Click above for a high-res gallery of the Formula Drift event at Irwindale Speedway

Formula Drift first announced the inaugural Red Bull Drifting World Championship back in July, and the final preparations are being made for the event this weekend. The top thirty-two drifters from around the world will slide their way around a specially-built six-turn course including a high-speed entry turn that should have many of the cars in excess of 100 mph. Things will get kicked off tomorrow, Thursday, November 13, with a parade of the competitors' cars and an autograph session in downtown Long Beach. The drivers will hit the track on Saturday for practice and qualifying, and on Sunday they will compete in a knockout-style bracket tournament with the winner taking home the largest purse in drifting history. Full details in the press release after the jump.

Related Gallery2008 Formula Drift at Irwindale Speedway

[Source: Formula Drift]

PRESS RELEASE:

The Red Bull Drifting World Championship prepares for a historical drifting weekend. The city of Long Beach will play host for the event and activities have been scheduled throughout the week including a parade of cars through the downtown area and a draw party at the local establishment, "Smooth's Sports Grill" on Thursday, November 13, 2008. A special purpose built drifting track will be created on the Port of Long Beach for this event.

Pre-event activities for the Red Bull Drifting World Championship include a parade of the competition drifting cars from the Port of Long Beach and through to Downtown Long Beach on Pine Ave on Thursday November 13 at 5:45 PM. The cars will be displayed until 9:30 PM on Pine Ave. A driver autograph session will be held before the draw party on Pine Ave at 6:00 PM featuring the Top 32 Drivers. A "draw" party will be held immediately following the parade of cars and the autograph session inside of Smooth's Sports Grill and will feature the official announcement of the qualifying order for the main event on Sunday, November 16.

"We are excited to have Formula DRIFT's hometown Long Beach as the host city for this historical event," says Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. "Long Beach has been very supportive of drifting and holding this event on the Port of Long Beach will be very monumental."

A special purpose built drifting track will be unveiled on the Port of Long Beach. The course will feature (6) turns and a high speed right-hand entry that will push the drivers into the 100+mph range. The course will be the first of it's kind and will be both fast and technical and will push the drivers to their limits for the ultimate drifting competition.

32 of the world's best drifters will gather on Saturday and Sunday on the Port of Long Beach to compete for the largest prize purse in drifting history. The top 32 will compete in a head-to-head tandem bracket format with the winner from each bracket advancing onto the next round on his way to becoming the first ever Red Bull Drifting World Champion.

The Red Bull Drifting World Championship will feature the Formula DRIFT Pro/Am competition on Saturday and a special opening ceremony by the Red Bull Air Force skydiving team on Sunday. A special half-time performance by the band, "Crooked X." will be another highlight on Sunday. In addition to the drifting action, there will be some of hottest cars in the Country on display like the Scion Fuse Concept Car, the Tomei Time Attack Subaru Impreza, the Lexus IS-F's of Import Tuner & 0-60 Magazines and the R35 Skyline & Lamborghini LP640 of SP Engineering.

Tickets and special VIP tickets for the Red Bull Drifting World Championship are still available and can be purchased on-line at www.formuladrift.com.