The Formula D season got underway last weekend at the Streets of Long Beach. There was plenty of sideways action and a new face atop the podium. The 2008 Formula D driver of the year Ryan Tuerk was able to slide his Pontiac Solstice into first place at the inaugural event of the season.
Continued after the jump.
Drifting is a unique form of motorsport and brings out even more unique creations. There were Hachi Rokus with Silvia front ends and turbocharged SR20 powerplants. Nissan Silvias with 350Z sourced VQ35s, Nissan 350Z s with turbocharged V8s and a Mazda RX-7 with a Toyota Supra turbo 2JZ engine. Quite possibly the most Frankenstein inspired creations are the rear wheel drive Scions powered by everything from a TRD built NASCAR V8 to JDM turbocharged 4 cylinder engines.
Making their competition debuts at the Streets of Long Beach were the Scion TCs of Tanner Foust and Ken Gushi. The RSR built TC was sporting a new silver paintjob highlighted by some neon green Gram Light rims that was very different from the usual red and white paint scheme traditionally associated with the RSR drift cars. Rhys Millen made an appearance in his new Hyundai Genesis Drift Coupe . The only American to win a D1 grand prix, Vaughn Gittin Jr. brought out a 2010 Ford Mustang in the familiar green and blue Falken colors. Unfortunately for Mopar enthusiasts, Samuel Hubinette was supposed to debut the Challenger Drift car , but due to unseen circumstances was forced to compete in his tried and true Viper SRT-10 . Unfortunately for Mopar fans the Crazy Swede will still be behind the wheel of the championship winning 10 cylinder at the next round of competition at Road Atlanta on May 8 only a few weeks from today.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Street Course has been around since 1977. Highlighted by IndyCar, American Le Mans Series, The Toyota Pro/Celebrity race, Speed GT, and now Formula DRIFT.
Formula DRIFT is now it’s 4th straight year at the infamous Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Street Course and has expanded to have their own event one week prior to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The annual Team Drift event will follow the following weekend during the Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 17-19.
Utilizing Turns 9, 10, and 11 on the famous Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Street Course, Formula DRIFT slides its way on the only actual street course utilized for drifting. With a high-speed entry and very tight spacing between the cars and walls, there is no room for mistakes, making the opening round of the Formula DRIFT season one of the most exciting drift events of the year.
The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Street Course is the only track on the circuit that is held on the actual city streets making it a very unique venue. The event features: a huge vendor village, give-aways, driver autograph sessions, the Jtuned AutoGallery car show, RC Drift Car competition, Open Pits to see the cars and stars up close and personal, and much much more!
Round 1: Streets of Long Beach will kick-off the 2009 Professional Championship season in style with new cars, new drivers, and all the sideways excitement that Formula DRIFT is known for. Defending back-to-back champion Tanner Foust returns to defend his title with a new vehicle platform against Formula DRIFT champion, World Champion, and Tires.com Triple Crown Champion Rhys Millen also on a new driving platform. 2-time Formula DRIFT champion Samuel “the crazy Swede” returns with a brand new 2010 Dodge Challenger and Drift Alliance member Vaughn Gittin, Jr. will be representing Ford with a 2010 Ford Mustang GT! Chris Forsberg will be back with the same car that helped him win the event last year, only this time with some new modifications.
Photos courtesy of Max Fonts.