Formula DRIFT Announces Entry List for Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge

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Formula DRIFT Announces Entry List for Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge;
Inaugural Nighttime Event to Take Place April 19-20 at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

Long Beach, Calif. – March 1, 2013 – Formula DRIFT has announced the entry list for the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge on April 19-20, part of the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend. Sixteen drivers and two alternates have been named to compete for the $25,000 prize pool.

“We are excited to bring the action and excitement of a drifting competition at night for the first time in the 39-year history of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach,” stated Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “The Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge will feature the top drivers in the world competing for a large prize pool.”

The sixteen drivers and two alternates include:

Driver /Hometown /Nationality

Forsberg, Chris / Doylestown, PA / American
Powers, Matt / Pacific Beach, CA / American
Bakchis, Odi / Kaunas, Lithuania / Lithuanian
Yoshioka, Toshiki / Hiroshima, Japan / Japanese
Grunewald, Conrad / Houston, TX / American
Essa, Michael / Los Angeles, CA / Indian/American
Saito, Daigo / Tokyo, Japan / Japanese
Nishida, Robbie / Tokyo, Japan / Japanese
Tuerck, Ryan / Derry, NH / American
McQuarrie, Tyler / Walnut Creek, CA / American
Yoshihara, Daijiro / Hachiouji Tokyo, Japan / Japanese
Aasbo, Fredric /Ski, Norway / Norwegian
Mohan, Kyle /Anaheim, CA / American
Angelo, Tony / Doylestown, PA / American
Denofa, Chelsea / Philadephia, PA / American
Kado, Ryan / Sacramento, CA / Japanese/American

Alternate Drivers:

Wilkerson, Walker / Snohomish, WA / Japanese
Jones, Jeff / San Fernando Valley, CA / American

Ticket holders for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be able to watch the competition taking place in Turns 9,10 and 11 of the world-famous street course from Grandstands 16, 18, 24, 25 and 26 on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning at 6:30 PM. The drifting course will be the same one used by Formula DRIFT in its first event of the season the weekend before the Grand Prix.

Practice and qualifying heats for the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge will take place Friday night, April 19, between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Final eliminations will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 20.

In addition to the Super Drift Challenge, the 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will feature racing from the IZOD IndyCar Series, Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series, Firestone Indy Lights, Pirelli World Challenge and the Robby Gordon OFF-ROAD Stadium SUPER Trucks.

Ticket prices range from $28 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $130 for a three-day ticket that includes Sat./Sun. reserved seating in grandstand upper levels. Pre-paid parking packages are also available, along with handicapped seating, IndyCar Paddock passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of Hospitality Club packages.

Fans can select and pay for their seats, parking and paddock passes online at gplb.com. Tickets can also be ordered by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 82-SPEED, and callers can request a printed ticket brochure that includes a circuit map, ticket prices, order form and other information. Also featured on gplb.com is the latest Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach news, downloadable ticket brochure and racetrack information, photos and ongoing announcements of special race week activities.

Fans can also follow the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB and on Twitter @ToyotaGPLB.

Famed Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach Racing Circuit Beginning To Take Shape

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LONG BEACH, Calif. (Feb. 19, 2013) — The green flag signaling the start of construction for the 39th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which will run April 19-21, fell this morning on Shoreline Drive, the famed racing circuit’s front straightaway.

The honorary construction foremen were Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, Papadakis Racing owner Stephan Papadakis, Formula DRIFT President & Co-Founder Jim Liaw and Grand Prix Association of Long Beach President & CEO Jim Michaelian. Also on-hand were the Papadakis Racing Scion tC, which will be driven in 2013 by top Drifting driver Frederic Aasbo, and, courtesy of Toyota Motorsports, an all-new, race-prepared Scion FR-S that will be driven in the 2013 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.

“Our race circuit will feature something extra this year as we will be hosting the first-ever night racing in the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge on Friday and Saturday,” said Michaelian. “Along with the six other racing events here in April, this should make for one of the most entertaining weekends in our history.”

The setting of the first of more than 14 million pounds of concrete blocks that line the track marks the beginning of two months of work preparing for the 175,000 fans expected during race weekend.

“It’s three days of great parties and great racing,” said Foster. “The Grand Prix brings a lot of people to Long Beach. Our hotels get filled up, our restaurants get filled up and people understand that Long Beach is a really a great city, a great place to have a good time.”

Track Construction
More than 30,000 working hours will be spent installing the  blocks, three miles of fencing and 16,000 bolted-together tires, along with 16 huge spectator grandstands, seven pedestrian bridges and giant-vision boards for full-circuit TV coverage. The heavy-duty blocks and fencing, however, are merely a start.“

Leading up to race weekend, our staff will also install hospitality suites, tents, electrical  equipment, phones, porta-johns, trash containers and a hundred other little things up until race weekend,” said Dwight Tanaka, director of operations for the Grand Prix Association.  “Then, when the last checkered flag falls on Sunday night, we start to take everything down, inspect it and get ready for next year.”

All businesses along the race circuit, which includes Shoreline Drive, Aquarium Way and Pine Ave., will remain open during construction of the racetrack.

The 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will feature racing from the IZOD IndyCar Series, Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series, Firestone Indy Lights, Pirelli World Challenge, Formula DRIFT, Robby Gordon OFF-ROAD Stadium SUPER Trucks and the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race.

Fans can select and pay for their seats, parking and paddock passes online at gplb.com. Tickets can also be ordered by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 82-SPEED, and callers can request a printed ticket brochure that includes a circuit map, ticket prices, order form and other information. Also featured on gplb.com is the latest Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach news, downloadable ticket brochure and racetrack information, photos and ongoing announcements of special race week activities.

Ticket prices range from $28 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $130 for a threeday ticket that includes Sat./Sun. reserved seating in grandstand upper levels.  Pre-paid parking packages are also available, along with handicapped seating, IndyCar Paddock passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of Hospitality Club packages.

Fans can also follow the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB and on Twitter @ToyotaGPLB.

Motegi Racing to Sponsor Super Drift Challenge at Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

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LONG BEACH, Calif. (Feb. 18, 2013) – Motegi Racing will be the title sponsor of the Super Drift Challenge, the first night race in the 39-year history of the world-famous Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 19-21, race officials announced today.

The Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge, an invitational Formula DRIFT event, will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights on the eastern end of the race circuit – turns nine, 10 and 11 – and is expected to feature 16 of the sport’s top cars and drivers including 2012 Formula DRIFT champion Daigo Saito, 2011 champ Daijiro Yoshihara, plus Frederic Aasbo, Aurimas Bakchis, Michael Essa, Conrad Grunewald, Ken Gushi, Tyler McQuarrie, Robbie Nishida, Justin Pawlak, Matt Powers and others to be announced. Friday’s action will include practice and qualifying runs, while Saturday will see the teams compete for a $25,000 prize pool. On Sunday, the Super Drift Challenge cars will drift the entire race circuit after the featured IZOD IndyCar Series race.

Grand Prix fans that purchase any admission ticket for Friday or Saturday racing activities will be able to see that day’s Super Drift Challenge. Seating for the Super Drift Challenge will be in Grandstands 16, 18, 24, 25 and 26 on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning at 6:30 p.m.

“Motegi Racing is pleased to be part of the first night race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in nearly four decades,” said Marketing Director Rhett Sander. “The Super Drift Challenge is a great addition to the race weekend and we look forward to seeing a great smoke show under the lights.”

“We are excited to have Motegi Racing expand on their relationship here at Long Beach to include the entitlement of our first-ever night racing event,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “This is just another example of the added value that will be provided to all of our race fans over the weekend at no additional cost.”

Motegi Racing has been a supporter of drifting in the United States since its first season and has backed top drivers including Fredric Aasbo, Matt Powers, and Tanner Foust. The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is a special weekend for the aftermarket wheel company, which backs teams and drivers in many of the races on the schedule including drifting, ALMS and IndyCar.

In addition to the Super Drift Challenge, the 2013 Grand Prix will again be headlined on the track by the IZOD IndyCar Series®.  Also featured will be the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series, the fan-favorite Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, Firestone Indy Lights and Pirelli World Challenge.

Off the track, the Grand Prix’s menu of family entertainment includes free Friday and Saturday night Tecate Light concerts and the Lifestyle Expo with an expanded Family Fun Zone with racing simulators, kids’ racing cars, computer games and action sports. Add to that driver autograph sessions, a Go-Kart track for adult racers, the Food Truck Experience, Sunday’s Mothers Exotic Car Paddock, and it’s a weekend packed full of activity.

Ticket prices for the three-day event range from $28 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $130 for a three-day ticket that includes Sat./Sun. reserved seating in grandstand upper levels.  Pre-paid parking packages are also available, along with handicapped seating, IndyCar Paddock passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of Hospitality Club packages. Fans can select and pay for their 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach seats, parking and paddock passes online at gplb.com. Ticket orders can also be placed by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 82-SPEED.

Fans can also follow the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Facebook at GrandPrixLB and on Twitter @ToyotaGPLB.

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Inaugural Formula DRIFT Super Drift Challenge to Run at 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

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Inaugural Formula DRIFT Super Drift Challenge to Run at 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach;
Invitation-Only Formula DRIFT Event to Become Grand Prix’s First Night Race

Long Beach, Calif. – December 5, 2012 – LONG BEACH, Calif. (Dec. 4, 2012) – For the first time in its 39 years, the world-famous Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 19-21, 2013, will offer night racing with the inaugural Formula DRIFT Super Drift Challenge on Friday and Saturday nights during race weekend.

The Formula DRIFT Super Drift Challenge, which will take place at 7 p.m. on the eastern end of the race circuit – turns nine, 10 and 11 – is expected to feature 16 of the sport’s top cars and drivers including 2012 Formula DRIFT champion Daigo Saito, 2011 champ Daijiro Yoshihara, plus Frederic Aasbo, Aurimas Bakchis, Michael Essa, Conrad Grunewald, Ken Gushi, Tyler McQuarrie, Robbie Nishida, Justin Pawlak, Matt Powers and others to be announced. Friday’s action will include practice and qualifying runs, while Saturday will see the teams compete for a $25,000 prize. On Sunday, the Super Drift Challenge cars will drift the entire race circuit after the featured IZOD IndyCar Series race.

Grand Prix fans that purchase any admission ticket for Friday or Saturday racing activities will be able to see that day’s Super Drift Challenge.

Seating for the Super Drift Challenge will be in Grandstands 16, 18, 24, 25 and 26 on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning at 6:30 p.m.

“We are excited to change up the drifting action during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend from an exhibition show to a competition. By doing this we will be able to showcase the true form of competition drifting to the Grand Prix fans,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “The icing on the cake comes in the form of night time drifting on the streets. We are truly honored to be the first Series to be competing on the streets of Long Beach at night!”

“The Grand Prix has enjoyed a long and productive relationship with Formula DRIFT and this newly designed event takes it to a new level,” said Jim Michaelian, president and CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. “And all this added excitement will be presented at no additional cost to our race attendees. Plus, because of its unique location, there will be no impact in any way on the businesses around the rest of the track.”

Ticket prices for the three-day event range from $28 for a Friday General Admission ticket to $130 for a three-day ticket that includes Sat./Sun. reserved seating in grandstand upper levels. Pre-paid parking packages are also available, along with handicapped seating, IndyCar Paddock passes, Super Photo tickets and a wide variety of Hospitality Club packages. Fans can select and pay for their 2013 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach seats, parking and paddock passes online at the new gplb.com. Ticket orders can also be placed by calling the toll-free ticket hotline, (888) 82-SPEED.