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Formula DRIFT Round 8: Title Fight Results

The O’Reilly Auto Parts “Title Fight” sponsored by Gumout at the Formula DRIFT Championship presented by BlackVue Dash Cameras Round 8 Results; Matt Field Takes the Event Victory and Chris Forsberg is Crowned Champion

Long Beach, Calif. – October 8, 2016 – The O’Reilly Auto Parts “Title Fight” sponsored by Gumout at the Formula DRIFT Championship presented by BlackVue Dash Cameras completed the 2016 Pro Championship season in dramatic fashion with Matt Field in the Gears of War 4 / Falken / Driftcave Motorsports Nissan 240 taking the event victory, while Chris Forsberg, in the NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z is crowned both the Pro Champion and World Champion.

Irwindale Speedway, also known as the “House of Drift,” hosted the sold out event. Over 600,000 global viewers tuned in to watch the event unfold via the Livestream.

“This was a signature year for the Series,” said Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT. “We crowned our first 3-time champion, introduced an eighth event to the Pro Championship, and have a few things up our sleeves already for the 2017 season.”

The season culminated at the largest event of the year and with the championship at stake the drivers put it all on the line. Entering the event, only four drivers were mathematically eligible to take home the championship, 2-time champion, Chris Forsberg, returning champion Fredric Aasbo, 2010 champion, Vaughn Gittin, and Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis. As the event progressed, Gittin, had an early exit in the round of 32, which left Aasbo and Forsberg left to control their own destiny. The Top 16 saw many spoilers and upsets as Forberg crashed in his chase run against Patrick Mordaunt giving a small chance to Aasbo. In Aasbo’s Top 16 battle against Matt Field, Aasbo initiated contact on his chase lap giving the edge to Field, which ultimately cost him the decision to give Forsberg the 2016 Pro Championship. This makes Forsberg the first 3-time Formula DRIFT champion and first champion to win without winning a single round of competition. Forsberg also is awarded the 2016 Formula DRIFT World Championship.

“It’s been an insane year. I want to thank my partners that have given me endless support,” said Chris Forsberg, 2016 Formula DRIFT champion and World Champion. “Even though we didn’t get the win, I always say that consistency pays off and that’s how you win a championship by doing well every single round.”

With the championship determined, the remaining drivers continued to make a statement and end their season on a high note. Ryan Tuerck faced off against Tyler McQuarrie in the Top 16 and edged out his opponent, but at the finish line had mechanical issues, which forced him out of the competition, but by qualifying in second, he secured third place. The final battle pitted number one qualifier, Dai Yoshihara and Matt Field, who won Round 7. Continuing on the momentum from Texas, Field drove hard and consistent, and caught a break as Yoshihara’s power steering went out pushing him into the wall on his chase run which gave him the victory.

The event was highly competitive with many battles often too close to call for the judges leading to several “one more time” calls. In the Great 8, returning champion Fredric Aasbo in the Rockstar Energy / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC, who entered the event second in points by only five points faced the 2-time champion and point leader, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z. This battle was significant for the championship chase. An over correction by Aasbo opened the door for Forsberg to enter the semi-finals.

“We just finished the war here in Irwindale,” said Matt Field, winner of Round 8: Title Fight. “We won and came out on top! With the new Gears of War 4 livery with its release a lot changed since Texas, but winning didn’t.”

Rookie of the year honors goes to Alex Heilbrunn in the RTS Monster BMW M3, while SR by Toyota takes the Manufacturer Championship, and Falken Tire comes from behind to win the Tire Championship.

For more information visit, www.formulad.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram @formulad, Facebook www.facebook.com/formuladrift, Twitter @FormulaD, and Snapchat – formula_drift. Tune into Formula DRIFT on CBS Sports and check your local listings for airtimes.

 

Images: Larry Chen

Formula DRIFT Round 7: Showdown Result

Formula DRIFT Round 7: Showdown Results;
Matt Field Earns His First Career Victory

Long Beach, Calif. – September 10, 2016 – Formula DRIFT presented by BlackVue returned to Texas for Round 7: Autozone Showdown presented by Black Magic.  Matt Field in the Falken Tire / Driftcave Motorsports Nissan 240 takes his first ever victory.

Texas Motor Speedway played host for the action packed event. With only one event until the final event of the season the drivers put it all on the line in their chase for the championship.  Heading into the event only 15 points separated the Top 3 drivers.

“The competition tonight showcased the diversity and talent of the driver pool,” said Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT.  “We had a mix of past champions and young guns drive their hearts out at a very high level on a challenging and competitive course.”

The event was highly competitive with many battles often too close to call for the judges leading to several “one more time” calls.  In the Great 8, returning champion Fredric Aasbo in the Rockstar Energy / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC, who entered the event second in points by only five points faced the 2-time champion and point leader, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z.  This battle was significant for the championship chase.  An over correction by Aasbo opened the door for Forsberg to enter the semi-finals.

Forsberg met the young gun, Alec Hohnadell in the Enjuku / Get Nuts Lab / Nexen Tire Nissan 240, in the semi-finals.  Hohnadell had car issues throughout the competition, which got the best of him helping to advance Forsberg into the Finals.  Matt Field faced Kristaps Bluss in the HGK / Mast / Motul / Achilles BMW M3.  A major mistake by Bluss on his chase run took him off course to give Field the win.  Forsberg and Field met in the Finals.  Forsberg drove aggressive, but that lead to him running into Field and that ultimately gave Field his first Formula DRIFT victory.  This marks Forsberg’s sixth consecutive podium and he now leads the chase for the championship by 36 points with one event remaining.

“I knew we could do it, it took a little while, but we are there,” said Matt Field, winner of Round 7: Showdown.  “We did it. We got the “W.”  Thank you to everybody.”

The 2016 Formula DRIFT Pro Championship will continue to Round 8: O’Reilly Auto Parts Title Fight sponsored by Gumout on October 7-8, 2016 at Irwindale Speedway.  For more information visit,www.formulad.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram @formulad, Facebook www.facebook.com/formuladrift, Twitter @FormulaD, and Snapchat – formula_drift.  Tune into Formula DRIFT on CBS Sports and check your local listings for airtimes.

Images: Larry Chen

Formula DRIFT Round 6: Throwdown Results

Formula DRIFT Round 6: Throwdown Results;
Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis Takes the Victory to Shake Up the Standings

Long Beach, Calif. – August 6, 2016 – Formula DRIFT presented by BlackVue returned to Monroe, Washington for the sixth round of competition. Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis in the Ark Performance / Feal Suspension / Falken Tire Hyundai Genesis is Victorious.

Evergreen Speedway hosted Round 6: Throwdown in the Pacific Northwest. The action packed event showcased some of the closest battles to date. The competition was fierce as many of the high ranked drivers were taken out early in the competition opening the door for the other drivers to move up in the standings. With two events remaining in the 2016 Pro Championship season less than 55 points separate the top four drivers.

“It was awesome to treat the capacity crowd to an amazing weekend of competition, during one of the busiest event weekends in the region.” said Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT.

The highly competitive event saw a shake up in the Pro Championship standings with Vaughn Gittin, who qualified first and was on top of the standings heading into Round 6, lose in the Top 16, which opened the door for the other drivers as Gittin moves down to third place overall by only 15 points. 2-time champion, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z faced Matt Coffman in the Coffman Racing Nissan 240 in the semi-finals. Forsberg edged out the young driver to advance to the Finals. Ken Gushi in the GReddy Racing / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota 86 met Bakchis in the semi-finals. Bakchis outdrove his opponent to move to the Finals. Errors on Forsberg’s run helped give Bakchis his first victory of the season. Forsberg’s second place finish moves him into the lead by 5 points over Fredric Aasbo.

“I’m really happy with the win. It’s been a lot of work on our part and with our sponsors Ark Performance, Feal Suspension, and Falken Tire,” said Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis, winner of Round 6: Throwdown. “I really want to keep this momentum going into the next round and am excited for the rest of the season.”

The 2016 Formula DRIFT Pro Championship will continue to Round 7: Showdown on September 9-10, 2016 at Texas Motor Speedway. For more information visit, www.formulad.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram @formulad, Facebook www.facebook.com/formuladrift, Twitter @FormulaD, and Snapchat – formula_drift. Tune into Formula DRIFT on CBS Sports and check your local listings for airtimes.

Images: Larry Chen

Formula DRIFT Round 5: True North Result

Formula DRIFT Round 5: True North Results;
Fredric Aasbo Takes the Win to Move Within 3 Points of the Championship Lead

Long Beach, Calif. – July 16, 2016 – Formula DRIFT presented by BlackVue held their first international event as part of the Pro Championship in Canada at Autodrome St-Eustache. Fredric Aasbo in the Rockstar Energy / Nexen Tire Scion tC took the victory and moves within 3 points of the leader in the standings with only three events remaining in the 2016 season.

In one of the most action packed and competitive rounds of competition, Round 5: True North brought the top drifting talent in the world into Canada to a sold out crowd. The Livestream drew over 360,000 views.

“For our first international Pro Championship event we couldn’t have asked for a better turnout,” said Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT. “We are proud to have brought international drifting stars such as Fredric Aasbo from Norway, Mike Whiddett from New Zealand, Dean Kearney from Ireland, Charles Ng from China, Robbie Nishida from Japan, and many more into Canada. The drivers drove their hearts out tonight and put on one amazing event.”

The event culminated into a highly competitive Top 4 battle that saw four drivers all within striking distance of the championship. Odi Bakchis in the ARK Performance / Feal Suspension / Falken Tire Hyundai Genesis faced current champion, Fredric Aasbo. Bakchis had a bobble in his chase run that helped move the champion into the Finals. 2-time champion, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z met the 2010 champion, Vaughn Gittin in the Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR in the semi-finals. Forsberg got his revenge from Round 4 and outdrove his opponent to make it to the finals and onto the podium for his fourth consecutive time this season. Aasbo and Forsberg put it all on the line in the Finals with a very close and competitive battle. Aasbo’s consistency throughout the evening proved to be the deciding factor as he took advantage on a slight mistake from Forsberg to take the victory, his third podium this season, and moves within 3 points of the point leader, Gittin. Bakchis moves up to the fourth spot overall.

“Wow! What an amazing night!,” said Fredric Aasbo, winner of Round 5: True North. “Some of the most diehard and knowledgeable drift fans are out here in Montreal. We were able to scrape through the battles. What an amazing win for the team.”

 

Images: Larry Chen

Formula DRIFT Round 4: The Gauntlet Results

Formula DRIFT Round 4: The Gauntlet Results;
Vaughn Gittin Takes the Win and the Pro Championship Lead

Long Beach, Calif. – June 18, 2016 – Formula DRIFT presented by BlackVue returned to New Jersey for Round 4: The Gauntlet. Vaughn Gittin in the Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR takes the victory and takes the lead in the Pro Championship standings.

Round 4: The Gauntlet returned to Wall Speedway for the eleventh time as the season hits the mid-way point. Fans witnessed a highly competitive round of competition. The event had over 400,000 views on the Livestream.

“Before heading into this event the top ten drivers in the standings were within 90 points from the lead as we reach middle of the season,” said Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT. “The competition is at an all-time high and every event counts as we head into our first ever Pro Championship international event next month in Montreal, Canada.”

The action packed event found Ken Gushi in the GReddy Racing / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota 86 against 2-time Formula DRIFT champion, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z in the semi-finals. Gushi made a detrimental mistake on his chase run that gave Forsberg the win to move him into the Finals and on the podium for his third consecutive event. Gushi moves into the fourth spot for the Championship. Rookie Alex Heilbrunn in the RTS Monster BMW M3 faced off against the 2010 Formula DRIFT champion Vaughn Gittin on the other side of the bracket in the semi-finals. The speed and consistency of Gittin was too much to overcome for the rookie, however Heilbrunn ends up in third place for his first ever Formula DRIFT Pro Championship podium. The finals were a battle of champions with Gittin versus Forsberg. Gittin remained tough to beat and edged out his opponent for his second victory of the season to move into the top spot in the standings.

“Winning is always awesome and always fun and as everyone knows I like to have a good time and so does my team,” said Vaughn Gittin, winner of Round 4: The Gauntlet. “We came out this weekend and worked as hard as we could and dialed the car in the best we could. I just drove my heart out.”

The 2016 Formula DRIFT Pro Championship will continue to Round 5: True North on July 15-16, 2016 at Autodrome St. Eustache in Canada. For more information visit, www.formulad.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram @formulad, Facebook www.facebook.com/formuladrift, Twitter @FormulaD, and snapchat formula_drift. Tune into Formula DRIFT on CBS Sports and check your local listings for airtimes.

Images: Larry Chen

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