Get ready for some high octane action as the third edition of Formula Drift slides into Singapore this April.
Counter steers, over steers, Donuts and Choku-Dori will be just some of the technical terms on the lips of spectators as they witness the adrenaline-pumping action of the Formula Drift Singapore 2010 Powered by Nissan when it returns to the Republic on 24 and 25 April 2010 at the F1 Pit Building.
Organisers ESPN STAR Sports (ESS) and DriftPac announced the event’s return on Thursday.
Spectators can expect a hair-raising experience as finalists burn up the course two-at-a-time, often only inches apart, featuring aggressive side-by-side action, nail-biting power slides and spectacular speed along a series of tight corners as powerful engines roar while tires bellow smoke.
The event has become a sporting calendar highlight, attracting regional interest and talent, as well as a record number of 45 drivers hailing from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and New Zealand.
Japanese Champion and Top Formula DRIFT USA Pro Ryuji Miki will also be in town to add to the competitive edge of the drivers.
Having secured second placing in the Thailand and Las Vegas editions of Formula Drift, Miki will be a top contender for the title here.
Said an excited Miki, “Formula Drift Singapore 2010 will be my first race of the season, and I am very excited to return to Singapore to battle against some of the region’s most promising and talented drifters.”
“I have fond memories competing in the country, having clinched the Formula Drift Singapore title in 2008.”
With the sport garnering more interest and participation in Singapore and in Asia, I am certain that it will be a spectacular championship event next month. I will be aiming to do my best, and hopefully win here again!”
For the second year in a row, ESS will be organising the Formula Drift Singapore 2010.
“We are thrilled to be organizing and staging this year’s Formula Drift Singapore once again, especially with such a high level of competition,” said Mr. Harvey Davis, Vice-President, ESS Events Management Group.
“We are also proud to have helped Formula Drift Singapore grow locally and regionally through the broadcast of the event highlights across our footprint, reaching 300 million viewers in 24 countries.
This year, we have more major sponsors onboard, a testament to the rapid growth of public interest for this event since its inaugural meet in 2008. With such a talented and promising line-up, Singaporeans can be guaranteed an exciting time once again.”
Having brought the format of Formula Drift to Singapore, Mr. Marcus Lim, General Manager of DriftPac will be acting as the official Technical Consultant of the event. He has gained an invaluable amount of experience since organising the race for the first time in 2008, and expressed his thoughts on the sport’s growth.
Lim said, “It’s heartening to see the event grow from the very first year, into a sporting calendar highlight amongst motoring and sporting fans.
Thanks to Formula One, motorsports in Singapore have seen a drastic increase in interest, and I am very happy to be able to present to Singaporeans another platform to showcase and feed their interest.”
The passion and popularity of Formula Drift in Singapore is best exemplified as the Republic has also been slated as one of the countries to host the Asian Drift Series in 2011.
The inaugural Formula Drift Thailand, presented by Goodyear, ended with a climactic battle as “Mad Mike” Whiddett, New Zealand’s champion drifter, and 2004 D1 Japan Grand Prix winner Ryuji Miki competed head to head in a final showdown last weekend.
Ultimately, Mad Mike was declared the winner after a heart-stopping three-round battle. Third place honors went to Malaysian drifter Tengku Djan, who was the 2009 Formula Drift Singapore champion last July.
“Mad Mike” Whiddett, drifting with Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric tires, overcame an equally gruelling knockout round with Tengku Djan in wet weather conditions as the rain poured before the Final Four began.
Thailand’s first and only world-class drifting ground, Wonderworld Park, Ramindra, was filled to capacity as drift fans flowed in to pack the racing ground during the two-day competition. The 7,000 strong venue was fully booked.
Intensity mounted on the second day when 32 qualifiers, including 23 Thai competitors, demonstrated their skills and techniques on the smoke-filled racing track, accompanied by the roar of powerful engines as the drifters revved up. The three American judges invited from Formula Drift lent an air of stringency to the proceedings as the organizers aimed to bring Formula Drift Thailand standards to a new, more professional level.
Thai drift king – Kiki Nana – was among the qualifying drifters and successfully sailed through to the final eight before being defeated and exiting from the competition. All Thai drifters taking part mentioned that this was the most impressive drift competition they had been involved in, and even though they were unable to bring the trophy home, the two days on the drifting ground with super drifters from across the region was an amazing experience. They also noted that they find international competing standards tough but very challenging.
The two drifters from New Zealand and Japan sweated it out in the final battle. Instead of two rounds of battle like the other competitions, the two drifters had to compete in three rounds since their skills were highly matched. Judges were put in the hot seat as they just could not agree on an unanimous winner. It was decided that the competition would be settled in a third round of battle.
Finally, it appeared that the third round had done the trick. Whiddett and Miki stood side by side on the stage. Tension rose to a peak as the third judge revealed his final score for Whiddett, and broke in a wave of emotion as the New Zealand drift hero was crowned the winner of Formula Drift Thailand with 2:1 score. The crowd went wild, cheering and clapping.
After the trophy presentation, the winners had to stay on stage for more than half an hour as drift fans kept coming onstage to congratulate them in person. The organizers also kept the crowd entertained with stunt shows and highly energizing percussion numbers.
Formula Drift now moves to Malaysia as Goodyear hosts the final competition in the ASEAN drift series, to be held in December 19-20 at the MAEPS (Malaysian Agro Exposition Park Serdang) grounds.
1st Place – Mike Whiddet
2nd Place – Ryuji Miki
3rd Place – Tengku Djan
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