When Formula Drift comes to Long Beach, its a pretty big deal. It is the first round of the season, it marks the debut of new teams, sponsors, drivers, and it also sets the tone for the rest of the season. Its also right in my backyard (kind of) so I always try to do my due diligence when it comes to covering this event for you all.
With the silly season over, new cars revealed, and the track ready the talk of the weekend was Justin “JTP” Pawlak. He was one of the few drivers to remain in (basically) the same car as last year and he has also won Long Beach the last two years in a row. Falken Tire was already anticipating their driver turning the weekend into a three-peat. However hopes of that were nearly dashed when JTP made an uncharacteristic mistake in Friday qualifying and had a bad shunt into the tires and wall at the beginning of Long Beach’s infamous sweeper.
The impact nearly destroyed the front end of JTP’s Falken Tire Ford Mustang but luckily his team was able to get the car back together in time to make another qualifying run. Despite the damage JTP managed to qualify 23rd and get into the big show. Unfortunately the show ended for JTP when his Drift Alliance brother Ryan Tuerck managed to take him down in the Top 16 which blew the competition wide open. With JTP out it was anyone’s game. Except for Tuerck who like JTP was taken out by a Drift Alliance member, this time Chris Forsberg. Forsberg fell to the same fate when Vaughn Gittin Jr. took him down in the Final 4. This sent 2011 champion Vaughn to the final to face none other than his main rival of that year Dai Yoshihara.
Unlike JTP, Dai was having a great weekend. He remained in a familiar car and due to his confidence in his machine and his team giving him a great set up Dai managed to qualify first. After that there was no stopping him as he took down Tyler McQuarrie, Matt Powers, Fredric Aasbo, and finally Chelsea DeNofa to make it to the finals.
After a heated battle Dai Yoshihara bested Vaughn Gittin Jr. to win the round and complete a perfect weekend (1st qualifier, and the win). During the podium ceremony Dai said that with his momentum he will “definitely go for the championship”. Watch out guys, Dai has officially begun his mission.
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If you like drifting at all and have no idea what to do this weekend then you are a magnificent moron! The 2013 Formula Drift season starts tomorrow you idiot! Where the hell have you been? Did you not see the banner at the top of this website for the last two months!?
Whew, ok, ok I am going to cut you some slack. In case I did not make it incredibly clear a second ago, Formula Drift round 1 is going down this weekend (tomorrow and Saturday) on the streets of Long Beach. Most tickets might be sold out by now but there may be a few hundred seats left and city officials have allowed Formula Drift to sell some overflow general admission tickets. Technically, those tickets are “standing room only” but Formula Drift will allow folding lawn chairs.
So hurry up and get your tickets! Here is all the info:
Is there anything more tranquil than a lush American forrest? It is often the setting where people find enlightenment and even achieve true inner peace. On the other hand, for Ryan Tuerck the forrest is the perfect place to go rip riot at break neck speed, sideways almost the whole time. In the new “Off Seasons Two” video he does just that! Scroll down to check it out.
Vaughn Gittin Jr. earned himself a new nickname over the weekend at Formula Drift Seattle and its “The Comeback Kid”. After winning the Championship in 2010 Vaughn’s performance has not quite been what we were used to seeing but over the last two events it seems that Vaughn has gone back to his old ways. He won in New Jersey and absolutely dominated in Seattle, qualifying first and then taking down all comers for the win. His consecutive victories have also pushed him to the top of the championship points battle above “rookie” Daigo Saito.
Joining Vaughn on the podium was Ryan Tuerck who had a stellar performance himself but fell to Gittin in the final battle and Rhys Millen who defeated Ken Gushi for third place.
If you love drifting then I am sure you already have tickets to round one of Formula Drift this weekend in Long Beach so I am writing this for those of you out there who might still be on the fence about drifting or who like it but have never been to an event before. Formula Drift’s show on the Streets Of Long Beach is one of their best, most anticipated, and most attended rounds of the entire year! Long Beach is when the teams debut new cars and in some cases new drivers. Then there is the fun of watching these guys attempt to slide their very expensive machines sideways at high speeds between two very unforgiving concrite walls! If you want your first taste of drifting this event is definitely the place to get it.
The only catch is most of the seating is reserved for this event so you have to move fast before they sell out! Hit up the official event page for info and tickets.
I admit I am late to the party on this one but just case you are unaware a new drift crew dubbed the “BLOODMASTERS” which basically consists of everyone who was in Drift Alliance (Chris Forsberg, Tony Angelo, Ryan Tuerck, etc) have released a video of epic drifting hoon-ism called “BLOODBATH”. What you will see below is five and a half minutes of insane drift stunts (as seen above) and crazy camera angles ala “GoPro on a stick”. Scroll below and watch, you can thank me later.