Home Latest Formula Drift RETURNS to Long Beach to launch the 2012 season!
Formula Drift RETURNS to Long Beach to launch the 2012 season! PDF Print E-mail
AdvancedJDMParts.com | Wednesday, 11 April 2012 15:35

Formula Drift (also known as FORMULA D amongst enthusiasts) started off the 9th season this past weekend! Kicking off the 1st round of action BACK in the Streets of Long Beach! That's right -- all the action takes place IN the streets of Long Beach! The same streets where the Grand Prix goes down each year! For those who don't know the course it's amazing how it is setup so these professional driver/drifters can test their skills and not place harm to patrons enjoying the event. The track basically outlines the Long Beach Convention Center steps away from the beach! Amazing back drop for such an exciting event! This year all drivers had the NEWLY done vehicles for 2012 showcasing NEW and RETURNING sponsors, cars, and graphics to stand out from the pack. And when the track went HOT ...the drift action was on!

Prior to the event even beginning the event had already sold out! Considering last year's FINAL ROUND at Irwindale, CA. (Toyota Speedway of Irwindale, CA.) was sold out, Formula Drift had anticipating this to happen! As we were lucky enough to be invited to go with the crew at JDM Sport and be their media to cover the SLAMMED SOCIETY Car Show presented by Fatlace - FORMULA DRIFT was part of the ticket! So with that being said - the PREVIEW day on Friday April, 6th was just as busy. Vendors like NOS Energy Drink, FALKEN, NITTO, HANKOOK, PASMAG, SCION RACING, and so many finished up their set-ups for their booths as drivers and their pit crews prepped for the big day on Saturday April 7th. Many fans who received the free passes from NOS came out and enjoyed a day of PRE-RUNS and Qualifiers as Drivers went head to head to see who would race on the big day! JDM Sport and their 20+ cars who entered the Slammed Society also enjoyed the PREVIEW day alongside friends/affiliates from BLK Diamond Auto Spa, PASMAG, NOS Energy Drink, amongst others of the AdvanSpec Network and stopped by to see the model friends Danielle Lo (who was an official HANKOOK Model), Natalia, Michelle Yee, Julie Mai, and the "BIG HOMIE" - BIG ABE!

At the end of the day QUALIFYING DRIVERS came down to Ryan Tuerck in the RETAKS S13 in the lead. Following him was Rhys Millen in the popular Hyundai Genesis. Vaughn Gittin took the VERY popular Monster Energy Ford Mustang into the next slot. Fans enjoyed watching their favorite drifters go head to head during the qualifying rounds and moreso when the events got intense in spinouts and crashes! One of which was Walker Wilkerson who spun out on BOTH qualifying runs! At the end of 19 FRESH drivers and rookies to the FD only 5 made the cut - including D1GP's Champ DAIGO Saito and XDC's champion Chelsea Denofa!

Another crowd favorite is the TANDEM BATTLES! Known to test the BEST of the BEST and weed the weak from the strong! The infamous "SANTA" wall of the Streets of Long Beach course is known to take out some of THE BEST! Victims of this year's runs including Darren McNamara in his top 32 battle and 2010's FD champ Vaughn Gittin Jr in his battle with Odi Bakchis (who sports the JDM Sport DRIFT BATTLE Steering Wheel!). The fight for 3rd place was fierce as Daigo Saito (D1GP Champ) took out fellow rookie Goerge Martanovic. Went on in a gruesome battle with Rhys Millen in the fan favorite Hyundai Genesis to come out on top and take out the veteran. And Daigo went on a final battle with Tyler McQuarrie to take the win to face off with defending champ Dai Yoshihara. Dai and Daigo went head to head but at the end and the dust (and tire smoke) settled - Dai came out on top!

The Final face-off came down to Dai Yoshihara (Defending Champ from Final Round in Irwindale, CA. from 2011) vs. Justin Pawlak (defending winner from last year's Streets of Long Beach FD event). Fans were on their feets cheering on their fav with so many enthusiasts split on who to cheer for! As the cars revved up and the ran began and just as fast as it started it had ended and the WINNER...Justin Pawlak who is the KING OF THE STREETS OF LONG BEACH yet again! Taking out Defending Champ - Dai Yoshihara! Congrats to Pawlak as he leads the Formula Drift drivers to Atlanta for the next round of the FD Series! Good luck to all drivers!

Back to the Slammed Society Car Show with the JDM Sport crew! The location was the same - right smack dab in the middle of the FD track course! Where you can catch the drift action while enjoying all the amazing SoCal show cars! However, this year, there were A LOT more cars from all over the U.S! SoCal crews definitely came out to represent and in a BIG WAY! Low N Slow crew (also representing with JDM Sport) showcased their entire squad on what being "LOW AND SLOW" is all about! Import Fashion (also representing with JDM Sport) brought out the infamous "GINA" - stanced and looking pretty in Pink and Gold with the buddy's WHITE Lexus (who won 1ST VIP Category)! Team NUISANCE's Mitsubishi EVO came out to represent as well as the WHITE S2K of HIN (who won 2nd SLAMMED category), 3T / AIMGAIN brought out the favorite YELLOW RX-7, Acura NSX, and Lexus IS300 (also representing with JDM Sport). JDM Sport brought out the notorious JDM Sport: Project Genes-X AND unveiled the JDM Sport Nissan 370Z JDM Sport TWIN-TURBO Edition! Vendors spotted included AirRunner, Eibach, Savini, JDM Sport, to name a few who represented in the car show side of FD! ALL cars from all facets of the SoCal car scene came out! American Muscle, Imports, Tuners, Euros, Classics, Bikes, Rukus, and more --and at the end only a FEW won the prized Slammed Society car show awards! Winners received a TEAL decal on their windshields! Congrats to all the winners and to the 2 vehicles who won representing our affiliates/friends at JDM Sport!

And no we did not forget about the models! JDM Sport brought out their sexy vixens and JDM Sport Hunnies - Brittani, Elyse, Jenna Lynn, Lena Love and new face Lovely & Marissa Hiroko for stopping by! Pictures are all below fans! And hope you enjoyed our coverage! Thanks to JDM Sport again for having us!

(Photo Credit:  YOMEN MEDIA)

Formula DRIFT 2012 Current Standings / Points:

1. Justin Pawlak - Falken Tire Ford Mustang - 106 Points

2. Daijiro Yoshihara - Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 - 92 Points

3. Daigo Saito - Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 - 78.50 Points

4. Matt Powers - Need for Speed / Nitto Nissan S14 - 69.50 Points

5. Ryan Tuerck - Team Retaks Nissan 240SX - 66 Points

6. Tyler McQuarrie - Mobil 1 GoPro Camaro - 64 Points

6. Rhys Millen - Hankook / Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Genesis Coupe - 64 Points

8. Chris Forsberg - NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z - 63 Points

9. Ken Gushi - Scion Racing Scion FR-S - 62 Points

10. Kenny Moen - Lutz Performance Nissan 350Z - 61.50 Points

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