For Immediate Release
FORMULA DRIFT ASIA SERIES TO RETURN TO THAILAND
Singapore, 22 November 2013 – Formula Drift Asia will be returning to Thailand in 2014, in replacement of Formula Drift Indonesia initially scheduled for December 2013. This will serve as the final leg of the 2013 season, as well as the opening round of the 2014 season. The last time the Series was held in Thailand was back in 2010.
To be held at Pathum Thani Speedway on 18 and 19 January, Formula Drift Thailand 2014 is co-organised with Grand Prix International Co., Ltd (GPI), which owns the Bangkok International Motor Show, several motorsport events, a host of magazines such as Grand Prix and XO Autosport, as well as television channel Grand Prix Channel. For the first time ever, there will be ‘live’ streaming for Formula Drift Asia events so fans from all over the world can keep up with the sideways smoking action.
Marcus Lim, Co-Founder of Formula Drift Asia, “We are excited to return to the Thailand market, after three years of absence, and we look forward to coming back to Indonesia in the near future. 2013 also marks the end of a fruitful chapter with Achilles as the title sponsor of the Asia series. We look forward to welcoming new partners to the fold as we move on to a combined platform globally. The integration of operations with the US side will give us better strategic alignment for the development of the sport in Asia. ”
“We brought the first international drifting competition to Thailand four years ago and we are excited to be able to bring Formula Drift back. The timing is right as we have integrated and merged the Formula Drift Asia and USA offices to lay a foundation to create a world championship series,” said Jim Liaw, President and Co-Founder of Formula Drift.
In other exciting news, Formula Drift will merge their USA and Asia operations from 2014 with a global headquarters in Long Beach and a regional office in Singapore, in anticipation for a World Championship in 2015. The merger comes after six years of successful event operations in Asia taking Formula Drift to Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia. Formula Drift Asia licensor Driftpac will remain an integral part of the Formula Drift events in Asia and will continue to assist in expansion of the brand.
The plan for 2015 is to operate a world championship where some or all of the events on the Formula Drift USA and Formula Drift Asia calendars, as well as possible new host venues, will count towards the world championship.
Formula Drift Asia has been a key drifting event within the region since its inaugural season in 2007, bringing the excitement and heart-stopping track action to fans in iconic locations such as the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix’s Marina Bay circuit and the historic Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur.
The most diverse and talented pool of drivers from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, USA and Japan have competed in the series. Expect the usual array of international drifting stars like Daigo Saito, Fredric Aasbo, Robbie Nishida, Kenshiro Gushi, Josh Boettcher and Tengku Djan.
Do look out for more details on Formula Drift Thailand 2014 and also the rest of the 2014 calendar. For more information, kindly log on to www.formuladriftasia.com or www.facebook.com/formuladriftasia.
For enquiries or requests, contact Cheryl at [email protected] or +65 9733 5122.
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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