Bad news everybody, this current economic situation has already taken a toll on the American automobile industry, dreams of a comeback for the GTO are gone, now there will never be another Firebird, but now you can chalk up a loss for Mopar fans as well, because the most powerful drift machine that was supposed to compete in Formula DRIFT never will.
We all know that the automobile industry isn’t doing too well due to the current economic climate. In an attempt to save whatever money they can, some manufacturers have shifted production away from sports cars while others have dropped their high performance divisions all together. The latest victim of these cutbacks is the sport of drifting. Due to their current fiscal situation, Mopar, Chrysler’s high performance division, has been forced to terminate their sponsorship and support of the “Crazy Swede” Samuel Hubinette and Shaun Carlson’s NuFormz Racing, the California based tuner responsible for the Mopar Drift Viper that was competing in the Formula D series here in the U.S.
It is a shame that Mopar would decide to cancel their drift program right as the season was getting started; especially because the team was running 4th in the points. Sam finished second at the opener in Long Beach and only made it to the round of 16 at Road Atlanta, but for the two-time Formula D Champion with 16 career wins, bouncing back to the top would not have been difficult.
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This is bad for the sport, the fact that major manufacturers are seeing no real benefit from participating in drifting events could cause other companies to do the same. Now more than ever, Formula DRIFT’s organizers need to make their series extremely attractive to automotive manufacturers, showing them that if you drift on Saturday you’ll sell on Sunday. So please don’t sell out on Monday.
The biggest let down is that now we will never get to see the Mopar Drift Challenger in action, the car was sidelined at The Streets of Long Beach, although they did bring it off the trailer it never had the opportunity to roast some B.F. Gs. Let’s just hope that Ford doesn’t decide to take away JR’s Mustang as well.