• May 20, 2009
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."


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Any form of motorsports that is decided by a judge doesn't cut it with me. Don't get me wrong, these drivers have tons of skill...its just more like ice skating for cars.

      The Viper is going away....and the Corporation has no money to field the Challenger anyway. Something had to go.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Exactly, its the automotive equivelant of figure skating or syncronised swimming.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Obama Motors nixes all NASCAR sponsorships!!!!!!
        JDM Life
        • 5 Years Ago
        Who cares about Nascar?


        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDMlife

        I agree. NASCAR is so far removed from its stock car roots, there's really no point in having manufacturer's marques on the cars. Just call it the Penske car, or the Roush car, etc.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Drift Team...the "synchronize swimming" of want-a be Motor Sports.
      • 5 Years Ago
      it was his second championship in 2006...not his 2nd place in 2006...i think you just skimmed the press release...it makes no sense to word that he finished 2nd in 2006 and then runner-up those other years...cuz runner-up = 2nd place!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well this isn't a surprise
      • 5 Years Ago
      Good! They will save millions in tire cost alone.
      Cant wait to see this "sport" finally die.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It was a joke, settle down.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I laugh whenever I see that ridiculous roof scoop. What's it feeding air into? The cabin?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, yes the cabin and for downforce
        • 5 Years Ago
        my look dumb but its there to create drag, helps during a drift, works like a stabilizer by catching air.
        • 5 Years Ago
        keep on laughing. until you actually sit in a viper and realize how freaking hot it is. cant imagine they have the a/c kicking in the middle of a drift competition.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Right, because downforce is of utmost importance when the purpose of drifting is to break traction at the rear wheels. I suppose that's what the giant rear wing's for too, huh?

        I'll buy the cabin cooling argument, but given the amount of time these guys are going sideways, they should just roll down their windows.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And so it begins. Do you really believe any b/k judge is going to allow motorsports racing as a legitimate business expense for a company in dire straits? Besides, any contract Chryco had are null and void now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Did they move that Viper's motor to the trunk? Why does it have a giant air intake on the roof?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Its to cool the differental.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sam Hubinette and Nuformz Racing are not losing the cars, just Mopar as the sponsor. It is unfortunate that a good driver and team suffer from this loss. But with hard times, and Chrysler in the rut they are it was unformtunatly going to happen.

      The roof scoop helps the driver get air, the cab does fill with smoke and any fresh air that Sam can get is always beneficial.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That sucks, I like drifting.
      Had to expect this was going to happen though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Just FYI. The roof scoop is to over pressurize the cabin like any rally car has. So because of that pressure smoke will not come inside and block my view. That is the main reason.
      Drift ya later
      Samuel
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