Event>>formula Drift Irwindale Pro-am

On Saturday some of the best amateur drifters in North America gathered at Irwindale Speedway for the Formula Drift Pro Am Nationals. With prize money, free parts, and the chance for an FD Pro license on the line, the competition would be fierce, yet the atmosphere was still that of care-free grassroots event. In total there were 24 drivers who had advanced through the ranks of regional feeder series, or at the FD Pro Am events held across the country in 2009. Although the stands were far from full, there were still plenty of spectators and supporters that came to enjoy the action on a beautiful fall afternoon in SoCal.

Compared to the madness of a Formula Drift Pro event, Pro Am has a much more relaxed atmosphere. No blasting music, no models – just the cars and their drivers. As fun as the pro events are to shoot, you just can't beat the vibe of grassroots drifting.

The walls at Irwindale are dangerous even for the pro drivers, so with the pro-am drivers taking the course the chances for carnage were high. You have to hand it to these guys for going balls out on one of the toughest tracks around – especially since they were all driving their own cars. There were no pro pit crews to help them, or stacks of spare parts kept for backup.

San Diego's Tommy Roberts would again fall victim to Irwindale's walls, yet he was still able to secure his FD pro license at the event. We'll be looking forward to seeing Tommy join his friend Matt Powers in the pro ranks next season.

Being a pro-am event, the Nissan S-chassis was by far the most popular vehicle on Saturday. There were also plenty of other cars though, such as Jeff Abott's turbocharged NB Mazda Miata.

Keith Wong and his 20-valve-powered AE86 had the moves only a hachiroku with an expert pilot could have. On top of that, the car also looked and sounded incredible.

The Lone Star State had a large posse on hand, including Russel Walker in his purple S13.

Another Texas driver, Chelsea DeNofa in his turbocharged E36 BMW M3. Chelsea would end up on the podium, taking third place overall.

Joining Chelsea was San Diego's Dave Blunt in his "Dity Thirty" BMW. This car has so much personality, whether its standing still in the pits…

…or ripping it up and breaking aero parts on the track.

Another victim of the walls of Irwindale – Kyle Mohan's old FC , driven by Johnny Kanavas.

The RB-powered S13 of Washington's Nikolay Konstantinov also had it's rear fascia rearranged after a meeting with the wall on the inner bank. Luckily his expensive 180SX Type X tail lights appear to have been spared the damage.

Brad Hettinger's S13 convertible was looking good all day, but a transmission failure forced to him to bow out during the tandem competition.

This beautiful V8-powered S13 belongs to Stewart Leask, another Texas representative.

And rounding out the group of Texas drivers, Ameen Rizvi in his 2JZ Toyota Cressida. Without a doubt this one of the coolest cars at the event. Even with engine hiccups Ameen was able to advance deep into the tandem competition, finishing in fourth place overall.

After morning practice it was clear that Mike Pollard would be one of the guys to beat. On his good runs, he was displaying professional-like speed and angle through the entire course. Just look at that the steering angle on his S13!

At the end of the day it would come down to Mike Pollard versus British Columbia's Ian Fournier in his four-door R32 Skyline.

Ian Fournier would end up taking the victory after Pollard tapped the wall in the final, putting BC and the entire Pacific Northwest drift scene on the top. Fournier, like many of the other drivers is now good to go for competition in the Formula D pro championship. Hopefully he and the other newly licensed drivers will be able to make some waves next year in the "big leagues".

Stay tuned from more from the Irwindale Pro Am!

-Mike Garrett



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Major props to Ian, Roland, Nikolay, and the rest of the NW guys reppin' hard! I sooo wish I could have filmed this event.


Fuckin Pollard. He tears shit up! Congrats to everyone!


Canada rocks!


Can we have a feature on Nikolay's 180SX please?

Great stuff there.


Great Pictures Mike! It was good to meet ya


Proud to be a resident of BC now!


go northwest! now its time to start making a videooo!


purple?? nigga thats lavender.


More shots of the Cressida!

Man I love 4door drift car.

Great shots BTW!


love the cressida must be a monster, the finalist cars are clean love that r32


i cant wait to see our guys out there next season in monroe. it'll be bad ass to see them finally compete against the pros on our home course. good job guys


man that R32 is sexy


Bro, ive seen that lavender 240sx and the cressida at Austin at a drift contest. those dudes are crazy good. especially the 240sx


I've actually seen Russel Walker's 240 getting hauled around on a trailer in Austin... Haha I got all excited when I saw the Formula D Pro Am sticker on it. Glad to hear the boys from Texas are killin' it!


Love to see the NW get LOVE,what happened to the KP tuning S14?

Can't wait to get more coverage!

BRING DRIFTING BACK TO P.I.R!!! In portland!!!!


wheres pictures of roland? he wouldve won the shit if his car wouldnt have got totalled


see what i mean about grass roots, id prefer these events over professional


Awesome to see Russell, Stew, Chelsea and Ameen on Speedhunters. Texas ftw


NW throwin it down, watch out next year!


please make a wallpaper of the "dirty thirty"


Lets go Canada!!! but I got to say that my hero is still Ameen!! Good job man!!


Props to all the drivers, no attitudes just lots of comradery and fun, they all deserved it. way to go Ian, Nikolay, Roland, Victor, Andrew, and Trent. evergreendrift rules


Aw!what happened tp rholands car!!!!!


If they are crashin, then they suck ass. SpeedHunters needs to come out to the East Coast to see how WE do it. We're definately better than anything on the west coast has to offer.


im sorry but there should be at least one picture of the Sparkly pink vinyl-ed car driven by Derek King (ft.Wayne,IN) lol him and pollard (chi town i think) each drove a ricockulous drive straight their i tip my hat to anyone driving 37 hours straight to try and make it big


Mike Pollard is from Minneapolis MN, and Derek King is from Ft. Wayne, IN. Both drivers are part of TMF Opposition, a Midwest based crew. Last I saw Stew's car was at Gateway Intl. speedway this past spring. It's great to see that he made it this far.

Congrats Mike on the 2nd spot. Congrats Derek on getting your License too! I can't wait to see some new faces in Formula D next year.


Mike Pollard "Black Magic" is from Minnesota dontcha know, Congrats to every driver that got there license


WHAAAA!? No JSP Corolla shots!


roland hit the wall HARD in practice...

sadly.. i didnt get the clip :[


Yes its true, he is.


Hey Jersey, why don't you come out to the west coast and let your car do the talking? I'll tell you why, because you would be wasting your time and money. You have never even seen the West Coasts true skill level. Before you go stretching yourself out to our coast and drivers, I suggest your skills and reputation exceed all other locals to your area.

On the flipside, congrats to EACH driver who was able to progress to the pro am level and beyond this year, regardless of geographical location.



They are drifting in a close circuit and there cars are all fucked up, imagine what they could do on real street racing.they think they are pros.Att: Yo desde Puerto Rico . la nueva capital del drifting jajajajajajajajajajaj