Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2008 Red Bull Drifting World Championship

The Formula Drift series is returning for its sixth season with the series opener in Long Beach, CA this next week. The event kicks off on April 9th with a parade from the track into downtown Long Beach followed by practice and qualifying on the 10th and the main event on Saturday, April 11th. Formula Drift has also announced the drivers lineup along with all the new cars. Reigning champion Tanner Foust will now be piloting a Scion tC, Rhys Millen will debut his Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Vaughn Gittin Jr. is sporting a brand new 2010 Mustang GT, and Sam Hubinette will hopefully be bringing his new Dodge Challenger. More details on the event and the full driver lineup after the jump.



[Source: Formula Drift]
PRESS RELEASE:

Formula DRIFT prepares to kick-off the 2009 professional championship season with a host of events leading up to the main competition weekend on April 10-11. Round 1: Streets of Long Beach also marks the debut of new cars and drivers and the return of top drifters from around the world.

"The 2009 Formula DRIFT season will be as entertaining and exciting as ever," says Ryan Sage, vice-president of marketing and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. "In addition to the main event on the 10-11th we have also lined up some great local, fan-friendly events in Long Beach to add to the overall weekend."

To kick-off the season on Thursday April 9, Formula DRIFT will converge on Downtown Long Beach at 5 PM. The entire roster of drivers and cars will parade from the track into the heart of downtown. The competition vehicles will be on display on Pine and Broadway and fans will have a chance to meet and greet with the drivers. As an added bonus, 2-time Formula DRIFT champion Samuel Hubinette, will be premiering his new DVD "Drift Ya Later," at Smooth's Sports Grille. The festivities are free and will go from continue from 5 PM to 9 PM.

After the first day of Formula DRIFT action on Friday, April 10, Hooters on Pine Ave. in Downtown Long Beach will be hosting a reception for the Formula DRIFT teams. Fans are welcome to join in on the festivities with the drivers. The action takes place from 7 PM to 9 PM.

Round 1: Streets of Long Beach tickets are available via the Formula DRIFT website at www.formuladrift.com. Ticket prices start at $28 online for a Saturday reserved seat. Friday, April 10th has been opened to the public as a "Preview Day," and will feature practice and qualifying. Fans can buy access to Friday's event for just $5 more. Grandstands 16 and 18 have been expanded this season to give more fans the best view of the action. Taking place during the opening ceremonies on Saturday, April 11, West Coast Customs will be presenting reigning Formula DRIFT champion Tanner Foust with a custom-built GTO. The presentation will be aired on an upcoming episode of "Street Customs" on the TLC channel. West Coast Customs owner Ryan Friedlinghaus will be handing the keys to Foust exclusively at this event.

New cars and drivers will make their debut at the season opener. The addition of the Top 32 competition format at this event will give the fans the most excitement and action. The drivers will test their limits on the only actual course that takes place on real city streets.

Round 1: Streets of Long Beach Entry List
Friday, April 10 and Saturday, April 11

Calvin Wan - Falken Tire Nissan S15 Silvia
Carl Rydquist - City Tire / Kallusive Clothing Nissan 350Z
Casper Canul - ARK Performance / Frontmann Competitive Corp. Nissan S14.5
Chris Forsberg - NOS Energy Drink / Maxxis Tire Nissan 350Z Roadster
Chris Kregorian - Milano Motorsports / AIT Racing Nissan 350Z LS 1
Cody Parkhouse - DMAX / Cooper Tires Nissan S13
Colin Frost - Cooper Tires / Sun Auto Nissan 240SX
Conrad Grunewald - Chevy Corvette
Daijiro Yoshihara - Falken Tire / Discount Tire Lexus IS350
Dan Pina - Griggs Racing / Paxton Super Chargers Ford Mustang 5.0
Darren McNamara - Falken Tire / Sears Saturn Sky
Doug VanDenBrink - Privateer Ford Mustang
Eric O'Sullivan - Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Subaru STI
Gary Lang - Spec Clutch / Hinson Super Cars Nissan S13.4
Hiro Sumida - Greddy / OS Giken USA Toyota Cressida
Ivan Lim - Goodyear Racing / Binter Nissan S13
Jeff Jones - Comp. Turbo / K&N Filters Nissan S13
Jodin LeJeune - BF Goodrich / Eneos Oil TBA
John Russakoff - JSP Fab / Falken Tires Toyota 84 Corolla
Joon Maeng - Maxxis Tire / LS Auto Nissan S13.5
Justin Pawlak - Mazda USA / Cooper Tire / Bergenholtz Racing Mazda RX8
Katsuhiro Ueo - Driftspeed / Behrman Nissan S15
Kazu Hayashida - Maziora / Signal Auto Nissan Silvia S15
Ken Gushi - RS*R / Toyo Tires Scion tC
Kenji Yamanaka - Maziora / Signal Auto Nissan Silvia S15
Kyle Mohan - Mazda USA / Cooper Tire Mazda RX-8
Matt Waldin - Tuner Icons / Import Intelligence Nissan 350Z
Matt Powers - Privateer Nissan S14
Michael Essa - Tech Trix Motorsports / DTC Performance Mazda RX-7
Michihiro Takatori - Bridges Racing / Toyo Tires Nissan S13
Patrick Mordaunt - PM Racing / Brian Crower Nissan 240SX
Quoc Ly - Driftspeed / Behrman Nissan S14
Rhys Millen - Red Bull / RMR Hyundai Genesis Coupe
Robbie Nishida - Hankook Tire / Dynamic Autosports Nissan 350Z
Ron Ewerth - BF Goodrich Tire / Eneos Oil TBA
Ross Petty - Garage Boso / Falken Tire Nissan S15
Ryan Tuerck - Gardella Racing / Mobil 1/ Tomei Pontiac Solstice GXP
Ryuji Miki - APEXi / Hankook Tire Mazda RX-7
Samuel Hubinette - Mopar / NuFormz Racing TBA
Stephan Verdier - Cooper Tire / Crawford Performance Subaru STI
Taka Aono - Technosquare / OS Giken Toyota AE86 Corolla
Tanner Foust - Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Scion tC
Tommy Suell - Toyo Tires / Allegiant Air Toyota AE86 Corolla
Tony Brakohiapa - Cooper Tire / Sam's Autobody Ford Mustang
Tyler McQuarrie - Falken Tire / GoPro Nissan 350Z
Vaughn Gittin Jr. - Falken Tire / Ford Racing 2010 Mustang GT
Yasu Kondo - KAAZ USA Toyota AE86 Corolla

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