The tenth season of Formula Drift kicked off this past weekend in front of a sell-out crowd in Long Beach, California. Celebrating a decade of smoke-spewing sideways racing is a solid testament to the popularity of the sport that delivers everything racing enthusiasts seek – high-horsepower vehicles running side-by-side with the expected mechanical carnage – in one racing series.

This weekend's event, or Round One, was won by Daijiro Yoshihara (Nissan 240SX / Discount Tire), the series champion in 2011. He was joined on the podium by Vaughn Gittin (Ford Mustang / Monster Energy) and Chris Forsberg (Nissan 370Z / NOS Energy), earning second and third place, respectively. Last year's winner, Justin Pawlak (Ford Mustang / Falken Tire) crashed heavily during his first qualifying run, and although his team managed to get the car back together for him to qualify on his second run, he was knocked out in the second round.

One noticeable absence in the field was series veteran Rhys Millen, who won the series driving a Hyundai Genesis Coupe in 2010. Hyundai pulled its motorsports programs in North America last year, leaving his team without a main sponsor. Nevertheless, Hyundai and Rhys Millen Racing will partner for Pikes Peak in a few months.

Round Two will be held at Road Atlanta over the weekend of May 10-11. Check out the Formula Drift schedule, as well as the press release below.
Show full PR text
Long Beach, Calif. – April 13, 2013 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro begins the tenth season of competition with Round 1: Streets of Long Beach. Daijiro Yoshihara in the America's Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 takes the victory and leads the championship points chase.

Round 1: Streets of Long Beach started off the tenth season of Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro to a sell out crowd. Fans were treated to a vendor village, Slammed Society car show, a display of vehicles from the Targa Trophy and a skateboard demo from the Action Sports Kids Foundation of Long Beach.

"To start our ten year anniversary season in front of a sell out crowd sets a great tone for the season to come," stated Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. "We owe it all to our drivers, sponsors and the fans for helping to make the Series what it is today. We look forward to another exciting season."

Experience became the deciding factor with all three spots on the podium being found by ten-year veterans who also are past champions of the Series. The 2009 Champion Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z was too much for Chelsea DeNofa and earned third place. The final battle pitted 2010 Formula DRIFT champion Vaughn Gittin, Jr in the Monster Energy / Falken Tire Ford Mustang against the 2011 champion Daijiro Yoshihara who also was the number one qualifier. On their first run Gittin made a small mistake at the hairpin giving Yoshihara the edge. A consistent second run by Yoshihara secured his victory giving him the first victory of the season.

"This was my first time to win in Long Beach. I've been on the podium a few times, but winning here was one of my goals and I was able to achieve that today, "said Daijiro Yoshihara, winner of Round 1: Streets of Long Beach. "I also qualified first so this was the best way to start off the season, but it is still a long way to another Championship. I hope to win another Championship this season." Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro continues at Round 2: Road to the Championship at Road Atlanta on May 10-11, 2013.

For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      Michael Peters
      • 1 Year Ago
      Always neat to see Autoblog covering a very fun diverse form of motorsport. Such a vast array of different types of engine/car setups makes drifting really fun.
        richard gear
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Michael Peters
        No it doesn't ! After a while is really quite boring, and if you argue Motorsports in general is wasteful of the globes resources, then this is pure squandering to the max, with no useful return at all ? ?. Drifting is really comparable to how the Harlem Gobetrotters are to Basketball. This years college games were great, and I am not a basket ball fan.....but seeing the Globetrotters, they are all pre practiced contrived situations.....Or another example of a comparison to Drifting would be Ice Dancing at the Olympics....who can ever follow how they score it....so no to me Drifting is just a fad thing, just like Rallycross will be...
      Rieku Ame
      • 1 Year Ago
      I personally like watching 3 and 4 rotor powered RX-8's incinerating tires into smokey glory via drifting. The 200hp Carollas are cool too.
      JaredN
      • 1 Year Ago
      The point of "racing" around a track slowly is what, exactly?
        domingorobusto
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JaredN
        Because it's not racing, and it almost never referred to as such. It's racing only in that gaining substantial "lead" in distance over your opponent is a good thing, but that's more about maintaining distance than actually "racing". It's an exhibition sport with subjective judging, not racing. It's purpose is to entertain, not to prove who's faster.
        jonnybimmer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JaredN
        Drifting is not a form of racing. Never claimed to be, never will be. AB is using the term "racing" in this article improperly.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JaredN
        [blocked]
        Shahul X
        • 1 Year Ago
        @JaredN
        Yea, I don't get it at all.. even when it was still "IN" to drift... fun to watch in a Chris Harris video sure, but it's staying value is nil for me... racing should be about going fast... this is the automotive version of rodeao clowns vs the Kentucky derby (normal F1,nascar DTM, etc..)
          Shahul X
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Shahul X
          ...should be done at halftime shows and maybe before an actual race to entertain kids...
      Sir Duke
      • 1 Year Ago
      I recently learned that the current trend is to ditch the JDM motors, and shoehorn in a LS motor in anything that would have it. LS motors are more durable, cheaper to maintain, and have superior drivability. Also, it fits between the fenders of more cars than any other V8 on the planet.
        jonnybimmer
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sir Duke
        While very true, this season is the first season to really start stepping away from the "just put an LS in it" trend. Don't get me wrong, there are still plenty of V8 swaps out there and there are very good reasons why people choose the LS, but it seems as though there is a larger variety of motors in the field this year. The FR-S's and M3 are keeping away from V8's (for now, there is currently a Nascar V8 equipped FR-S used in competition in Japan). The V8 swaps play an interesting role in the sport, shifting the focus from the cars to the drivers. Is it better? Depends on why you like to watch the sport. Personally I've always been more of a car geek and enjoy variety, so I'm a little against the swapping, but there's no doubt that if a driver wants to be competitive but is stuck with a low budget, an LS is going to be the answer. Still, good to keep in mind that of the sport's 9 completed seasons, there have only been 4 wins with a V8. Only 2 champions had LS motors and last year's champion ran a 2JZ.
        Rich
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sir Duke
        Making a 1.8L turbo push 10" wide tires into smoke is harder than just starting with 500 ft/lbs.
        Al Terego
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Sir Duke
        cool story
      protovici
      • 1 Year Ago
      Look at all those Asians in the stands!
      Vergenbuurg
      • 1 Year Ago
      Guess I shouldn't be surprised to see so many FR-S/GT-86/BRZs in the photos... they really made quite some fast inroads... well, that's what happens when you have a vehicle that was pretty much built from the ground up to be a drifter.
      Justin Banner
      • 1 Year Ago
      Rhys did not win the series in 2010 in the Genesis Coupe. Vaughn Gittin jr won in 2010 with the Ford Mustang. A simple fact check at FormulaD.com wouldn't hurt.
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