Formula D returns to the "House of Drift" this weekend for the final round of 2013 competition. After a decade of gertting sideways at speed across the nation, we were told that Formula Drift staff has not only brought in extra seating, but have also hired an additional parking lot to deal with the sell out crowd that will be descending upong Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Friday and Saturday.
2013 Formula Drift Finals: Today's Practice
Irwindale speedway was the original venue for driftings introduction to the U.S. After over a decade and almost as many configurations, after only a few hours of practice runs the course has claerly started to become "rubbered in" and traces of the line have started to show itself.
Scion racer Ryan Tuerck is showing good angle in the hairpin behind the wheel of the Retaks FR-S. Balancing how much speed the car can carry with how far the back is hanging out is the challenge, as drivers will be right in front of the judges at this point on track. Also, expect wrecks here.
Ford Mustang fanatic Vaughn Gittin Jr was showing a strong presence throughout practice. If there is one thing you can count on, it's that JR will put on a show at every opportunity, and that every run will end with a dense lingering trail of tire smoke.
Tony Angelo has been sorting out the Scion FR-S throughout the entire season, last year we saw him with a twisted wheel during the main event here at Irwindale Speedway, but here he's looking pretty good.
It would seem that Michael Essa and the GSR Autosport BMW have come from out of nowhere in 2013, sitting in strong contention for the FD Championship. However after repeated attempts with an assortment of Bavarian platforms, including a V10 powered 335i that sounded sweet when the electronics were cooperating, it appears that Essa's got the 135 dialed in right where he wants it.
The other man gunning for the top spot on Saturday night is Nissan 370Z driver Chris Forsberg. Like Essa, the 2009 FD Champion has been in Nissans for a number a years, proving his allegiance to the hamburger brand has paid off.
JTP, Justing Pawlak, was looking good in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang. With the season coming to a close, teams and drivers must be looking towards the future. I wonder if he's thinking about how good a 2015 Mustang in teal and blue livery would look?
Ten years ago Irwindale Speedway would have sounded like the original Fast and Furious film, full of high pitched exhausts from high revving imports and the distinctive chirps of turbocharged car's blow-off valve. However after only a decade of assimilation, it is now more common to hear the throaty roar of big blocks from Detroit.
While this isn't the new 2014 SRT Viper, the slithering snake from Mopar has seen much success in the Formula Drift series back when movie stunt car driver Samuel Hubinette was behind the wheel.
The Nissan 240SX like this is the car that most drifters used to cut their teeth with. Dubbed the Ford Mustang of Japan, Nissan's Silvia offered affordable rear wheel drive fun to the masses with a strong presence in the world of tuning. It wasn't until drifting became popular stateside that the once looked over amazingly balanced chassis that the 240SX took over the Honda Civic's position as top tuner car. Good luck finding one today that hasn't been modified beyond the boundaries of good taste or even worse doesn't look like some part has had a serious run in with an immovable object.
Always fans of the underdog, Danny George powers his mighty LS7 powered Maza Miata around the big bank at Irwindale. It takes alot of muscle to keep the world's best selling roadster spewing that much smoke while at opposite lock on the banking.
2013 Formula Drift Finals, today's practice
With the familiar aroma of tire smoke upon us, it is once again time for Formula Drift Irwindale. If practice day was any indication of the action ahead, the sell out crowd will not be dissapointed. If you haven't bought your ticket for Friday's qualifying and Saturday's main event, you can always watch live on Formula D's Driftstream.