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.
Stream will be LIVE on both Friday (4/13) and Saturday (4/14) from 10pm-12am ET.
With new cars, drivers and teams attacking the corners for the long-awaited opening round of Formula DRIFT, the Streets of Long Beach promised a great deal of excitement and did not disappoint.
Highlights among the 2018 field included 2016 FD champion, Fredric Aasbo, driving his Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire 2019 Toyota Corolla, unveiled days earlier at the New York International Auto Show. Matt Field also debuted his Wish / Borla / Falken Tire Chevrolet Corvette, while Federico Sceriffo would bring his unique Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano Drift Spec (aka Fiorella) to the Californian street circuit.
With a number of brand new cars and almost every team carrying out modifications and upgrades during the off-season, the first round always brings a degree of trepidation as the drivers get to grips with a “green” track. However, the front runners started to emerge during practice, and qualifying highlighted the drivers to watch. Continue reading