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Rye O’Connor signs with Team ZPG

California State Farm agent Zuray Perez Garcia has signed with Formula Drift PROSPEC driver Rye O’Connor for the 2022 season.

“I am very excited to be a part of team ZPG for 2022. Zuray has quickly grown a following of drifters in Northern California who need insurance for their homes and vehicles, (just not the drift cars!). I think this is a unique opportunity to showcase an insurance agent that has become a friendly face at the grassroots events.” Rye says.

“Insurance is something we all need. Being reminded of that while watching cars billow smoke and get sideways is a perfect combo.”

Article source: https://news.formulad.com/2022/fd-news/rye-oconnor-signs-with-team-zpg/


SERIES NEWS: FORMULA DRIFT ANNOUNCES 2022 SCHEDULE

Only ten short days since the 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO and Link ECU PROSPEC Championships were decided at Irwindale Speedway, the series is announcing its full 2022 schedule.

There is an exciting addition next year, and everybody will be pleased so see the traditional season opener on the Streets of Long Beach has returned to its April schedule, while the season will end, as always, at Irwindale Speedway in October.

NEW FOR 2022
The headline story is the addition of Utah Motorsports Campus in mid-September. It replaces Lake Erie Speedway, which appeared on the 2021 schedule.

In addition to the FD PRO teams, Utah Motorsports Park will host the Final Round of the PROSPEC series, giving the teams an opportunity to shine ahead of the PRO Final at Irwindale Speedway one month later.

Otherwise, the 2022 venues remain the same as this year, including a return to the purpose-built Drift Arena at Englishtown Raceway Park.

“2021 was one of the most successful years in Formula DRIFT history!” said Ryan Sage, Formula DRIFT President. “Coming off 2020, which was challenging for everybody, we’re extremely grateful for the strength of support shown by the FD community – illustrating, once again, why Formula DRIFT is one of the fastest growing motorsports series in the world.

“For 2022, we’ve added a new venue – Utah Motor Sports Campus – to host both PRO and PROSPEC rounds. And while we removed Erie Speedway from the schedule, we were very impressed with the professionalism and success of our first event, so we look forward to returning there in the future.”

The weekend format introduced in 2021 will remain in place, with PRO and PROSPEC teams qualifying on Friday utilizing the Knockout Qualifying Format, which sees each driver run once before the bottom eight qualifiers run a second time to secure their qualification or risk elimination. Both championships will then compete in Top 32 elimination heats on Saturday.

The entirety of the 2022 FD PRO and Link ECU PROSPEC Championships will be free to view online thanks to the hugely popular Formula DRIFT livestream. This can be accessed via formulad.com as well as its social media and YouTube channels.

2022 FORMULA DRIFT PRO CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

2022 FORMULA DRIFT LINK ECU PROSPEC CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

Please visit formulad.com for schedule updates, driver profiles, new content and more.

Article source: https://news.formulad.com/2021/fd-news/series-news-formula-drift-announces-2022-schedule/


Joey Redmond’s Formula DRIFT Top 10 Moments #FDIRW

 
By Joey Redmond

10. Dylan Hughes Most Improved

Dylan Hughes pushed his way into Top 16 after defeating “Rad” Dan Burkett in the Top 32. He faced off against Ryan Tuerck and was unable to beat him with his BMW this round. Dylan Hughes ended the season just 67 points behind Ryan Tuerck in the Championship standings and really established himself in the new generation of drivers coming up into Formula Drift this season. He finishes the 2021 Formula Drift season in eight place and that is his first career Top 10 finish!

9. Simen Olsen Lands Rookie of the Year

The Rookie of the Year race this season has been a really close one that had to finally pick a winner at Irwindale Speedway. Simen Olsen defeated Dai Yoshihara in the Top 32 which gave him just enough points to knock out Branden Sorensen and Jonathan Hurst who finished tied 17 points behind Simen Olsen. Simen Olsen is from Hovag, Norway and he helps cement the Norweigan domination Formula Drift has witnessed this season in his Toyota Supra.

8. Kyle Mohan Pushes Top 16 Again

Kyle Mohan has really struggled at the early end of the Formula Drift season, but he has really swung the pendulum in the other direction at the end of this year. He had a Top 32 battle against Adam LZ, who was in a rented S14, and took home a victory after a really solid lead run performance. He then had a great battle with Kazuya Taguchi but fell short and finished his night with a second Top 16 performance in a row.

7. Daijiro Yoshihara’s Last Ride

Daijiro Yoshihara retired at the end of the night at Irwindale Speedway. He was one of the three remaining drivers who has competed at every event since the Formula Drift series started in 2004. He qualified seventh in his very last event but was defeated early in Top 32 against rookie Simen Olsen to end his long and amazing Formula Drift career. Dai Yoshihara was the 2011 Formula Drift Champion and is the fifth most winning Formula Drift driver of all time with 8 victories and 28 podiums in his amazing career.

6. Ryan Tuerck Drops to Champion

Ryan Tuerck had another season where he looked really great but fell short of being Championship level competitive. His Toyota Corolla suffered some hard crashes early in events, but his team always manages to get the car back in action quickly. Ryan Tuerck took out Dylan Hughes in the Top 16 and then was set to face off against Fredric Aasbo. If Ryan Tuerck defeated Aasbo in the Great 8 it would put Aasbo’s Championship hopes in serious jeopardy, so it was a high stakes tandem battle. Ryan Tuerck couldn’t make it happen on the night and finished his 2021 Formula Drift season in sixth place, only 111 points short of the Championship spot.

5. Vaughn Gittin Jr. Says Goodbye for a Little Bit

Vaughn Gittin Jr. announced he is stepping away from Formula Drift for a little bit but made it very clear this is not a retirement. He is coming off the 2020 Formula Drift season where he won his second Formula Drift Championship and had quite a successful and memorable 2021 season. He had some amazing battles early on at Irwindale but showed clear dominance until his Final Four battle with Fredirc Aasbo. These two have had some legendary battles in Formula Drift but nothing was going to stop Fredric Aasbo on his big Championship day in the Toyota Supra. This set Vaughn Gittin Jr. in third place on the night. Vaughn Gittin Jr. steps away from Formula Drift for now as the second most all time winning driver in Formula Drift series history with 12 victories.

4. Chelsea DeNofa Early Loss Hurts Big

Chelsea DeNofa started the weekend off being so close to taking home his first Formula Drift Championship. His qualifying score was just a 70 and set him up with a harder bracket than his Championship rivals. His Top 16 battle against Michael Essa was one for the ages. The judges sent the battle into a second One More Time call and after that, the judges still couldn’t agree who won and had a split decision win for Chelsea. This put him in the Great 8 against Matt Field who took him out and confirmed his position of not being champion. Chelsea appeared to get lost in the smoke behind Matt Field in the chase battle and was pushed off the line to finish his battle. He finished the season in fourth place and 43 points behinds Fredric Aasbo which seems crazy considering he won three events.

3. Matt Field Comes So Close

Matt Field was the third major contender for the Formula Drift Championship at Irwindale Speedway. Matt Field had a wild road to get into the Final Four including defeating Travis Reeder, Justin Pawlak, and then Championship Rival Chelsea DeNofa before making it into the Final Four. Once Fredric Aasbo made it into the final round, he was unable to win it all any longer, but he still put on a Championship performance on the night. He found himself taking on Odi Bakchis in a Frenemies battle which resulted in car to car contact that the judges faulted Matt Field on in the Final Four. This allowed for Odi Bakchis to take a trip to the finals and putting Matt Field fourth on the night and finishing the season second overall.

2. Odi Bakchis Wins Irwindale Speedway Again

Odi Bakchis has now won Irwindale Speedway two years in a row and finished the season with his third victory of the 2021 Formula Drift season. Odi Bakchis has cemented his name as one of the new generation Formula Drift drivers who will compete for the Championship year after year. He took on Jeff Jones and then Chris Forsberg and beat them both to find himself in the Final Four with Matt Field where he earned another win. Odi Bakchis looked like a man on a mission and then took out the newly minted 2021 Formula Drift Champion Fredric Aasbo in a solid final battle. Odi Bakchis is quickly becoming the kingmaker of Irwindale Speedway with two back to back victories at the venue. He just needs to find himself a little closer to the Championship in 2022 and lock it up with a third Irwindale victory next season.

1.Fredric Aasbo Wins his Second Championship

Fredric Aasbo was a man on a serious mission this weekend at Irwindale Speedway! He qualified first and earned a bye run into the Top 16 to kick things off on Friday. Fredric Aasbo took out Ryan Tuerck in the Great 8 and then Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Final Four to be confirmed the 2021 Formula Drift Champion! Fredric Aasbo has the most victories in Formula Drift history with 16 events won and is now a two-time Formula Drift Champion. Next season he can look to tie Chris Forsberg and James Deane as the only their time Champions in the series history. Fredric Aasbo shows no sign of slowing down as his driver and performances continue to be top notch round after round. The Formula Drift Championship points really reward consistency over winning events. Fredric Aasbo only won one round of Formula Drift this year while beating Odi Bakchis and Chelsea DeNofa for the title who both managed to win three events in the 2021 calendar. A huge congrats to Fredric Aasbo and the entire Papadakis Racing team for a hard-fought victory!

Article source: https://news.formulad.com/2021/fd-news/joey-redmonds-formula-drift-top-10-moments-fdirw/


SERIES NEWS: RESULTS FROM THE 2021 FORMULA DRIFT TIRE CUP

RESULTS
1. Nitto Tire
2. Falken Tire
3. GT Radial

NOTES

  • At the end of the 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship, we’re able to announce the Tire Cup winner
  • Tire Cup points are awarded at each round to the top two drivers representing each brand. So, if DeNofa wins, Nitto Tire receives 100 points, while Field in second awards 91 points to Falken Tire, for example
  • While most people think drift tires only spin and smoke, in reality the drivers require very high levels of grip to control the drift
  • Congratulations to Nitto for taking first place
  • “Nitto Tire is proud to win the Formula DRIFT Tire Cup back-to-back. We’d like to congratulate Fredric Aasbo for his 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship, which he achieved on Nitto tires. We’re also very proud to have worked with Vaughn Gittin Jr and to have contributed to some incredible accomplishments during his FD career. We look forward to continuing our partnership with RTR in the future,” said Harry Kong, Manager, Brand Publishing NITTO TIRE U.S.A. INC.
  • Falken and Nitto teams dominated the podium this year, placing them at the top of the table, with GT Radial in close attendance
  • Consistent performances from Aasbo, DeNofa, Gittin and Tuerck gave Nitto most of its points
  • Field and Bakchis kept Falken in contention
  • GT Radial secured third place thanks to drivers such as Essa, Forsberg and Hughes

2021 TIRE CUP RESULTS

Article source: https://news.formulad.com/2021/fd-news/series-news-results-from-the-2021-formula-drift-tire-cup/


SERIES NEWS: RESULTS FROM THE 2021 FORMULA DRIFT AUTO CUP

RESULTS

1. Toyota
2. Ford
3. Nissan

NOTES

  • At the end of the 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship, we’re able to announce the Auto Cup winner
  • Auto Cup points are awarded at each round to the top two drivers representing each brand. So, a DeNofa win awards 100 points to Ford, Aasbo in second gets 91 points for Toyota, for example
  • Congratulations to Toyota for taking first place
  • “It’s exciting for Toyota to claim the Formula DRIFT Manufacturer’s Championship Auto Cup for the seventh time in the past eight seasons,” said Paul Doleshal, Group Manager, Motorsports and Assets, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA). “Formula DRIFT is an exciting series that allows Toyota to showcase many different models, and we look forward to continued participation in Formula DRIFT in the years to come.”
  • It’s been a close battle all season, but Toyota and Ford started to run away from the competition, frequently swapping places throughout the season
  • Chevrolet and Nissan fought to secure third
  • Consistent performances from Aasbo and Tuerck helped Toyota win the majority of its points
  • The speed of the DeNofa, Gittin and Pawlak kept Ford in contention
  • Field’s incredible performance in the Corvette contributed greatly to Chevrolet’s standing, while Bakchis and Forsberg are undoubtedly responsible for Nissan’s postion

2021 AUTO CUP TOP FINAL STANDINGS

Article source: https://news.formulad.com/2021/fd-news/series-news-results-from-the-2021-formula-drift-auto-cup/


SERIES NEWS: AASBO AND BRUTSKIY WIN 2021 FORMULA DRIFT PRO & PROSPEC CHAMPIONSHIPS AT THRILLING IRWINDALE FINALS

Bakchis wins Formula DRIFT PRO Championship Round 8: Type S Title Fight, Stuke wins FD Link ECU PROSPEC Championship Round 4

The return to Irwindale Speedway, The House of Drift, for the Formula DRIFT Final Round is a tradition that’s stood since the series began in 2004. It’s the only track that remained on the schedule, even through the pandemic. And for the 2021 Finals, the drivers in the FD PRO and Link ECU PROSPEC Championships were greeted by a revised course layout. It comprised a new section that better defined Outside Zone 3 by placing additional concrete K rails to highlight the drivers’ performance.

With the weather in the low 70s, the elements wouldn’t be a factor in deciding the winners of the two Championships. Instead, it would be in the hands of the 19 drivers with a mathematical chance of winning one of the two titles, including three former Champions and six Rookies.

Amid the celebrations on Saturday night, the Final round of the 2021 season also represented the end of an era. Three pillars of the sport were leaving the series: 2011 FD PRO Champion Dai Yoshihara (Japan) is retiring; 2010 and 2020 FD PRO Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr is leaving to focus on other projects; and Formula DRIFT president and co-founder, Jim Liaw, is moving to PRI but will retain a role in the series. All three have been with the series since it began in 2004 and will be missed by staff, teams, and fans alike.

PROSPEC QUALIFYING

As with any competition, disappointment lurks around every corner. And as 34 PROSPEC drivers attempted to qualify for the Top 32 competition places, the hammer would fall on the unwary. In fact, eight drivers were unable to complete a successful qualifying run and were eliminated, providing the top six drivers with a bye run in the competition heats.

For the first time in his rookie season, Tommy Lemaire (Canada) would dominate qualifying in his TLO Drift School Nissan S14.5 V8. Sitting third in the Championship table, a mere 22 points behind the leader, Lemaire took the first step in achieving the unimaginable.

With a qualifying score of 94 points, Lemaire had a healthy margin from second place Nick Noback (USA) in the KoruWorks BMW E46 and third-placed Blake Olsen (USA) driving the KoruWorks / GT Radial BMW E92. Both drivers scored 88 points, with Noback getting the nod for a superior angle score.

PROSPEC points leader and reigning Champion, Dmitriy Brutskiy (Belarus), qualified fifth in the Essa Autosport / ISC Suspension BMW E46, keeping him in the chase.

PROSPEC COMPETITION

Thirteen drivers had a mathematical chance of taking the 2021 Link ECU PROSPEC Championship but it came down to one man to make history: Brutskiy was crowned the first two-time Champion, and he did it in back-to-back seasons after making the decision to remain in PROSPEC this year rather than move to the PRO Championship. That decision was clearly vindicated and he’s still not rushing to move to the premier league. The driver from Belarus will only commit to FD PRO if he can put together the right package to ensure he can remain competitive.

“The back-to-back win was a lot of work but I’m super-excited,” Brutskiy told us. “My goal was a podium at every round, which we achieved after some really close battles. I’m thankful to all my sponsors and family but it really came down to Never Settle. We overcame a lot of obstacles and it needs to sink in but I’m looking forward to whatever comes next. We’re looking to next year and open to new deals to get us into FD PRO, but if not we’ll stay in PROSPEC and aim for a third Championship!”

A perfect weekend for Brutskiy was spoiled by a second-place finish in the Round 4 Final, which he lost to Daniel Stuke (USA) driving the MspeK Performance Nissan S14.

It was an eventful Round for Stuke, who was knocked out of the Final 4 heats by Noback until his team protested Noback’s roof, which detached itself as the drivers initiated at high-speed into the first turn. In an unusual decision reversal, the heat win was taken away from Noback and awarded to Stuke, who proceeded to beat Brutskiy in the Final and claim his first Round win. The 100 points awarded would catapult him from 12th in the Link ECU PROSPEC Championship to fourth.

“It’s been an incredible event,” Stuke told us after the podium ceremony. “I got my FD licence here, my first podium here, and now my first win at Irwindale. I’m beyond stoked and still shaking from the realization, but I’m thinking about moving to FD PRO next year since I have the opportunity.”

Noback finished third on the night and claimed second in the Championship, a narrow 15-point margin behind Brutskiy. And while Brutskiy won’t yet commit to the 2022 FD PRO Championship, Noback is looking forward to stepping up to the premier class

PROSPEC Rookie Lemaire, who qualified first and was a real threat to Brutskiy’s Championship aspirations, was knocked out of competition in the Top 16 heats by Adam Knapik (Poland) driving the Apple Valley Speedway / OpXma BaZery Nissan S14. While Knapik would end the night in fourth, Lemaire’s ninth place was enough to retain a remarkable third in the Link ECU Championship and be crowned PROSPEC Rookie of the Year.

At the end of every season, the top eight PROSPEC drivers automatically receive PRO licenses, allowing them to move up to the premier category. However, we’ll have to see how many prefer to fortify their PROSEPC programs and take aim at the 2022 Championship title.

PRO QUALIFYING

With the intensity set to 11, the expectant crowd was waiting to see which gunfighter would blink first. As points leader, Fredric Aasbo (Norway) was first to draw, setting an almost perfect 95-point run, which would eventually convert to first place for his Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota GR Supra.

Knowing what he needed to beat, Matt Field (USA) left the gates hard in the Falken Tire / Drift Cave Chevrolet Corvette. He appeared to have the measure of Aasbo until the torque tube failed entering the final turn. With an audible gasp circulating the grandstands, the Vette was pushed back to the pits and miraculously made it out for the second run. With a healthy car under him, Field set a 93-point run, which secured 22nd position under KQF rules.

What Chelsea DeNofa (USA) did next was totally unexpected. Or was it? Recycling a strategy he employed at FD Seattle, DeNofa appeared to struggle to find the correct line and angle. Or did he? Receiving high-fives from his crew, it became apparent he was attempting to manipulate the qualification seeding by deliberating receiving a low score. And while 19th might not seem ideal, don’t forget DeNofa qualified 28th in Seattle and won the Round!

Perhaps what DeNofa hadn’t accounted for was two cars withdrawing and a third being eliminated, gifting the top three drivers, including the Championship points leader, a bye run through the Top 32.

The other bye run recipients were Aurimas Bakchis (Lithuania), who put his Falken Tire / Feal Suspension Nissan S15 in second position, while Michael Essa (USA) qualified his FCP Euro / Liqui Moly / GT Radial BMW M3 in third. And while Essa is out of title contention, Bakchis definitely had a shout. Not only was he fourth overall but arrived at Irwindale with the wind of his Long Beach win under his wings.

Other FD PRO qualifying highlights included reigning Champion, Vaughn Gittin Jr (USA), sandbagging like teammate DeNofa, putting his Monster Energy Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D in 21st position for what will be his final Formula DRIFT event for the foreseeable future.

Retiree, Dai Yoshihara (Japan) wanted to leave the series in a blaze of glory and put his Turn 14 Distribution / Falken Tire / ENEOS Oil Subaru BRZ in 6th.

PRO COMPETITION

After six years of narrowly missing the top spot, 2015 FD PRO Champion Aasbo can add the 2021 Champion trophy to his collection thanks to his impeccable driving and the support of the Papadakis team. And while he lost in the Round 8 Final to Bakchis, Aasbo had amassed sufficient points from four second-place finishes and a Round win in St Louis to claim the crown.

“Oh my gosh, I just erupted when I won the Championship because it’s so much hard work, not just for me but for the team supporting me, and the countless people who have my back,” Aasbo explained after the podium. “When you win a Championship against this field of drivers, it’s hard to describe how it feels. It’s been six years since we won the first Championship and this was a much harder fight. It’s a testament to everybody, but it means a lot to me personally. I’d been in a slump and wasn’t sure if I had it anymore, but I think it’s pretty clear I still do, which gives me renewed energy to prepare for 2022.”

Equipped with a new stroked engine that appeared to deliver power and reliability, Aasbo’s path to the Final started with a bye run in the Top 32, followed by a Top 16 win over rookie Jonathan Hurst (USA) who drives the Cash Racing Infiniti G37. In the Top 8, Aasbo defeated Toyota teammate Ryan Tuerck (USA) in the Gumout / Nitto Tire / Mobil 1 Toyota Corolla Hatchback. It proved to be a thrilling demonstration of drifting precision by both drivers.

In the Top 4, Aasbo faced his arch nemesis and defending Champion, Vaughn Gittin Jr (USA) in the Monster Energy Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D. Gittin had prevented Aasbo from winning Championships in the past, but the Norwegian would triumph this time!

It was another epic duel, with both drivers fully committed to their craft, and Aasbo’s narrow win secured sufficient points to crown him Champion. Immediately, the massive relief brought tears and a tribute to the skill of his fellow competitors and family.

The Final was a spectacular battle against Bakchis, which saw exchanges of paint and respect. With Bakchis receiving the judges’ decision, he added a third win to his 2021 tally and jumped to third in the Championship standings.

“I came into this Round putting pressure on myself to make up points so I could stand on the Championship podium and we did it!” said a delighted Bakchis after the trophy ceremony. “As we were battling through the rounds we just kept looking to the next one, but everybody around me in the points chase was also advancing, which made it tough. But winning the Round secured third overall and energizes me to get that Championship win next year!”

Odi’s gain was DeNofa’s loss as the former Championship leader could only finish seventh at FD IRW, dropping him to fourth in the points table. DeNofa’s decision to sandbag in qualifying didn’t pay off but his Irwindale assault began well when his Top 32 competitor failed to start.

DeNofa then faced Essa in the Top 16. And while the 2013 FD Champion had an awkward start to the 2021 season, it had been fortified at each subsequent round, arriving at Irwindale with renewed determination, illustrated by his third-place qualification.

While Essa and DeNofa have different drift styles, they possessed more than enough experience to adapt to their opponent and remain competitive. As a result, the judges were unable to separate their performances, calling for them to repeat their runs on two occasions.

Each run became faster and more punishing, inevitably resulting in a collision on run five when Essa was in the lead position. DeNofa was infeasibly close, obscured within the smoke screen when he span to a halt. However, the drone camera revealed Essa had slowed to regain control, initiating the impact.

After repairs were made, DeNofa took no chances. He had a competitive advantage in the scoring but launched off the line with only winning in mind. His pace made it difficult for Essa to gain proximity and drift angle, which was enough for DeNofa to finally advance to the Top 8.

Scrambling out of the frying pan, DeNofa faced the fire of Matt Field with whom he’d traded the FD PRO Championship points lead all season. With both attempting to wrestle the 2021 trophy from Aasbo’s grasp, DeNofa set a spectacular lead run but Field was by his side throughout. With the positions reversed, Field made two false starts as nerves jangled under the pressure. At the third attempt, he fired the Corvette into the Irwindale banking. DeNofa easily matched the pace but not the precision, tapping the Mustang’s bumper twice on the concrete wall. As he fought to regain control, DeNofa found himself on the wrong side of Inside Clip 1 and was partially off the track. With another hit on Outside Zone 2, the drivers finished together but Field would advance and DeNofa’s Championship run was over.

Finishing seventh on the night, DeNofa dropped to fourth in the Championship and needs a reset for 2022.

Field would progress to the Top 4 to meet Falken teammate, Bakchis. A collision at Inside Clip 2 was judged to be Field’s fault and he was unable to overcome the disadvantage on the second run. It placed Field fourth on the night and moved him to second in the FD PRO Championship.

Gittin departed the series in style, claiming third on the night and remaining fifth overall behind teammate DeNofa.

Top FD PRO Rookie at Irwindale was Jonathan Hurst (USA) who placed 15th in the Cash Racing Infiniti G37. However, Simen Olsen (Norway) driving the Race Supply Toyota GR Supra will be crowned the FD PRO Rookie of the Year by finishing 15th overall.

Aasbo’s performance helped both Toyota win the 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO Auto Cup and Nitto claim the Tire Cup

And so we give the final word for the final time to outgoing Formula DRIFT President, Jim Liaw: “This was a great way to end a great season, and after the trials we had to overcome in 2020 it was incredible to see fans back here at Irwindale, witnessing the phenomenal driving. However, it’s bittersweet for me because this will be my last event as President, but I’m so happy to end on a magnificent high with another exciting Final. There was so much energy and talent here, which is what puts the sport in a great place. So, I look forward to seeing what 2022 brings and I know Ryan Sage will continue to strengthen and improve Formula DRIFT.”

2021 FORMULA DRIFT CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

ROUND 8 FD PRO TOP 16 DRIVER POINTS 

2021 FD PRO CHAMPIONSHIP TOP 16 RESULTS

2021 AUTO CUP TOP FIVE RESULTS

2021 TIRE CUP RESULTS

ROUND 4 FD PROSPEC TOP 16 DRIVER POINTS

2021 FD PROSPEC CHAMPIONSHIP TOP 16 RESULTS

NEXT ROUND
Formula DRIFT will announce its 2022 schedule at its annual SEMA press conference in the Media Center, or visit formulad.com after the announcement.

Article source: https://news.formulad.com/2021/fd-news/series-news-aasbo-and-brutskiy-win-2021-formula-drift-pro-prospec-championships-at-thrilling-irwindale-finals/


SERIES NEWS: COMPETITION RESULTS FROM THE FINAL ROUND OF THE 2021 FORMULA DRIFT CHAMPIONSHIPS AT IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY

EVENT DETAILS

Date: Saturday, October 23, 2021
Location: Irwindale Speedway, Irwindale, CA
Event: Formula DRIFT PRO Championship Round 8: Type S Title Fight Link ECU PROSPEC Championship Round 4

RESULTS FROM FD PRO ROUND 8

1. Aurimas Bakchis (Lithuania) – Falken Tire / Feal Suspension Nissan S15
2. Fredric Aasbo (Norway)  – Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota GR Supra
3. Vaughn Gittin Jr (USA) – Monster Energy Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D

2021 FD PRO FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

1. Fredric Aasbo (Norway)  – Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota GR Supra
2. Matt Field (USA) – Falken Tire / Drift Cave Chevrolet Corvette
3. Aurimas Bakchis (Lithuania) – Falken Tire / Feal Suspension Nissan S15

RESULTS FROM LINK ECU PROSPEC ROUND 4

1. Daniel Stuke (USA) – MspeK Performance Nissan S14
2. Dmitriy Brutskiy (Belarus) – Essa Autosport / ISC Suspension BMW E46
3. Nick Noback (USA) – KoruWorks BMW E46

2021 LINK ECU PROSPEC FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

1. Dmitriy Brutskiy (Belarus) – Essa Autosport / ISC Suspension BMW E46
2. Nick Noback (USA) – KoruWorks BMW E46
3. Tommy Lemaire (Canada) – TLO Drift School Nissan S14.5 V8

NOTES

  • Irwindale Speedway is known as The House of Drift and is the only track to be included in the series every year since 2004
  • A new walled section had been added to the course for 2021 to better define Outside Zone 3 to the finish line
  • Weather for the competition heats was cloudy, mostly dry, with occasional drizzle
  • The Final round of the 2021 season represents the end of an era, with three pillars of the sport leaving the series: 2011 FD PRO Champion Dai Yoshihara (Japan) is retiring; 2010 and 2020 FD PRO Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr is leaving to focus on other projects; and Formula DRIFT president and co-founder, Jim Liaw, is moving to PRI but will retain a role in the series. All three have been with the series since it began in 2004 and will be missed
  • After six years of narrowly missing the top spot, 2015 FD PRO Champion Aasbo became the 2021 Champion thanks to impeccable driving and the support of Papadakis Racing.
  • Aasbo lost in the Round 8 Final to Bakchis but had already amassed sufficient points to win the title thanks to four second-place finishes and a Round win in St Louis
  • After leading the series earlier in the season, Field finished fourth on the night and second in the Championship
  • DeNofa, who led the series for a significant portion of the season, could only finish seventh at FD IRW, dropping him to fourth in the Championship
  • The beneficiary of DeNofa’s tumble was Bakchis, who won Round 8 with characteristic precision, leapfrogging DeNofa into third in the overall points table
  • Gittin departed the series in style, claiming third on the night and fifth overall behind teammate DeNofa
  • Aasbo’s performance helped both Toyota win the 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO Auto Cup and Nitto claim the Tire Cup
  • Top FD PRO Rookie at FD IRW was Jonathan Hurst (USA) who placed 15th in the Cash Racing Infiniti G37, while Simen Olsen (Norway) driving the Race Supply Toyota GR Supra is the 2021 FD PRO Rookie of the Year
  • History was made in the Link ECU PROSPEC Championship when Brutskiy became the first two-time Champion, and he did it in back-to-back seasons. His perfect weekend was spoiled by a second-place finish in the Final, which he lost to Stuke
  • Stuke had an eventful Round, getting knocked out of the Final 4 by Noback until his team protested Noback’s roof, which detached itself as the drivers initiated into the first turn. In an unusual reversal, the Final 4 win was taken away from Noback and awarded to Stuke, who proceeded to beat Brutskiy in the Final to claim his first Round win
  • Noback finished third on the night and claimed second in the Championship by a narrow 15-point margin behind Brutskiy. And while Brutskiy has yet to commit to the FD PRO Championship in 2022, Noback is looking forward to stepping up to the premier class
  • PROSPEC Rookie Lemaire was knocked out of competition in the Top 16 heats but secured enough points to take a remarkable third in the Link ECU Championship and become PROSPEC Rookie of the Year

ROUND 8 FD PRO TOP 16 DRIVER POINTS 

2021 FD PRO CHAMPIONSHIP TOP 16 RESULTS

2021 AUTO CUP TOP FIVE RESULTS

2021 TIRE CUP RESULTS

ROUND 4 FD PROSPEC TOP 16 DRIVER POINTS

2021 FD PROSPEC CHAMPIONSHIP TOP 16 RESULTS

FORMULA DRIFT IRWINDALE RECAP
A full recap of Round 8: Type S Title Fight Link ECU PROSPEC Championship Round 4 will be available on Monday, along with event images

NEXT ROUND
Formula DRIFT will announce its 2022 schedule at its annual SEMA press conference in the Media Center, or visit formulad.com after the announcement.

Article source: https://news.formulad.com/2021/fd-news/series-news-competition-results-from-the-final-round-of-the-2021-formula-drift-championships-at-irwindale-speedway/


SERIES NEWS: QUALIFYING RESULTS FROM THE FINAL ROUND OF THE 2021 FORMULA DRIFT CHAMPIONSHIPS AT IRWINDALE SPEEDWAY

EVENT DETAILS

Date: Friday, October 22, 2021
Location: Irwindale Speedway, Irwindale, CA
Event: Formula DRIFT PRO Championship Round 8: Type S Title Fight Link ECU PROSPEC Championship Round 4

RESULTS FROM FD PRO QUALIFYING

1. Fredric Aasbo (Norway) – Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota GR Supra
2. Aurimas Bakchis (Lithuania) – Falken Tire / Feal Suspension Nissan S15
3. Michael Essa (USA) – FCP Euro / Liqui Moly / GT Radial BMW M3
 

RESULTS FROM LINK ECU PROSPEC QUALIFYING

1. Tommy Lemaire (Canada) – TLO Drift School Nissan S14.5 V8
2. Nick Noback (USA) – KoruWorks BMW E46
3. Blake Olsen (USA) – KoruWorks / GT Radial BMW E92

NOTES

  • Irwindale Speedway is known as The House of Drift and is the only track to be included in the series every year since 2004
  • A new walled section has been added to the course for 2021 to better define Outside Zone 3 to the finish line
  • Weather was perfect for qualifying, with a sunny high of 72˚
  • 32 PRO and 34 PROSPEC drivers attempted to qualify for the Top 32 places in competition. The eight drivers with the lowest scores (or any driver with an incomplete first run) are required to complete a second qualifying run under the Knockout Qualifying Format (KQF) to make the grade or be eliminated.
  • In FD PRO, ten drivers were ruled incomplete and needed to run a second time. All but Jhonnattan Castro (Dominican Republic) managed to secure a position at the bottom of the qualification table. And with the Drift Force Eurofighter BMW teammates Yves Myer (Switzerland) and Joshua Reynolds (Switzerland) pulling out of the event, it meant the top three qualifiers would get a bye run through the Top 32 heats
  • Top qualifier in FD PRO was 2021 Championship points leader, Aasbo, who ran first and set a blistering pace. Aasbo’s bye run in the competition heats guarantees him a Top 16 place and aids his bid for a second Championship title
  • Chelsea DeNofa (USA), second in the points table driving the BC Racing / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D, decided to take a different approach to qualifying, along with teammate Vaughn Gittin Jr. Both appeared to run shallow lines, giving them a low score and dropping them down the qualification table. This had the effect of jumbling the seeding for the competition heats, which was very successful for DeNofa at FD Seattle, where he qualified 28th and won the Round. However, qualifying 19th means he loses out on a possible bye run
  • Third in the Championship, Matt Field (USA), experienced mechanical problems in the Falken Tire / Drift Cave Chevrolet Corvette. This forced him into the KQF where his 93-point score would have put him second. However, KQF meant he qualified in 22nd
  • Bakchis qualified second and currently sits fourth in the points table. He’s coming off a win at the previous Long Beach Round, and being gifted a bye run through the Top 32 means “Odi” significantly improved his odds of claiming his first FD PRO Championship
  • Essa qualified in third and while the former Champion can’t claim another title, his steady improvement throughout the season means he’ll be a real threat to the Championship contenders
  • In PROSPEC, one driver failed to start and ten were ruled incomplete on their first run, so had to take a second. By the end of the session, 26 qualified and 8 were eliminated. As a result, six of the top drivers get a bye run in tomorrow’s Top 32 competition heats, including the top three drivers in the Championship chase
  • Number one PROSPEC qualifier and series Rookie, Lemaire, scored 94 points, crushing his competitors. His closest rivals were Noback and Olsen, who both scored 88 points, with Noback getting the nod for a superior angle score
  • PROSPEC points leader and reigning Champion, Dmitriy Brutskiy (Belarus), qualified fifth in the Essa Autosport / ISC Suspension BMW E46, keeping him in the chase

ROUND 8 TOP 16 PRO QUALIFYING

BRACKET FOR ROUND 8 PRO COMPETITION HEATS 

ROUND 4 TOP 16 PROSPEC QUALIFYING

BRACKET FOR ROUND 4 PROSPEC COMPETITION HEATS 

FORMULA DRIFT IRWINDALE RECAP

A summary of competition results from FD IRW and a full recap of Round 8: Type S Title Fight Link ECU PROSPEC Championship Round 4 will follow, along with event images

NEXT ROUND
Formula DRIFT will announce its 2022 schedule at its annual SEMA press conference in the Media Center, or visit formulad.com after the announcement.

Article source: https://news.formulad.com/2021/fd-news/series-news-qualifying-results-from-the-final-round-of-the-2021-formula-drift-championships-at-irwindale-speedway/


TEAM NEWS: Daijiro Yoshihara announces his retirement from the series

After 18 years of competing as a driver in the Formula Drift championship, Turn 14 Distribution driver Daijiro Yoshihara announces his retirement from the series.

During his time in the series, Daijiro who is known by his fans as Dai participated in 128 events, stood on the podium 28 times and, won 8 events. The defining moment for him was when he secured his 2011 Formula Drift Championship.

Although Dai is retiring from the Formula Drift series as a driver this is not the end. Dai will be leaving the series to pursue other opportunities as a professional driver, brand ambassador, along with other business ventures. The reduced travel time will also allow him to spend more time with his wife and two young sons.

Dai said “The FD series and the United States has provided me and my family so many opportunities. The fans, friends, and relationships that I’ve made along the way have been amazing! Thank you for your support, and most of all, a lifetime of experiences and memories.”

Article source: https://news.formulad.com/2021/fd-news/team-news-daijiro-yoshihara-announces-his-retirement-from-the-series/


SERIES NEWS: JONES AND PAWLAK WIN SUPER DRIFT EVENTS DURING ACURA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH

The annual Super Drift event takes place during the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach; a motorsports festival featuring Indy Car racing, held on the Streets of Long Beach. The roots of Super Drift can be traced back to 2005 when the Grand Prix organizers invited Formula DRIFT to create drift demos around the full street course. The following year, Formula DRIFT worked with the Grand Prix and the City of Long Beach to establish a standalone drift event, which takes place the weekend before the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach and has been a mainstay of the eight-round Formula DRIFT Championship ever since.

To better represent the Formula DRIFT series, the drift demo evolved into Super Drift in 2012, which has drivers competing in pairs through turns 9-11 for the Grand Prix audience without scoring championship points. Just like an FD event, drivers are eliminated via competition heats until a winner is found. However, the packed weekend schedule means that unlike a full FD event where 32 drivers compete, Super Drift invites eight drivers to create a compressed format.

DRIVER ENTRIES

  • Trenton Beechum (USA) – Clonex Racing / Nexen Tire Ford Mustang
  • Rome Charpentier (USA) – Garagistic / Federal Tire BMW E36
  • Michael Essa (USA) – FCP Euro / Liqui Moly / GT Radial BMW M3
  • Jeff Jones (USA) – Jeff Jones Racing / GT Radial Nissan 370Z
  • Kyle Mohan (USA) – KMR / Renewable Lubricants / Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8
  • Justin Pawlak (USA) – Falken Tire Ford Mustang
  • Branden Sorensen (USA) – 212 Performance / Sorensen Motorsports BMW
  • Forrest Wang (USA) – Achilles Tire / Yellowspeed Racing / NRG Innovations Nissan

SUPER DRIFT DAY 1

Taking place on Friday under early evening floodlights, the big surprise for drift fans was the appearance of Forrest Wang (USA) on the Super Drift roster. The popular driver has been absent from Formula DRIFT since completing the 2019 season, but notably won both Super Drift rounds that year – the last time Super Drift was held because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, Wang was eliminated from the first round this year by an on-form Justin Pawlak (USA) driving the Falken Tire Ford Mustang. Wang’s downfall was a mistake on his chase run where he had to make a big correction in the final turn and was ruled incomplete. Despite small mistakes by Pawlak, he progressed to the Top 4 heats to meet Jeff Jones (USA) driving the Jeff Jones Racing / GT Radial Nissan 370Z.

Jones had defeated Kyle Mohan in his first heat after his KMR / Renewable Lubricants / Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8 experienced technical problems. His battle with Pawlak would be his first real test and it was a corker.

Despite less power than the 1000hp under Pawlak’s right foot, Jones acquitted himself well. In fact, the judges were unable to separate the two drivers after their tandems runs, so requested One More Time. When this happens, the drivers repeat both runs, and with Pawlak leading the third attempt, he attacked the course at speed. However, he over-rotated in Outside Zone 1 causing Jones to adjust his line but the pair finished the run together.

With Jones in the lead, Pawlak followed him like a devoted puppy. Both drivers crossed the line together but Jones was given the win in light of Pawlak’s small mistake on the previous run.

Jones then faced 2013 FD Champion, Michael Essa (USA) in the final. Driving the FCP Euro / Liqui Moly / GT Radial BMW M3, Essa had looked imperious at last weekend’s FD Long Beach round and would’ve been the betting man’s choice. However, Essa was slow to initiate on his chase run but otherwise maintained impressive proximity throughout the course. With Essa in the lead, he drifted deep into the turns, and when Jones went off in the final turn, it appeared Essa was the victor. However, the video replays showed Essa had slowed in the wrong area, forcing the mistake from Jones. As a result, Jones was the winner of Super Drift Day 1.

Pawlak would claim fourth after he lost the third-place run-off to Rome Charpentier (USA) in the Garagistic / Federal Tire BMW E36. In the chase position, Pawlak hit the wall hard in Touch Go 1, causing him to straighten and be ruled incomplete. Despite a good lead run, the damage was done and Charpentier finished third.

SUPER DRIFT DAY 2

If Day 1 had been difficult for Pawlak, the Saturday event looked equally bleak. He was paired against Essa in the opening heat and both drivers are renowned for their speed and aggression.

Both performed at their best on the first run, with Essa running deep lines and Pawlak shadowing him closely. This meant the pressure was on Essa for the second run, and he over-rotated in Outside Zone 2 as his drift went awry. Essa corrected the slide to prevent a spin but was forced to straighten and ruled incomplete.

Pawlak moved into the Final 4 where he again met Wang. On their first run, Pawlak again performed perfectly in the chase, challenging Wang to replicate his performance. However, the speed of the Mustang in the first half of the second run meant Wang was unable to keep pace, and that made the difference. Pawlak was promoted to the Final.

Sadly, the expectant crowd was robbed of the prospect of a Ford Mustang showdown when Trenton Beechum (USA) was forced to call a Competition Time Out for his Clonex Racing / Nexen Tire Ford Mustang. Rushing back to the pits, his team had 5min to diagnose and repair the problem. Unable to perform the miracle, Pawlak took a victory lap before claiming his Champagne on the podium.

Wang out-paced Charpentier in the third-place run-off and reminded us why he’s missed from the Formula DRIFT PRO Championship. Hopefully, we’ll see his name back on the driver roster in 2022, or back in Super Drift at the very least.

2021 FORMULA DRIFT SUPER DRIFT RESULTS

DAY 1
1. Jeff Jones (USA) – Jeff Jones Racing / GT Radial Nissan 370Z
2. Michael Essa    (USA) – FCP Euro / Liqui Moly / GT Radial BMW M3
3. Rome Charpentier (USA) – Garagistic / Federal Tire BMW E36
4. Justin Pawlak (USA) – Falken Tire Ford Mustang

DAY 2
1. Justin Pawlak (USA) – Falken Tire Ford Mustang
2. Trenton Beechum (USA) – Clonex Racing / Nexen Tire Ford Mustang
3. Forrest Wang (USA) – Achilles Tire / Yellowspeed Racing / NRG Innovations Nissan
4. Rome Charpentier (USA) – Garagistic / Federal Tire BMW E36

FORMULA DRIFT NEXT ROUND

Irwindale Speedway – the House of Drift –  will host Round 8 TYPE S Title Fight. This is the Final Round of the Formula DRIFT PRO and Link ECU PROSPEC Championships, scheduled for October 22-23. Please visit formulad.com for the competition schedule, ticket information, driver profiles. special content and the event livestream

Article source: https://news.formulad.com/2021/fd-live/series-news-jones-and-pawlak-win-super-drift-events-during-acura-grand-prix-of-long-beach/


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