Geoff Stoneback’s Formula Drift S14 Ready For Livery

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As 2014 Formula Drift rookie of the year Geoff Stoneback makes the long haul to Long Beach for round 1, we thought to give you a quick preview of his 2015 look before it goes in for a fresh new livery. Right off the bat, you can see the new Enkei Tenjin Tuning Series Wheels. Looking fresh man. As far as under the hood, Stoneback will be running the same LS7 7.2 set up as last season. Looking forward to seeing what livery Geoff and the guys at D-Magic put together. See you in Long Beach. Photos after the jump!

Geoff Stoneback 2015 Sponsors: Achilles Radial, What Monsters Do, Enkei Wheels, Hoonigan, BC Racing, Mishimoto, Powered by Max, Sikky, D-Magic.us, Monster Clutches.

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Mad Mike returns to Formula Drift USA

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Red Bull pro drifter Mad Mike Whiddett is making a return to the prestigious Formula DRIFT Professional Drifting Championship Series, with a commitment to multiple events of the seven-round US-based 2015 season and the newly formed FD World Championship.

Whiddett had his first taste of Formula DRIFT USA back in 2010 when he drove in select rounds of that year’s championship. In the time since, the New Zealander has enjoyed plenty of success with multiple event wins and podiums in Formula DRIFT Asia and local competitions – but the focus has always been on getting back up to the USA and taking on the world’s best drivers in their own backyard.

When we competed in 2010 we were essentially using a modified street car built with mostly off-the-shelf parts, and it was tough going against all the big-budget US teams, many of which had manufacturer backing,” says Whiddett. “After that we knew there was no point in returning until we could do it properly, and all the foundations were in place – the driver, the team, and the car. With Red Bull, Mazda, Mobil 1 and Nitto Tire really getting in behind my Formula DRIFT campaign, it feels like the right time.

Integral to the campaign is Whiddett’s new pro-spec machine – a 2015 Mazda MX-5 better known as RADBUL. Over the past few months the convertible sports car has been the subject of a Red Bull video series titled The Making of RADBUL. The final episode showcasing the car during its first on track shakedown will be released at the end of April.

Despite being an unconventional base in the world of professional drifting, the NC-chassis MX-5 has been highly modified for the cause with factory support from the Japanese automaker. At its heart is a bespoke four-rotor, twin turbocharged Mazda rotary engine that develops in excess of 1,000 horsepower on its most conservative power setting.

While four-figure power output could almost be considered a requisite at the pinnacle of this motorsport, it’s only one piece in a much larger puzzle. “It’s going to be a huge learning curve for the whole team, but that’s what this year is all about,” says Whiddett.

The biggest disadvantage we have is a lack of data. There’s only limited testing before each round, so having a good setup for each circuit is really important when you’re chasing championship points.

The critical data will come with seat time, but to ensure that the team is on the right track from the get-go, Scott Dodgion, one of Formula DRIFT’s most experienced crew chiefs, has come on board for the 2015 campaign. “To have someone like Scott on the team will be really invaluable,” says Whiddett. “On top of being a world-class race car engineer, he has so much knowledge when it comes to setups and knows exactly what it takes to run a championship-winning Formula DRIFT team, because he’s been there before.”

Joining Dodgion on the team is New Zealander Warren Overton, whose Wanganui-based company, Pulse Performance Race Engineering, built Whiddett’s MX-5 from scratch, and car builder/driver ‘Rad’ Dan Burkett from RAD Industries in Orange County, California. Burkett’s workshop premises will serve as the team’s HQ between rounds.

In just two weeks time on April 10-11, the Long Beach GP Street Course will play host to the 2015 Formula DRIFT season opener. The all-star driver line-up is as strong as it’s ever been and Whiddett is under no illusion how tough the competition will be right throughout the Pro Championship ranks. Defending champion Chris Forsberg (USA, Nissan 370Z), 2014 season runner-up Fredric Aasbø (Norway, Scion tC) and third place getter Vaughn Gittin Jr. (USA, Ford Mustang RTR) are all confirmed starters.

Unfortunately for Whiddett, making the first round is unachievable. “We were really hoping we’d be able to kick off our season in Long Beach, but with strikes still happening at the Port of Los Angeles there’s just not enough lead time to get RADBUL up there and properly test it before that event,” he laments. The car is all ready to go, so we’re aiming to debut it at the second round in Georgia [Road Atlanta – May 8-9], where I’m familiar with the track and its high-speed entry. It’s going to be a good place to get into it, and I can’t wait.”

The challenge is a large and there’s a lot of learning to be done, but according to Mad Mike Whiddett that doesn’t mean he’ll be driving at anything less than maximum attack.

It’s been the dream for a long time to get back to Formula DRIFT, and I’m going to be charging as hard as I can all season to get a round win.

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Ford’s Return to Formula DRIFT Features Elite Mustang Teams, Bigger ‘Drift with Ford’ Sweepstakes and New Track Action

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LONG BEACH, Calif., April 1, 2015 – Ford Motor Company’s return to Formula DRIFT will be bigger and bolder in 2015. In its third year as official sponsor of the series, Ford will support Mustang drivers Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Justin Pawlak, while ramping up its “Drift with Ford” sweepstakes giveaway and track activities at all seven Formula DRIFT events. The custom Focus ST giveaway kicks off April 10-12 at the season opener in Long Beach, California.

“Ford and Formula DRIFT fans share a deep passion for performance, making the series the perfect venue for demonstrating the capabilities of our vehicles,” said Steve Ling, Ford North America car marketing manager. “We had a strong response with last year’s ‘Drift with Ford’ sweepstakes when we gave away a custom EcoBoost-powered Fiesta ST. This year we’re bringing back the sweepstakes with the hot Focus ST, and expanding our trackside presence with displays and activities at every Formula DRIFT event in North America.”

Following a successful 2014 season, Ford is stepping up the “Drift with Ford” sweepstakes, giving away to one lucky fan a custom EcoBoost®-powered Focus ST. Fans can enter the sweepstakes at any Formula DRIFT event or through the Formula DRIFT website.

“Fans love to watch teams fielding V8-powered Ford Mustangs battling for the top spot in Formula DRIFT,” said Mickey Matus, Ford Racing marketing communications manager. “Vaughn and Justin are both elite drivers who have proven they know what it takes to win. We believe they’re poised for great success in Ford Mustang, and can’t wait for the season to get under way.”

Ford has been part of the Formula DRIFT scene since 2005, when the series triggered a successful Ford Racing performance parts engine development program for a supercharged 4.6-liter V8 crate engine. Ford has increased its support and involvement each year, earning the respect and attention of series fans.

“I am pumped for the 2015 Formula DRIFT season to kick off in Long Beach as the action at this event is always epic,” said former champion Gittin. “My team and I have been working hard in the off-season, and I can’t wait to hit the track, scrape walls, and run door-to-door with my opponents from behind the wheel of my Ford Mustang RTR.”

The enthusiastic response from Formula DRIFT fans has encouraged Ford to step up its involvement this year. Fans can visit the Ford display at each event to experience the latest lineup of Ford performance vehicles including the all-new Mustang, which is similar to the cars driven by Gittin for the Monster Energy team and Pawlak for the Falken team.

“I’m extremely excited to get back into my Ford Mustang for the 2015 Formula DRIFT season,” said two-time Long Beach winner Pawlak. “I look forward, as it’s a proven platform for drifting. Both Vaughn and I have earned great success with it over the past few years.”

The first official drifting series in North America, Formula DRIFT takes motorsports to the extreme, attracting enthusiasts from all walks of life. Highly skilled drivers maneuver high-powered cars into controlled slides at high speeds through a marked course. Judged on speed, execution and style, drifting is often compared to the freestyle nature of skateboarding and motocross.

“We are so excited to have Ford back on as a major sponsor of the series,” said Ryan Sage, vice president and cofounder, Formula DRIFT. “With the success of last year’s vehicle giveaway, Ford has graciously doubled down, returning with another massive sweepstakes. The brand totally gets this audience and because of that, fans of the sport benefit in unique and creative ways.”

For the first round of the championship series, Formula DRIFT slides its way on one of two street courses used for professional drifting – the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The two-day event is one week prior to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach and uses turns nine, 10 and 11 of the street course. With a high-speed entry and very tight spacing between cars and walls, there’s no room for error, making the first round of Formula DRIFT one of the most exciting series events of the year.

For more information, visit the Formula DRIFT website or Facebook.

No purchase necessary, Open to licensed drivers 18 and older. Ends 10/10/2015. See http://www.driftwithford.com/ for full details.

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About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 187,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

Papadakis Racing returns to Formula Drift with Rockstar Energy Drink Fredric Aasbo debuts Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Scion tC

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2015

Papadakis Racing returns to Formula Drift with Rockstar Energy Drink; ​Fredric Aasbo debuts Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Scion tC

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (April 1, 2015) – Papadakis Racing and driver Fredric Aasbo are returning to Formula Drift this season with an exciting new partner. On Wednesday, the team unveiled the bold new yellow, black and gray color scheme on their 800-plus horsepower 2015 Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Scion tC.

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“We’re excited to be back in action with our longtime partners Hankook Tire and Scion Racing,
and we’re very happy to renew our partnership with Rockstar Energy Drink as they come back to Formula Drift,” said team owner Stephan Papadakis. “We’ve got a strong team and we’re ready for the season to begin.”

The 2015 Formula Drift season starts next week with the Streets of Long Beach competition, April 10 and 11.

“We’re happy to welcome Fredric Aasbo into the Rockstar Energy Drink family,” said Rockstar Energy Drink Marketing Director Mike Kelso. “It’s awesome to be returning to the Formula Drift Championship this year with Fredric and Papadakis Racing.”

Driver Aasbo enters the 2015 season as an early favorite for the title. Runner-up in the 2014 Formula Drift championship, he earned the “Top Gun” award for having the highest battle win rate, and the “Ace Driver” nod for having the best overall winning percentage. The Norwegian driver campaigns a full international competition calendar and also won the Formula Drift Asia championship last year.

“This will be my fifth season with Papadakis Racing and it’s amazing to see how much we’ve progressed together in that time,” said Aasbo. “After getting so close to the championship last season, we’ve definitely got our A-game ready.”

Team owner Papadakis said Wednesday he is confident that the team’s battle tested Scion tC will return to the top of the field. The nitrous-boosted, turbocharged four-cylinder machine is a fan favorite, producing more than 800 wheel-spinning horsepower and spitting flames through a wastegate dump that exits from the hood.

The team will again rely on sticky Hankook Ventus R-S3 tires this season. Papadakis Racing helped to propel the company to the tire manufacturer’s championship in 2014.

“After winning the Tire Manufacturer’s championship and scoring a one-two finish last season, we’re excited to be back for another season of Formula Drift,” said Paul Jho, Motorsports Marketing Manager at Hankook Tire America. “We’re pleased to return to the Scion tC with Papadakis Racing in 2015 and we’re looking forward to another successful year.”

The seven-round Formula Drift championship begins with qualifying on Friday, April 10 in Long Beach, followed by Saturday’s main event. For the 10th year in a row, Drivers will attack turns 9, 10 and 11 of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach street course, offering showy, technical driving to the roaring crowd. The race is a popular start to the season, and is an annual sell-out.

Drifting is a high-skill, high-powered motorsport with an emphasis on car control skill. Drivers compete in knockout heats on a closed course, sliding sideways in judged trials. With origins in Japan, it is one of the the fastest growing forms of motorsport.

In 2015, the series will offer live coverage on Driftstream, considered the most widely viewed motorsports live stream in the world. During the course of an online broadcast, it boasts over 1.5-million unique viewers. Formula Drift also makes the move to CBS Sports Network for 20 half-hour programs this year. The fast-paced action featuring bracketed head-to-head match-ups will anchor 13 episodes, with an additional seven shows featuring a brand new behind-the-scenes program, Formula DRIFT Insider.

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2015 FORMULA DRIFT SCHEDULE:
Streets of Long Beach: April 10-11
Road Atlanta: May 8-9
Orlando Speedworld: June 5-6
Wall Speedway: June 26-27
Evergreen Speedway: July 24-25
Texas Motor Speedway: August 21-22
Irwindale Speedway: October 9-10

ABOUT FREDRIC AASBO
Fredric Aasbo returns to Papadakis Racing in 2015 for his fifth season with the team. The Norwegian driver finished the 2014 Formula Drift championship in the runner-up position and earned “Fan Favorite of the Year” for the third year in a row. Earlier this year, he released the first video in his DreamrideYouTube project, #DreamrideLA.

The two-time Nordic Drifting champion (2007, 2008) made his U.S. debut at a global drifting invitational in 2008 and turned heads when he won the 2010 Formula Drift Rookie of the Year title. He has rapidly progressed through the drifting ranks around the world and has established himself as both a fan favorite and proven championship contender.

Aasbo is originally from Ski, Norway, and now splits his time between his native country and Southern California. He campaigns a full international season, in 2015 running the full Formula Drift schedule as well as select events worldwide in Europe and in Asia.

ABOUT PAPADAKIS RACING
Team owner Stephan Papadakis is a legend of sport-compact racing who began building his reputation in the 1990s with the first front-wheel-drive, tube-chassis drag car in the U.S.

The team earned multiple records and championships in the discipline, turning in elapsed times and trap speeds previously thought unattainable in front-drive drag cars. Papadakis’ successes in front-wheel drive were matched by his efforts in rear-wheel drive when he campaigned a Civic that became only the fifth car to join the NHRA’s Sport Compact 200 MPH club.

The Papadakis Racing team began drifting in 2005 and has shown impressive results in seven years of Formula Drift competition, earning two championship titles with driver Tanner Foust (2007, 2008). The team finished in the runner-up position in the 2010 championship with driver Fredric Aasbo. The Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Scion tC is the team’s latest competition build.

PAPADAKIS RACING IS PARTNERED WITH
Rockstar Energy Drink (www.rockstarenergy.com);
Hankook Tire (www.hankooktireusa.com);
Scion Racing (www.scion.com);
KMC Wheels (www.kmcwheels.com);
AEM Electronics (www.aemelectronics.com);
Berk Technology (www.berktechnology.com);
SPC Performance (www.spcperformance.com);
Gatebil (www.gatebil.no)
RS-R (www.rs-r.com);
Torco Advanced Lubricants (www.torcousa.com);
BorgWarner (www.borgwarner.com)

Formula DRIFT Continues Partnership with GoPro for 2015 Season

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Formula DRIFT Continues Partnership with GoPro for 2015 Season

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Long Beach, Calif. – March 31, 2015 – Formula DRIFT and GoPro continue their partnership for the 2015 season. GoPro will remain the exclusive and official camera partner for the Series.

“The partnership with GoPro has helped elevate the fan experience through their state of the art technology,” said Ryan Sage, vice-president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Fans can now feel like they are sitting shotgun for a ride-along, see the vantage point from a clipping point, and watch on television and online some of the most captivating and dynamic content produced with the HERO line of cameras.”

GoPro, maker of lightweight, wearable and gear-mounted cameras that transform the way consumers and professionals capture and share meaningful content, is the exclusive on-car and in-car camera during official competition. As the official camera, GoPro enables Formula DRIFT to offer its fans an immersive, unique experience that enhances the excitement of the Series. The versatility of the HERO line of cameras allows for angles and perspectives otherwise unattainable.

Additionally, GoPro has provided the judges of the series more perspectives and insight helping them to review the performance and evaluate the competition.

“Formula DRIFT and GoPro are the perfect combination to showcase the talent of these skilled drivers. The immersive capability of the camera and the incredible action on the course makes for unreal content for both fans and newcomers to the sport to enjoy,” said Rod Rojas, Motorsports Marketing Manager at GoPro.