SWD Blog

Top 10 Things from Formula Drift TX

 
Written by Joey Redmond of Wrecked Magazine
 

10. Dylan Hughes Needs A Win at Irwindale

Pro 2 is basically a two man race with Ola Jaeger having a very slim chance to win the championship, but he will be eliminated once Dylan Hughes or Travis Reeder makes a qualifying pass. Dylan finds himself 40 points back right now before the last round. Last year Travis Reeder lost by just 2 points in a wild finish so Irwindale promises to be exciting!

 
 

9. Rookie of the Year Race is Close

The Rookie of the Year Race is another close one going into the House of Drift. A close three-driver race between Matt Vankirk, Dirk Stratton, and Kazuya Taguchi is on! Just 15 points split up Matt and Dirk with Kazuya another 19 points behind Dirk. I like this race and any of these drivers pushing into the Top 16 will likely lock them in as ROTY in 2018.

 
 

8. Kevin Lawrence Best Against Piotr Wiecek

While Piotr Wiecek won the event this weekend I think Kevin Lawrence really took him to task in the Top 32. It was that close of a call and in case you skipped the Top 32, I highly recommend you head over and see how hard Kevin Lawrence pushed Piotr in their battle.

 
 

7. Ryan Litteral Goes Great 8

Ryan Litteral has been notably absent for a large chunk of the season but he came out to perform in Texas. His Koruworks Nissan 350z was looking great this weekend and it showed by him beating the rookie Kaguchi in Top 32. He capitalized on a huge mistake from Hohnadell in the Top 16 and then finally met his match with DeNofa in the Great 8. A respectable performance from a great drifter was on display this weekend. Sadly it sounds like his crash with Hohnadell did some damage to the car that carried over into his Great 8 battle where he lost.

 
 

6. Jeff Jones Shows Consistent Growth

Jeff Jones has been a silent assassin this season in his Nissan 350z. He took out Dan Burkett in Top 32 and then really threw down against Ryan Tuerck in Top 16. His progression and consistency has been highlighted so much by his new Z33 Nissan build. I look to see him fighting for a Top 10 championship spot next season.

 
 

5. Worthhouse. Battles Aren’t Even Worth Paying Attention

I’m just over it. The most hyped battle in Formula Drift history perhaps will never happen in a clean way. I wish someone could explain to me why these Worthhouse cars only manage to break and explode when they battle each other. It’s never going to happen but a Top 32 meeting of these two would make the championship chase really wild.

 
 

4. Forrest Wang Faulted for Braking at Inside Clip

I know this was a confusing one to many fans but Forrest Wang was caught using the brakes in a non-braking zone that the judges then faulted him. In the drivers meetings the judges did make it clear that if you slowed down in any fashion between the middle of turn one and inner clip two, and the chase driver was affected, the lead driver would be at fault. Looking at the battle again, this is exactly what happened as Wang hit the brakes and ruined Vaughn’s drift line as he had no where to go.

 
 

3. Travis Reeder Ties All-Time Wins Pro 2 Record

Travis Reeder took home another victory that was delayed a whole entire day due to weather. This did not stop or slow down Travis Reeder in his Nissan 240sx. This resulted in him winning his third Pro 2 event and is now level with Marc Landerville for the all-time Pro 2 record.

 
 

2. Ken Gushi Almost Delivers on His Promise

Ken Gushi made a bold statement that he was going to really mess with the championship race (my paraphrasing) prior to Texas Motor Speedway. It seemed likely, as Texas is a track where he tends to thrive. His Top 16 battle against James Deane showed that Gushi was drifting to deliver that promise but he fell short after a great battle. What I learned from the buzz Gushi built from his comments is that I want to see more attitude and bold statements from drivers before the events

 
 

1. Aasbo Can Hault the Back to Back

The only real hope to stop the back-to-back championship falls in the lap of Fredric Aasbo. He currently finds himself 49 points behind the reigning champion James Deane. Fredric Aasbo needs to put his focus on winning the event and hoping that Deane falls short somewhere earlier in the event. No matter what, the House of Drift seems to deliver some great drifting entertainment and the countdown to Irwindale Speedway has begun to complete the 15th season of Formula Drift!

Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2018/fd-news/top-10-things-from-formula-drift-tx/


Fredric Aasbo earns podium result in Texas

Toyota locks in 2018 Formula Drift Manufacturer’s title at hometown round

FORT WORTH, Texas (September 15, 2018) – In front of a cheering crowd just a half-hour from Toyota’s USA headquarters, Fredric Aasbo scored a podium result in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback and celebrated a mathematical win for the manufacturer in the Formula Drift Auto Cup this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

“We couldn’t have the support of a better manufacturer. It speaks volumes about Toyota that we are able to perform so consistently at the limit,” said Aasbo, who has been the top scorer for Toyota this year, with a record of five podiums in seven rounds, including two event victories.

This weekend, Aasbo qualified fourth and advanced past Kyle Mohan in the opening round. Battling Chris Forsberg in the Top 16, Aasbo moved ahead when Forsberg lost his line in the tire smoke. In the Great 8, it was an all-Toyota showdown between Aasbo and Ryan Tuerck. Judges were unable to decide between the two drivers and called for a One More Time re-run, where Aasbo’s clean driving made the difference and he advanced.

Facing James Deane in a highlight battle of the night, the Final 4 saw both drivers put down incredible runs. Deane ultimately advanced, while Aasbo’s drive saw him take third-place overall.

“We had a really strong event in Texas this weekend,” said team owner Stephan Papadakis. “We’re in this battle for the long haul and head into the last race next month ready to battle for the championship.”

It will be a three-way fight for the title heading into the final round. Aasbo now trails Deane in the championship by 49 points, while a win for Piotr Wiecek in Texas leaves him a further 38 points back. The 2018 Formula Drift title concludes October 12-13 in Southern California at Irwindale Speedway, a popular venue known as “The House of Drift” for its long ties to the sport.

Formula Drift enjoys a dedicated and engaged audience with sell-out crowds all season long. This season, each livestream broadcast is averaging more than two million viewers, while Facebook impressions during the St. Louis event totalled 31 million.

Drifting is a high-skill, high-powered motorsport with an emphasis on car control. In the Formula Drift series, drivers compete in knockout heats on a closed course, sliding sideways in trials judged on speed and style. With origins in Japan, it is one of the fastest growing forms of motorsport in the world. An average of 2 million fans from around the world watched the popular live stream coverage from each round of the 2018 season. Broadcast coverage on the CBS Sports Network headlines packaged content that includes social channels Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.


Cellphone flashlights from fans in the grandstands light the way for Fredric Aasbo’s podium result in Texas. (PHOTO: Toyota Racing)

Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2018/fd-news/fredric-aasbo-earns-podium-result-in-texas/


PIOTR WIECEK TAKES FIRST 2018 WIN AND TOYOTA CLINCHES THE AUTO CUP AT FORMULA DRIFT TEXAS

With only two rounds remaining in the 2018 Formula DRIFT season there are nine drivers in the Pro category and the entire Pro 2 grid with a mathematical chance to win their respective championships. This meant nobody could afford to relax as the Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship and Link ECU Pro 2 Championship arrived in Fort Worth, TX for Round Seven: Autozone Showdown presented by Rain X.

Even as the pressure was mounting on every team, the Texas weather threatened to add an extra dimension with rain forecast for Friday’s Pro 2 and Saturday’s Pro category heats. This didn’t deter the capacity crowd turning out to watch the penultimate round of what has become one of the hardest fought seasons in Formula DRIFT history.

PRO QUALIFYING
Fortunately, rain wasn’t a factor in the Pro qualifying session, which saw 2017 FD ChampionJames Deane (Ireland) top of the table at Texas Motor Speedway in his Worthouse / Falken Tire Nissan Silvia S15. Deane was leading the 2018 Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship as the teams arrived in Dallas, with a 32-point margin over second place Fredric Aasbo (Norway) in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla. Aasbo, the 2015 FD Champion, is coming off a win at the previous St Louis round and must have hoped for better than fourth place qualifying in Texas.

Second place went to Alec Hohnadell in the Rain-X / Permatex / Nexen / Hoonigan Nissan S14. He only made one qualifying run but the judges awarded him 96 points of a possible 100 for the singular effort. Sitting 14th in the championship, Hohnadell hoped to be a fly in the ointment for the series protagonists.

Third place in qualifying was awarded to Deane’s teammate, Piotr Wiecek (Poland) in the second Worthouse / Falken Tire Nissan Silvia S15. Placed third in the 2018 FD Championship, the Pole has a realistic chance of his first Formula DRIFT title and needed to keep pushing in the remaining two rounds.

Ryan Tuerck (USA) qualified fifth in the Ryan Tuerck Racing / Gumout / Black Magic / Nexen Tire Toyota 86. Sitting eighth in the series he has an outside chance of claiming his first FD Championship and is guaranteed to keep fighting to the end.

PRO HEATS
Qualifying first and third respectively for the Texas round of the Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship, teammates James Deane and Piotr Wiecek could hardly imagined they’d be facing each other in one of the most exciting FD Finals imaginable.

With a bye round in the Top 32, Deane met and narrowly beat Kenshiro Gushi (Japan) in the GPP Toyota Racing / Falken Tire Toyota 86 in the Sweet 16. He’d then face Daijiro Yoshihara (Japan) in the Turn 14 Distribution / Falken Tire Subaru BRZ in the Great 8. Dai had previously competed against Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis (Lithuania) in the Falken Tires / Maxxoil / Drifz Wheels Nissan S14 in the Sweet 16. The pair were inseparable, resulting in the judges requesting “One More Time.” The win went to Yoshihara, but he subsequently fell to Deane, who faced his arch-rival, Fredric Aasbo, in the Final Four. This would be another epic battle as both drivers sought to strengthen their position beore the Final round at Irwindale. Despite two very close runs, the judges gave the decision to Deane, who would face Wiecek in the Final.

Piotr’s path to the Final began againstKevin Lawrence (USA) in the Enjuku Racing / BC Racing Nissan S14.3. He then faced Matt Field (USA) in the Sweet 16 driving the Wish / Borla / Falken Tire Chevrolet Corvette. Field had finished second at the previous round and was looking for another podium visit and push Wiecek hard. The judges requested “One More Time,” much to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd, who cheered on both drivers. The win would eventually be given to Wiecek, who needed to defeat 2010 FD Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr in the Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR to continue his advance. With Gittin Jr experience something of a points drought recently, he fought hard but Wiecek was unstoppable.

In the Final Four, the Pole faced Chelsea Denofa (USA) in the BC Racing / Nitto Tire / Ford Performance Mustang RTR. He had given the RTR team a much-needed taste of champagne with a third place in St Louis but also failed to halt Wiecek.

In what must surely be the Worthouse teams’ 2018 Christmas card photograph, the teammates lined up alongside each other for the Final. Expectations were high for a fantastic battle and the first run proved just how close it was going to be. However, Deane’s Nissan S14 shut down in the first corner of the second run and gifted the win to Wiecek.

With Wiecek taking maximum points from FD Texas, he closes on Aasbo, who finished third on the night. Second place Deane retained his lead in the 2018 championship but fans are guaranteed a nail-biter at the Final round at Irwindale Speedway, CA in four weeks.

We spoke to a beaming round winner as he stepped from the podium: “This was an awesome event and a very intense weekend for me,” said Wiecek. “Practice didn’t go as well as I’d hoped and I was unsure if we’d be competitive but we managed to get through each of the heats to meet James in the Final. That was an amazing experience for all of us. It’s unbelievable to be in first place – a dream come true.”

Second placed Deane was gracious in defeat, as always. “It’s amazing to be on the podium with Piotr and get a great result for the team. Fredric was third so the championship is really close heading into the final round at Irwindale and makes it a really exciting prospect. So we’ve got a few weeks to get the cars prepped and come back strong.”

Third place Aasbo was philosophical about the result: “We’re very happy with third place because we haven’t been able to figure out this track in the past and I feel like this was our best Texas round ever. This being Toyota Racing’s home town and it being an important weekend for the championship, we’re delighted to be standing on the podium and to be in the hunt. And even with the Worthouse boys showing us there’s a next level of drifting, we’re feeling very positive heading into the season finale.”

Although he wasn’t aware of it at the time, Aasbo’s podium helped Toyota clinch the 2018 Formula DRIFT Auto Cup. With one round remaining, Toyota has amassed enough points to take the manufacturer’s title, and do so at its home event. However, the fight for the Pro and Pro 2 drivers titles and the Tire Cup will be decided at the final round at Irwindale Speedway.

As always, the last word goes to Formula DRIFT president, Jim Liaw: “This was an action-packed weekend. It was incredibly competitive in both classes and we’re delighted to see both driver’s championships going down to the wire as well as the Tire Cup. It’s all leading to a really exciting Final at Irwindale Speedway and we’re looking forward to another successful season finale at the House of Drift.”

PRO 2 QUALIFYING
The qualifying session for the 2018 Formula DRIFT Link ECU Pro 2 Championship was incredibly close, with the top five drivers separated by just five points. Top of the charts was Dylan Hughes (USA) in the Advance Auto Parts / Nexen Tire Nissan 240SX. He has finished second in both of the previous 2018 rounds and he edged out Pro 2 category series leader, Travis Reeder (USA) in his Achilles Radial Nissan 240SX, who qualified second. The pair were only separated by a single championship point coming into the FD Texas, so the points gained in qualification could make the difference at the end of the season.

Qualifying third was Brody Goble (Canada) in his Frankenstein Speed Custom / Achilles Radial Nissan S14.75. Fourth went to Garrett Denton (USA) in the Koruworks / Nexen Tire Nissan S14, with Geoff Donati (USA) and his Tuner Tools / Achilles Tire Nissan S14 rounding out the top five.

PRO 2 HEATS
The Formula DRIFT Link ECU Pro 2 Championship teams had to deal with a damp track at the start of the heats, which possibly contributed to some early mistakes. A number of drivers needed to make mid-drift corrections, included the Top 16 heat between Kelsey Rowlings (USA) in his Top 1 Oil / Achilles Tire Nissan S14 and Sean Adriano (USA) in the Design Craft Fabrication / Achilles Radial Nissan S13. Both drivers would be forced to lift the throttle, resulting in the judges requesting “One More Time,” with the drivers repeating both runs. This resulted in a win for Adriano who met top qualifier, Dylan Hughes, in the next round. Hughes had first defeated Kenric Meyer (USA) in the BC Racing / Achilles Tire BMW M3 and would also beat Adriano to proceed to the Final Four.

Hughes’ opponent would be fourth placed qualifier, Garrett Denton (USA) driving the Koruworks / Nexen Tire Nissan S14. Denton had overcome Josh Robinson (Australia) in the Winding Road Racing / Nexen Tire Holden Ute to advance through the Top 16, and Jonathan Hurst (USA) in the Dynosty Infiniti G37 to take the Top 8 win. He continued the momentum in the Final Four by beating Hughes and headed into the Final against Pro 2 category points leader, Travis Reeder.

Reeder’s day started with a win against Crick Filippi (USA) in the Fitzgerald Glider Kits / Nexen Tire USA Nissan S13 in the Top 16 and Ola Jaeger (Norway) in the Team Japan Auto / Nexen Tire Toyota Supra in the Top 8. He then met Sebastien Gauthier (Canada) in the Magicolor Carrossier / SSG Motorsport Nissan S14 in the Final Four.

Gauthier had vanquished Alec Robbins (USA) in the Koruworks / Achilles Tire Nissan 350Z in the Top 16 and Brody Goble (Canada) in the Frankenstein Speed Custom / Achilles Radial Nissan S14.75 in the Top 8. Goble had a torrid first round, getting airborne after contact in his opening round against Troy Manners (USA) in the Neo Motorsport Nissan S14.5. Fortunately, he’d done enough to win the round and proceed to the Top 8 where he would lose to Gauthier, who in turn lost to Reeder in the Final Four.

The Formula DRIFT Link ECU Pro 2 Championship Final was finely balanced, with rookie Denton looking for his first FD win of the season. However, the weather played its hand and a thunderstorm forced the organizers to abort the Final. It was reschedule for Saturday morning when Denton put up a spirited fight but succumbed to Reeder. Denton would claim his first podium and take second place, with Hughes finishing third.

We caught up with Reeder after the podium celebrations, “Texas is always a rad track and we got the car dialed-in pretty quickly. I made a bunch of consistent runs and everything worked out in our favor, allowing us to finish on top. I’m stoked to be leading the points standings going into Irwindale – a track I’ve never driven but I’m looking to maintain my momentum and end the season with a positive result.”

NEXT ROUND
The Final round of the 2018 Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship and the Formula DRIFT Link ECU Pro 2 Championship takes place in Irwindale, CA on October 12-13. Visit formulad.com for event details, ticket purchases, driver profiles and Livestream information.

2018 FORMULA DRIFT PRO CHAMPIONSHIP

Top 16 Pro Category finishing places from FD Texas

To view all the Pro Category finishers, click here:
formulad.com/results/2018/texas/pro

Top Five Pro Category Championship standings after seven rounds

To view the 2018 Pro Championship standings, click here:
formulad.com/standings/2018/pro

Top 16 Pro 2 category finishing places from FD Texas

To view all the Pro 2 Category finishers, click here:
formulad.com/results/2018/texas/pro2

Top Five Pro 2 Category Championship standings after three rounds

To view the 2018 Pro 2 Championship standings, click here:
formulad.com/standings/2018/pro2

Top five Auto Cup standings after seven rounds

To view the 2018 Auto Cup standings, click here:
formulad.com/standings/2018/pro

Tire Cup standings after seven rounds

To view the 2018 Tire Cup standings, click here:
formulad.com/standings/2018/pro

Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2018/fd-news/piotr-wiecek-takes-first-2018-win-and-toyota-clinches-the-auto-cup-at-formula-drift-texas/


Fredric Aasbo charges for the championship

Formula Drift returns to Texas Motor Speedway

DALLAS, Texas ( September 13, 2018) – Formula Drift star Fredric Aasbo is poised to battle for the 2018 championship title at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend. He hopes to capitalize on his momentum from a winning Round 6 with a return to the podium in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback.

“There’s nothing better than a close battle to the finish line and this championship is going to come down to the wire,”said Aasbo. “With the competition as close as it is, I need to give it everything I’ve got.”

Sitting just 30 points out of the leader’s position, Aasbo is within striking distance of the driver’s title with two rounds left to go in the season. The driver notched podium finishes in the first three events of the year, including victory at the season opener in Long Beach, and returned to the top step last month in St. Louis.

The Papadakis Racing team is a proven performer, with three championship titles to their credit — more than any other team in the series. With 12 event victories, Aasbo holds the lifetime wins record. A strong performance this weekend could lock in the Manufacturer’s title for Toyota.

“Our position in the championship is the result of really hard work by the entire team and support of our partners,” said team owner, Stephan Papadakis. “We’ll continue to focus to make sure all the details are perfect. We know we have a winning team, which gives us good confidence heading to Texas.”

Texas Motor Speedway is a second home for the team, with Toyota USA’s headquarters just a half-hour drive from the track. Competing in front of a hometown Toyota crowd brings an extra boost of confidence.

“Going into this event in Dallas, I already know the Toyota drivers have an edge,” said Aasbo. “Fan energy is something that is really motivational for us on track and we’re looking forward to having the best cheering section out there!”

Drifting is a high-skill, high-powered motorsport with an emphasis on car control. In the Formula Drift series, drivers compete in knockout heats on a closed course, sliding sideways in trials judged on speed and style. With origins in Japan, it is one of the fastest growing forms of motorsport in the world. An average of 2 million fans from around the world watched the popular live stream coverage from each round of the 2018 season. Broadcast coverage on the CBS Sports Network headlines packaged content that includes social channels Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.


Fredric Aasbo is heading into Texas after a win at the most recent round in St. Louis.

(PHOTO: Toyota Racing)

Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2018/fd-news/fredric-aasbo-charges-for-the-championship/


Top 10 Things from Formula Drift STL

 

 

10. Gateway is Great

This track and this event were near perfect. A Hollywood storywriters fairy taleevent where the former champion falls to his friend and the second place guy who we all thought was just out of reach wins and pulls the championship race to 30 points. The venue was great to watch and the fast speed long turn was great when the guys who could tandem found their lane. Other than the wild weather that blew through town, I don’t think anyone has much to complain about the Midwest. Let’s hope for years more to come at this unique road course.

 

 

9. Travis Reeder is Better than Some Drivers in the Pro Circuit

Travis Reeder really put on a display this weekend in Pro 2 with his 240sx. He handled and attacked this track better than a handful of the guys in the Pro circuit. He is a prime candidate to promote himself into the Pro series for 2019. With his victory this weekend he is now tied as the second most winning Pro 2 driver in history. If he can scrape out another win in Texas or Irwindale, he will be tied with Kevin Lawrence for the most Pro 2 wins in history.

 

 

8. Matt Field will be A Championship Contender in 2019

Matt Field had some early season hiccups in the Corvette that has hurt him in the bigger picture of the championship this season. That is a bummer because Texas and Irwindale tend to be strong tracks for him. The jump into a Corvette was a bold one for his team but it really paid off. He is growing season by season and constantly pushing himself to be better. You can see this clearly in his Frenemies series that gives you some insight into his program.

 

 

7. Dean Kearney Rocked his Top 32 Battle

Dean Kearney was rumored to be retiring the Dodge Viper this season but I am glad he is still kicking in the V10 monster. His chase run won’t be remembered by most since it was in the Top 32, but man he pushed Piotr Wiecek into a wild battle. Dean’s performances are just cluttered up with a bit too much inconsistency to make him a real championship threat but he could clean that up at anytime.

 

 

6. Chelsea DeNofa is the Future of Drifting

What a performance Chelsea DeNofa put on this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park. His second qualifying run was one of the most memorable events of the entire weekend along with his aggressive tandem chase positions. He is perfecting the driving on the edge style without smashing into people; and if he can make that a little better, he could become the most memorable drifter in world history. His podium was a huge step for his new life in a Mustang.

 

 

5. Engine Attrition Was Big in St. Louis

The battle for keeping your engines together was a tough one over this race weekend. The outside temps sat around 90 degrees for the race weekend but that combination with the long on throttle portions of the track made for engine soup. Taylor Hull missed competition entirely with an engine while many of the big teams were forced on Thursday night to go to back up engines. Chris Forsberg limped his backup motor to a Great 8 finish while it was on the verge of an explosion and James Deane lost his motor and 50 points in the championship chase for a mechanical issue with his 2JZ engine.

 

 

4. Fans Robbed of Another Worthouse. Battle

These two S15’s are indestructible in Formula Drift until they battle each other! The sport is on pins and needles waiting and hoping for a Worthhouse tandem battle that goes the distance with these two banging doors around the course straight up. I feel like Texas or Irwindale might deliver the goods for the fans out there so stay tuned.

 

 

3. Ken Gushi Loves These Track Styles

Ken Gushi is a driver that fades in and out of the spotlight in Formula Drift with his Toyota 86. The car seems plagued by car issues and sometimes Ken Gushi doesn’t quite seem on point. When he is on point though, he can light the drifting world on fire with a great performance. Inside his interview with Corey Hosford he did make it very clear he loved this track and you saw it in his tandem battles. He qualified 3rd, earned a bye run, then made easy work of Kristaps Bluss, and went down fighting against Chelsea DeNofa in the Great 8 before taking a loss. He tends to do well at Texas Motor Speedway as well so he could be a championship upset for one of the guys left in the race.

 

 

2. Pro 2 Championship is a 1 Point Race

The Pro 2 championship is going to deliver another wild finish it appears. Travis Reeder and Dylan Hughes sit within 1 point of each other with just two rounds left in the series. I also wouldn’t rule out Ola Jaeger who won Round 1 but had some car issues in St. Louis that really held him back. If the Pro showdown between Aasbo and Deane doesn’t get you excited then the Pro 2 championship is something to keep your eyes on. The Championship last season was won by just two points so don’t miss either of the next two Pro 2 events.

 

 

1. Fredric Aasbo Drove His Way to a Championship Royal Rumble

Fredric Aasbo has become a new driver before our eyes this season. He has a very no nonsense attitude in his drifting and I love it personally. He was run into, bumped, and had his door smashed in but nobody was going to put him off. To make the championship interesting, Fredric Aasbo needed a win and he did exactly that. 30 Championship points now separates him and James Deane as they go into Texas Motor Speedway. James Deane did win at Texas Motor Speedway last season so Fredric Aasbo will have some extra work ahead of himself. The true hope all the fans likely have is they can meet up and battle early into the Texas weekend and leave it all out for an Irwindale final to remember.

Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2018/fd-news/top-10-things-from-formula-drift-stl/


TEAM FALKEN’s MATT FIELD SECURES SECOND AT FORMULA DRIFT ST. LOUIS ROUND 6 “CROSSROADS”

Teammate Piotr Wiecek earns Honorable Mention with 4th

MADISON, IL (August 11, 2018) – On a hot, sticky, Midwest Saturday night, Team Falken Driver Matt Field scored a second place podium in Round 6 of the 2018 Black Magic Formula Drift Pro Championship at Gateway Motorsports Park, outside St. Louis. This was the second time Field has earned a runner-up trophy, and places him sixth overall in this season’s Formula D standings. Defending Champion and Falken teammate James Deane continues to lead the championship, with Wiecek in third place. Team Falken has six of its eight drivers in the top 10 of the championship leader board.

Field was strong all night long, having qualified second, and fought decisive battles through the Top 4. He eventually succumbed to Round 6 winner Fredric Asabo. All eight Falken drivers advanced to the Top 16, with five Falken entrants in the top 8. Qualifying indicated it would be a good event for the Falken AZENIS RT615K+ tire as teammates Ken Gushi placed 3rd; Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis was 4th; Deane, 5th; Justin Pawlak, 7th; Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara, 10th; Wiecek, 13th; and Jeff Jones, 22nd.

“For an inaugural event, we were pleased with Falken’s performance tonight,” stated Steve Wong, Falken’s Supervisor, Passenger Car Motorsports and Events. “Our team hadn’t been here before, and the track layout proved to be quite challenging with multiple transitions, but it was very fast. The competition was tough, but we had some great finishes, and at the end of the night, still have James Deane heading the championship and Falken retaining our lead in the Tire Cup standings.”

Commenting on his second-place finish, Field noted the fact that this was the first time Formula Drift was visiting Gateway Motorsports Park: “Coming into this round, there were a couple of major questions on probably everyone’s mind: how was the track going to work; were the cars going be able to do it; and the biggest concern – would tires last two laps here? Fortunately, for my team and me, we were able to hook up the car and get it enough grip.”

Field, running his newly built Corvette, concluded: “I was just blown away that the Falken tires were so strong; I really think that’s what gave us the edge to get on the podium this weekend, and I thank Falken for all their support.”

Formula D standings after six rounds: 1st– Deane; 3rd– Wiecek; 5th– Pawlak; 6th– Field; 9th– Bakchis; 10th– Gushi; 11th– Yoshihara; 20th– Jones.

As the season moves toward the final two rounds, the 2018 Black Magic Formula Drift Pro Championship Series heads to its annual “Showdown,” Sept. 14-15, at Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, TX.

Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2018/fd-news/team-falkens-matt-field-secures-second-at-formula-drift-st-louis-round-6-crossroads/


FORMULA DRIFT TAKES THE PRO AND PRO 2 CATEGORIES TO THE NEW ST LOUIS ROUND FOR ITS ACTION-PACKED RETURN TO THE MID-WEST

Bringing world-class drifting to the Mid-West, the 2018 Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship and Link Pro 2 Championship headed to St Louis, MO for Round Six: Advance Auto Parts Crossroads presented by Rain-X. This would be the first time in its 15-year history the series had visited Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, IL and packed grandstands greeted the competitors.

“We’re delighted to bring Formula DRIFT Pro and Pro 2 Championships to St Louis,” beamed a delighted Jim Liaw, FD president. “We’ve been looking for a suitable venue to bring the series back to the Mid-West and Chris Blair proved to be the catalyst. He was formerly the VP of Racing Operations at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and knows what we need. So when he became EVP and GM at Gateway Motorsports Park it was the break we’d been waiting for. The track is adjacent to St Louis and accessible to most of the major cities in the Mid-West so its location is perfect. It also provides the facilities FD needs and we’re in discussions to expand certain areas for next year since we’re already looking at a capacity crowd and need the opportunity to grow. We think this will become one of the most popular events across the country once it’s fully established.”

With so many drift fans to satisfy, Formula DRIFT brought both the Pro and Pro 2 categories to entertain the visitors. However, the drivers would have to contend with a new track to learn and a storm that blew in on Friday afternoon, washing out the Pro 2 heats. The weekend schedule was rapidly revised and fans would enjoy both the Pro and Pro 2 heats on Saturday during a packed 12-hour drift itinerary that started at 8AM.

PRO QUALIFYING

The Pro category was able to squeeze in qualifying before the storm rolled into Madison, IL but somebody who possibly hoped the weather would arrive sooner was Kristaps Blušs (Latvia) driving the HGK / Achilles Radial / MAST Motorsports / BMW E92 “Eurofighter”. He had an early impact with the tire barrier during practice, and would incur further damage just before qualifying began following a collision with Jeff Jones (USA) in the Doc / Falken Tire Nissan 370Z. With bodywork and suspension damage, an emotional Blušs returned to the pits as the team frantically made repairs. Jeff Jones was undamaged and qualified 22nd, while Blušs placed 14th, which should have come as welcome relief but was a long way off his second-place qualification at the previous round.

Top of the Pro qualifying charts was Fredric Aasbo (Norway) in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla. The 2015 FD Champion had relinquished his lead of the 2018 Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship for the first time at the previous round in Seattle, so the pressure was on him to perform. And perform he did, receiving 98 and 96 points, respectively, in his two qualifying runs out of a possible 100 points.

Nobody could get close to Aasbo’s form on the new track, but first runner-up was Matt Field (USA) in the Wish / Borla / Falken Tire Chevrolet Corvette. He was followed by Kenshiro Gushi (Japan) in the GPP Toyota Racing / Falken Tire Toyota 86 who has been enjoying decent form over the past few rounds. Fourth place qualifier was Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis (Lithuania) in the Falken Tires / Maxxoil / Drifz Wheels Nissan S14, while James Deane (Ireland) put his Worthouse / Falken Tire Nissan Silvia S15 in fifth.

As the series leader coming into FD St Louis, and the only driver to have scored two wins to date in the 2018 Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship, the 2017 FD Champion would need to raise his game in the heats to keep Aasbo at bay. With only 92 and 84 points from his two qualifying runs, there was a chasm between Deane and Aasbo that would surely be difficult to overcome. Nobody had to wait long for the answer…

PRO HEATS

There was plenty of action and drama to entertain the enthusiastic fans at the inaugural FD St Louis round. With top qualifiers Aasbo, Field and Gushi getting bye runs, the Top 32 heats began with Matt Coffman (USA) in the Coffman Racing / Thunderbolt Racing Fuel / Achilles Radial Nissan 240SX S13. He hit a cone at the start of his run against Jhonnattan Castro (Dominican Republic) in the GPP Toyota Racing / Falken Tire Toyota 86. This forced the run had to be restarted but Coffman, the hometown hero at the previous Seattle round, was unable to restart his Nissan, even after a five-minute technical timeout, handing the win to Castro.

Another restart was required between Forrest Wang (USA) in the Vapetasia / Achilles Radial / NRG Innovations Nissan S15 and rookie Kevin Lawrence (USA) in the Enjuku Racing / BC Racing Nissan S14.3. Struggling to repeat his second place finish at the opening round in Long Beach, Wang also struggled to exert dominance over Lawrence and the judges called for “One More Time.” This indicated it was impossible to find a winner after the first two runs, so the drivers repeated the runs and the decision went in favor of Wang.

The victim of difficult practice sessions, Kristaps Blušs would also run “One More Time” in his Top 32 heat against rookie Kazuya Taguchi (Japan) in the Team Jerry Yang Racing / Top 1 Oil / Achilles Radial Nissan GT-R. Fortunately, Blušs was able to put Friday’s frustrations behind him and took the round win.

Whether it was unfamiliarity with Gateway Motorsports Park or just the intensity of the competition, the weekend saw its fair share of spins and off-course incidents. None were more dramatic than Ryan Tuerck (USA) in the Ryan Tuerck Racing / Gumout / Black Magic / Nexen Tire Toyota 86. He had a big “moment” when he clipped the dirt and spun into the infield, handing the round win to his opponent, Vaughn Gittin Jr (USA) in the Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR.

Rookie Austin Meeks (USA) in the Committed Service Brand / Achilles Radial Nissan S14.5 would also spin on his run against series leader Deane, giving the Irishman an easy win. Similarly, Alec Hohnadell in the Rain-X / Permatex / Nexen / Hoonigan Nissan S14 would spin and lose to Jeff Jones. Also joining the spinners club was rookie Federico Sceriffo (Italy) in the FFF Drifting Department Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano Drift Spec “Fiorella” who would hand the round win to Daijiro Yoshihara (Japan) in the Turn 14 Distribution / Falken Tire Subaru BRZ.

It was a messy heat between Piotr Wiecek (Poland) in the Worthouse / Falken Tire Nissan Silvia S15 and Dean Kearney (Ireland) in the Oracle Lighting / Achilles Tire Dodge Viper. The Pole had to straighten up during one of his runs, while the Irishman had an off-track excursion and needed to take a five-minute technical timeout before the second run. The decision was eventually given to Wiecek by virtue of a better lead run.

The final Top 32 casualty was Taylor Hull (USA) in the Comp Cams / Achilles Radial / Affirm Consulting / Borla Exhaust Cadillac ATS-V. He would fail to start, gifting the win to Odi Bakchis.

Moving into the Sweet 16, the biggest story was 2010 FD Champion Gittin Jr heading off-track during his run against 2017 FD Champion James Deane. The Irishman would subsequently have to withdraw from the Great 8 with a blown engine when he was facing teammate Wiecek. With the Polish driver going through, Wiecek came up against Norwegian Aasbo in the Final Four.

Following his top 32 bye round, Aasbo narrowly beat Castro in the Sweet 16, and then overcame three-time FD champ Forsberg in the Great 8. But Wiecek was determined to stop Aasbo’s progress and their runs were too close to call not once, but twice. The judges requested “One More Time” on two occasions, raising the fans to their feet as each driver demonstrated precision and speed. With six runs to choose from, the decision narrowly went to Aasbo who would face Matt Field in the Final.

Field’s route to the Final had seen him beat Wang in the Sweet 16, Pawlak in the Great 8 and Chelsea Denofa (USA) in the Final 4 driving the BC Racing / Nitto Tire / Ford Performance Mustang RTR. Field wasn’t about to go down without a fight in the Final and used the power of his Wish / Borla / Falken Tire Chevrolet Corvette to keep on terms with Aasbo’s Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla. However, a small mistake by Field caused a collision and put him off the track, allowing Aasbo to claim the win.

This was Aasbo’s second win of the season but his first since the opening round in Long Beach. It moves him within 30 points of Deane, who still leads the 2018 Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship, and opens a significant gap to third-placed Wiecek.

We spoke to Aasbo as he stepped off the podium: “Our first visit to St Louis and we’re walking away with not just the win but also the qualifying pole. I couldn’t be happier because it’s closed the gap in the championship with James going out early,” said an ecstatic Aasbo. “This weekend was one of my highlights as a driver. We were finding grip in every battle trying to hang with these guys and it gave us the car to beat.”

Matt Field’s podium moved Chevrolet above Nissan in the Formula DRIFT Auto Cup Championship for the first time in 2018. “We started the weekend on a new track with uncertainly. We didn’t know if the Corvette or the tires would last, but the team gave me a solid car and the Falken tires lasted every battle through to the finish. And that’s what gave us the edge to reach the Final,” Field enthused.

The podium at FD St Louis was also noteworthy since it was the first time either of the RTR Mustang drivers (Gittin Jr and DeNofa) had stepped up since 2016. In doing so, Denofa also gave Nitto its first podium since the opening round in Long Beach in 2017.

“I’m super-stoked with third place and the team really deserved it after working so hard. I drove as hard as I could and got the result,” Denofa said.

Formula DRIFT president, Jim Liaw summed up the event once the celebrations had subsided: “We’ve been looking forward to returning to the Mid-West since 2005 and we’re glad to be back. We were rewarded by awesome fans who stayed with us through a crazy storm, intense heat and a really long Saturday. It proved to us that it was the right decision to return – it’s a great venue at Gateway Motorsports Park and we look forward to establishing a successful future here.”

PRO 2 QUALIFYING

For drivers in the 2018 Formula DRIFT Link Pro 2 Championship, this was the second event of the year after Round One in Atlanta (May 11-12). The new St Louis track provided a level playing field for everybody and it was Riley Sexsmith (Canada) who rose to the top during qualifying in his NV Auto / Achilles Radial 2JZ Subaru BRZ. Qualifying second, one point behind Sexsmith, was Jonathan Hurst (USA) in the Dynosty Infiniti G37. Third place was taken by Pro 2 category leader, Ola Jaeger (Norway) in his Team Japan Auto / Nexen Tire Toyota Supra who was attempting to maintain his momentum from the Round One win.

The biggest loser in Pro 2 qualifying was Kelsey Rowlings (USA) who collided with the tire barrier in his Top 1 Oil / Achilles Tire Nissan S14 and was, unfortunately, among eight Pro 2 drivers who failed to qualify for various reasons.

PRO 2 HEATS

With an unexpected delay caused by the inclement weather, the Formula DRIFT Link Pro 2 Championship teams were gifted additional time to work on their cars and tweak the set up. Anybody who wanted to sleep-in was out of luck because the heats began in earnest at 9AM sharp on Saturday.

Having qualified in first place, Riley Sexsmith put himself in contention for the round win. However, he fell at the first hurdle, losing in the Sweet 16 to Andy Hateley (USA) in the Hateley Motorsports / Achilles Radial BMW E30. Hateley would, in turn, fall prey to Dylan Hughes (USA) in the Advance Auto Parts / Nexen Tire Nissan 240SX in the Great 8 round.

The win put Hughes in the Final 4 against Brody Goble (Canada) in his Frankenstein Speed Custom / Achilles Radial Nissan S14.75. It was a close contest but the decision went to Hughes, who progressed to the Final to face Travis Reeder (USA).

Having qualified 14th driving his Achilles Radial Nissan 240SX, Reeder’s first opponent was Atlanta winner, Ola Jaeger. Despite qualifying a strong third, Jaeger failed to advance, allowing Reeder to progress to the Great 8 where he defeated Hooman Rahimi (USA) in the I’m Only Hooman / Achilles Tire Nissan 350Z.

Reeder’s opponent in the Final 4 was Alec Robbins (USA) in the Koruworks / Achilles Tire Nissan 350Z. Robbins would lose but place third on the podium as Reeder swept to victory against Hughes in the Final, claiming the very first Formula DRIFT Link Pro 2 Championship win in St Louis.

We caught up with a delighted Travis Reeder after he stepped away from the podium celebrations: “We had a killer weekend at St Louis, although we initially struggled with set up on this crazy new track. Once we got it figured out, we were able to string together some solid runs, stay consistent and make it to the top step. I want to thank my crew, family, friends and Achilles Radial – I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of everybody. This has been a great weekend and we’re stoked for the next round in Texas,” said Reeder.

NEXT ROUND

Round Seven of the 2018 Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship and Round Three of the Formula DRIFT Link Pro 2 Championship take place in Dallas, TX on September 14-15. Visit formulad.com for event details, ticket purchases, driver profiles and Livestream information.

2018 FORMULA DRIFT PRO CHAMPIONSHIP

Top 16 Pro Category finishing places from FD St Louis

To view all the Pro Category finishers: formulad.com/results/2018/st-louis/pro

Top Five Pro Category Championship standings after six rounds

To view the 2018 Pro Championship standings: formulad.com/standings/2018/pro

Top 16 Pro 2 Category finishing places from FD St Louis

To view all the Pro 2 Category finishers: formulad.com/results/2018/st-louis/pro2

Top Five Pro 2 Category Championship standings after two rounds

To view the 2018 Pro 2 Championship standings: formulad.com/results/2018/st-louis/pro2

Top five Auto Cup standings after six rounds

To view the 2018 Auto Cup standings: formulad.com/standings/2018/pro

Tire Cup standings after six rounds

To view the 2018 Tire Cup standings: formulad.com/standings/2018/pro

Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2018/fd-news/formula-drift-takes-the-pro-and-pro-2-categories-to-the-new-st-louis-round-for-its-action-packed-return-to-the-mid-west/


Papadakis Racing takes victory in St. Louis

Top qualifier and event winner Fredric Aasbo scores maximum points

ST. LOUIS, Missouri (August 13, 2018) – Fredric Aasbo dominated the sixth round of the Formula Drift championship this weekend earning his second victory of the season. The Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback driver earned the maximum possible points as the championship heads into its last two rounds.

“From the outside, a result like this can look like smooth sailing, but behind the scenes everyone was working really hard to be competitive at this new track,” said Aasbo. “We were adding more grip every round and learning from each battle. To come away with maximum points feels absolutely amazing.”

Aasbo immediately threw down the gauntlet at the Gateway Motorsports Park, qualifying first overall on Friday to earn a bye through to the Top 16, where he faced down Jhonnattan Castro.

“I wasn’t sure that battle would go our way,” said Aasbo. “We realized we had some more work to do after that and we pushed our setup into uncharted territory to get more speed out of the car.”

The Gateway Motorsports Park sits just outside St. Louis, Missouri, and is a new addition to the Formula Drift series. A flat, fast road course, it quickly became clear that power and speed would be critical in the hunt for victory.

“You need a lot of grip to put down the power and carry good speed,” said Stephan Papadakis, team owner. “At this track, that was the difference between pulling away on a lead run or losing ground during a chase. We had to work fast to dial in the car.”

After advancing past Castro to the Great 8, Aasbo beat out Chris Forsberg to move into the Final 4. There, he met Piotr Wiecek, who proved a formidable rival.

Fans were on their feet as Aasbo and Wiecek pushed the limits through six head-to-head matches. Judges were undecided through two one-more-time calls before they finally awarded the round to the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback in an unanimous decision.

“We lowered the tire pressure again before the second One More Time,” said Papadakis. “In that sort of situation, you have to do everything you can. You risk debeading the tire, but you can gain grip and speed. The Nexen tires performed really well, Fredric kept his lines clean, and it worked in our favor.”

In the Final, Aasbo faced Matt Field. During Aasbo’s lead run, Field made an error and made contact with the back of Aasbo’s car before running wide off the track. Judges confirmed Field was at fault for the clash and all it took was for Aasbo to put in a clean chase to come away with the victory.

The win was an important one for the team. Championship leader James Deane had been pulling away from the field, but a blown motor during the Great 8 opened the door for a renewed points battle as the season heads into its final two rounds. With both the best qualifying run and event victory, Aasbo took maximum points this weekend and is now within 30 points of the leader.

The battle resumes in Dallas, Texas, September 14-15 and concludes a month later at Irwindale Speedway in Southern California.

Formula Drift enjoys a dedicated and engaged audience with sell-out crowds all season long. Grandstands at the new St. Louis event were packed by early Saturday, with fans clamoring to get close to the action from the first moment cars hit the track. This season, each livestream broadcast is averaging more than two million viewers.

Drifting is a high-skill, high-powered motorsport with an emphasis on car control. In the Formula Drift series, drivers compete in knockout heats on a closed course, sliding sideways in trials judged on speed and style. With origins in Japan, it is one of the fastest growing forms of motorsport in the world. An average of 2 million fans from around the world watched the popular live stream coverage from each round of the 2018 season. Broadcast coverage on the CBS Sports Network headlines packaged content that includes social channels Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.


The Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback takes victory at the new Formula Drift venue in St. Louis (PHOTO: Larry Chen/Toyota Racing).

Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2018/fd-news/papadakis-racing-takes-victory-in-st-louis/



Papadakis Racing reveals Corolla Hatchback build in new video

HAWTHORNE, California (August 7, 2018) — Papadakis Racing is offering a glimpse under the hood of their 1,000 horsepower Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback. A new video showing their 2018 competition build dropped Tuesday morning as the team prepares for a Formula Drift stop in St. Louis with driver Fredric Aasbo this Friday and Saturday.

The latest video to hit the Papadakis Racing YouTube channel documents the extensive four-month Formula Drift build as the team transformed a stock, front-wheel drive Toyota Corolla hatchback into a championship ready rear-wheel drive, 1,000 horsepower competition machine.

WATCH AND SHARE THE VIDEO: https://youtu.be/a4xmry2sn8M

Featured in the video are team owner and noted innovator Stephan Papadakis, champion driver Fredric Aasbo, team technicians “Shaldo” (Shawn Hillier and Aldo Villagran), Georgheinz Rios, designer Jon Sibal and Chris Woodward from TRD.

The video was produced by Attain Media, with video contribution from DC Chavez.

Aasbo is currently second in the series championship. The Formula Drift series travels to Gateway Motorsports Park this weekend for the first time for a competition dubbed “The Crossroads.” Competition opens Friday with Pro qualifying starting midday followed by Pro2 competition. The on-track action resumes Saturday at 11 a.m. and runs through 8 p.m.


The Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback
under development at Papadakis Racing, beside the 2018 team vehicle.

Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2018/fd-news/papadakis-racing-reveals-corolla-hatchback-build-in-new-video/


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