Invitational,” which will invite all newly licensed Formula DRIFT ProAm drivers to compete against one another to determine who is the best amateur drifter in the country. The event will be held at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale in conjunction with the Formula DRIFT Championship Finale on October 7-8, 2011 and replaces the former, “Formula DRIFT ProAm Nationals” and will not be a licensing event as in previous years. In addition, Formula DRIFT will be granting each Series within the affiliate program an increased preset number of Formula DRIFT Pro Licenses. These licenses will be awarded to their top ranking point earners at the end of their ProAm season and will include an invite to the “ProAm Cup All-Star Invitational,” during the biggest drift event of the season.

For more information on Formula DRIFT approved ProAm affiliates including tickets, sponsorship, and about their other regional grassroots programs visit: www.formuladrift.com

Tanner Foust Announces Temporary Retirement From Formula DRIFT

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February 10, 2011

Tanner Foust Announces Temporary Retirement From Formula DRIFT;
Papadakis Racing and Team Need For Speed Announce the Signing of 2010 Formula DRIFT Rookie of the Year, Fredric Aasbo

Long Beach, Calif. – February 10th, 2011 – Formula DRIFT has announced that 2-time Formula DRIFT champion, Tanner Foust will temporarily step away from the sport of drifting. In conjunction, Papadakis Racing and Team Need For Speed have announced the signing of the 2010 Formula DRIFT Rookie of the Year, Fredric Aasbo.

“Tanner’s semi-retirement is bittersweet for the Series as he has become one of the most recognizable drivers on the circuit and is one of the most competitive spokesmen for Formula DRIFT,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “As with the growth and progression of the Series we can expect to see opportunities brought to many of the drivers and wish Tanner more success in his career both on and off the track. His departure will leave a spot open for a future star of drifting to rise, which we are excited to see.”

Foust has announced his temporary retirement from drifting due to a demanding 2011 schedule of European Rally events, X-Games and television responsibilities. The 2-time Formula DRIFT champion and Tires.com Triple Crown bonus winner will be competing one last time in the Rockstar / Papadakis Racing Scion tC on February 25, 2010 during the Formula DRIFT UAE Invitational competition.

“I owe a lot to Formula DRIFT and Stephan Papadakis. This sport, Stephan and his team have been, and will remain, an integral part of my motorsports life,” said Tanner Foust, from his home in San Juan Capistrano. “This was a hard choice to make, but with my schedule looking even busier than last year’s I will not be able to fully commit to the 2011 Formula DRIFT season. However, I am looking forward to competing in the Rockstar Scion tC for one last time in Abu Dhabi this month.” With an open seat, team owner, Stephan Papadakis has enlisted the highly touted and talented driver, Fredric Aasbo. In addition, a newly created partnership with Team Need For Speed has solidified the alliance. Aasbo will be competing in the brand new Need for 2011 Scion tC this season with the competition debut during Round 1: Streets of Long Beach on April 8-9, 2011.

“Our new partnership with Need For Speed and having Fredric behind the wheel of the new Need for Speed 2011 Scion tC is very exciting,” stated Stephan Papadakis, team owner of Papadakis Racing. “To be aligned with such a top brand in the gaming world is a dream of ours. The synergy between our programs is a natural fit. We build crazy cars for competition and they have the technology for the world to drive them! It has been a pleasure to work with Tanner for the past 5 years and our team thanks him for his hard work and determination and wish him nothing but the best.”

The 2011 Formula DRIFT season begins on April 8-9, 2011 and will mark the debut of many cars, drivers, and teams. For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com

DIRECTV To Debut First Formula DRIFT Program in 3D

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Long Beach, Calif. – Jan. 27, 2011 – DIRECTV is bringing the race track into the living room with the exclusive 3D broadcast of Formula DRIFT’s “Round 7: Title Fight Event” on DIRECTV’s 3D channel, n3D, powered by Panasonic, channel 103. Beginning Friday, Feb. 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, DIRECTV customers will have access to two, one-hour specials, which will offer extensive race coverage, behind the scenes footage and exclusive interviews, all in 3D.

Produced by DIRECTV and Formula DRIFT, the 3D special will follow the heated action surrounding the final event of Formula DRIFT’s 2010 season, which was held at the Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Calif., last October. The footage will include:

• Complete coverage of the “Title Fight” season finale, including the final battle between two-time Formula DRIFT champion Tanner Foust and Vaughn Gittin.
• Exclusive interviews with Formula DRIFT pro drivers.
• Drifting tips by pro drivers, including Tanner Foust
• Behind the scenes with Formula DRIFT owners Jim Liaw and Ryan Sage.
• Coverage of off-the-track action including fans, vendors, import models and more.

“Watching Formula DRIFT’s championship series at home in 3D will make every counter steer, plume of smoke and wreck feel like it is happening in the middle of your living room,” said Chris Long, senior vice president, Entertainment, DIRECTV. “Our 3D technology enables us to take what is already an exciting event and make it even more compelling for viewers to experience at home.”

“This was a very ambitious project given that it is the first of its kind for the sport of drifting and also taking into consideration the sheer nature of 3D filming and the nature and physics of the sport,” said Ryan Sage, vice-president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “DIRECTV came in and really nailed it. Viewing Formula DRIFT in 3D is probably one of the most visceral and exciting things to view in the 3D genre right now.”