Formula DRIFT Atlanta 2017 By Super Street Magazine

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In the aftermath of James Deane’s improbable victory at Round 1 of the 2017 Formula DRIFT Championship in Long Beach, Calif., this past April, a lot of drifting fan boiz got all excited because it looked like new blood in a JDM rocket was coming to America to shake things up (a la Daigo Saito in 2012). We got the impression e-thugging contrarians were dancing in the streets over the season opening shocker. But then Round 2 in the oval at Orlando Speed World happened in early May and, on the surface anyway, Deane looked fallible, even human, as the podium was nothing but past FD champions. Fast forward another couple weeks, though, to Round 3 at Road Atlanta and the Irish wheelman changes the story again.

In Long Beach, Deane had to take out a couple of past champions and a couple of could-be champions in his first Formula D action in seven years. In Braselton, Ga., he had to contend again with thrice series champ Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink 370Z — the second time in three events — while also dispatching heavyweights Ken Gushi in the Greddy Performance 86, Matt Field in the Falken Tire S14, Alec Hohnadell in the Urban Air Initiative S14, and finally fellow Irishman and pal Dean Kearney in the Oracle Lighting Viper. Trust us when we say this has been no cakewalk for the Worthouse pilot.

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Formula Drift Road Atlanta – 2017 By What Monsters Do

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When it comes to tracks on the Formula Drift schedule, there are none better than Road Atlanta. Automotive action happens the entire time youÆre there from nearly sun up to sun down, and well into the night. ItÆs why fans always look forward to it and it makes for an amazing, party-like atmosphere. It also helps that, despite not being an oval track, fans can see nearly everything thanks to the bowl structure of the turn 10/keyhole complex. This is Road Atlanta and here is what you missed by not being there.

Drifting is a sport of the senses û the sight of cars getting sideways, the smell of burnt rubber, the sound of cars pushing maximum horsepower, and sometimes even the taste of spent race gas. ItÆs quick, itÆs dirty, and it just pulls you in even if you try to resist. ItÆs why it works so well in a confined environment like most of the oval tracks Formula Drift visits. ItÆs the same reasons people love monster trucks and thatÆs not a knock on the series. The fans are there for the entertainment of automotive action.

 

Formula DRIFT Round 3: Road to the Championship Results

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Formula DRIFT Round 3: Road to the Championship Results;

James Deane Takes Back the Lead with the Event Victory

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Long Beach, Calif. – May 14, 2017 – Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship presented by BlackVue Dash Cameras returned to Road Atlanta, home of the inaugural Formula DRIFT event 14 years ago. James Deane in the Worthouse Drift Team / Falken Tire Nissan 240 takes the victory to regain the lead in the chase for the championship.

“This event showcased the global talent within the Series,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Each round has been highly competitive and with only three events remaining it will be exciting to see how it unfolds.”

The Advance Auto Parts Round 3: Road to the Championship was a hard charging event and treated fans to exciting competition. An estimated 1 million viewers tuned into the Livestream through the event weekend.

It was an all European podium with Latvian driver, Kristaps Bluss in the HGK / Mast / Motul / Wisefab BMW E46 taking 3rd place after failing to repair his vehicle for a One More Time battle against Irishman, Dean Kearney in the Oracle Lighting Dodge Viper in the semi-finals. The Finals was a battle of the Irish with Kearney and Deane fighting for the win. The drivers put on a show for the fans with an incredibly tight battle, but Deane was able to inch past his opponent to take the win. With three events completed, James Deane has now taken two event wins to move back into the top of the standings.

“We got to have an all-Irish final and that was just mind-blowing,” said James Deane, winner of the Advance Auto Parts Round 3: Road to the Championship. “The two of us just gave it 110%, no messing around, and that’s how to have a battle. I’m super happy and thanks to everyone who made this possible.”

The action continues to Round 4: The Gauntlet at Wall Speedway on June 2-3. For more information visit, www.formulad.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram @formulad, Facebook www.facebook.com/formuladrift, Twitter @FormulaDrift, and Snapchat – formula_drift. Tune into Formula DRIFT on CBS Sports and check your local listings for airtimes.

Advance Auto Parts Round 3: Road to the Championship Event Results

1. Deane, James

Worthouse Drift Team / Falken Tire Nissan 240

Winner

2. Kearney, Dean

Oracle Lighting Dodge Viper

2nd Place

3. Bluss, Kristaps

HGK / Mast / Motul / Wisefab BMW E46

3rd Place

4. Hohnadell, Alec

Urban Air / Hoonigan / Nexen Tire Nissan 240

4th Place

5. Gittin, Vaughn

Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR

5th Place

6. Tuerck, Ryan

Gumout / Nameless Performance / Hankook Toyota 86

6th Place

7. Wiecek, Piotr

Worthouse Drift Team / Falken Tire Nissan 240

7th Place

8. Forsberg, Chris

NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z

8th Place

9. Essa, Michael

Achilles Tire / Essa Autosport BMW M3

9th Place

10. Field, Matt

Falken Tire / Vapetasia / ARK Performance Nissan 240

10th Place

11. Heilbrunn, Alex

IMR / Nitto Tire BMW M3

11th Place

12. Denofa, Chelsea

BC Racing / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR

12th Place

13. Coffman, Matt

Nexen Tire / Coffman Racing Nissan 240

13th Place

14. Hamilton, Nate

Team Enjuku / BC Racing / Hankook Tire Nissan 240

14th Place

15. Jones, Jeff

DOC Racing Nissan 240

15th Place

16. Mohan, Kyle

Built 2 Apex / Mazdatrix / KMR 2016 MX-5

16th Place

2017 Formula DRIFT Black Magic Championship Presented by BlackVue Standings After 3 Events

1. Deane, James

Worthouse Drift Team / Falken Tire Nissan 240

245.00 Points

2. Kearney, Dean

Oracle Lighting Dodge Viper

186.00 Points

3. Aasbo, Fredric

Rockstar Energy / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM

178.00 Points

2017 Manufacturer Championship Standings After 3 Events

1. Toyota

351.00 Points

2. Ford

250.00 Points

3. Dodge

186.00 Points

4. BMW

157.00 Points

5. Nissan

137.00 Points

6. Mazda

68.00 Points

2017 Tire Championship Standings After 3 Events

1. Falken

435.00 Points

2. Achilles

374.00 Points

3. Nexen

363.00 Points

4. Hankook

310.00 Points

5. Nitto

299.00 Points

Deane X Więcek: Picking Up The Pieces by Speedhunters

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In some ways, I’m glad the first defeat has come.

There was a lot of hype about the arrival of the Worthouse Drift Team in Formula Drift for the 2017 season. Two new drivers on the grid, two new cars and a lot of unknowns. James’ victory in Long Beach was proof for many that he could walk the walk, although for some, his immediate success was enough for them to overturn their longtime support, instead preferring to take the more trendy view of him being overhyped and his win being a one-off.

Some of the things that I heard and read after Long Beach certainly elicited a laugh or two, including one claiming he had an advantage because the car was right-hand drive. Others, who previously sung his praises were now chomping at the bit, eager for his failure. Wait until he gets to the ovals they said…

2017 FD02 Orlando Worthouse Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-1

It just happened that Round 2 this year is an oval circuit, with the Orlando Speed World venue having swapped places with Road Atlanta in the Formula D schedule. One ex-Formula D competitor warned me in advance that OSW made Ireland’s Rosegreen – itself a tiny short oval in rural Tipperary – look like Talladega.

2017 FD02 Orlando Worthouse Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-2

It was an over exaggeration, of course, but we were certainly a long way from the well groomed streets of Long Beach. Orlando is the first stop on a tour which takes in four corners of the United States, a trip across to Canada, along with a round in the heart of Texas. Leaving the familiarity of California behind, it felt like we were about to enter the real war for the Formula Drift Championship.

2017 FD02 Orlando Worthouse Speedhunters by Paddy McGrath-3

It was certainly less glamorous in Florida, but we were not there for the scenery. By the time I arrived on Thursday morning, the Bridges Racing crew already had a foothold established in the paddock. With the Orlando round also being a Pro 2 event, it meant an extra day of practice for all Pro 1 competitors.

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Deane’s Domination: Behind The Scenes At FD LB

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10 years, 6 months, 1 week, 5 hours, 31 minutes, 55 seconds. That’s how long it took for James Deane to go from his first competitive drift event as an amateur to the top step of the podium for the first time at Formula Drift in Long Beach.

Before last weekend, a lot of people would have said this victory, maybe the most significant of his career, was inevitable. I wouldn’t have argued with them, but I know from experience that victory in motorsport is never guaranteed. It certainly does not come easy.

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