Two years ago the final FD round, my first visit to Irwindale, was ramping up to be special for two reasons. Firstly this was ‘defiantly the last ever, no-way we’re coming back here’ round at The House Of Drift, and secondly, James Deane was on track for taking the championship in his first season back in America. Well since I’m back turning onto Speedway Drive with James on track to be the first FD driver to take three champions back to back we know how that all went.
The 2019 Formula DRIFT Black Magic PRO Championship and Formula DRIFT Link ECU PRO2 Championship arrived at the World Wide Technology Raceway this weekend for Pep Boys Crossroads presented by Rain-X.
Located five miles from St Louis, MO, the track recently expanded its road course, extending the track from 1.6 to 2.0 miles in total length. The track enhancement created dynamic options for the Formula DRIFT series, allowing multiple configurations to be considered. Additionally, the track offers the best grandstands, largest suite structure and an expanded pit-and-paddock area of all the venues on the 2019 calendar.
After discussions with the track and team representatives, Formula DRIFT selected a new track layout for the event. It would provide the drivers with a new challenge and guarantee great spectator views for the enthusiastic crowd. Furthermore, the revised course would level the playing field for all competitors; who would need to adapt quickly to qualify well.
Beautiful sunny skies and mild temperatures greeted the Formula DRIFT Black Magic PRO Championship teams as they arrived at Wall Stadium Speedway in New Jersey for the Advance Auto Parts Gauntlet presented by Black Magic. With a good mix of drivers claiming podiums at the early rounds and some of last year’s favorites yet to shine, a sell-out crowd filled the grandstands around the banked track in preparation for another nail-biter.
As the 2019 Formula DRIFT season marches on, the teams arrived at Road Atlanta this weekend for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Road to the Championship presented by Permatex. It would see Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis defend his early lead in the Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship after wins in the first two rounds. Trenton Beechum would also attempt to defend his lead in the Formula DRIFT Link ECU Pro 2 Championship. However, both would be disappointed as new faces climbed on the top step of the podium.
For the Pro Category, rain showers brought an additional challenge to the competition heats but the capacity crowd witnessed exceptional skill as the drivers went wheel-to-wheel on the challenging Road Atlanta course.
2018 Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Champion James Deane (center) with second place Fredric Aasbo (left) and third place Piotr Wiecek (right)
Hot on the heels of the most thrilling Formula DRIFT Finals in the series’ 15-year history the organizers held their annual Awards ceremony last weekend. It gives them a chance to honor the top drivers, newcomers, fan favorites and the people who play an important part behind the scenes.
The 2018 Awards banquet includes categories for the Formula DRIFT Pro and Pro 2 categories, plus a special series of awards that bring to an end the FDXV celebrations.
Formula D made it triumphant return to the world famous ‘House of Drift’ Irwindale Speedway to cap of it’s 2018 Season. Defending champion and current points leader James Dean entered round 8 with a slight lead over Fredric Aasbo. Dean was looking to be the second driver to win back to back championships since Tanner Foust back in 2008