Inaugural Formula DRIFT Super Drift Challenge to Run at 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

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Inaugural Formula DRIFT Super Drift Challenge to Run at 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach;
Invitation-Only Formula DRIFT Event to Become Grand Prix’s First Night Race

Long Beach, Calif. – December 5, 2012 – LONG BEACH, Calif. (Dec. 4, 2012) – For the first time in its 39 years, the world-famous Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 19-21, 2013, will offer night racing with the inaugural Formula DRIFT Super Drift Challenge on Friday and Saturday nights during race weekend.

The Formula DRIFT Super Drift Challenge, which will take place at 7 p.m. on the eastern end of the race circuit – turns nine, 10 and 11 – is expected to feature 16 of the sport’s top cars and drivers including 2012 Formula DRIFT champion Daigo Saito, 2011 champ Daijiro Yoshihara, plus Frederic Aasbo, Aurimas Bakchis, Michael Essa, Conrad Grunewald, Ken Gushi, Tyler McQuarrie, Robbie Nishida, Justin Pawlak, Matt Powers and others to be announced. Friday’s action will include practice and qualifying runs, while Saturday will see the teams compete for a $25,000 prize. On Sunday, the Super Drift Challenge cars will drift the entire race circuit after the featured IZOD IndyCar Series race.

Grand Prix fans that purchase any admission ticket for Friday or Saturday racing activities will be able to see that day’s Super Drift Challenge.

Seating for the Super Drift Challenge will be in Grandstands 16, 18, 24, 25 and 26 on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning at 6:30 p.m.

“We are excited to change up the drifting action during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend from an exhibition show to a competition. By doing this we will be able to showcase the true form of competition drifting to the Grand Prix fans,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “The icing on the cake comes in the form of night time drifting on the streets. We are truly honored to be the first Series to be competing on the streets of Long Beach at night!”

“The Grand Prix has enjoyed a long and productive relationship with Formula DRIFT and this newly designed event takes it to a new level,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “And all this added excitement will be presented at no additional cost to our race attendees. Plus, because of its unique location, there will be no impact in any way on the businesses around the rest of the track.”

Ticket prices for the three-day event range from $28 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $130 for a three-day ticket that includes Sat./Sun. reserved seating in grandstand upper levels. Pre-paid parking packages are also available, along with handicapped seating, IndyCar Paddock passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of Hospitality Club packages. Fans can select and pay for their 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach seats, parking and paddock passes online at the new gplb.com. Ticket orders can also be placed by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 82-SPEED.

Justin Pawlak Wins the Tires.com Triple Crown

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Long Beach, Calif. – October 26, 2012 – Justin Pawlak in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang is the winner of the Tires.com Triple Crown bonus prize taking home $10,000 and a 51-30 Nixon watch. Pawlak finished fourth in the overall 2012 Formula DRIFT Pro Championship standings.

“This was an exciting Tires.com Triple Crown chase. We could not believe how close it was and were excited to crown a new champion. JTP has a college fund to start and we are happy to provide the first deposit. We are very happy to support the sport and drivers with this prize,” said Discount Tire.

The Tires.com Triple Crown bonus prize is awarded to the driver that accumulates the most points within the selected three rounds of competition. For the 2012 Formula DRIFT Pro Championship season the event chosen were Round 2: Road to the Championship at Road Atlanta, Round 5: Throwdown at Evergreen Speedway and Round 7: Title Fight at Irwindale Speedway.

“Going into the year with two wins I really thought this could be my year for the championship,” said Justin Pawlak, winner of the 2012 Tires.com Triple Crown. “After things started to shank down I knew this wasn’t going to be the year. But winning the Tires.com Triple Crown kind of made it all worthwhile. All the trials of the season and the birth of my son, it’s the icing on the cake!”

Pawlak edged out the 2012 Formula DRIFT champion Daigo Saito and the 2010 Formula DRIFT champion Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in the closest chase for the Triple Crown in history. Pawlak joins past winners of the Tires.com Triple Crown that include:

2011 – Dai Yoshihara
2010 – Tanner Foust
2009 – Chris Forsberg
2008 – Rhys Millen
2007 – Chris Forsberg
2006 – Rhys Millen

Formula DRIFT enters its tenth season of competition in 2013. Tickets are on-sale currently and can be purchased through the Formula DRIFT website and Ticketmaster. Round 1: Streets of Long Beach will be held on April 12-13, 2013.

Daigo Saito is Victorious at Round 7: Title Fight and is Crowned the 2012 Formula DRIFT Champion

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Long Beach, Calif. – October 13, 2012 – Formula DRIFT returned to Irwindale Speedway for the 2012 season finale. Daigo Saito in the Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 takes the event victory and wins the 2012 Formula DRIFT Championship.

Round 7: Title Fight at Irwindale Speedway showcased drifting in its finest form. For the first time in Formula DRIFT and Irwindale Speedway history the event sold out before the gates opened to the public.

“Last year was so amazing we didn’t think we could do it again, not like this“ said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “This is why we love drifting. We are so energized for season 10 starting April 12-13, 2013.”

The competition was intense as the championship was up for grabs. Entering the event, seven drivers had a chance for the title. This soon changed as top drivers in the chase were taken out early including points leader Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in the Monster Energy / Falken Ford Mustang, defending champion Daijiro Yoshihara, in the America’s Tire / Falken Tire Nissan 240 and the 2009 champion, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy / Hankook Nissan 370Z. This opened the door for both Daigo Saito and Rhys Millen in the RMR / Hankook Hyundai Genesis Coupe who met in the Final Four. Millen, the number one qualifier took himself out as he went hard into the wall giving the win to Saito. The wall took a number of victims through the competition including Justin Pawlak in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang when he battled Saito in the Finals, giving Saito the event victory. Saito in his rookie year in the Series becomes the first Series rookie to also be crowned Formula DRIFT champion. Saito a seasoned veteran drifter is arguably considered the best drifter in the world winning the Formula DRIFT Asia championship, D1 championship and now Formula DRIFT Pro Championship.

“Luck was with me tonight. I’m very happy to be able to compete in Formula DRIFT this year. I’ve wanted to compete in the Series for so long,” said Daigo Saito, winner of Round 7: Title Fight and 2012 Formula DRIFT champion. “Thank you to Formula DRIFT and Achilles Tires. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the help of everyone that helped me get to this point.”

Formula DRIFT enters its tenth season of competition in 2013. Tickets are on-sale currently and can be purchased through the Formula DRIFT website and Ticketmaster. Round 1: Streets of Long Beach will be held on April 12-13, 2013.

Formula DRIFT 2013 Round 1: Streets of Long Beach Tickets On-Sale

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Formula DRIFT 2013 Round 1: Streets of Long Beach Tickets On-Sale;
The 10th Season Begins April 12-13, 2013

Long Beach, Calif. – October 12, 2012 – Formula DRIFT has announced the availability of tickets for Round 1: Streets of Long Beach on April 12-13, 2013 for the 10th season of competition. Tickets are now on-sale and can be purchased online via the Formula DRIFT website, www.formuladrift.com.

Round 1: Streets of Long Beach will be held on the famous Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Street Course for the sixth consecutive year, which is the only street course on the circuit. The season opener will feature the debut of new drivers and cars to the Series along with the action and excitement that Formula DRIFT has become known for.

“We want to thank all the people that have supported the Series through the years,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “The 10th anniversary season for Formula DRIFT will be just as exhilarating as any other season. Look for a few special announcements at our annual press conference at SEMA Show later this month.”

Tickets are now available for Round 1: Streets of Long Beach on April 12-13, including reserved seating, 2-day ticket packages, and VIP tickets. Tickets can be purchased online, Ticketmaster outlets, and the Long Beach Convention Center box office. Ticket prices start at $28 online with reserved tickets available for Saturday’s competition day. 2-day packages are also available along with VIP ticket packages.

BUY TICKETS HERE

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.

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