With the 2018 season widely regarded as one of the most exciting in the series’ 15-year history, 2019 has all the ingredients for the most intense competition to date. And because nothing sits still, Formula DRIFT is welcoming new sponsors, drivers and cars to the series.
Glen Allen, VA – USDrift returned to Summit Point Motorsports Park, the site of the very first USDrift competition in 2002, to kick off the 2017 season on one of the hardest courses USDrift has ever held events on. Rookie USDrift competitor Ricky Hofmann, in his Onward Flipzco Nissan 240SX took the win and made the victory even more impressive considering it was his first time driving the course. Continue reading PRO AM USDrift Round 1 – Post event recap
In the aftermath of James Deane’s improbable victory at Round 1 of the 2017 Formula DRIFT Championship in Long Beach, Calif., this past April, a lot of drifting fan boiz got all excited because it looked like new blood in a JDM rocket was coming to America to shake things up (a la Daigo Saito in 2012). We got the impression e-thugging contrarians were dancing in the streets over the season opening shocker. But then Round 2 in the oval at Orlando Speed World happened in early May and, on the surface anyway, Deane looked fallible, even human, as the podium was nothing but past FD champions. Fast forward another couple weeks, though, to Round 3 at Road Atlanta and the Irish wheelman changes the story again.
In Long Beach, Deane had to take out a couple of past champions and a couple of could-be champions in his first Formula D action in seven years. In Braselton, Ga., he had to contend again with thrice series champ Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink 370Z — the second time in three events — while also dispatching heavyweights Ken Gushi in the Greddy Performance 86, Matt Field in the Falken Tire S14, Alec Hohnadell in the Urban Air Initiative S14, and finally fellow Irishman and pal Dean Kearney in the Oracle Lighting Viper. Trust us when we say this has been no cakewalk for the Worthouse pilot.
Orlando Speed World is one of our most preferred Formula Drift championship stops, although it looks like a “simple” transition layout after its long banking is a challenge for all teams.
It is also the first date of the interesting category PRO2! Here Travis Reeder shows us that you can finish the course even if you lose a rubber.
Luis Lizardi would reach the top position of the classifier in the PRO2 but would fall in the first round of qualifiers of the top 16.
The hot and humid action tearing up the track in Orlando matched the weather report for the Formula Drift Series‘ third visit to Orlando Speed World. By now the drivers have become accustomed to the 3/8-mile asphalt oval; the track has one of the rougher surfaces on the circuit, which is part of the reason that the course used is only two big turns.
ORLANDO SPEED WORLD COURSE
Drivers initiate on the back straight, running the track in clockwise fashion around the first bank. Judges have asked the drivers to ride the wall of the bank as much as possible, treating it like a giant outside clipping zone. There’s an inside clipping point towards the end of the bank, then drivers transition off the bank onto the bumpy infield portion of the track. Drivers will transition from left to right across the infield, hitting an inside clip at the end of the infield before riding the outside line on the flat bottom of the second turn. If any drivers push a tire up onto the bank of the second turn, there will be a deduction, while sliding the front tires up onto the bank will result in an “Incomplete Run” which is the new term for a zero-point run.
Overall, only 27 drivers were able to put up a score in Qualifying, which meant that the top five drivers would earn a bye in the first round. Dai Yoshihara came out tires blazing and laid down a 95-point first Qualifying run which would hold up as the top score on the table. Fredric Aasbo and Ryan Tuerck both earned scores of 93, with Aasbo earning the higher qualifying position by virtue of a higher secondary score of 90 points to Tuerck’s 89-point secondary score. Long Beach winner James Deane earned 92 points on his run, while Michael Essa rounded out the top five Qualifying order with a score of 91.
Robbie Nishida, who qualified in Long Beach, moved into his new Nissan GTR for this round but was unable to put up a qualifying score. Additionally, Faruk Kugay had some teething issues getting his BMW car prepped for the event and didn’t make the trip, while Georgy Chivchyan also was absent from this round. In their place, Taylor Hull made his Formula D Pro debut by qualifying 25th, and Kyle Mohan put down his first qualifying score of the season to earn the 27th qualifier position. Continue reading 2017 Formula DRIFT Orlando Top 32 Play-by-Play by Driving Line