Formula DRIFT Round 4: The Gauntlet Results;
Conrad Grunewald Wins at Wall Speedway
Long Beach, Calif. – June 18, 2011 – Formula DRIFT returned to Wall Speedway for Round 4: The Gauntlet. The capacity event was action packed with Conrad Grunewald in the Hankook Tire Chevy Camaro taking the victory. This marked Grunewald’s first victory in Formula DRIFT history and second podium since 2005.
Round 4: The Gauntlet at Wall Speedway was another exciting event where the combination of the banking on the track and the competitive nature of the drivers pushed them to the limits. As a result a few of the vehicles were damaged in competition in dramatic fashion keeping them from advancing to the later rounds. The fans witnessed a true showing of world class drifting.
“Despite the brief storm that caused chaos after qualifying on Friday, the Formula DRIFT community pulled together to help one another to put on another great event,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Fans came out to fill the capacity of the venue on Saturday to showcase the ever growing sport this season.”
The final four vehicles gave a tremendous show for the fans with the first battle pitting number one qualifier Ryan Tuerck in the Mobil 1 / Gardella Racing Chevy Camaro against Conrad Grunewald in the Hankook Chevy Camaro. Tuerck went high on the banking, making impact which damaged his vehicle taking him out of the competition and automatically giving him fourth place. Current points leader Justin Pawlak in the Falken Ford Mustang faced teammate Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire / Falken Nissan 240SX to meet Grunewald in the finals. Yoshihara lost the battle and took third place due to Tuerck’s damaged vehicle and moved into second in the Pro Championship points standings. The finals saw a battle of American muscle with Pawlak facing Grunewald. Grunewald edged out Pawlak for his first victory of his career. Pawlak remains the points leader with this third podium finish of the season.
“I’m really happy for the team,” stated Conrad Grunewald, winner of Round 4: The Gauntlet. “We overcame a lot to get to this position this weekend. And I am overwhelmed to be on top of the podium for my first time and especially to do it by beating a Ford Mustang.”
The Formula DRIFT Championship continues for Round 5: Throwdown at Evergreen Speedway on July 22-23. Tickets are available to purchase online.
Formula DRIFT Round 3: Invasion Results;
Justin Pawlak Takes the Victory and the Lead in the Standings
Long Beach, Calif. – June 6, 2011 – Formula DRIFT entered Florida for the first time for Round 3: Invasion at Palm Beach International Raceway. Justin Pawlak takes the victory in the Falken Tires Ford Mustang and regains the lead in the Pro Championship standings.
Round 3: Invasion brought the Formula DRIFT Pro Championship to Florida for the first time in the eight seasons of competition. The action packed weekend showcased the best drifters in the world at a new venue. The new course was technical and fast giving the drivers a challenge to adjust to.
“The demand to bring Formula DRIFT from drifting fans to the state of Florida were heard loud and clear,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “We are confident that Formula DRIFT exceeded all expectations by showcasing the level of professional drifting competition never seen in the region before and hope we can make this a regular championship stop.”
The action on track saw the top 4 qualifiers make it into the Final 4 of the competition. Number one qualifier Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink Nissan 370Z battled number 2 qualifier Darren McNamara in the Falken Tire Saturn Sky in the consolation round. McNamara beat Forsberg to take third place in the event and also solidify a team Falken Tire sweep on the podium. The final battle was a battle of the Mustang with Falken Tire teammates Justin Pawlak in the Falken Ford Mustang and Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in the Monster Energy / Falken Ford Mustang. Pawlak edged out his teammate for his second victory of the season regaining the lead in the pro championship point standings.
“It feels unreal,” exclaimed Justin Pawak, winner of Round 3. “I knew I had a good chance to win despite a tough ladder of competition, but we brought it home and we are back on top!”
The Formula DRIFT Championship continues later this month for Round 4: The Gauntlet at Wall Speedway in New Jersey on June 17-18. Tickets are available to purchase online.
Formula DRIFT Round 1: Streets of Long Beach Results;
Justin Pawlak Takes the Victory at the Season Opener
Long Beach, Calif. – April 10, 2011 – Justin Pawlak in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang earns the victory at the first event of the 2011 Formula DRIFT season. Matt Powers in the Need for Speed Nissan S14 takes second place with Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire / Falken Nissan S13 rounding out the podium in third place.
Round 1: Streets of Long Beach provided fans with action and excitement through the weekend. The debut of new vehicles and new drivers added to the anticipation for the new season. The Driftstream brought live coverage to fans watching at home.
“With any new season comes change, so seeing fresh faces to the podium is a part of that,” says Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “The level of driving skill continues to elevate. It is a sign that the 2011 season will be as competitive as ever. I would not be surprised to see more upsets and new faces to the podium.”
Justin Pawlak finds the top of the podium for the very first time in his career. Pawlak remained consistent through the rounds advancing to the Finals against Matt Powers. His consistency paid off and Pawlak was able to secure the victory. The consolation round pitted Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 against 2009 Formula DRIFT champion, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink Nissan 370Z.
“I owe it all to the guys at ASD and Falken Tire for this victory. Without them this could not have been possible,” said Justin Pawlak, winner of Round 1: Streets of Long Beach. “This victory feels unreal. I have worked so hard for this and can’t believe I’m on top to start out the season.”
The 2011 Pro Championship season continues for Round 2: Road to the Championship at Road Atlanta on May 6-7. Tickets are available to purchase online now.
“BroStang” drivers Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Justin Pawlak will be holding drift demos and giving ride-alongs at Barrett Jackson at the OC Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa this upcoming weekend. They will be doing demos Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10-5 PM every hour on the hour. Vaughn will be his Monster Energy/Falken Tire demo car and Justin will be in a Mustang RTR. People can sign-up to go for a ride at one of the many Ford kiosks in the Ford area.
Last night the IZOD Indycar Series invited Formula DRIFT to participate in the “Race to the Party” event in Hollywood. Hollywood Blvd was shut down in front of Mann’s Chinese Theatre and the Kodak Theatre and thousands of fans gathered to watch Formula DRIFT vehicles do a demonstration, Indycar pit stop challenge, and a special performance by Camp Freddy.
The fans were blown away by the drifting action of drivers Joon Maeng – Full Tilt Poker / Nitto Tires Mazda RX-8, Justin Pawlak – Falken Mazda RX-7, Michael Essa – Nitto Tires BMW 335i, Mike Whiddett – Need for Speed Mazda RX-8, and Samuel Hubinette – SHR Dodge Challenger.