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2017 Achilles Radial Formula DRIFT Team Announcement

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2017 Achilles Radial Formula DRIFT Team Announcement

IRVINE, CALIF., March 22, 2017 – Achilles Tires USA


Achilles Radial is pleased to announce that the major sponsor partnership with Formula DRIFT USA continues in 2017, with a full roster of drivers competing in both PRO and PRO2 classes.  “Formula DRIFT has been a wonderful partner for our brand in the US and throughout the world,” said Cheralyn Hale, Director of Marketing.  We are excited to get back to the track and watch our awesome Team Achilles drivers burn up a lot of our 123S tires.” Achilles Radial is proud to announce the roster of talented drivers that will compete on Achilles Radial tires in Formula DRIFT USA during the 2017 season. 

PRO Series
Michael Essa
Robbie Nishida
Kristaps Bluss
Dean Kearney
Charles Ng

PRO2 Series
Andy Hateley
Austin Meeks
Bear Rzesnowiecky
Blake Olsen
Brandon Schmidt
Chris Johnson
Dirk Stratton
Donovan Brockway
Hooman Rahimi
Kelsey Rowlings
Kevin Phillips
Luis Lizardi
Randall Waters

You can see Team Achilles PRO compete at the 2017 Formula DRIFT season opener in Long Beach, California on March 31st and April 1st and PRO2 at Formula DRIFT Orlando, Florida on April 28th and 29th.  For more information on Formula DRIFT, visit www.formulad.com.

Formula Drift Pro/Am Contingency Program

Drivers who actively take part in the AMS Racer Support Program and compete in an approved US and Canada Formula DRIFT licensing series are eligible for the following contingency payout for the 2017 season:

1st Place  $200.00 Achilles Bucks
2nd Place $100.00 Achilles Bucks
3rd Place  $50.00 Achilles Bucks

Achilles bucks can be used to purchase motorsports tires from Achilles Tires USA, Inc.

Please contact Cheralyn Hale, Director of Marketing, at marketing@achillestiresusa.com with any questions about the racer support program and to receive guidelines for the contingency program.

For more information about Achilles Radial, please visit www.achillestiresusa.com and like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/achillestire or follow us on Instagram @achillestire.


Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2017/behind-the-scenes/2017-achilles-radial-formula-drift-team-announcement/

RTR Motorsports Announces 2017 Formula Drift Team with Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Chelsea DeNofa as Second Driver in new Ford Mustang RTR



CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA, MARCH 20, 2017 — Coming off a strong 2016 Formula Drift season, in which Vaughn Gittin Jr. finished third in the championship with two victories and four first place qualifiers, RTR Motorsports is pleased to announce a dual car campaign for the 2017 season. Chelsea DeNofa, winner of last year’s Formula Drift Streets of Long Beach, will be joining the team alongside Vaughn in a brand new 2017 Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D. Vaughn’s car features an updated look breaking away from a traditional theme, instead focusing on his personal style mixed with varying degrees of design: mixed paint, vinyl, gloss, satin, matte, and a few special tricks to achieve a livery that is both simple and complex.

 “2016 was an amazing year for myself and our team,” said Vaughn. “We battled for the championship all year and had a lot of hard-fought battles, some great event wins, and a 3rd overall finish. This year we’re coming back stronger than ever with a two car team with Chelsea [DeNofa] manning the wheel of the BC Racing Nitto Tire Mustang RTR Spec 5-D. He’s an incredible driver, and a fellow Fun-Haver, who I’ve have had some serious battles with on the track. His aggressive driving style and never give up attitude makes him a perfect addition to the team. The entire team cannot wait to get to Long Beach for round one!”

 Chelsea is an ambitious and skilled wheelman who has excelled in several forms of road racing, stunt driving, and has had success in drifting across the globe, making him an obvious choice as a second team driver. Paired with the fact that Chelsea is an authentic, influential, and respected voice in the sport, the partnership was only natural for RTR Motorsports as it looks to expand with the 28-year-old veteran.

“Becoming a part of RTR Motorsports is not only an amazing feeling, but extremely rewarding,” said Chelsea. “Racers set goals in their careers and one of mine was joining—what I believe to be—the best team in Formula Drift. It is a dream come true and I am ready to live it!”

Both the Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D driven by Vaughn and BC Racing Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D driven by Chelsea are powered by brand new Ford Performance/Roush Yates Engines RY45 motors, producing 2,000 combined horsepower with a 9,000-rpm redline. The RY45 builds on the continued relationship with Ford Performance and Roush Yates in developing competition based motors specifically for the RTR Motorsports Formula Drift program. A proprietary BC Racing coilover suspension system allows both Vaughn and Chelsea to perfectly tune the dynamics of their RTRs, with sticky Nitto NT05s putting all that power to the ground.

To see more of Vaughn and Chelsea in their Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-Ds, be sure to catch them as they make their 2017 RTR Motorsports racing debut during the first round of the Formula Drift series in the Streets of Long Beach event on April 1st. Make sure to use the following hashtags: #BroStangs and #TeamRTR to follow both drivers during the season.

The street legal version of the RTR Spec 5-D, the Mustang RTR Spec 1 and Spec 2, are available now at select Ford Dealers and MustangRTR.com offering modern aggressive styling, track-proven suspension, and 50-state legal performance enhancements for the Ford Mustang.

For more information or to be added to the RTR Motorsports mailing list contact: michael@mustangrtr.com

 ABOUT RTR MOTORSPORTS: RTR Motorsports is the motorsport division of the Mustang RTR lifestyle brand. RTR Motorsports engineers and develops competition vehicles for professional motorsports all over the world in a variety of different racing series. RTR Motorsports builds, campaigns, and is the official race team for the Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D driven by Vaughn Gittin Jr. and BC Racing Coilovers Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D driven by Chelsea DeNofa. RTR Motorsports was founded and is owned by World Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr.

Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2017/behind-the-scenes/rtr-motorsports-announces-2017-formula-drift-team-with-vaughn-gittin-jr-and-chelsea-denofa-as-second-driver-in-new-ford-mustang-rtr/

Vaughn Gittin JR and Chelsea DeNofa Team Up for the 2017 Formula DRIFT Season

As we approach Round 1 of the 2017 Formula DRIFT season in just a couple weeks, it looks like this relatively slow off season may finally start getting a lot more announcements between now and then. Kicking this Monday off is 2010 Formula DRIFT Champion Vaughn Gittin JR and his RTR Motorsports team officially announcing the addition of Chelsea DeNofa as a teammate. DeNofa will be in a brand new 2017 Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D while Gittin will return in his Mustang RTR with an updated look.

Both the Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D driven by Vaughn and BC Racing Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D driven by Chelsea are powered by brand new Ford Performance/Roush Yates Engines RY45 motors, producing 2,000 combined horsepower with a 9,000-rpm redline. The RY45 builds on the continued relationship with Ford Performance and Roush Yates in developing competition based motors specifically for the RTR Motorsports Formula Drift program. A proprietary BC Racing coilover suspension system allows both Vaughn and Chelsea to perfectly tune the dynamics of their RTRs, with sticky Nitto NT05s putting all that power to the ground.



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Article source: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/blog/2017/03/20/vaughn-gittin-jr-and-chelsea-denofa-team-up-for-the-2017-formula-drift-season/

Formula DRIFT Signs NOS Energy Drink as Official Energy Drink



Long Beach, Calif. – January 26, 2017– The Black Magic Formula DRIFT Pro Championship presented by BlackVue announces a multi-year agreement with NOS Energy Drink as the “Official Energy Drink” of the Series.

“We are excited to welcome the NOS brand to the Formula DRIFT family,” said Ryan Sage, Vice-President of Formula DRIFT. “We see this sponsorship as a great fit and we are enthusiastic about the opportunities for both parties in the future.”

NOS’ sponsorship of the Series will begin with the 2017 season and will continue for multiple years. NOS Energy Drink is also the title sponsor for 3-time and current Formula DRIFT champion, Chris Forsberg. The sponsorship will include NOS branding, activation, and more beginning at Round 1: Streets of Long Beach in April 2017.

“When it comes to brute speed, smoke and lock-to-lock counter steer showmanship, there is no other form of motorsport on Earth like Formula DRIFT,” said Lauren Albano, Senior Brand Manager of NOS Energy Drink. “And NOS Energy Drink has been there right from the beginning. Just like the sport itself, NOS Energy Drink was born out of brute horsepower, fierce competition and a pedal to the metal desire to win, and we proved this in 2016 when Chris Forsberg – the very first athlete to ever join the NOS Energy Drink family – powered to his third Formula DRIFT championship. A decade in the making, it doesn’t get any more competition proven than NOS Energy Drink, Chris Forsberg and Formula DRIFT. We are proud to be partnering once again with FD as the Official Energy Drink of Formula DRIFT. Looking forward to the 2017 season!”

For more information visit, www.formulad.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram @formulad, Facebook www.facebook.com/formuladrift, Twitter @FormulaD, and Snapchat – formula_drift. Tune into Formula DRIFT on CBS Sports and check your local listings for airtimes.

Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2017/fd-news/formula-drift-signs-nos-energy-drink-as-official-energy-drink/

The New Team That’s About To Shake Up FD


Since the announcement late last year that James Deane and Piotr Wieçek would tackle the 2017 Formula D championship, details of the newest team on the grid have been kept under wraps. Speculation has been rife, but both drivers have remained quiet on any rumours sent their way, and there’s been a good reason for this.

It’s not been out of ignorance or some sort of superiority complex, but rather that they’ve waited until everything has been set in stone before announcing the next part of their 2017 campaign: their cars. And as you’ve already seen both above and below, Deane and Wieçek will be campaigning two almost identical Nissan Silvia S15s as part of the newly formed Worthouse Drift Team.



Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2017/behind-the-scenes/the-new-team-thats-about-to-shake-up-fd/

Thursday Night DRIFT at Irwindale Speedway | February 23, 2017

February 23rd TND

Each of the monthly Thursday night sessions will start with a (public invited) technical inspection for the competition vehicles at 4:00PM and drift practice will run flat out from 5:00PM to 9:00PM. The fan gates open at 4PM and there’s plenty of close-free parking.

Open to the public (fans can watch from the stands and visit the pits as well) admission is only $10 per person. These will be nights when fans can see some of the best of the best getting tuned-up for the 2017 season as well as catching the acts of some of new, upcoming Drift talent as they test their driving skills and machines against the established pros.

Anyone can run their properly-equipped* car for $75 and they can register right at the track on Thursday night.

Thursday Night Drift one sheet 2017

Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2017/behind-the-scenes/thursday-night-drift-at-irwindale-speedway-february-23-2017/

Irish Drift Championship Boss Talks State of Drifting in Ireland


Ireland is a small country in the North Atlantic Ocean with a small population of 4,500,000 people (same population as Louisana or Kentucky) for a comparison. I visited Ireland for the first time in November for a 62 hours and got a quick feel of the country. It is really amazing how powerful and impactful the drift scene has grown on this little island compared to America or mainland Europe (more Eastern). IDC is an amazing series that produces a large talent pool of drifters (James Deane who is arriving in Formula Drift for 2017). With that being said, I found the article written by IDC bossman David Egan. Here is an excerpt I found interesting and you can follow the link below this quote and read his full write up.

“Firstly, 95% of the general population have no idea what drifting is or have a complete misconception. This is actually a good thing in many ways. That means that only 5% are making the decision to attend or not and the sport has not been rejected by the masses. Therefore our simple and significant task should be to give a much higher percentage of people the option. The fact that we are seeing attendances of over 10,000 at certain events, from 5% of the drift-educated population, is a good indication that the potential for mainstream success is there. For 2017, we have redesigned our marketing strategy to include numerous crossovers with other motor-sports, sports, celebrities and events. We are planning on attending over 20 non-drift related events to promote the championships and perform demonstrations. Our in-house media team have partnered with numerous magazines and online blogs, both nationally and internationally, providing in-depth reports and reviews on all events. We aim to produce over 180 videos and 4 documentaries during the season and have constant behind-the-scenes content streaming online. Our improved free live-stream service can be viewed on any device and will rival conventional TV broadcasts in terms of quality and production.”


Source/Read More: http://www.idcnation.com/2017/01/25/state-drift-nation/

Article source: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/blog/2017/01/26/irish-drift-championship-boss-talks-state-of-drifting-in-ireland/

Baltic Drifting Seminar


Last week I traveled to Riga, Latvia, to speak to some of the Baltic region’s drifting organizers, drivers, judges and some people that will hopefully step up and become new judges in the near future. For those that aren’t aware, the Baltic region is comprised of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, which are all nestled together on Russia’s Western border just North of Belarus and Poland. Approximately 60 people were in attendance, which impressed me immensely as most had to drive between 1-3 hours to attend and they stayed until the very end, asking questions and offering different points of view throughout the night.baltic

I was invited by Eline Berke, Head of the Latvian Automobile Federation Drifting Working Group, to give a training seminar of sorts. Her plan was to educate the event organizers and judges to the Western judging methods espoused by Formula Drift, with the goal of convincing everyone involved to a
dopt these methods so the entire Baltic region would be on the same page when it comes to judging. Currently their technical regulations are all very similar, which means a car that is approved to compete in one country can compete in all 3 without any issue, but the disparity in judging regulations has Eline feeling uneasy.

To understand what their concerns are, first I’ll need to break down the major differences between the 2 judging systems.

From what I gathered, the traditional European judging format is as follows:

  • Line 30 points
  • Angle 30 points
  • Speed 30 points
  • Impact 10 points

While in Formula Drift we use:

  • Line 35 points
  • Angle 35 points
  • Style 30 points

The first thing you’ll notice is they still use speed as a major portion of the overall score. When I probed a little further about their speed points, I received different answers, as some organizations use a speed gun, some use the judge’s eyes to look for a driver maintaining pace throughout the course, and I also heard that some will combine both in a 10/20 ratio to come up with the 30 point total. To be honest, multiple Formula Drift drivers tell us a few times per season that they would like to see speed come back as part of the judging criteria, but everyone within the organization has the same question for them when they bring it up: what happens when it rains? To be more specific, what happens when it starts to rain part way through a qualifying session? Or when it starts out raining, then stops 30 minutes in and the track dries up? When either case happens we end up with part of the field driving on a very wet track, another part driving on a dry track, and some in between. It is impossible at that point to apply a standard points-per-MPH system, as nobody is driving in the same conditions, and all of the speeds would then have to be thrown out. If there’s a possibility we have to throw points out due to weather, there’s no sense in utilizing that system in the first place, so we don’t. I made these arguments during my talk and got a few nods of approval.

Another one of my arguments against using speed as a judging parameter is that promoting the highest speeds possible in any area of the track leads to sloppy driving. If we set the judged speed area at initiation, lead cars have even more incentive to try to get away from the chase car to set a new top speed. Same goes for any other part of the track, as the lead car will lower their angle in an attempt to increase their speed in a game of risk versus reward, maximizing their speed points gain while hoping to minimize their angle points loss.

I asked everyone a simple question: what is more important, clocking a high speed from a couple of drivers, or good tandem all around? I think that our main goal is to promote close tandems over all else (except safety of course). I would say that everyone would rather see cars door to door at 90MPH than a car apart at 95MPH. The speed they’re driving isn’t as important as how close they are to each other, within a certain speed range of course. I’m not saying they should be driving 40MPH to stay close, but I think you get my point. My argument is if we aren’t concentrating on speed, drivers are free to concentrate on fulfilling their responsibilities in the lead and chase positions, and it’s those responsibilities, especially from the lead car, that allow for close, aggressive, nail-biting tandems. These cars already have ridiculous amounts of power, they’re going fast regardless, we’re just trying to give them the ability to get close and stay close. And as I pointed out to the group, part of the lead car’s responsibilities is maintaining pace throughout the course. If they don’t fulfill that goal, it will be held against them, as we’ve seen in the past in Formula Drift.


Another part of the Formula Drift scoring system that I spoke about is the Style portion. We break the 30 style points up like this:

Initiation 10 points

  • Early
  • Rate to Angle
  • Smoothness

Fluidity 10 points

  • High angle to high angle rotations
  • Smooth rotation
  • Car is settled and flows through the course

Commitment 10 points

  • Consistent throttle application
  • Maintaining pace throughout — using momentum to fill zones and width of course
  • Make it look dangerous — approach barriers and track edges with confidence

With this system, we cover all the ways a car moves in drift that is attributable to a driver’s personal style, and it rewards aggressive, smooth, confident driving as close as possible to  to things that could potentially destroy a car.

We spoke about using the chicane and strike system to ensure the chase car has a fair shake at initiating with the lead car. Without that ability, it’s very difficult to have any kind of tandem battles, as being behind at initiation is almost impossible to overcome throughout the rest of the run. Once the chase car is within proximity, he needs to know he can rely on the lead car to not play games or make mistakes that could cause him to lose that proximity. I explained the role the accel/decel map plays in giving the chase car the confidence to get close and stay close.  I also emphasized the importance of integrity during an event, from the judges calls to following the rulebook as written for all technical and procedural issues. Finally, we watched a few videos of some past local events so I could give my opinion of how a Formula Drift judge potentially would have called the battles. We had some good laughs and we discussed how using the Formula Drift judging system could have resulted in different outcomes for the drivers involved. Some more nods, hopefully nods of approval.


One thing Eline mentioned before the seminar is that they are in need of new judges throughout the Baltic region. I don’t think it’s much of a secret that it isn’t the easiest job, that those who are judges aren’t always the most popular people at an event and that it can be a very stressful position at the best of times. Hopefully adopting the Formula Drift judging system will give more ex-drivers in the region the desire to become judges, as it puts more emphasis on how the drivers are adhering to the judge’s requirements, and allows them to be more confident in their calls with everything they have at their disposal.

Overall it was a very productive 3 hours with a group of people that are clearly drifting enthusiasts and want to keep growing the sport in their respective countries and series. They showed their dedication to the sport and their desire for growth and improvement by making the trip to listen to me ramble on about a series half a world away, and as Eline said “It was a great experience for everyone involved and I expect it will help to recruit more new judges while making some skeptical people think more progressively. Hopefully it will help them go in the right direction with the judging systems in their Championships.”

Thanks to the entire group that participated and I hope to return to judge some more drifting in the region soon!


As a bonus, here are some Baltic Region Drift videos for your viewing pleasure:

And the ultimate insight into the Baltic drifting lifestyle, confusingly with some Americans as drivers:

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Article source: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/blog/2017/02/04/judge-ryan-goes-to-latvia/

Kenneth Moen Won’t Return to Formula Drift in 2017


Kenneth Moen has announced today that he is stepping away from Formula Drift for 2017. It sounds like he will be looking to sweep up the competition in Europe as James Deane arrives in America to battle in Formula Drift. My two most stand out Kenneth Moen moments were his podium at Homestead in 2014 and when he drove Sam Hubinette’s Dodge Challenger in 2011 at Wall Speedway. His insane and sometimes over the top wide open throttle style will be missed in Formula Drift for 2017.


But when I watch back I get goosebumps. Even if I had a small budget I was living the dream. I was doing what every drifter dream about. I was driving Formula Drift in America with the best drivers in the world. And even more important, I made some friends for the rest of my life. A huge thanks to everyone that helped me out on my way, friends, family, fans and sponsors. I wish everyone of my FD friends good luck in 2017, I will be watching you! Now it’s time for me to focus on Europe.

Article source: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/blog/2017/02/05/kenneth-moen-wont-return-to-formula-drift-in-2017/

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