Hot on the heels of the most thrilling Formula DRIFT Finals in the series’ 15-year history the organizers held their annual Awards ceremony last weekend. It gives them a chance to honor the top drivers, newcomers, fan favorites and the people who play an important part behind the scenes.

The 2018 Awards banquet includes categories for the Formula DRIFT Pro and Pro 2 categories, plus a special series of awards that bring to an end the FDXV celebrations.

Formula DRIFT also wants to thank all the drivers, teams, support staff, media and fans for supporting the series throughout the year but here are some of the outstanding performances:

2018 FD PRO AWARDS

2018 FORMULA DRIFT BLACK MAGIC PRO CHAMPIONSHIP

Silverware was presented to champion James Deane, with Fredric Aasbo in Second and Piotr Wiecek in third

AUTO MANUFACTURER’S CUP

The prize went to Toyota for amassing a significant points lead over nearest challenger, Ford

TIRE MANUFACTURER’S CUP

This was collected by Falken, which also had a healthy points lead

FAN FAVORITE DRIVER

The public vote went to James Deane

FAN FAVORITE CAR

The public chose the Ford Mustang RTR driven by Chelsea Denofa

TOP QUALIFIER OF THE YEAR

Awarded to James Deane as the driver with the highest average qualifying position

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Won by Dirk Stratton who beat Matt Vankirk to the title by two points

BEST DRIFTING STYLE

Forrest Wang was voted the driver with the best style throughout the 2018 season

HARDEST CHARGER

Awarded to Chelsea Denofa for being the driver who fully committed to every run in every battle throughout the season

TAKEDOWN OF THE YEAR

This award recognizes the driver who faced and beat the largest number of different of competitors during the season and was awarded to Piotr Wiecek

MOST IMPROVED DRIVER OF THE YEAR

Given to Matt Field, who finished 17th in 2017 and rose to 7th in 2018

COMEBACK OF THE YEAR

Recognizing the biggest jump from the driver’s qualifying position to finishing result, it was won by Matt Coffman at FD Seattle where he qualified 22nd and finished 8th

PERFECT EVENT AWARD

This award went to Fredric Aasbo who qualified first and won the FD St Louis event

SPIRIT OF DRIFTING

Michael Essa was voted the driver who best represented the sport of Drifting during 2018 with his tenacity, professionalism, and positivity. He also takes time to mentor and help up-and-coming drivers

GIVING BACK AWARD

Daijiro Yoshihara was recognized as somebody in the Series who gave back to the community and/or to a cause in a significant and impactful way in 2018. In this case, Dai has made continuous efforts to raise funds for the Japanese Red Cross since the earthquake and tsunami in Sendai, Japan

SPECIAL RECOGNITION

Chris Forsberg was recognized for being the first driver to surpass 200 wins in head-to-head FD battles. He’s also the most successful driver in the series with three championship titles in 2009, 2014 and 2016. He also has the most podiums to date and is the only driver to have competed in every round of Formula DRIFT from day one

SPOTTER OF THE YEAR

Voted for by FD hardcard holders, Amy Bakchis won this accolade for assisting husband Odi at each round in addition to co-managing the team and their business, Feal Suspension. She does all this while being a mother and is expecting their second child next spring

CREW MEMBER OF THE YEAR

Stan Williams from Justin Pawlak Racing has been in the series for many years and was awarded the prize by his fellow hardcard holders

CREW CHIEF OF THE YEAR

This went to Garrett Nikolich from Forrest Wang’s Get Nuts Lab. He was instrumental in enabling Forrest and the team to make a strong comeback in the series after a one-year absence

TEAM MANAGER OF THE YEAR

The ever-popular Stephan Papadakis from Papadakis Racing is the most successful team manager and car builder in FD history, working with both Tanner Foust and now Fredric Aasbo. His team debuted a completely new Toyota Corolla in 2018, finishing second in the championship by only four points, which is the closest margin in FD history. It also made a significant contribution to Toyota’s first place in the Auto Manufacturer’s Cup

2018 FD PRO 2 AWARDS

2018 FORMULA DRIFT LINK ECU PRO2 CHAMPIONSHIP

The trophies were presented to champion Travis Reeder, with Dylan Hughes in Second and Sebastien Gauthier in third

FAN FAVORITE DRIVER

The public voted for Dylan Hughes

FAN FAVORITE CAR

The public chose the Nissan 350Z driven by Alec Robbins

TOP QUALIFIER OF THE YEAR

There was actually a three-way tie for this awards so the judges defaulted to most recent round at FD Irwindale and the winner was Brandon Schmidt

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

Sebastien Gauthier finished third overall in Pro 2 and became the top rookie driver

MOST IMPROVED OF THE YEAR

This went to Crick Filippi, who finished 21st in 2017 and rose to 6th in 2018

COMEBACK OF THE YEAR

Recognizing the biggest jump from the driver’s qualifying position to finishing result, it was awarded to Travis Reeder at FD St Louis where he qualified 14th and won the event

FDXV AWARDS

To celebrate its 15th year, Formula DRIFT recognized the people who had been with the series since the beginning

Kenshiro Gushi – Driver

Daijiro Yoshihara – Driver

Vaughn Gittin Jr – Driver

Chris Forsberg – Driver

Andy Yen – Driver and Judge

Bryan Olfert – FD employee and currently Sponsorship Manager

Andy Luk – FD employee and currently Operations Director

Jarod DeAnda – FD announcer

Falken Tires – Series sponsor

Article source: http://news.formulad.com/2018/fd-news/annual-formula-drift-awards-recognize-the-top-achievers-in-the-sport/