Formula DRIFT Round 2: Road to the Championship Results

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Formula DRIFT Round 2: Road to the Championship Results;
Vaughn Gittin Takes the Victory

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Long Beach, Calif. – May 10, 2014 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro entered Road Atlanta for Round 2: Road to the Championship. Vaughn Gittin in the Monster Energy / Nitto Ford Mustang takes the victory moving him into second place in the championship standings.

Round 2: Road to the Championship marked the eleventh visit to Road Atlanta. The thousands of fans in attendance witnessed an action packed event weekend.

“It’s wonderful to see the growth in attendance each year at Road Atlanta, where we held our first Formula DRIFT event eleven years ago,” says Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT. “The fans of the South are so passionate for the sport and we love coming to this venue.”

Vaughn Gittin fought his way to the top of the podium through tough competition to take his first victory of the season and move into second place in the point standings. Gittin matched up against Fredric Aasbo in the Hankook Tire Scion Racing tC in the finals. After a tightly fought battle Gittin was awarded the win. Chris Forsberg in the Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z rounded out the podium in third place to remain in first place in the championship.

“Tonight my team and I were truly one. We communicated and worked super hard,” said Vaughn Gittin, winner of Round 2: Road to the Championship. “These were some of the most hard fought battles that I remember ever having and it says a lot about our sport, where we are going and what we are doing. And I’m just super proud to be standing on the top step.”

The 2014 Formula DRIFT season continues with Round 3 on May 30-31 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Round 3: Invasion Results; Michael Essa Takes the Victory

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Long Beach, Calif. – June 1, 2013 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro returned to Palm Beach International Raceway for Round 3: Invasion. Michael Essa in the GSR Autosport / Yokohama Tire BMW M3 takes the victory and moves into third place overall in the standings.

Round 3: Invasion returned for the third consecutive season to South Florida to a capacity crowd. The fans were treated to exciting on-track action intermingled with the Slammed Society car show and display of cars from the Targa Trophy.

“South Florida continues to prove to be a viable market with another capacity crowd,” stated Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “The spirit of competition also continues to rise and is at the highest level it has ever been, which has made an amazing season thus far.”

The skies cleared up for the main event day and the crowds flocked to the venue. The technical track featured a fast entry that proved to be a challenge for some of the drivers with many favorites failing to enter the later rounds of competition. The consolation round pitted Robbie Nishida in the Bridges Racing / Achilles Lexus SC300 against Vaughn Gittin in the Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang. After failing to reach the line after a Competition Timeout following mechanical problems from the previous round, Gittin conceded to give Nishida the win and third place. The final battle pitted Michael Essa in the GSR Autosport / Yokohama Tire BMW M3 against returning champion Daigo Saito in the Bridges Racing / Achilles Tire Lexus SC430, who also won this event last season. The battle was fierce, but Essa took the victory after Saito had a slight error in his chase run. This is Essa’s first Formula DRIFT pro championship podium and victory, which moves him into third place overall in the standings. Saito in the process moves into first place overall with Gittin closely behind him in second place.

“It’s surreal. We started this week with some issues and didn’t qualify well,” said Michael Essa, winner of Round 3: Invasion. “The team put together a solid car and thanks to Yokohama Tire, Bilstein, Garret and the rest of the sponsors we were able to win. We need to keep the momentum going and I can’t wait for the next round.”

For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com

Formula DRIFT Professional Championship Presented by GoPro 2013 Standings After Three Rounds
1. Saito, Daigo Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 257 Points
2. Gittin Jr., Vaughn Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR 244 Points
3. Essa, Michael GSR Autosport / Yokohama BMW M3 241.50 Points
4. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z 202 Points
5. Aasbo, Fredric Hankook Tire Scion Racing tC 197.50 Points
6. Yoshihara, Daijiro Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 195 Points
7. Moen, Kenneth Lutz Performance / Nexen Tire Nissan 240SX 184 Points
8. Pawlak, Justin Falken Tire Ford Mustang 182.50 Points
9. McNamara, Darren Falken Tire Nissan S14 180.50 Points
10. Bakchis, Aurimas Nexen Tire Nissan S14 166.50 Points
11. Tuerck, Ryan Team Retaks / Maxxis Scion Racing FR-S 150.50 Points
12. Field, Matt CX Racing / Blacktrax Nissan 240SX 144.50 Points
13. Wang, Forrest Get Nuts Labs Nissan 240SX 136.50 Points
14. DeNofa, Chelsea BC Racing BMW 3 Series 130 Points
15. Nishida, Robbie Bridges Racing / Achilles Tire Lexus SC300 127.50 Points
16. Powers, Matt Nitto Tire / Fatlace Nissan S14 119 Points

Round 3: Invasion Event Results
1. Essa, Michael GSR Autosport / Yokohama BMW M3 Winner
2. Saito, Daigo Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 Second Place
3. Nishida, Robbie Bridges Racing / Achilles Tire Lexus SC300 Third Place

Manufacturers Championship Standings After Three Rounds
1. Ford 426.50 Points
2. Lexus 414.25 Points
3. Nissan 386 Points
4. Scion 379 Points
5. BMW 371.50 Points

Tire Championship Standings After Three Rounds
1. Falken 461 Points
2. Achilles 417.50 Points
3. Nitto 408 Points
4. Hankook 399.50 Points
5. Yokohama 320.50 Points

Formula DRIFT Announces Official Partnership with Ford for the 2013 Pro Championship Season

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Long Beach, Calif. – October 11, 2012 – Ford is expanding its involvement in professional drifting competition by becoming an official partner of Formula DRIFT and the 2013 Formula DRIFT championship.

“Our involvement with Formula DRIFT is not new, but we are taking it to the next level with this announcement,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “Enthusiasts can now see our great Mustangs on the track with great drivers like Vaughn Gittin, Jr. and Justin Pawlak, and they’ll get a better chance to interact with our stars as well as our exciting production vehicles off track through consumer outreach at all the events. Formula DRIFT is a major part of our action motorsports program targeting new audiences for Ford.”

Ford has actively supported the professional drifting efforts of Team Falken Tire and drivers including Gittin, Pawlak and others since 2005. Two-time D1 Grand Prix champion Gittin won the 2010 Formula DRIFT championship at the wheel of a Mustang GT and leads the 2012 series going into this weekend’s finale. Pawlak, the 2011 Formula DRIFT series runner-up, won the first two rounds in 2012 and currently sits fourth – 70 points behind Gittin.

Initially popularized by fans of import sport compacts, professional drifting has taken root with a younger, more active audience that’s interested in nontraditional, emerging motorsports. Formula DRIFT estimates 87 percent of its fan base is 18 to 34 years old. Ford involvement in Formula DRIFT is a significant part of the company’s outreach to this group that might consider a Ford vehicle like the Fiesta, Focus, Mustang or Raptor.

Drifting is one of many nontraditional approaches Ford is using to reach new customers including social network conversations, soliciting user-generated content through programs like Fiesta Movement and Social.Ford.com, cross-platform marketing programs like Random Acts of Fusion, and the Octane Academy experiential program featuring Gittin, Ken Block, Brian Deegan and Tanner Foust.

“Ever since Ford came into the series competitively in 2005, we have seen the power of what a factory-backed effort can do,” said Ryan Sage, co-founder/vice-president, Formula DRIFT. “Now we are even more excited to have them on as an official partner for the final event of the year and into 2013.”

The finale of the 2012 season of the Formula DRIFT championship is taking place this weekend at Irwindale Speedway (east of Los Angeles) on October 12-13, 2012 for the final event of its ninth season. The Mustangs of Gittin and Pawlak are both in contention for the championship. The Formula DRIFT championship event will be broadcast live on www.FormulaD.com/live Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUKPP01Kx-U&feature=plcp[/youtube]

Rhys Millen is Victorious at Formula DRIFT Round 6: After Dark

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Rhys Millen is Victorious at Formula DRIFT Round 6: After Dark;
Championship Will Come Down to Final Event of the Season

Long Beach, Calif. – August 26, 2012 – Formula DRIFT returned to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Round 6: After Dark. Rhys Millen in the RMR / Hankook Hyundai Genesis Coupe takes the victory and moves up to third place in the overall points standings leading into the final event of the season.

Round 6: After Dark brought drifting back to Sin City and treated fans to a night spectacle that included the Vegas ProAm championship, Slammed Society car show, Targa Trophy display of vehicles and more. The Driftstream saw an estimated 150,000 viewers in a 24-hour period.

“The Las Vegas round of competition is always one of the most action-packed, but with a completely new course it challenged the drivers and excited the fans,“ said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Each year we have seen an increase in attendance and have accommodated with the addition of extra grand stands. This was a very exciting event to lead into the championship round in October. This was another tight championship chase with three former champions in the top five.”

A new track configuration was added to the event at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway giving an extra challenge for the drivers to adjust to the new course along with the weather conditions of the desert. Robbie Nishida in the Bridges Racing / Achilles Tires Lexus SC300 faced points leader Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in the Monster Energy / Falken Ford Mustang in a battle for third place. Gittin took the win and secures his point lead in the chase for the championship. The final battle pitted second place qualifier, Rhys Millen, fresh off his record setting victory at Pikes Peak in the same Hyundai Genesis Coupe that he competed in at this event, against the number one qualifier, Frederic Aasbo in the Need for Speed / Hankook Scion tC. On his lead run, Aasbo met the wall to give the advantage to Millen. On the second run Millen kept a consistent line to take the victory moving him to third place overall and within striking distance of the point leaders.

“It was an incredible victory for our entire crew at RMR, for Hyundai, Pulse and Hankook. To come here from Pikes Peak in the exact same car in a different configuration and in a different driving style and to do it back to back,” said Rhys Millen, winner of Round 6: After Dark. “This is a true drivers course and suits the car well and we were flawless all day long. Unfortunately, some of our competitors gifted us a couple wins, but at the end of the day we put the pressure on them to run deep and fast.”

The chase for the championship is as tight as it has ever been and will be decided at the final event of the season. The Formula DRIFT Pro Championship Round 7: Title Fight on October 12-13 at Irwindale Speedway. Tickets are on-sale now and can be purchased on the Formula DRIFT website.