Formula Drift kicked off its 10th year on April 12st, 2013 at The Streets of Long Beach. Long Beach is FD’s first event of the series and utilizes turns 9-11 of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The unforgiving concrete lined course has been a challenge to all the drivers as it manages to end some of their weekend abruptly. Its a difficult track because the course uses the walls as clipping points, therefore drivers tend to cut them close in order to impress the judges and wow the crowds. Thick smoke combined with solid walls hasn’t appeared to be a good combination – but exciting.
Overcast and drizzle shadowed the day and kept the temperatures cool. A bit different from previous years when hydration and shade was a must. The weather was a treat to spectators and media partners alike.
2013 implemented a few new rules and modifications- one being the “Knock-out” style qualifying, which the top 16 qualifiers will lock themselves in their positions and the rest will have a 2nd run to fight for the remaining 17-32 spots (correct me if I misunderstood). Another rule is the modification to the “5-minute rule”, which is now called the “Competition Timeout.” The driver may call 5-minutes but MUST work on their car on the grid and no longer in the paddock. These changes will help speed up competition with lessen down time.
FD showed some promising rookies such as Forrest Wang with Get Nuts Laboratory. Forrest has probably one of the sickest S14’s in the field. The S14 is powered by a turbo’ed 2JZ. His style was clean and managed to muscle himself a 10th qualifying spot in his professional debut at Formula Drift. During top 32, Justin Pawlak ultimately pushed him out of the running and knocked him.
Top 32 went rather quick and ended much earlier than scheduled. which moved the smoke sniffers to visit the vendor booths and the Slammed Society car show hosted by Fatlace.
Slammed Society was busier than previous years. Fatlace was front center as you enter the event. Fatlace openly displayed their BenSopra GT-R, Rocket Bunny FR-S boosted by Vortech Superchargers, Yogi’s AirREX GS, and John’s Veloster.
Vortech Superchargers was also in attendance showing off their latest charged vehicles like the hot FR-S. Migels, Noel’s, and the company’s FR-S all showed different build styles and purposes. On the backside was Gene Tjin’s Lysholm Camaro, Joey Redmon’s 2013 Paxton charged Mustang, Jon Sibal’s Challenger using Vortech’s latest wrap-around system and Vortech’s in-house Challenger.
The Tjin Edition Ford Fusion also made an appearance.
AutoFashion‘s Kevin’s Trendy Vape FR-S looks totally hot in black and teal.
In the vendor area, Meng and Young of FRS-86 shared a booth with AEM. Meng’s Hot Lava FR-S was fronting MV Designz hot lip kit as his brother Young, had the Stillen lip kit.
Nissan Raceshop had our own DaYUUM Hunnie Katelin Southern signing posters to proud fans.
DaYUUM Hunnie Ashley Clark was slanging wares with OMGDrift.
Hunnie Amand Kerr a was with Drive Energy drinks promoting for their brand.
Also spotted in the vendor booths was Abe with Mishimoto carrying a radiator around his neck. Next time we would like to see radiator hoses or hose clamps as a form of a neckless. Abe, make that happen.
Brittani Paige was serving up drinks in NOS’ booth killing people with her smile and eyes.
Gina “ex-supervillain, bruenette, to white, to blue haired” Darling, was being goofy in DSPORT’s booth with cameras following her around for an upcoming show called Roll Models.
Randyl Dawn was patiently waiting for Falken’s photo booth glitch to clear up, so I snap a shot of her.
HPI Racing was near by displaying some of their sick R/C Cars, including Gitten’s Mustang and RTR Mustang from 2011’s SEMA Show.
The lovely Emma Rose was chilling with SSR, she always get an A+ on fashion points.
Melyssa Grace with her MelygRace Girls showing 143.
Trendy Vape / AutoFashion also had a booth displaying the latest in vapes and flavors. They even had solutions to customize your vapes with custom Trendy Vape wraps.
Unto the Top 16 was,
Dai Yoshihara, Matt Powers, Daigo Saito, Fredric Aasbo, Chelsea DeNofa, Kado, Moen, Odi Bakchis, McNamara, Chris Forseberg, Ryan Tuerck, Justin, Pawlak, Michael Essa, Ken Gushi, Vaugh Gittin, and Pat Mordaunt.
In the mist of the battles, Dai vs. Powers, as Dai advances.
Daigo-san vs Fredric was in an amazing battle. Two one-more-times as Fredric advances. Check out the close proximity by both drivers on their chase runs. It was one of the best battles to date. Daigo seems to always get into close battles. Last year at the House of Drift, he battled it out with Matt Powers in the same fashion.
Here is the first round with Daigo-san and Fredric.
Second Round… Daigo vs Fredric
Fredric takes the Win!
DeNofa vs Kado, DeNofa advances
Moen vs. Bakchis, Moen advances
McNamara vs. Forsberg, Forsberg advances
Tuerk vs. Pawlak, Tuerck advances
Essa vs. Gushi, Gushi advances
Gittin vs. Mordaunt, Gitten advances
Top 8 didn’t have too much drama but there were close battles.
Here is Fredric vs. Dai, Dai advances to Top 4
DeNofa vs. Moen, Moen makes contact in turn 9 and knocks himself out of competition, DeNofa advances to Top 4
Forsberg vs. Tuerk, Forsberg advances to Top 4!
Gushi vs. Gittin, Gittin moves on to Top 4.
Top 4 looks like this, Dai vs. DeNofa / Forsberg vs Gittin
Here is Dai vs. DeNofa, Dai advances to the finals!
Gittin vs. Forsberg, Gittin moves on.
Tuerk vs Forsberg for 3rd, Forsberg takes 3rd at round 1 of the 2013 season.
Final battle was between Dai and Gittin.
A tough clean battle and the winner of FD LB is…
Dai! Dai takes the win at the 2013 first round!
Antonio getting some footage of Dai’s victory burnout
Thanks for checking out our coverage. @DaYUUMDen