Formula Drift Mopar Dodge Viper - Click above for a high-res gallery

In an unsurprising turn of events, Chrysler has pulled its sponsorship of Sam Hubinette's drifting team as part of the company's restructuring plan. The bankrupt automaker's Formula Drift program was run by Shaun Carlson's NuFormz Racing, which began with Mopar in 2002, competing in the NHRA Sport Compact division. The team eventually made their way into drifting in 2004, where Hubinette captured the championship behind the wheel of a Dodge Viper during Formula D's inaugural season. Hubinette went onto several podium finishes, placing second overall in 2006 and claiming runner-up finishes in both 2005 and 2008.

Although the team's last sideways outing will be at the New Jersey Speedway on June 5 and 6, Chrysler's Director of Brand Marketing and Strategy, Mike Accavitti, said in a release, "At this time, [Chrysler] plan[s] to continue supporting our other racing sponsorships into the foreseeable future." Make the jump for the press release.

[Source: Chrysler via EverythingDrift]


PRESS RELEASE

Mopar® Announces Plan To End Sponsorship Of NuFormz Racing
Decision is part of Chrysler LLC's comprehensive restructuring plan

Center Line, Mich. - Mopar®, Chrysler LLC's Parts division, announced it will end its majority sponsorship of the NuFormz Racing team, which competes in the Formula Drift (FD) Series. Mopar's sponsorship of the NuFormz Racing team will conclude following the June 5–6 event at Wall (N.J.) Speedway.

"As part of Chrysler's comprehensive restructuring plan to revitalize our business and succeed as a stronger car company, we're rigorously reviewing all expenditures and making tough business decisions," said Mike Accavitti, Director of Brand Marketing and Strategy, Chrysler LLC. "The decision to end Team Mopar's sponsorship of NuFormz Racing was difficult because of our long-term relationship with the team and all of the success we've enjoyed competing in Formula Drift.

"We wish the team nothing but the best in the future," Accavitti added. "At this time, we plan to continue supporting our other racing sponsorships into the foreseeable future."

NuFormz Racing team owner Shaun Carlson and driver Samuel Hübinette have enjoyed long and illustrious careers competing under the Team Mopar banner. Carlson debuted with Team Mopar beginning in 2002 as a driver in the NHRA Sport Compact division. He went on to pilot the Team Mopar/SRT® Dodge Stratus R/T NHRA Pro Stock car for Don Schumacher Racing during the 2006 season.

Carlson and Hübinette teamed up in the FD Series in 2004 and quickly shot to the top of the emerging new motorsport. Hübinette claimed victory in the first-ever FD event in his Mopar Dodge Viper, maintained by Carlson, and went on to capture three of four 2004 events and the overall championship in the inaugural FD season. Hübinette, with Carlson as team owner, powered to his second FD championship in 2006. Hübinette, owner of a series-high nine career FD wins, also claimed runner-up finishes in the FD point standings in 2005 and 2008.

"I had a great eight-year run as a member of the Team Mopar family, and want to thank the company for all the great memories I'm taking away," said Carlson. "It's a tough decision, but given the current economic environment inside and outside of racing, I certainly understand it.

We're going to work as hard as ever to cap off our success with Team Mopar with a convincing win at The Gauntlet race in early June."