Hype Video: Falken Tire Says Goodbye To Formula Drift In Latest GTChannel “Controlled Chaos” Episode

Posted on 11.24.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

 

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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.

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SEMA 2014: Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s Drift Truck Is The “Ultimate Fun Haver”

Posted on 11.05.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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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.

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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.

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Formula Drift Hype: Round 7 Irwindale Galleries Up!

Posted on 10.14.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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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!

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Formula Drift Hype: Fredric Aasbo Takes The Win In Formula Drift Texas. Championship Battle Gets Closer. (Video)

Posted on 09.15.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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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.


Formula DRIFT Texas Final Four by driftstream

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Hype Video: BMW Tapps Chris Forsberg To “Initiate” M4 Coupe To The M Family With Drifting

Posted on 08.26.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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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 drifting so 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.

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Hype Event: Nitto Tire Auto Enthusiast Day 2014 (Gallery)

Posted on 08.04.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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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!

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What To Do This Weekend: Nitto Tire Auto Enthusiast Day 8-2-14

Posted on 07.29.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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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

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Formula Drift: Darren McNamara Wins Round 5 In Seattle!

Posted on 07.21.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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At the same time the Indy Cars were in the great north, Formula Drift returned to Evergreen Speedway for round 5 of the 2014 championship season.  It was one heck of a round which all ended in an Irish vs Irish battle with Darren McNamara going up against his fellow countryman Dean “Karnage” Karney who was driving like a man possessed all weekend!  Although in the end it was Darren who came out with the win.  What about third place?  I am glad  you asked!  Third place was occupied by none other than Chris Forsberg which makes him 5 for 5 in podium appearances this season.  If he keeps this up he will all but clench his second Formula Drift Championship!  If Fredric Aasbo or Vaughn Gittin Jr want to stop Forsberg they need to act fast as there are only two rounds remaining.  I am looking forward to seeing how it all shakes out!

Once again here is the final podium:

1st: Darren McNamara
2nd: Dean Karney
3rd: Chris Forsberg

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Formula Drift Hype: Fredric Aasbo Wins Round 4 In New Jersey. Chris Forsberg Stacks Points Lead.

Posted on 06.23.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Formula Drift made its return to the Garden State over the weekend and filled Wall Speedway with plumes of smoke and the carcasses of slayed tires.  Despite its Irwindale-esque looks and layout Wall Speedway can be very tough on cars, mostly because of its harsh transition from the bank on to the very flat infield section of the course; the impact of which have killed many-a-suspension.  Because of this, the Wall Speedway round has earned the nickname “The Gauntlet”.  So, who better to conquer the Gauntlet than Fredric “The Norwegian Hammer” Aasbo?!

Yes, Fredric earned the first Formula Drift win of his career over the weekend by taking down the likes of Tony Angelo, Forrest Wang, Darren McNamara, Charles Ng, and finally Chris “The Force” Forsberg in the final battle.  Although despite being defeated by Aasbo, Chris Forsberg was all smiles because his second place finish combined with Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s defeat at the hands of Dean Kearney in the Top 16 means that Chris has taken a commanding lead in the championship points battle.  Vaughn Gittin now sits in third place 65 points back from Forsberg’s 353 point total.  Aasbo, on the other hand has climbed to second place in the points but is still a distant 59 points back from Forsberg.

With three rounds left All Chris Forsberg needs to do is remain consistent, keep getting on the podium, and he has a very good chance of becoming a 2 time Formula Drift Champion.  If Vaughn Gittin Jr or Fredric Aasbo want a shot at the title they will need to get some wins or at the very least make sure they finish ahead of Forsberg for the remainder of the season.  Considering Chris’ performance thus far, that will be a tall order!  I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out!

Again here is your Formula Drift New Jersey Podium:

1st: Fredric Aasbo
2nd: Chris Forsberg
3rd: Aurimas AKA “Odi” Bakchis

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Formula Drift Hype: Vaughn Gittin Jr. Wins Round 3 In Miami

Posted on 06.02.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Vaughn Gittin Jr. Got his second Formula Drift win in a row (this season) over the weekend at Formula Drift Miami.  He went toe-to-toe against the likes of Danny George, Jhonnattan Castro, Fredric Aasbo, and Kenny Moen to get to the final battle where he faced off against his good friend, championship points leader, and Drift Alliance brother, Chris Forsberg.  He managed to get the better of Forsberg in the final battle to get the win but due to Forsberg’s consistent appearances on the podium he still leads in overall points but has only a small 10 point margin over Vaughn.  The season is just about reaching its halfway point and its already looking like it will be a tight Drift Alliance battle for the top spot.  Forsberg will really need to get more wins under his belt to keep Vaughn Gittin Jr. at bay.  All Vaughn needs to do is stay consistent (which he is more than capable of doing) and wait for Forsberg to make a mistake and he could easily own the championship fight.

Next up is round 4 in New Jersey at the famous Wall Speedway.  This is a car-killing track where just about anything can happen.  Will Vaughn be able to pull ahead in the points or will Chris hold on?  Will another challenger upset the points battle by getting the best of both of them?  We will find out in about three weeks or so!

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