2009 Formula DRIFT Streets of Long Beach – Main Event

2009 Formula DRIFT Streets of Long Beach

For those who are not yet hip, drifting is taking motorsports by storm. Just like the UFC came out of nowhere to rival the sport of boxing, Formula DRIFT may soon start stepping on NASCAR‘s toes. As with the UFC, mixed martial arts add dimensions that are not found in boxing such as kicking, grappling and submissions. In the same way, drifting is much more dynamic than oval track racing with powerslides, extreme cornering and style showmanship. Drifting got its roots about 15 years ago in Japan where it is now firmly established and celebrated as the country’s #1 motor sport. The D1 Grand Prix is its premier drifting league.

In the States, drifting started off as an underground phenomenon 10 years ago and has only recently become mainstream. In 2003, Slipstream Global Marketing provided a drifting showcase at Irwindale Speedway in SoCal with some of the top Japanese drivers. Later that year, Formula DRIFT was officially founded. The first Formula D competition was held in 2004 at Road Atlanta as part of a four-event circuit. This year is the 6th season for Formula Drift with 7 nationwide events scheduled. You can now catch Formula D on ESPN2 which is available in 90 million households. An interesting fact is that Formula DRIFT has more tire manufacturers involved than any other motor sport event in the world. And after watching an event, with tires smoking from start to finish, you can plainly see why!

2009 Formula D Falken Ford Mustang

Drifting involves tremendous vehicle control and finesse. Drivers throttle the engine, shift gears, tap the brake peddle and spin the steering wheel to put their high-horsepower/lightweight cars into powerslides as they push through an abbreviated race course. The goal is to link corners with perfect accuracy and execution while maneuvering their car without the benefit of rear tire traction. Drifting is very counterintuitive to normal driving as the front wheels are pointed in the opposite direction of the turn.

Judging is based on line, angle, speed and style. The desired line of attack is established beforehand at the drivers’ meeting. For angle, sideways is obviously preferred to straight and speed relates not only to entering turns but traveling through them and exiting as fast as possible. Show factors depend on the aggressiveness of the driver with hugging the wall and smoking the tires and to a small degree the crowd’s reaction (but the judges have their own take.)

The Formula D event held on Saturday, April 11th was as exciting as ever. As mentioned in the previous article about the qualifications held on Friday, this year there is a new format with the top 32 drivers advancing instead of just 16. The “Preview Day” narrowed down the field from 47 registered drivers to 32 as judges scored based on a point deduction system with 100 points possible.
The top three drivers from 2008 (Tanner Foust, Samuel Hubinette and Rhys Millen) all made the cut for Saturday. Below is a full breakdown of the 2009 Formula DRIFT Streets of Long Beach competition:

Top 32 Tandem Results:

1. Chris Forsberg (W) vs. 32. Matt Waldin (L)
16. Stephan Verdier (W) vs. 17. Rhys Millen (L)
8. Robbie Nishida (W) vs. 25. Michihiro Takatori (L)
9. Quoc Ly (W) vs. 24. John Russakoff (L)
4. Kazu Hayashida (L) vs. 29. Yasu Kondo (W)
13. Vaughn Gittin JR (W) vs. 20. Joon Maeng (L)
5. Justin Pawlak (W) vs. 28. Casper Canul (L)
12. Samuel Hubinette (W) vs. 21. Tyler McQuarrie (L)
2. Darren McNamara (W) vs. 31. Eric O’Sullivan (L)
15. Tony Brakohiopa (W) vs. 18. Kyle Mohan (L)
7. Conrad Grunewald (W) vs. 26. Matt Powers
10. Ryan Tuerck (W) vs. 23. Calvin Wan (L)
3. Tanner Foust (W) vs. 30. Carl Rydquist (L)
14. Katsuhiro Ueo (W) vs. 19. Ross Petty (L)
6. Taka Aono (W) vs. 27. Patrick Morduant (L)
11. Daijiro Yoshihara (L) vs. 22. Jeff Jones (W)

Top 16 Tandem Results

1. Chris Forsberg (L) vs. 16. Stephan Verdier (W)
8. Robbie Nishida (W) vs. 9. Quoc Ly (L)
13. Vaughn Gittin JR (W) vs. 29. Yasu Kondo (L)
12. Samuel Hubinette (W) vs. 5. Justin Pawlak (L)
15. Tony Brakohiopa (W) vs. 2. Darren McNamara (L)
7. Conrad Grunewald (L) vs. 10. Ryan Tuerck (W)
3. Tanner Foust (W) vs. 14. Katsuhiro Ueo (L)
6. Taka Aono (W) vs. 22. Jeff Jones (L)

Great 8 Results

16. Stephan Verdier (L) vs. 8. Robbie Nishida (W)
13. Vaughn Gittin JR (L) vs. 12. Samuel Hubinette (W)
15. Tony Brakohiopa (L) vs. 10. Ryan Tuerck (W)
3. Tanner Foust (W) vs. 6. Taka Aono (L)

Final Four Results

8. Robbie Nishida (L) vs. 12. Samuel Hubinette (W)
10. Ryan Tuerck (W) vs. 3. Tanner Foust (L)

Consolation Results

8. Robbie Nishida (L) vs. 3. Tanner Foust (W)

Final Results

12. Samuel Hubinette (L) vs. 10. Ryan Tuerck (W)

Congratulations to Ryan Tuerck for winning 2009 Formula D Streets of Long Beach!