Guest Blog: Kevin Wells Technical Manager of Formula DRIFT Opens Up About the X-Raying of Vehicles at Round 7

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Prior to the start of Round 7: Title Fight at Irwindale Speedway the decision was made by Formula DRIFT technical manager, Kevin Wells to inspect the top contending vehicles via X-ray, which was the first time in the Series history that this had been done.

In order to shed some light to the reasons why this procedure was completed, Wells has answered the top questions that have continued to be asked since the event.

Why did Formula Drift X-ray vehicles?

We were looking to see if competitors had modified chassis and/or hidden ballast. We contacted technicians from NASCAR and NHRA to see what equipment they used for this type of testing. Neither NASCAR or NHRA has done this before. Due to the variety of vehicles we have, and the location we desired to examine them, the methods NASCAR and NHRA use to examine their cars were not feasible. After further research, we decided on X-ray as the best method to determine if vehicles had modified chassis or hidden ballast.

Which vehicles did you X-ray?

We decided to X-ray the top seven ranked vehicles because these vehicles were eligible by points to win the championship. The top seven vehicles were composed of five vehicle models: Ford Mustang (2), Lexus SC430 (1), Nissan 240SX (2), Hyundai Genesis (1), and Scion TC (1). In addition to the seven competition vehicles, we also X-rayed stock versions of the five makes in order to compare our findings.

Where did you X-ray?

We X-rayed the rocker panel / door sill portion of the vehicle. This portion of the vehicle was suspected to be an ideal place for placing additional ballast or adding additional frame structure.

Did you find anything?

No, all the vehicles we examined were legal and passed the test. Below are three images taken from different Ford Mustangs. You can clearly see these vehicles are not modified in this portion of the vehicle.

Stock Mustang x-ray

Will Formula Drift continue doing this in the future?

Yes, we will continue to look for vehicles that are breaking the rules (to keep a level playing field), and this will be one of the tools at our disposal.

Formula DRIFT Insider 2012 Ep.5

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHRKDIu06Co&feature=youtu.be[/youtube]

In this episode we chat with Technical Manager Kevin Wells about trends in the series, including the rise of V8’s and teams who bucked the trend and are showing why all displacements can and are working. We also profile ROY contender Daigo Saito who tells us about his goals in 2012 and why he wants to be a champion in FD.

Formula DRIFT Malaysia Pre-Race Conference Highlights

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The VIP panel for the press conference included Encik Zulkifli Bin Ibrahim, Deputy Director General of Planning for Kuala Lumpur City Hall (Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur is the local authority charged with the administration of Kuala Lumpur); Mr Edward Mamahit, Head of Global Marketing & Business Development, PT Multistrada Arah Sarana Tbk (Achilles); Mr Harvey Davis, Vice President (Event Management Group), ESPN STAR Sports; and Mr Marcus Lim, Co-Founder of Formula Drift Asia and Driftpac.

Joining the panel on stage were drivers Daigo Saito, Robbie Nishida, Kiki Sak Nana, Josh Boettcher, Muhammad Rulli Armando, Manabu Orido, Ariff Johanis, Lim Zee King, Tan Tat Wei and Ivan Lau.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Formula DRIFT Announces Kevin Wells as Technical Manager

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photo courtesy of Larry Chen

Long Beach, Calif. – November 9, 2011 – Formula DRIFT announced during the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas last week that Kevin Wells would take over the duties of Technical Manager for the Series, replacing Tony Angelo.

Wells brings to Formula DRIFT a wealth of experience as the former crew chief of Chris Forsberg Racing. During his tenure there, he received such honors as Crew Chief of the Year 3 times, 10 podiums, 5 wins, and 1 Formula DRIFT championship.

“We are eager to have Kevin Wells as our new technical manager,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Kevin brings a ton of mechanical and technical knowledge to Formula DRIFT and we welcome him to this side of the Series.”

Wells will replace former technical manager Tony Angelo, who will be returning to the Series as a driver. His primary duties will include the writing and enforcement of the technical regulations, develop new regulations, work together with a soon to be created technical committee, and more. Wells will travel with the Series and various FD international events including the Formula DRIFT Asia Championship to uphold the Formula DRIFT technical standards.

“I am excited and honored to take on this new role and set of responsibilities,” said Kevin Wells, new Formula DRIFT technical manager. “I’ve been involved with this emerging motorsport for a long time and will use my knowledge and expertise to help grow it even further to create a competitive, fair, and safe competitive field for the Series.”

Wells will begin his duties immediately as the teams begin preparing for the 2012 season, which begins on April 6-7, 2012 on the Streets of Long Beach. Wells will have dedicated tech hours at the Formula DRIFT office and can be reached via email at kevin@formulad.com.