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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Hype Video: Dai Yoshihara Answering Fan Questions Is Delightfully Awkward

Posted on 10.24.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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In a new feature just posted on the GT Channel YouTube page, Falken Tire driver and Formula Drift veteran Dai Yoshihara is given questions from his fans and some of his answers are pretty funny.  Ever wanted to know who Dai’s favorite teammate is? What about what Dai would want to do if he wasn’t drifting?  What about his favorite chassis to drift or what motorsport other than drifting he is interested in?  His answers may surprise you!  Check out the Q&A below and enjoy!

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Formula Drift: Irwindale Round 7 Results. Daigo Saito Takes The Final Win Of The Season & We Have A Champion

Posted on 10.13.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Going into the final round at Irwindale things were tense.  Fredric Aasbo was less than 20 points away from the incredibly consistent Chris Forsberg.  Both drivers needed to be as close to flawless as possible if they wanted to achieve their respective desired results.  However, “flawless” is highly illusive in a sport in which results are completely subjective.  Here’s how it was all laid out for each contender: Chris Forsberg needed to make sure he finished as far ahead of Aasbo at all cost to preserve his lead.  He needed to out qualify him and finish ahead of him by at least two spots.  For Aasbo, as just mentioned he needed to finish ahead of Forsberg by two or more spots.  However, the two drivers happened to fall on the same side of the top 32 bracket so that meant considering that each driver kept winning their battles they would eventually have to face each other.

This was not great for Forsberg as his past battles with Aasbo mostly ended with his defeat.  But, if Forsberg could beat him this time it would secure a championship.  In the final four the two drivers finally faced off.  Forsberg fought valiantly but ultimately the judges gave the win to Fredric Aasbo which sent him into to the final against Daigo Saito who defeated Forrest Wang to make it to the final.  At this point Fredric had to defeat Saito in order to win the championship but Daigo’s monster car was too much and Aasbo was unable to close the gap on his follow run which resulted in the event win for Daigo and the championship win for Chris Forsberg.

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Officially a two-time champion (Chris’ first title was earned in 2009), Chris Forsberg’s 2014 season was a constant uphill battle.  With no title sponsor on board (NOS energy drink stepped down to an associate sponsor status) Chris soldiered on through the year on a incredibly thin budget yet still managed to get a win and podium 5 times out of 7 rounds.  Fredric Aasbo had a great season getting his first two wins this season at rounds 4 & 6 but it was ultimately Forsberg’s consistency which won out.

It was a crazy season with ups, downs, controversy, and glory.  There has been/will be a lot of shake ups in the drifting community in the coming weeks which could drastically shape how the 2015 Formula Drift season will play out.  I will do my best to keep up with the news!

For now I want to say congrats to Chris Forsberg for his championship, Fredric Aasbo for his best season to date, and

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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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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: Watch Formula D Round 5 LIVE Right Now! Like…NOW

Posted on 07.18.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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Can’t make it out to Washington for Formula Drift? No worries!  Watch it right now below! Thank us later!


Formula DRIFT Seattle #FDSEA (LIVE) by driftstream

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Hype News: Formula Drift Announces Venue Contract Extensions

Posted on 07.17.14 | Andrew Beckford No Comments

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A big part of the fun of Formula Drift is their locations.  The competition and fandom are great but it can easily be argued that part of the experience is visiting the cool venues that Formula Drift stops at along their season.  Given the fact that currently Formula Drift only makes 7 stops in the US, any changes of venue are a pretty big deal.  Some locations get swapped out for others for various reasons and such things typically have a pretty polarizing effect on the fan base.  Today, rather than announcing any controversial changes Formula Drift assured us that some of the favorite stops on the calendar will remain for at least the near future.

Long Beach will be for 2015, while another fan favorite Road Atlanta is on board through 2016.  Evergreen Speedway (which coincidentally is coming up this weekend) is also signed up through 2016 as well.  While this is pretty good news for the fans of those venues, we are still not sure what other venues will or won’t re-up with Formula Drift; notably Irwindale Speedway AKA “The House Of Drift”.  However, in the release it states that more venues “are expected to sign contracts soon” so hopefully we will know the fates of other stops like Wall Speedway in NJ, Texas, Miami, and the rest.

As soon as we know we will let you know!  For the minute details of this announcement check out the official press release below!

[Source: Formula Drift]

Press Release:

Formula DRIFT Announces Contract Extensions for Venues

Long Beach, Calif. – July 17, 2014 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro has extended contracts with Road Atlanta and Evergreen Speedway through the 2016 season. The Streets of Long Beach venue partnership will continue in 2015. “

The growth of Drift Atlanta over the past 11 years has been phenomenal,” stated Road Atlanta President and General Manager Geoff Lee. “We are pleased to extend our relationship with Formula DRIFT through 2016, and continue to build on the momentum that has made Drift Atlanta one of the largest and most renowned drifting events in North America.”

In an effort to plan for the future of the Series with established long running relationships with venues, Formula DRIFT has committed to the following tracks for the 2015 – 2016 season, Road Atlanta, Evergreen Speedway and the Streets of Long Beach for 2015. More venues are expected to sign contracts soon. “

“Eleven years ago we were the last on the list to get dates locked in for some of the venues,”” says Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT.“  “Now here we are eleven years later and are towards the top of the list for venues across the country. We are proud of the growth of the sport and it couldn’t have been done without the relationships that we have with these top venues and we look forward to continuing the relationships for years to come.”

”Formula DRIFT is mid-way through the 2014 Pro Championship season and returns to Evergreen Speedway this weekend. This will mark the ninth year consecutive year of competition at this venue for the Series. “

“Evergreen Speedway is excited and proud to announce a three year contract extension with Formula DRIFT through to the 2016 season”,” said Doug Hobbs, president and CEO.“  “Formula DRIFT is by far, the most exciting and single largest motorsport event each and every year at Evergreen Speedway. Having such a marquee world stage series in the Seattle market is also a boost to tourism with a major economic impact. The best part for me is seeing thousands of fans smiling and having fun watching some of the most talented drivers in the world wow the crowd.””

The 2014 Formula DRIFT Championship season continues to Round 5: Throwdown at Evergreen Speedway on July 18-19. For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram @formulad, Facebook www.facebook.com/formuladrift and Twitter @FormulaD.

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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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