Sitting around in the north east of England in February, a person’s mind turns to how to break the winter blues, and that normally means starting to look at the calendar and planning a trip abroad. Looking over the FD schedule I initially started with the standard dates I look at, New Jersey and Irwindale but the one that jumped out was round 1 at Long Beach. It’s a track I’ve never shot and meant I could look at attending the Grand Prix of Long Beach the following weekend. A couple of days of checking flights and hotels and I was telling my day boss that I was taking pretty much the whole of April off…I already had the Easter weekend all booked for Drift Games round 1 in Ireland.
Once again the Streets of Long Beach was taken over with the smell and sound of burning rubber, as Formula Drift made its return to the famous city street course to kick off its 2019 season.
With the 2018 season widely regarded as one of the most exciting in the series’ 15-year history, 2019 has all the ingredients for the most intense competition to date. And because nothing sits still, Formula DRIFT is welcoming new sponsors, drivers and cars to the series.
There are six rookies in the 2019 Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship, for whom the O’Reilly Auto Parts Streets of Long Beach presented by Permatex would be their first competitive outing on the Californian street course. They include three drivers from overseas and three inductees from the Formula DRIFT Link ECU Pro 2 Championship. The top three from the drifting feeder championship are title winner Travis Reeder plus runners up Dylan Hughes and Sebastien Gauthier.
Playlist (including Media Day Stream)
As is traditional, round one of the 2018 Formula DRIFT series took place on the Streets of Long Beach last weekend, with Frederic Aasbo climbing to the top step of the podium. Following the event, the city streets remain closed for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, which hosts the Motegi Super DRIFT invitational challenge on Friday and Saturday evenings.