Formula Drift is now in full swing having concluded Round One of the series, Streets of Long Beach. The event and season kicked off with a wild start as drivers competed not only with each other, but battled with rainy conditions that made for an uncertain track and suspense at every corner.
Chelsea DeNofa in the BC Racing / GT Radial BMW clutched his first ever Formula D victory and starts at the top of the standings. Considering Friday’s treacherous conditions and rain delay, qualifying was cancelled and drivers were placed into the top 32 pending their 2015 rankings. This meant drivers would be beginning the the year where they had left off previously.
The 2016 Formula Drift Pro series will continue with Round 2: Road to the Championship on May 6-7 at Road Atlanta in Georgia.
Round 1: Streets of Long Beach Event Results 1. Denofa, Chelsea BC Racing / GT Radial BMW
With 32 laps remaining, Kyle Busch passed Martin Truex Jr., whom led 141 laps, and earned his second consecutive win in the 2016 Sprint Cup series, the Duck Commander 500, held at Texas Motor Speedway. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second, with Joey Logano third, Jimmie Johnson fourth and rookie Chase Elliott a career-best fifth. Truex slid to sixth.
Truex made the decision not to pit for fresh tires with 45 laps remaining, which ultimately proved costly for the driver, as he was at a disadvantage with fellow drivers on new rubber. “We did everything we were supposed to do except for that one deal there,” Truex said. “I don’t know. It hurts, it’s tough, but we have a lot to look forward to this year. We have great race cars and we have a lot to look forward to. We’ll go back home and get to work and hopefully come out smarter and stronger.”
Chelsea DeNofa scored his first ever Formula Drift win in Long Beach, California, during Round One of the 2016 Pro Formula Drift season, April 9. His victory in his BMW puts him at the top of the seasons standings and marks the first victory for tire supplier GT Radial.
“The weather definitely added a challenging element to this event, but the action was as intense as ever to kickoff the season,” said Jim Liaw, President of Formula Drift.
“Despite the rain, the fans came out to show their support.” Liaw said, adding “this season is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting and for the local fans we will keep things going with the Super Drift competition next weekend under the lights during the Long Beach Grand Prix.”
The rain caused variable surface conditions of the street course which ultimately led to Formula Drift officials making the decision to forgo Qualifying
The 2016 Formula Drift season continues with Round One: Streets of Long Beach as the competition has been narrowed down to the Fab Four, composed of returning winner Fredric Aasbo, Odi Bakchis, Ken Gushi, and Chelsea DeNofa.
Round one for the top four started immediately with Fredric Aasbo and Matt Field. Truly a good run, Field kept right up and put the pressure on Aasbo for the first run.
Second run with Field giving all he had, and spinning after a fast transition after the first corner, giving Aasbo the win.
Ryan Tuerck and Odi Bakchis displayed a heated battle in the second battle. Tuerick brushed the wall with the back of his car while Bakchis hit the notorious last corner clip.
The road to victory of Round One: Streets of Long Beach, the season opener for the 2016 Formula Drift season, has seen 32 drivers narrowed down to the top 16. From there, the top 16 became the Great Eight.
The first round of the Great Eight started with Fredric Aasbo and ‘Mad’ Mike Whiddett. Immediately fans were treated to an intense battle with Mad Mike pushing his car and drifting with crazy angle.
Slight contact at the final corner left Whiddett with a missing door. After a small timeout, and a new door, Mike was ready for even more angle.
Unfortunately that angle resulted in a spin and a victory for Aasbo.
It’s been nothing but show at the series kickoff for the 2016 Formula Drift season at Round One: Streets of Long Beach. Weather conditions have ranged from dry to wet to even more wet resulting in some surprises, crashes, excitement, and fierce competition from every corner as the competition has been narrowed down from 32 drivers to 16.
Our first run of the day was between former champion Fredric Aasbo and Shengjun Zhang. Despite some light contact, Aasbo left too much of a lead and into victory.
Keeping aggression in the second battle, Patrick Mordaunt put pressure on “Mad” Mike Whiddett, who wowed fans with [...]