The Long Road To Long Beach

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At the time of writing, there’s just one month and 18 days to the first round of the 2017 Formula Drift championship.

While we might have to wait until then, for some, the new season has been underway since the day immediately after the 2016 Irwindale finale, if not earlier, as is the case for this particular story. By now, you’re likely aware of James Deane’s and Piotr Więcek’s intention to contest the entire 2017 FD season; you might also have seen the renders and details of their new cars.

For the newly-formed Worthouse Drift Team, these announcements and reveals may have been the easiest part of the puzzle. The real challenge is in the preparation for competing a full championship on another continent.

2017 James Deane S15 Build Speedhunters Part 02 by Paddy McGrath-19

 

Further to this, there’s the extra challenge of building the two new cars some 2,000 miles apart from each other. The cars for all intents and purposes will be practically identical; the only considerable difference being that James’ car will be right-hand drive while Piotr’s will be left-hand drive. This was a deliberate decision, as it means the team only needs to carry one set of spares from event to event.

It’s also meant that the two new teammates have had to co-design the new cars, with compromises being made along the way. It has also meant a near never-ending stream of phone calls and messages between both sides of the team in Ireland and Poland. To keep things simple, I’ve been following James’ side of the build at Deane Msport while Piotr’s build progresses in Poland.

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Thursday Night DRIFT at Irwindale Speedway | February 23, 2017

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February 23rd TND

Each of the monthly Thursday night sessions will start with a (public invited) technical inspection for the competition vehicles at 4:00PM and drift practice will run flat out from 5:00PM to 9:00PM. The fan gates open at 4PM and there’s plenty of close-free parking.

Open to the public (fans can watch from the stands and visit the pits as well) admission is only $10 per person. These will be nights when fans can see some of the best of the best getting tuned-up for the 2017 season as well as catching the acts of some of new, upcoming Drift talent as they test their driving skills and machines against the established pros.

Anyone can run their properly-equipped* car for $75 and they can register right at the track on Thursday night.

Thursday Night Drift one sheet 2017

The New Team That’s About To Shake Up FD

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Since the announcement late last year that James Deane and Piotr Wieçek would tackle the 2017 Formula D championship, details of the newest team on the grid have been kept under wraps. Speculation has been rife, but both drivers have remained quiet on any rumours sent their way, and there’s been a good reason for this.

It’s not been out of ignorance or some sort of superiority complex, but rather that they’ve waited until everything has been set in stone before announcing the next part of their 2017 campaign: their cars. And as you’ve already seen both above and below, Deane and Wieçek will be campaigning two almost identical Nissan Silvia S15s as part of the newly formed Worthouse Drift Team.

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Formula DRIFT Signs NOS Energy Drink as Official Energy Drink

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Long Beach, Calif. – January 26, 2017– The Black Magic Formula DRIFT Pro Championship presented by BlackVue announces a multi-year agreement with NOS Energy Drink as the “Official Energy Drink” of the Series.

“We are excited to welcome the NOS brand to the Formula DRIFT family,” said Ryan Sage, Vice-President of Formula DRIFT. “We see this sponsorship as a great fit and we are enthusiastic about the opportunities for both parties in the future.”

NOS’ sponsorship of the Series will begin with the 2017 season and will continue for multiple years. NOS Energy Drink is also the title sponsor for 3-time and current Formula DRIFT champion, Chris Forsberg. The sponsorship will include NOS branding, activation, and more beginning at Round 1: Streets of Long Beach in April 2017.

“When it comes to brute speed, smoke and lock-to-lock counter steer showmanship, there is no other form of motorsport on Earth like Formula DRIFT,” said Lauren Albano, Senior Brand Manager of NOS Energy Drink. “And NOS Energy Drink has been there right from the beginning. Just like the sport itself, NOS Energy Drink was born out of brute horsepower, fierce competition and a pedal to the metal desire to win, and we proved this in 2016 when Chris Forsberg – the very first athlete to ever join the NOS Energy Drink family – powered to his third Formula DRIFT championship. A decade in the making, it doesn’t get any more competition proven than NOS Energy Drink, Chris Forsberg and Formula DRIFT. We are proud to be partnering once again with FD as the Official Energy Drink of Formula DRIFT. Looking forward to the 2017 season!”

For more information visit, www.formulad.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram @formulad, Facebook www.facebook.com/formuladrift, Twitter @FormulaD, and Snapchat – formula_drift. Tune into Formula DRIFT on CBS Sports and check your local listings for airtimes.