Eibach Events: Formula DRIFT Round 1 - Streets of Long Beach
Drift season has finally arrived, and it kicked off in fine form at the Formula Drift (presented by GoPro) season opener to sold-out crowds (that’s over 20K, in case you were wondering) at the famous Streets of Long Beach venue in Southern California, and home to the world-famous Long Beach Grand Prix. With plenty of newcomers on the competition roster and a few veterans in new cars for 2014, it’s going to be a very exciting and interesting to see how it’ll all play out. Dai Yoshihara and Ken Gushi, both piloting their own respective ZN6 chassis with monster swaps (Dai’s Falken/Discount Tire/SPD Motorsports BRZ is LS7 V8 turbo powered while Ken’s Scion Racing/GReddy FR-S retains a Japanese 2JZ powerplant), had issues with these new setups and couldn’t advance past the Top 32 but should have no problem sorting it out by the time Road Atlanta comes around next month.
Eibach-sponsored drivers, Tyler McQuarrie and Kyle Mohan represented in the Top 32 as well. Tyler in his GoPro/Mobil 1 Camaro advanced past Tony Angelo to the Top 16 but was stopped from going further by 2011 FD Rookie of the Year, Odi Bakchis in his ’98 Nissan 240SX. Kyle Mohan started off on a great foot with his Mazdatrix/GT Radial Energy Mazda RX-8, taking out Robbie Nishida in the Top 32 – but a mishap on track caused severe damage to the chassis and even a wheel split off(!), which gave his competitor in the Top 16, Kenny Moen a go to the Top 8 (Moen would eventually finish Second for his first FD podium finish). We hope Kyle can get his RX-8 repaired quickly for the next round.
The final round of the Long Beach event pulled serious driving talent together for an impressive battle. Justin “JTP” Pawlak succumbed to fourth, letting the 2013 champion, Michael Essa in the Essa Autosport/Yokohama Tire E46 M3, multi-champion Chris Forsberg and his Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z and Norwegian drifter, Kenny Moen in the Bridges Racing Nissan 240SX fight for the podium spots. Third would go to Essa, and after a close run between Forsberg and Moen, it was the consistent prowess of Forsberg’s driving that gave him the first win of the season and a lead in championship points.
For full results, visit www.formulad.com.