Tanner Foust is easily one the most popular personalities in motorsports today. Between hosing Top Gear USA and contending in Rally Cross in both America and in Europe the man has a pretty full plate, which is a big part of the reason why he stepped away from drifting a few years ago to focus on those things. Well, it looks like Tanner has missed drifting so much (winning two Formula Drift championships tends to do that) that he is making a return to the sport this season. He will still continue his Rally Cross and Top Gear hosting duties so for now he will only run a partial season with the rumors suggesting he will drive at the Long Beach, Road Atlanta, and Irwindale rounds of Formula Drift this year.
As far as what he is driving, Wrecked Magazine says it will be a 900hp Volkswagen Passat. Yes, a Passat! While it would be expected that Tanner would campaign a VW since they are a major sponsor and platform provider of his Rally Cross program, but a Passat? Well, for those confused I offer a few theories for this choice. First, to those drift purists who may be asking “Isn’t the Passat front wheel drive?” the answer is “yes and no”. In America, the Passat is currently only offered in front wheel drive. However, in Europe the Passat can be had with all wheel drive, making it legal for RWD conversion and competition in Formula Drift. For those asking “Why not the Golf R then? That car is AWD”. Again you would be correct bur the AWD Golf R is a 2016 model car so chances are VW may not be ready to put marketing dollars behind it and lets be honest, marketing dollars are what drive motorsport programs such as these.
Either way I am glad to see Tanner return to drifting and now we all have one more big reason to look forward to Formula Drift this year! For the official video announcement of Tanner Foust’s return scroll below.
Great news for RC drift fans out there. HPI Racing has collaborated with Fatlace on a new Subaru BRZ RC drift car based on their upcoming “RS4 Sport 3 Drift” chassis. The livery on the 1:10 scale RC BRZ was designed by Fatlace and also features miniature versions of Dai Yoshihara’s signature “Champion” wheels wrapped in mini Falken RT615K T-drift tires. Inside, the chassis features an enclosed all wheel drive system, oil filled shocks, double wishbone suspension, sealed metal gear diffrentials, a Firebolt 15 turn HPI electric motor and more.
Currently, pricing is not known yet but according to Fatlace, the car is “estimated with a May delivery date”. Sadly, that means RC drift fans won’t be able to get their hands on this car before the first round of Formula Drift this season but they might possibly be able to pick it up before Round 2. Stay tuned for more info as its released. For larger pictures just click on any of the thumbnails above.
Ever want to know what its like to suddenly come across a drift car in the middle of the city and then have the owner of said drift car take you on the ride of your life through public streets? Papadakis Racing just dropped a new flick that illustrates just such a daydream. In “Dream Ride LA” Fredric Aasbo takes a young kid drifting through the streets of LA in many iconic locations. Is it a bit of a rip off of what Ken Block did? Sure. But, its still pretty entertaining to watch! Scroll down and check out the five minute film below as well as the official press release.
REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (January 6, 2015) — Papadakis Racing and driver Fredric Aasbo today launch #DreamrideLA, a short video showcasing the precision driving of top drift competitor Aasbo and presented by Scion Racing, Motegi Racing and Hankook Tire.
The five-minute video, available on the Papadakis Racing YouTube channel, features Dillon Bryant Akers as a boy who makes an astonishing discovery on the bank of the LA River and is rewarded with the experience of a lifetime in the 800-plus horsepower Papadakis Racing Scion tC Formula Drift competition car.
“A lot of kids grow up dreaming about being in a real racecar,” said Aasbo. “In Dreamride LA I had the chance to make one of those dreams come true.”
Team boss Stephan Papadakis said that once he and Aasbo decided to make a video, it was important to innovate and push the genre forward. The narrative approach offered by director Michael Tiddes was a perfect fit.
“So many of the drifting videos out there focus on the technique of the stunts and the technical aspects of the car,” said Papadakis. “In Dreamride LA the driving is amazing and the Scion tC is definitely front-and-center, but we also wanted to spotlight the experience. This video is personal and we hope that resonates with the fans.”
Tiddes, a feature film director whose big screen credits include box office hits A Haunted House and A Haunted House 2, merged Hollywood techniques with a fast-paced videogame aesthetic to create a short film that captures the emotional intensity of the drifting experience.
Aasbo is one of the world’s leading drift competitors. He won the 2014 Formula Drift Asia title and finished runner-up in the 2014 Formula Drift championship. Originally from Ski, Norway, Aasbo splits his time between his native country and Redondo Beach, California. This is his first feature project.
Team owner Stephan Papadakis is a legend of sport-compact racing who began building his reputation in the 1990s with the first front-wheel-drive, tube-chassis drag car in the U.S. A respected innovator, Papadakis moved to drifting in 2005 and has led his team to two Formula Drift championship titles (2007, 2008) and runner-up in the 2014 and 2010 championship seasons.
New Jersey native Tiddes is a comedy specialist who has worked with legends Keenen Ivory Wayans and brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans for over a decade. His viral videos featuring talents including Damon Wayans Jr., Affion Crockett, Omar Epps and FRED have become internet phenomena reaching more than 50 million views.
Young star Dillon Bryant Akers is the son of Veronica Valdes and actor Howard Alonzo (Akers) and the godson of Damon Wayans Jr. He made his acting debut in the Wayans family pilot Growing Up Wayans, and works with the Wayans family and Producer Will.i.Am on various projects. Outside of acting, Dillon is an AAU-ranked basketball player and an honor roll student.
#DreamrideLA is available on the Papadakis Racing YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/papadakisracing). Follow #DreamrideLA on social media for more.
THANKS TO OUR VIDEO PARTNERS:
Hankook Tire (www.hankooktireusa.com); Scion Racing (www.scion.com); Motegi Racing (www.motegiracing.com)
Starting in 2015 Falken Tire will no longer be a team owner in Formula Drift which effectively disbands “Team Falken” in the sport. This ends a relationship with Formula Drift that has pretty much spanned the series existence. Falken intends to remain a part of drifting through sponsorships but that will be the extent of their involvement. In the latest episode of “Controlled Chaos” from GT Channel, members of Team Falken reflect on their time in the sport, how Falken and drifting changed their lives, and their plans for the future. The episode provides some rare insight into the personal lives of some of the Team Falken drivers and sheds a light of realism on just how hard it is to make it in this sport and how important it is to them.
In the case of Justin “JTP” Pawlak, he explains that before drifting he wasn’t on the best path in his life and was involved in things that got him into trouble. Once he fell in love with drifting and then went on to join Team Falken his life changed completely. He went from getting into trouble to now owning a house and having his own family. Dai Yoshihara explains that he has some serious decisions to make as he was recently married and is himself an expectant father. Dai says that drifting/driving is the only thing he feels he knows how to do well so he will do what he can to remain involved in the sport but at the same time has to make sure he makes the best choices for his family.
This is a very real, honest, compelling look at just how much Falken has influenced the sport, their drivers, and their team. You may need a tissue for this one! Watch the full episode below.
Vaughn Gittin Jr. is a lot of things. He is a Formula Drift Champion, a lover of seafood, a friend to Ken Block, a Ford Mustang advocate, but above all he’s just a dude who knows how to have a good time. That was the exact theme he wanted to go for when Ford handed him a 2015 F-150 Super Crew truck. After Ford gave him the truck they basically told him to make it his own. You can certainly say that is exactly what he did. The first thing that is easy to notice is that he took styling cues from his Formula Drift Nitto Tire mustang by re-creating the color scheme and adding the custom fender flares from auto explosion.
He also had a set of custom RTR wheels made for the truck and anodized them in neon green which matches his competition car. The green continues in custom neon lights embedded into the headlight enclosure and grill. Next Vaughn added a big ol’ hydraulic e-brake because at some point before SEMA is over he will drift this massive truck and its going to look pretty damn awesome doing it! In the meantime check out some pictures of the drift truck by clicking any of the thumbnails.
We’ve all been waiting for it and it is finally here! We have not one but two galleries from Formula Drift Irwindale Round 7! One gallery is the result of me standing in the middle of the track being sprayed by rubber shrapnel and breathing toxic tire smoke! Yay! Seriously though, there is nothing quite like being up close to screaming, snarling drift cars as they slide past you at full “tilt” (see what I did there?). Hopefully our pictures convey that feeling. We also have a gallery of the best cars from the Offset Kings showcase presented by illest so there’s that bit of awesomeness as well. Its all below in the embedded galleries!
For the second year in a row Formula Drift returned to Texas Motor Speedway and for the second year in a row the event was wild, crazy, and full of controversy. Things kicked off with unexpected weather. With the current heat wave going on in the west coast many expected Texas to be a sweltering affair yet it was the complete opposite! The Thursday night when the teams arrived was frigid and going into Friday there was actually a significant downpour. The rain came down so hard that it actually delayed qualifying. Eventually the show had to go in even in the rain which caused many drivers to struggle in their qualifying runs. Forrest Wang however, proved to be an exception and threw down an insane run which netted him the number one qualifying spot.
Forrest’s qualifying run was significant for two reasons: the first is that it was just one heck of a performance in less than ideal situations. Secondly, it automatically meant that Chris Forsberg, who is the championship points leader and had consistently been on every podium since the beginning of the season would have to work a lot harder to keep his streak going but more on that later.
Through out the night during battles there were collisions, DNFs, tow-offs, and calls that some fans did not agree with all of which made the event all the more interesting. However, the point that things really got real was when Chris Forsberg went up against Fredric Aasbo (who is second place in championship points) in the final four. Chris did not win #1 qualifier so the only way for him to keep up his podium streak and keep a comfortable points lead in the championship was to make it to the final battle. As you may have figured out from the title of this post, things did not work out well for Chris Forsberg. During his follow run against Aasbo, Forsberg’s 370Z made contact with Aasbo’s Scion tC. The Judges ruled the contact to be Forsberg’s fault which gave Aasbo the win.
Aasbo went on to defeat Odi Bakchis in the final and get the win. Now Chris Forsberg’s almost “sure thing” championship run has quickly turned into a unstable “maybe” as now Fredric Aasbo is less than 30 points behind Forsberg going into the final round at Irwindale. Vaughn Gittin Jr., Odi Bakchis, and Kenny Moen are all mathematically eliminated from title contention so Irwindale will be all about Forsberg and Aasbo. Chris Forsberg will definitely need to put on a stellar qualifying performance at Irwindale and make sure he out performs Fredric Aasbo at all costs to ensure a title. Aasbo will be tasked with the same. How will it turn out? Who can tell?
One thing is for sure. Everyone at the “House of Drift” and watching on the livestream will be biting their nails all the way to the conclusion! If you want to see how the final four of Formula Drift Texas went down you can watch the video below.
The M4 is the newest edition to the M family and is taking a prominent role by replacing the M3 coupe. That is a tall order for a new car with such a rich heritage! If previous generation M3’s were real people they might be a bit skeptical of this new edition. BMW, being empathetic to this decided it would introduce the M4 coupe to its M3 coupe predecessors in style. How? By tapping Formula Drift champion Chris Forsberg to drift around them! Scroll down for two minutes of German-engineered sideways action!
WARNING: RANDOM SPECULATION BELOW!
Ok that was a cool video right? Yet, it made me think about something… Why was Chris Forsberg chosen to be the driver for this video? Granted he is definitely a skilled driver but a company like BMW could have grabbed any Hollywood stunt driver for this. Perhaps there is more here than meets the eye… Could Chris Forsberg be in negotiations with BMW for the 2015 Formula Drift season? This isn’t the first video put out by BMW this year which features driftingso they obviously have an interest in it and if trends continue Chris Forsberg is on track to be the 2014 Formula Drift champion. So, If BMW were to make a foray into Formula Drift it is likely they would want to do it with the reigning champion. Of course all of this is pure speculation and there is no hard evidence to support this theory, but its fun to imagine!
What do you think? Will Chris Forsberg leave Nissan for BMW? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
I really love cars. Like, seriously I love cars! They’re awesome. Even bad cars are appealing to me! Whether they are buying and modding a car, traveling to car shows, talking about cars, drawing cars, or going to motorsport events automotive enthusiasts invest a lot of time, money, and even emotions into their love of cars. So, its really cool to see enthusiasts get rewarded just because their enthusiasts, which is exactly what Nitto Tire did over the weekend when they hosted their second annual Auto Enthusiast Day at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA.
There was a ton of cars of all different sizes, makes, models, and styles along with plenty of vendors and even a drift demo featuring Nitto drivers Vaughn Gittin Jr., Matt Powers, Chelsea Denofa, and Odi Bakchis. Nitto Tire provided all this for FREE to anyone who showed up! No admission required! They even did one better and collected toy donations for the “CHIPS for Kids” foundation! Sure, the weather was muggy and magnificently humid but it didn’t matter. This was all about a bunch of people coming together who share a common interest and having a good time. If you didn’t make it out this year I would highly recommend going to the event next year but in the meantime you can check out our event gallery below!
Webster’s defines an “enthusiast” as someone “who tends to become ardently absorbed in an interest”. Some people might read a definition like that and come away with a negative connotation. However, people like me and you (our readers) see things differently. We love that we have something in our lives that we are passionate about and through our “ardent interest” we make new friends and have cool experiences. Which is why being an enthusiast is something that should be celebrated! That is exactly what Nitto Tire is doing this weekend at Angel Stadium in Anaheim for their annual “Auto Enthusiast Day.”
Nitto Tire is basically footing the bill to get their own huge section of the Angel Stadium to host just about everything that auto enthusiasts love. There will be a car show featuring all types of rides, vendors selling the parts we love, a raffle, and a drift demo. The best part is ..err well second best part is that admission is free! The very best part is that they will also be taking donations for new, unwrapped toys for the “CHiPs For Kids” program. So, not only do you get to spend a whole day doing cool car stuff but you can also help out a great cause!
Its all happening this Saturday! All the need to know facts are below! If you are looking for even more info (like how to register) visit AutoEnthusiastDay.com
Who: Nitto Tire
What: Auto Enthusiast Day
When: Saturday August 2nd 11am-4pm
Where: Angel Stadium 2000 E. Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, CA 92806
Why: Because CHiPS For Kids is awesome and because we love cars