Long Beach, Calif. – April 15, 2012 – Formula DRIFT’s Team DRIFT competition during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach concluded today with a victory from the team consisting of Long Beach native Kyle Mohan and the 2011 Rookie of the Year, Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis.
14 drivers paired up over the weekend to compete in front of thousands of spectators during the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Judged on tandem execution and style the teams put on a show through the entire street course. Guest judges Andy Yen (Formula DRIFT lead judge), 2011 Formula DRIFT champion, Daijiro Yoshihara and 2-time champion Tanner Foust awarded the win to Mohan and Bakchis. Coming in second place was the team of Taka Aono and Cyrus Martinez. Rounding out the podium with a third place team finish was the pairing of Walker Wilkerson and Dennis Mertzanis.
The Formula DRIFT Pro Championship continues with Round 2: Road to the Championship at Road Atlanta on May 11,12, 2012.
Formula DRIFT will be participating once again at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The main competition will take place on Sunday, April 15 at 3:40 PM following the IZOD Indycar race.
The teams will be judged on style, execution and overall crowd reaction. Teams of 2 cars will wow the crowds while drifting the entire Grand Prix street course. Guest judges include Andy Yen (FD head judge), the 2011 champion Dai Yoshihara and 2-time champion Tanner Foust.
Drivers participating include:
Long Beach, Calif. – April 12, 2012 – Formula DRIFT announced today that Replay XD will sponsor and support this weekend’s Team DRIFT competition at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach from April 13-15.
Replay XD and Formula DRIFT have teamed up to undertake a huge video production by mounting multiple Replay XD camera’s to all 14 of the Team DRIFT vehicles and film all the action on and off the track for an online video release to come after the event. Replay XD will become the exclusive POV camera for the Team DRIFT event and also be branded on each vehicle.
“We are excited that Replay XD has seen the opportunity to partner with us on the Team DRIFT event,” said Ryan Sage, vice president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “This event is always a fun weekend for Formula DRIFT and the participating drivers, but now this partnership will allow fans to see how amazing 14 drift cars unleashed on the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Street Course can be. Fans will be able to see every initiation and all door to door drifting from every single driver’s point of view.”
“We’re all racers and enthusiasts here at Replay XD, and drifting has really pushed the envelope of what is possible in a car. We’ve been long time supporters of grassroots drifting, and are excited to take the next step by working with Formula DRIFT,” said Replay XD President, John Spar. “Having a chance to use our XD1080 to bring a first-hand, HD experience of team drifting on the streets of Long Beach to Formula DRIFT fans and drifting fans everywhere is quite an honor.”
The Formula DRIFT Team DRIFT Challenge will take place on Friday, April 13 at 9:35 AM, Saturday, April 14 at 8:55 AM and the main competition will be held on Sunday, April 15 at 3:40 PM during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach event.
Tyler McQuarrie, of Walnut Creek, Calif., won the GTS class race of the Toyo Tires World Challenge at Long Beach Presented by Bondurant. Nick Esayian, of San Diego, Calif., was second.
McQuarrie, making his World Challenge debut, cruised to a 49.535-second flag-to-flag victory in his No. 19 LPL/DRS/Switcars/LCS/Dayco/M&T Lotus Exige S.
Starting on pole, McQuarrie got a jump on the field on the first lap, aided in part by the poor luck of Peter Cunningham in the No. 43 Acura/RealTime Racing Acura TSX. Following contact with another car, Cunningham’s hood opened into the windshield of his Acura on lap one, forcing him into the pits that put him a lap down and ended any challenge the Series’ all-time wins leader could have given McQuarrie.
For more info World Challenge
“I had a great start and actually got by a couple of GT cars,” McQuarrie said. “I didn’t have a working radio in the race, so I didn’t actually realize who was behind me. I looked up at the screen on the second lap and saw one of the Acuras head to the pits with the hood up. I dialed it back just a little bit when I felt I could.”
McQuarrie also competed in last week’s Formula Drift event at Long Beach.
“I have to really thank the LPL and DRS team. They only got this car about five weeks ago and really did a fantastic job with it. To be able to run it here at Long Beach—to run both weekends, is really awesome. I think April in Long Beach is a little bit like May in Indy. It’s a special time and to win here is just awesome.”
Cunningham, the GTS points leader, finished sixth.
The GTS win was the first time a Lotus had won a race of any kind at Long Beach since Mario Andretti won the 1977 Formula One event in a John Player Lotus.
Acura/RealTime Racing’s Esayian finished a distant second to McQuarrie in the No. 34 Acura TSX for his third podium finish in as many races on the season. Michael Pettiford, of Louisville, Colo., finished third in the No. 41 Go4It Racing Schools/Hawk Chevrolet Corvette in finishing third.
Charles Espenlaub, driving as a replacement driver for Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey, finished fourth in the No. 03 Mazdaspeed/Stoptech/ProParts MAZDA3. Dempsey practiced on Friday and Saturday, but was unable to make the race because of commitments to filming the television show.
Gary Tolar, of Corona, Calif., finished fifth in the No. 86 GMG/GT Racing LLC Porsche 996.
Cunningham remains the GTS Drivers’ Championship leader with 358 points over Esayian (317) and Pettiford (275).
The race from Long Beach will be broadcast May 1 at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) on Versus.
Art of Formula D: A 2009 Season Retrospective Photo Gallery
Will be open to the public during the Grand Prix Weekend.
150 The Promenade N. – corner of Broadway and Promenade
10 AM – 6 PM – April 16 – 18
Friday, April 16
9:35 AM – 10:00 AM – Team Drift Practice
Saturday, April 17
8:55 AM – 9:20 AM – Team Drift Practice
Sunday, April 18
3:40 PM – 3:55 PM – Team Drift Competition
Team Drift Participants
Team 1 | Drift Alliance
Team 2 | Team Awesome
Team 3 | The Rollaz
Team 4 | Wild Side
Team 5 | Team America
Team 6 | Team Canul / Essa / Pina
Past Team Drift Winners
2009 | Drift Alliance
Chris Forsberg – Nissan 350Z
Justin Pawlak – Mazda RX-7