The guys and gals at Live Sockets Entertainment got a hold of Formula D drifter Dai Yoshihara for a behind the scenes look at round 1 competition at the Streets of Long Beach. In the video Dai talks a little bit about his new ride for ’09 the Discount Tires Lexus IS 350, powered by a V8. Check out the video after the jump as we ride along with Dai during a practice run. Notice has calm and collected he is sliding the car sideways at 80 MPH. Round 2 of the Formula Drift series will take place at the Proving Ground on May 8 and 9 at the Road Atlanta Raceway.
The Rockstar/AEM Scion tC and driver Tanner Foust are off to a good start with a podium finish at its competition debut at the Streets of Long Beach where it competes in the Formula Drift Championship. The tC was built by drag racing legend Steph Papadakis, and thanks to TRD’s NASCAR efforts is powered by an Ed Pink 700 HP V8.
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.
How do you get a Scion TC to drift? Put a TRD spec NASCAR V8 in the hands of record setting drag racer Steph Papadakis and place Formula D Champion Tanner Foust behind the wheel. This combination of Papadakis as team owner and Foust as driver will be competing in the 2009 Formula D series.
The American drifting championship, Formula DRIFT, through their Pro-Am system, has been offering amateur drifters the opportunity to ride along side the big boys over the past three years with a program similar to D1 Underground.
Taking the program to a new level, Formula D has teamed up with the most experienced regional, grassroots and amateur organizations across the U.S. in search of the future stars of the sport. Taking place during Formula D competition weekends or Hot Import Nights, together with partners like Drift Mania and Just Drift, amateur drifters will have the opportunity to rise up the ranks of Formula D.
Licenses will be automatically awarded to winners of the regional amateur events. These licensed drifters will then have the chance to qualify for the Pro-Am Nationals held near the end of the Formula D season. Drifters Justin Pawlak, “Wild” Bill Sherman, John Russakoff and Joon Maeng are just a few of the Formula DRIFT regulars that rose up through the Pro-Am circuit.
Drifting champion Katsuhiro Ueo caused quite a bit of controversy when he entered the Red Bull World Drift Championships last year in a red Silvia. That is because D1, the original professional drifting league, bans their drivers from competing in other drifting championships and is also the explanation for the lack of D1 professionals at the event.
Ueo was not drifting his signature white AE-86 Toyota Corolla at the competition in Long Beach, the car he won the 2002 D1GP championship with, instead Ueo was behind the wheel of an S15 Silvia, the same Nissan that won the 2005 D1GP Championship with the help of Yasuyuki Kazama.
Ueo has abandoned his hachi-roku for good. The drifter will be competing in this year’s Formula DRIFT Championship piloting the same red Driftspeed Silvia that he drove in the Red Bull WDC. Ueo is well known for getting the most out of lightweight vehicles, perhaps with a little extra power from the turbocharged SR20 Katsuhiro will become a champion once again.
A new partnership has been forged between Formula DRIFT and Universal Technical Institute. With it the technical college will be recognized as “The Official Technical School of Formula DRIFT.”
The goal is to provide enthusiasts with the right education in order to become a hands-on member of a team and eventually work their way up to becoming a race team manager, or even the knowledge to manage their own shop.
A Pre-season Tech and Preview day has been scheduled on April 4th at UTI’s campus in Rancho Cucamonga, California. The event will give students the opportunity to witness the tech inspection for the first round of Formula D competition that will take place on April 10th at the Streets of Long Beach. The event also offers the students a unique opportunity to come face to face with Formula D teams.
Traditionally for drivers in the Formula D series the biggest hurdle, aside from keeping the car together, was to qualify in the top 16 for an event and be able to battle in that particular round of competition. The governing body of the series, the Formula Drift Association, has announced that for the 2009 season they will be accepting 32 drivers into tandem competition. This is where drivers take turns leading and following in an attempt to out-drift their opponent. For the teams this means one more round of abuse for their vehicle to endure; for the fans this means twice as much tandem action per event.