World’s premier drifting series features drivers and exotic cars from
North and South America, Europe, Asia
December 4, 2017, St. Louis Region – The world’s top drifting talent will converge on Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois, for the inaugural Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship and Formula DRIFT Link ECU Pro2 Championship rounds. The drifting event, scheduled for August 10-11, 2018 will take place on the 1.6-mile Circuit of St. Louis road course inside the superspeedway. The St. Louis region’s event will be the sixth round on the 2018 Formula DRIFT (www.formulad.com) schedule.
“We are proud to bring the exciting sport of professional drifting to the St. Louis-Metro East region,” said Gateway Motorsports Park Executive Vice President and General Manager Chris Blair. “We originally started discussions with the team at Formula Drift in the spring of 2013. We wanted to make sure our market was ready and the timing was right to deliver the greatest professional drifting series on the planet. As we’ve consistently demonstrated, our 340-acre facility is the most progressive multi-purpose venue in the United States. We’re keeping our promise of bringing new and exciting entertainment to the area with a show that appeals to an all-new audience from across the region. In 2018, everything at Gateway Motorsports Park will be bigger, better, faster.”
Drifting truly is an international competition, with drivers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Peru, Poland, Russia and the United States.
Drifting is a motor sport that originated in Japan over 20 years ago and is the only four-wheel motor sport in the world that is judged. Line, Angle and Style are the three criteria that the judges look at when evaluating the drivers in Qualifying, but the main event of the show is when driver go head-to-head against each other. The battles are composed of two laps, with the higher qualified driver going first. Each driver has a set of responsibilities. The lead driver is trying to do the best example of a qualifying run, while the chase driver is trying to keep the pressure on the lead driver, looking for areas to attack and get as close as possible to the chase driver, while maintaining the highest possible angle and following the lead driver wherever the vehicle goes. After the succession of both laps, the judges choose between Driver A or Driver B, but in the case of it being too close to call, the judges can ask for the fan favorite, known as a One-More-Time.
Formula DRIFT was formed in 2003 by Jim Liaw and Ryan Sage to bring competition drifting to the United States. Since then, Formula DRIFT has become the global leader in the Sport which boasts one of the largest social media/online fan bases of any motorsports. The 2018 series competes in California, New Jersey, Texas, Georgia, Florida, Washington and Nevada.
The Formula DRIFT series’ 2017 champion, James Deane, also has won the Drift All Stars European Championship and Irish Drift Championship five times and is a Guinness World Record Holder for the longest tandem drift (28.52km/17.72 miles).
The top American driver is Chris Forsberg of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 34, has stood on the podium more than any other Formula DRIFT driver and the only Formula Drift triple champion (2009, 2014 and 2016).
2017 Formula DRIFT Championship Standings
1. James Deane — Ireland, Nissan @JamesDeane130
2. Fredric Aasbo — Norway, Toyota @FredricAasbo
3. Aurimas Bakchis — Lithuania, Nissan @odidrift
4. Vaughn Gittin Jr. — United States, Ford @VaughnGittinJr
5. Kristas Bluss — Latvia, BMW @hgkracingteam
6. Daijiro Yoshihara — Japan, Subaru @DaiYoshihara
7. Michael Essa — United States, BMW @michaelessa
8. Piotr Wiechec — Poland, Nissan @piotrwiechec
9. Ryan Tuerck — United States, Toyota @RyanTuerck
10. Matt Coffman — United States, Nissan @coffmanracing