Over the past few days, there has been quite a lot of discussion regarding Forrest Wang and his departure from the Series. Formula DRIFT has held off on making a public statement because we first wanted to talk to Forrest and ensure we understood his perspective and view on the situation before addressing it. It’s important to the Series that when we make public statements we do so with all the possible information available, and talking to Forrest was key before we made a public announcement. As of Tuesday, June 21st, we have had the opportunity to speak to Forrest. It was a very productive conversation. Media outlets, drifting reporters and fans have gone very far and deep in discussing the result of the Forrest Wang/Chris Forsberg head-to-head match, which has led many to believe that this incident was his core reason for leaving the Series. No matter what side you take on the topic, what’s important regarding this message is our conversation with Forrest.
If you are a fan of drifting, then you know all about Forrest Wang, who is renowned for his spectacular high angle and smoky driving style. His car builds have a lot of style as well and we have been trying to catch up with him for a year to be able to capture one of his masterpieces in a story.
The basis of Forrest’s competition is a Japanese Model Nissan Silvia S15. The S15 was never imported into the USA due to some boneheads in Nissan USA’s product planning department not thinking that it was a viable car for our Market. If you have ever driven an S15 you would know what a great car it was. In fact all S chassis cars had great potential that was neutered out of them when they were imported into the USA by questionable choices like the installation of truck engines and such, but that’s a different rant for a different day.
The S15 is a great looking and handling car but it’s 2 liter SR20DET engine has no where near enough power for todays world of pro drifting even when modified to the limit. This was all resolved when Forrest’s Get Nuts Lab got there hands on the car to transform it into the potent machine shown here.
KMC Super Drift Challenge Results;
Conrad Grunewald Takes the Victory
Long Beach, Calif. – April 19, 2015 – Formula DRIFT hosted the KMC Super Drift Challenge during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Conrad Grunewald in the Always Evolving / Replay Camera Chevrolet Camaro takes the victory.
The KMC Super Drift Challenge for the third consecutive year brought motorsports action under the lights during the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach with a filled capacity within Turns 9, 10, and 11 of the famous street course. Sixteen of the top Formula DRIFT drivers competed for a $25,000 prize purse.
“We were excited to be able to showcase competition drifting under the lights on the streets of Long Beach,” stated Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Then to see a capacity turn out for the fierce competition capped off an eventful Saturday at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.”
The action under the lights along created a unique and competitive environment for the drivers. Number one qualifier, Forrest Wang in Get Nuts Lab / Hankook Tire Nissan S14 finishes in third place for the second consecutive year. Conrad Grunewald met Robbie Nishida in the Achilles Motorsport / Bridges Racing Lexus SC300 in the finals. Grunewald outmatched Nishida to take the event victory.
“I’d like to start off by thanking my partners because without them I wouldn’t be here. I couldn’t be happier with wining tonight,” said Conrad Grunewald, winner of the KMC Super Drift Challenge. “It’s almost surreal to be running at night in Long Beach. It’s an honor to walk away with a win amongst such great competitors.”
Formula DRIFT continues to Round 2: Road to the Championship at Road Atlanta on May 8-9, 2015. Tickets are available and can be purchased via www.formuladrift.com.