Formula Drift Long 2015 :Review
The former Scion brand and Ken Gushi has taken to the Internet and announced that they will be racing in 2016. It will be interesting to see if this corporate restructure takes a hit on budget and limits the programs of Aasbo or Gushi. Ken Gushi did confirm that he will still receive support for Formula Drift in 2016 with his Tweet posted below. I think Aasbo is set for a repeat championship or Gushi could easily land his first Formula Drift championship under the big caveat of what will change with each program and the money coming into it.
I was just told the news tonight that Scion (under Toyota) in America has closed its doors for the last time. The struggling “youth” brand failed to really deliver a car the consumers wanted and after 13 years it has left the market. This hits home in Formula Drift in a big way as the championship team was a factory backed Scion program. Drivers such as Ken Gushi and Fredric Aasbo could find a big hit to the budget coming into 2017.
Scion will be remembered for brilliant marketing strategies much more than its subpar car offering. The 2015 season brought 56,167 total car sales in for the whole brand. Without the Scion FR-S under its umbrella – I imagine the brand would be in much worse shape numbers wise. If Toyota wants to continue marketing inside Formula Drift I suggest they should look more towards how Ford has pushed into the market.
Fredric Aasbo won the championship with the smallest engine in the Formula Drift series. He talks about some tricks with his Borgwarner turbo setup and how he loves drifting. I am starting to think Fredric Aasbo can win a second championship in 2016 if his team is focused and his great setup holds together.
I keep reading a ton of incorrect information online about the impending doom of Irwindale Speedway so I talked to several people close to the situation and built this story. The rumors of it all being a fancy ploy to sell tickets is flat out not true sadly and soon our beloved Irwindale Speedway will come crashing down from the Los Angeles County map. Here is a timeline of what happened and why the structure is still standing to this day. In fact, last season at Irwindale I helped produce an awesome tribute video to Irwindale Speedway with Mobil 1 that should be released shortly.
This first blip of news came to my attention in October 2013 just days after Michael Essa narrowly won his first championship in a BMW E46 chassis. A friend of mine sent me a link from CurbedLA indicating that a real estate group in Pasadena called Lindom Company purchased the 63.47-acre site of the San Gabriel Valley with plans to repurpose it. The company Nu-Way Industries sold the land to them who purchased it in 1966 and built the very racetrack that stands before us today.
Masashi Yokoi is slated to not return for the 2016 Formula Drift season. Our speculation is that Yokohama Tire leaving has triggered Yokoi not coming back for the new year since he carries a long term relationship with Yokohama. His style will be greatly missed in America this season but it does sound like he will campaign and drive in Japan for 2016. Thanks Jeffrey!
In case you have never checked it out, our link bar on the website has “Find An Event” where we compile a serious list of drifting events around the world. We are underway building up the 2016 schedule. Shoot us a comment here or an email if you know of 2016 drift events that are not displayed. No event is too small! We already have Just Drift, Midwest Drift Union, Street Driven Tour, and Formula Drift put together for the new year.
Check our Schedule: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/find-an-event-the-best-drift-event-calendar/
Well, we announced the Yokohama Tire was bailing on Formula Drift late last year and it looks like Matt Field found his new home at Falken Tire. He joins Odi Bakchis who we announced earlier this week who will be back on the 615K tire as well. Tyler McQuarrie is also going to make a return to the program for 2016 who is one of the most winning Falken Tire drivers in the series history. The rest of the team is the same for 2016 with Pat Goodin, Dai Yoshihara, and Justin Pawlak.