Formula Drift at Long Beach – Click above for high-res image gallery
While many forms of motorsports are cutting back with less sponsorship money and fewer teams, Formula Drift actually grew this year with a bigger list of entrants and plenty of brand new cars. For the opening event in Long Beach, CA, Rhys Millen brought out his Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Tanner Foust traded in his 350Z for a NASCAR-powered Scion tC, and Vaughn Gittin Jr. upgraded his Mustang to a 2010 model. In the end, though, a pair of older cars landed a spot in the finals with Sam Hubinette in his NuFormz Racing / Mopar Dodge Viper SRT10 challenging Ryan Tuerck in his Gardella Racing / Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice for the top spot. It was Tuerck who was victorious in the drifting duel, who captured his first ever Formula D win and took the initial points lead in the 2009 season. We've put together two high-res galleries, one for practice and qualifying and another for the main day of competition. Hit the jump for more details on the opening race of the 2009 Formula Drift season.