Car Feature>> Ryan Tuerck’s Formula D Camaro

The direction which North American professional drift cars are progressing into is a hotly contested topic. One thing is for certain, the cars are getting louder, they're getting faster and they're billowing out tire smoke by the metric ton. The faint twirl of a blow-off valve has been replaced by the almost defining roar of V8s with the top tier competitors' V8s packing the most punch and the most thunderous noise.

British videographer, Stephen Brooks, couldn't get over the fact of just how loud the spectacle of Formula D is compared to his home series, the British Drift Championship, while he was in attendance at Wall Speedway in New Jersey.

One of the many new fire and brimstone creating cars on the 2011 Formula D grid is Ryan Tuerck's 2010 Gardella Racing Chevy Camaro. The Mobil 1 / Redbull livery was designed by fellow Speedhunter, Andy Blackmore. Ryan moved from his Pontiac Soltice to the Camaro. 

Coming out from the factory floor, a Camaro weighs in at a hefty 3,750 pounds and if this car was to be the slightest bit competitive, it had to go through an extreme diet. On the exterior, the guys from Gardella Racing employed the use of Pratt Miller carbon fiber front bumper, hood, roof, decklid….

…and Norm's fiberglass fenders and doors. This lever at the top is the new door release. The factory door release no longer exists. 

When you open up the door, you're greeted first thing by a Formula D legal roll cage with door bars. These top tier professional drift cars are being prepped more like real race cars as the sport progresses further.

And as with any race car, the interior has also seen a drastic diet change as it exudes zero creature comforts. Even the dash received a whole new look and functionality with the Racepak IQ3 dash with datalogger.

The closest thing to luxury are the pair of Sparco bucket seats.

The factory pedals were also replaced with these from Wilwood. The accelerator was fabricated to Tuerck's specifications. The cylindrical piece was added so he can reach the pedal and so he can roll into the gas giving him the ability to finely tune the throttle rather than the usual barbaric stomp.

Gone is the six speed transmission from the factory as it's been replaced by a G-Force GSR 4 speed transmission. 

Back outside, we popped open the hood…

…to find a rather beastly 427 cubic inch GM racing LS7…

…with Kinsler ITBs…

…and Kooks Custom Headers.

The LS7 is managed by a FAST XFI ECU and FAST XIM ignition module which has been mounted on the passenger side of the transmission tunnel.

In the back of the car, you can find a Winters quick change differential.

In the trunk, is a Fuel Safe fuel cell…

…and a whole lot of excess rubber.

Why the lexan quarter windows? Because race car.

The Gardella team chose a set of Eibach struts and springs with Pfadt sway bar, bushings, and camber kit as their suspension of choice for the car. Judging from how the car has been performing and with Ryan Tuerck being 7th in the championship (as of July 2011), this suspension setup has proven its worth.

Gardella decided to ditch the 20" wheels, which come with the more premium packaged Camaros, and opted for a set of much lighter 18" red anodized Enkei RPF1. Their drift tire of choice was the Nitto NT05 265/35R18, on a 9" wide wheel, for the front…

…and 295/35R18 on a 18×10" wide rear wheel.

The front and rear fenders were also brought down and made smaller so the 18" wheels didn't get lost in an ocean of fender gap. This may be a professional race car, but looks are still a big part of the sport of drifting and the guys from Gardella know that.

For stopping this massive car, Gardella once again, reached out to the folks from Wilwood.

This is the result of when two Camaros go up against each other in the top 4 at Wall Speedway in New Jersey. 

It was more than just a love tap with the guard rail. 

In the next few years, it's definitely going to be interesting to see how these top tier Formula D cars will progress. One thing is for certain, cars built in this meticulous way, like the Gardella Racing Camaro, will be what to expect on the professional level in the future. Gone will be the street-style S13s, 14s, and most things that many of us associate with Japanese Drifting. Formula D is quickly becoming a very American sport.

For some, that might be a tough fact to swallow. But to those that enjoy watching the sport for what it is, this change will be a good thing. Each year, the cars are getting faster, the tandem battles are becoming closer and closer, and the noise that exudes from all these V8s is exhilarating to experience in person.


Gardella Racing



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Judging from the similarities, this is basically a Matt Powers S14, in a new Camaro body. LS7, G-Force 4-speed, Nitto Tires, Winters quick change, light usage Wilwoods, etc. I'm not overlooking the fact that it's an awesome car, cause not everybody just takes a new car and debuts with a 2nd place qualifying, it's just a comfirmation of the fact that the Formula Drift series is becoming more and more of spec'd series.

In fact, apart from the fact that it has an LS2 and Falken tires, Dai's S13 is pretty much the same way with it's setup. In this case, someone could argue that it's now about how much better the drivers are from each other, but it's less exciting now without Yoshioka Vegas moments or less David/Goliath battles. I'm not sure man, I think Speedhunters should start up some XDC or JustDrift coverage.


Very clean looking :)

Any chance of desktops?


"Because race car"

You must be a secret Jalop:D


because racecar!


why is it that we aren't allowed to see larger versions of images? how hard is it to link a bigger image to each picture posted?


I need Desktop of this awesome car.



gonna be a lot of haterz follow up aye? lol


wheels are tooooo damn small.


car looks great, you know your Speedhunters co-worker designed the livery?

Wheels are too small


i think he wereked the car a little


That is a damn clean interior.


very very good article!!!!

red enkei's PWN


the livery looks kinda... eh. doesn't look as good as other cars, or even other RedBull cars (ie Rhys Millen). i know the Mobil1 sponsorship demands require the big white patches but it ruins the look. also the tiny headlights and the red wheels look bad... really bad. grunewald's camaro is one of the best looking cars in the series, and i'd rather see tuerck's car look more like his than look like this... good try but i hope to see better next year, esp considering tuerck has long been one of my favorite drivers.


/\ because race car



agreed, im not hating on the cars in formula D, i love v8s just as much as a boosted 4, a lot of work goes into those cars and they are amazing but i feel like a formula D street legal class would make it a 100x better

.. also where is the ASB coverage??


Is formula drift still going? Got real boring since all the cool cars either dissapeared or got converted to v8. No different to watchin a nascar race these days haha.


I like race cars but hyper-functional-race-car-engineered-to-go-sideways drift cars (pretty much every single car in FD and D1 now) suck. Drifting is about style, so drift cars should be about style. This type of drift car has crappy style and doesn't look cool, IMO. Bring back coilovers with the collars removed, fat wheels with skinny tires and stupid low aero.


Is that a one off shift knob?


Desktops of photo 1, 3, 20, and 25!


those battle scars make the car looks much more fierce


those battle scars make the car looks much more fierce


And this is why drifting is fading, who actually wants to watch these cars? I dont.

Thanks usa for spoiling drifting, you just dont understand wheres the honour in beating another driver by using superior equipment.

Just a bunch of over funded people playing an epensive game with expesive toys might aswell just gather around a bonfire and burn cash


Such a cool car. I wish it wasn't covered in graphics though, would look so mean all in white


needs because race car sticker


The last picture is great!! Desktop please.


I cannot believe some moron would have the audacity to compare this car to Matt Powers car (LOL). Matt Powers car was held together with duct tape at Wall Stadium, and I bet its still isnt fixed! You guys really need to get a clue! This car is the benchmark for drifting worldwide, it has knocked down barriers and performed with the best of them!


You know, there is a fine line between being passionate about something, and being overzealous. I can respect your comment, etc. But when it comes down to it, those cars are essentially the same. Like I stated before, both cars are jockin' LS7's, a G-Force GSR, and a Winters Quick change. They're essentially the same setup with difference in width and length of the chassis.

Like I said, I don't have a problem with the car, or the Matt Powers car. As far as I see it, the Camaro is gonna be the new placeholder for Red Bull, and the Matt Powers is a car that embodies the avant-garde nature of American drifting. In fact, I didn't even say anything bad about either car, I just said I didn't like the way the "innovations" in American Drifting was going.

You wanna call me a moron, fine. Read the whole comment first, clean up your comment so I know exactly what the pheuk you're talking about, and come at me again. As far as I see this situation, you can't explain your stance and you've taken a situation out of context.


Another thoroughly prepped car built to win in top echelon motorsports. Love it. Keep the "soul" cars where they belong.


Drifting fading? What numbers are you looking at? There has been record crowd presence at EVERY event this year. DriftStream as well. And yet children like you post about how "drifting isn't what it used to be" and "people don't want to watch these cars". Quit Whining.

As time goes on, and everyone else moves on, people like you still remain in denial about how popular the sport IS.


love the car, wish it had door panels though looks too nascar not real car and wish the rear lexan windows were attached a little cleaner




For realz...


Awesome write up Linhnbergh. The Camaro never looked so good!


Where was this shot? It looks fimilar to me


Formula D fans are way lame

Cool car though


Amazing photo session. This car looks stunning, even more with this fantastic shots.


You people make me laugh. Just because the car is way more advanced then most of the pieces of shit in FD its ruining the sport. FD is way bigger then it ever was, with way more people attending. These type of cars are the future of drifting, not the same old tired s13, 14 and 15. Powers may have the same type of set up, but his motor is not, no where near the same. This is a professional sport if some can't hang with the big boys then step back down to pro-am, and stop bitchn.


Honestly I kinda agree with the side that says "Drifting is growing" cause truth is it really IS growing. It's just for guys like us who appreciate the nostalgia of where it came from, it's dying in OUR eyes, but remember those days were back when people thought drifting was a term used for sailing a boat without the motor on. Now it's rapidly becoming a world-wide sport, and there's PLENTY of different professional avenues that host events; Formula D might seem like the biggest but honestly that's only because you've probably never left the US yet. There's FD Asia, Singapore, Philiippines, and BDC, Prodrift, D1NZ, and many others that have rules that are much more relaxed than FD USA's are, and cooler cars. I saw a MAZDA TRUCK drifting in FD Malaysia one time, THAT'S unique. Plus it's spreading to the Carribbean islands as well. This is the biggest drifting's ever been. Granted FD US is becoming VERY NASCAR-ish by the season, more and more teams running the same exact power setups and liveries are butt-ugly now, and car diversity is dying as well, props to those who never made the switch and run with the pros while still keeping it real (e.g. Joon Maeng, Ross Petty, and ESPECIALLY Walker Wilkerson, with his insane backwards entries and all, John Russakoff, Taka Aono, etc.) Street style may be dying in the US but it's not gone yet, and it's definitely VERY alive in other countries. I think what drifting stood for is unity in diversity. Everyone could come together and have fun, while running completely different setups. I'd personally like to see another influx of street-style diversity in FD US before the whole thing shuts down. I remember "BUBBA DRIFT" and their El Camino. Awesome car. Sure would love to see that again. Or some MK3/MK4 Supras, Cressidas, GS300s, SC300/400s, more imported Skylines; c'mon people you got the money, use it for good!


With so many distractions in the present day, many of us are hard pressed to find time to actually sit


As a photographer, I find myself drawn to cars that look great when captured in still photographs. This