The old adage goes that in Florida, when you just start getting used to the weather, it will change. That was no exception for the first round of the Formula Drift Pro 2 Championship at Orlando Speedworld June 5-6, 2015. While the second tier drivers qualified in the dry, Mother Nature had other plans and would test the skills of newcomers and veterans alike. It would also be the first test of a brand new track for the Formula Drift Championships. While you’d like to think those with years of experience would end up on top, turns out the rookies would have something for them, and a driver that earned his license in a series that never experienced rain would take the win.
Orlando Speedworld is not a venue new to drifting. It actually holds regular events that guys like Pat Goodin, Chelsea Denofa, Alec Hohnadell, and others in the state of Florida have driven on. So, it’s not hard to expect drivers like Kelsey Rowlings to make it into the Top 16. However, drivers like Alex Youe, Pat Cyr, Kasey King, or even Kenji Yamanaka would be names from outside of Florida you’d also expect, but you’d be left scratching your head as they did not make it. Pat crashed while Kasey experienced car troubles, and Kenji just didn’t perform as we expected him to. Instead, we found names like Andrew Gray, Faruk Kugay, Brody Goble, and number one qualifier Alex Heilbrunn on the list. However, that number one qualifier shouldn’t be much of a surprise, as two of the five rounds of the Just Drift “Top Drift” series are done on ovals similar to Orlando Speedworld, though the “whoops” section in the middle was probably a new experience. Same goes for Brody Goble who drove in the Evergreen Drift Series, which ran exclusively on the Evergreen Speedway oval that Formula Drift will see after New Jersey.
Formula DRIFT PRO 2 Orlando Speed World Results;
Alex Heilbrunn Takes the Victory
Long Beach, Calif. – June 5, 2015 – Formula DRIFT PRO 2 began the season at Orlando Speed World with the first of four rounds of competition. Alex Heilbrunn in the IMR BMW 3-Series takes the victory and the lead in the standings.
PRO 2 kicked off the season with the first event at Orlando Speed World. This marks the first PRO 2 event to be held at the venue.
“In its second year, PRO 2 has proven to be a great way for drivers to get acclimated to the tracks and the level of competition,” says Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT. “Alex Heilbrunn is a great example of an international driver, hailing from Lima, Peru, who made his way through the Pro-AM Series and now has found success in PRO 2.”
Heilbrunn met Andy Gray in the DriftEbisu.com / Achilles Tire Toyota Chaser, a regular of Formula DRIFT Japan, in the Finals. Heilbrunn remained consistent throughout the night and out drove his opponents to gain his first victory in Formula DRIFT PRO 2 and gain the lead in the standings in the first of four events for the season. Rounding out the podium was Jeff Jones in third place in the DNA Motoring Nissan S14.
“We are super excited to be here at Formula DRIFT PRO 2 for the first time,” said Alex Heilbrunn, winner of Round 1 of 4 events of PRO 2 Championship. “We qualified first and got the win, so it was a perfect weekend for me. I want to thank my team and everyone that made it possible.”
The 2015 Formula DRIFT season will continue to Round 4: The Gauntlet on June 26-27 at Wall Speedway in New Jersey. For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Tune into Formula DRIFT on CBS Sports and check your local listings for airtimes.
PRO 2 – Round 1 of 4 – Orlando Speed World Event Results
|1. Heilbrunn, Alex||IMR BMW 3-Series||Winner|
|2. Gray, Andy||DriftEbisu.com / Achilles Tire Toyota Chaser||2nd Place|
|3. Jones, Jeff||DNA Motoring Nissan S15||3rd Place|
|4. Briggs, Dave||Briggs Racing Nissan S14||4th Place|
|5. Wolfson, Jeff||Scion FR-S||5th Place|
|6. Wicknick, Brandon||Chase Bays / RUN2JZ Nissan S13||6th Place|
|7. Patterson, Brandon||Damascus Apparel Nissan S14||7th Place|
|8. Rintanen, Juha||Nissan S14||8th Place|
|9. Evans, James||Sikky Racing Nissan 350Z||9th Place|
|10. Lawrence, Kevin||Nissan S13||10th Place|
|11. Cleef, Tommy Van||Van Cleef Motorsports Toyota Supra||11th Place|
|12. Goble, Brody||Indy Speed Shop V8 Nissan 240SX||12th Place|
|13. Hull, Taylor||Nissan S14||13th Place|
|14. Kugay, Faruk||Nissan S14||14th Place|
|15. Litteral, Ryan||Nissan S14||15th Place|
|16. Rowlings, Kelsey||Nissan S14||16th Place|
2015 Formula DRIFT PRO 2 Top 3 Standings After One Event
|1. Heilbrunn, Alex||IMR BMW 3-Series||107.00 Points|
|2. Gray, Andy||DriftEbisu.com / Achilles Tire Toyota Chaser||83.00 Points|
|3. Jones, Jeff||DNA Motoring Nissan S15||67.00 Points|
Formula DRIFT PRO 2 Round 4 at Irwindale Speedway Results;
Jeff Jones Takes Competition Victory and Dan Savage is Crowned PRO 2 Champion
Long Beach, Calif. – October 10, 2014 – Formula DRIFT PRO 2 finished the season at Irwindale Speedway with final round of 2014. Jeff Jones in the CX Racing Nissan S14 takes the event victory, while Dan Savage in the Sikky Manufacturing Mazda RX-8 is crowned PRO 2 champion.
PRO 2 finished its inaugural season at Irwindale Speedway. PRO 2 was introduced as an intermediary series between the Formula DRIFT Pro-Am and Pro Championship to help drivers get acclimated to the competition level and venues, while gaining valuable experience. As the first year of the PRO 2, drivers that are eligible include both licensed Pro-Am and Pro Championship drivers. Drivers were also given the option to compete in both PRO 2 and the Pro Championship.
The finals pitted Jeff Jones against Dan Savage. Savage on his chase run crashed giving Jones his first ever competition victory. Brandon Wicknick in the Driftmotion D-Spare Nissan 2JZ S13 rounded out the podium in third place.
“This is not only my first time qualifying for the Pro Championship and for PRO 2 we were on fire,” said Jeff Jones, winner of Round 4 of PRO 2. “This is just killer to have the car dialed in. I just wish we could reset this season, but I can not wait for next year.”
In a tightly fought championship chase, Dan Savage edged out the point leader, Geoff Stoneback with his second place podium finish to win the PRO 2 championship by a mere 5.50 points.
“Its surreal knowing that it was that close coming into it,” says Dan Savage, 2014 PRO 2 Champion. “Being here at Irwindale ten years ago and seeing what drifting was for the first time that it is numbing knowing that I made it here at this track.”
For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram @formulad, Facebook www.facebook.com/formuladrift and Twitter @FormulaDrift.
Formula DRIFT PRO 2 2014 Final Standings
1. Savage, Dan Sikky Manufacturing Mazda RX-8 286.50 Points
2. Stoneback, Geoff GSR Nissan S14 281.00 Points
3. Lowe, Jeremy Enjuku Racing Mazda RX-7 259.00 Points
4. Jones, Jeff CX Racing Nissan S14 246.00 Points
5. Evans, James Sikky Manufacturing Nissan 350Z 226.00 Points
6. Hamilton, Nate ONE44 Motorsports / Enkei Wheels Nissan 240SX 220.00 Points
7. Coffman, Matt Coffman Racing / PSI Nissan S13 182.00 Points
8. Wicknick, Brandon Driftmotion D-Spare Nissan 2JZ S13 173.00 Points
9. Parsons, Will NonStop Tuning AutoComp Racing Toyota AE86 157.50 Points
10. Cisneros, Tony 116 Motorsports Nissan 240SX 121.00 Points
11. Rydquist, Carl Road Race Engineering / Berk Nissan 350Z 109.00 Points
12. Rintanen, Juha Juha Rintanen Motorsport Nissan S14 109.50 Points
13. Hill, Eric Achilles Radial Fueled Racing 240SX 109.50 Points
14. Mertzanis, Dennis Vision Buddyclub BRE Scion FR-S 106.50 Points
15. Hateley, Andy Hately Motorsports BMW E30 325i 87.50 Points
16. Wolfson, Tyler GT Radial SAE Motorsport Mazda RX-7 86.00 Points
PRO 2 Round 4 Event Results
1. Jones, Jeff CX Racing Nissan S14 Winner
2. Savage, Dan Sikky Manufacturing Mazda RX-8 2nd Place
3. Wicknick, Brandon Driftmotion D-Spare Nissan 2JZ S13 3rd Place