The 2010 Formula Drift season officially kicked off over the weekend with Round 1 taking place on the streets of Long Beach. All the pre-season hype was over and it was time for all the teams with new cars to put their money where their mouths were. Questions were answered and more were asked but when all the tire smoke cleared it was Vaughn Gittin Jr on top of the podium thanks to his new Falken Tire/Monster Energy Drink 2011 Ford Mustang. Taking 2nd place was Rhys Millen in his Red Bull Hyundai Genesis Coupe and coming in 3rd was Tanner Foust in his Rockstar Energy Drink Scion tC thus creating an all energy drink podium.
So what were some of the highlights from the weekend? Well Long Beach was to be the debut for several new cars such as Sam Hubinette’s Dodge Challenger, and Conrad Grunewald’s 2010 Chevy Camaro. However not all the new cars made it to the grid. Noticably absent was the Hankook Tire GT-R built by Gruppe-S/Dynamic Autosport for Robbie Nishida as well as the Hankook Tire Subaru WRX for Irish driver Eric O’Sullivan. Both cars failed to pass a last minute tech inspection and were not allowed to run. You can follow up on that drama on WreckedMagazine.com.
I am happy to say that the other highlight wasn’t controversial but a shocker nonetheless. Nordic driver Fredric Aasbo was extremely impressive in his Toyota Supra and shocked the crowed when he took down 2009 Formula D Champion Chris Forsberg in the top 16! Aasbo made it all the way to the final four where he lost to Vaughn Gittin Jr. in what some would call a questionable call by Formula D judges. Aasbo then had to take on Tanner Foust but it appeared as if his confidence was shaken since Tanner made quick work of Aasbo who seemed hesitant to stick close to Tanner during the battle. Vaughn used the momentum from his earlier win over Aasbo to take on Rhys Millen in a heated battle. But when Rhys spun and crashed into the tire barrier on his second run he handed the victory to Gittin thus securing the all energy drink podium.
With Long Beach wrapped up it is on to Road Atlanta where hopefully some of the cars who had trouble in Long Beach will be all sorted. WIll Vaughn be able to repeat down south? WIll the new Hankook Tire cars be ready for the next round? We’ll do our best to keep you posted!
In the mean time you can check out our 2 day gallery on our Facebook page or you can check out UrbanRacer.com’s gallery full of yummy action shots.