Formula D: The American Way of Drift

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The driftsport is becoming more and more popular and this happened especially because of the Japan tuning community. Its no wonder that the discipline of the controlled sideways driving is not only spectacular to watch, it is also possible to practice it without so high financial outlay. So that’s the big difference to race track motorsports.

While the best German and European Drifters of the Pro-class of the International Drift Series compete against each other, the Japanese series “D1 Professional Drift Grand Prix Series” and the American series “Formula Drift” are considered as royal classes of the driftsport. Since many years the Formula Drift pilots fascinate a lot of fans in the USA and also all over the world the fans sit in front of the Tv to watch the US-boys drifting. Mostly the European fans have to watch the spectacle to non-Christian times and so they have to be awake the whole night. Many requests were received by Maximum Tuner to report on this series.

Your wish is our command! Our photographer Lisa Linke – also known as the main photographer of the Internationals Drift Series – visited the final run of the Formula Drift, which took place on 7th and 8th October 2011 on the Toyota Speedway in Irwindale. So she brought home a lot of spectacular pictures from the US-state California.

Also in the last event of the season the Formula Drift drivers had to prevail against the competitive to take home the desirable title. In contrast to the European event s the Formula-D final just started in the afternoon and lasted into the night. In the completely illuminated oval of the “house of drift” a large grandstand provided space for thousands of fans. The volume of the drift cars was, different than in Germany, no problem and so the spectators could look forward to an action-packed event full of smoke and engine noises. On the first day of the event the gates for the numerous visitors opened around midday. The fans were very excited to watch the first training runs.And also in the paddock there was a lot going: In addition to the teams, which bolted to their cars, several products were presented and also hot Grid Girls were not missing on such an event. While the sun finally went down, the drivers started their engines for the qualifying.

After many exciting runs, Samuel Huebinette made it with his Dodge Challenger on the 1st place. Also the Falken team was forefront: Justin Pawlak (Ford Mustang) occupied the 2nd place and place number 3 went to Tyler McQuairre with his Nissan 350Z.

Up to this point in time it was not sure who would be the Formula Drift Champion 2011 and so it was the most exciting Championship in the history of the series. Some drifters were so close together with their points so that everything was still open.

On the final day all 32 drivers made their drift-weapons ready for the battle of the points. Not everyone hat luck with his car and like in other driftseries, the drivers spend most of the time in the paddock to prepare their drift monsters for the runs. Also Vaughn Gittin Jr had problems with the engine so that his mechanics had to make a night shift. So they were able to replace the broken engine of the Monster Energy / Falken Tire Mustang.

The Battles of the top 16 were more exciting than ever and after the best drivers won their places, under thunderous applause each of them presented themselves to the audience.

To the surprise of everyone the competition for the favorite Daijiro Yoshihara (Nissan 240SX) ended sooner than expected. So he had to wait next to the track for a defeat of the other drifters. The luck was on his side and so during the top 8 battles his rival Justin Pawlak collided with the wall.

Also Chris Forsberg also had bad luck and collided with his Nissan 370Z with the infamous wall. So the winner was clear: Daijiro Yoshiara is the Formula Drift Champion 2011. Tyler McQuairre took the stage win in his 790 hp Falken-Nissan 350Z. 2nd place went to Rhys Millen (Hyundai Genesis Coupé) and Chris Forsberg landed, although he had a bad crash, on the 3rd place.

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