May 10, 2012 (Los Angeles, Calif.) — Jhonnattan Castro is probably the only driver that ever prepared for a Formula Drift event by spending time at the legendary Nurburgring.
Invited to drive on the world-famous 14-mile circuit by Banco del Progresso, Castro was able to sample the track aboard an Audi R8 V-10. Having driven it previously in video games, Castro was blown away by the circuit in real life.
“It’s just crazy, it’s an unbelievable place,” said Castro. “The whole experience was great and I am really thankful that I got the chance to see this amazing track. It was raining the whole time so I was very careful, but even still it was incredible. It’s crazy to think that they still have a 24 hour race here on the Nurburging, but I think it would be really fun to try driving it in the Banco del Progresso / City Tire Online Nissan 350Z!”
With his experience on the Nurburging now behind him, Castro has his sights set on this weekend’s second round of the Formula Drift championship at Road Atlanta, near Atlanta, Georgia. The recently announced change to the Formula Drift circuit at Road Atlanta will go a ways towards leveling the playing field for Castro, who has never seen the circuit before. After a challenging first round on the Streets of Long Beach – where Castro never got a chance to learn the circuit after his Banco Progresso / City Tire Online Nissan 350Z encountered electric problems during practice – he is looking forward to a fresh start in Atlanta.
Dominican Republic-based driver set to make Formula Drift debut this weekend in Long Beach
April 5, 2012 (Los Angeles, Calif.) – For a guy who has only been to the United States once before, Jhonnattan Castro has had a steep learning curve to conquer so far – and this weekend, he will jump into the Formula Drift Pro Championship for the first time at one of its most daunting tracks.
While Castro first visited Southern California from his native Dominican Republic a few weeks ago to finalize the deals that enabled him to compete in Formula Drift, his second trip has been dedicated to testing the Banco Progresso / City Tire Nissan 350Z that he will drive this year. Castro, three times a champion in the Brokers Dominican Drift Series, is extremely familiar with the 350Z platform but is focused on being as prepared as possible for Long Beach.
While he will be a rookie in Formula Drift, Castro has been getting cars sideways for several seasons and has been instrumental in the development of the sport in his native Dominican Republic. Castro is a three-time Brokers Dominican Drift Series Champion (2009-2011), and recently took part in training under the tutelage of Nobushige Kumakubo at Ebisu Circuit in Japan, earning his license in D1GP. Castro is the first Latin American driver to earn a license in both Formula Drift and in D1GP.
Castro will join City Tire, driving the Nissan 350Z previously used in Formula Drift by Carl Rydquist, and will compete on Hankook Tires.
“I’m really excited to be able to compete in the Formula Drift Pro Championship this year,” said Castro. “It has been a long road to get to this point, and I consider myself very fortunate to be in this position and have the opportunity to drive in the best drifting series in the world. The drifting community in the Dominican Republic is really into what is going on in Formula Drift, and I’m excited to represent my country in the series.”