Preview>>formula Drift 2010

Has it already been a year since I moved back to the US and started covering the 2009 FD season?

I remember thinking that '09 was the most exciting year in FD history, but it's already looking like 2010 will crank things up at least another notch or two.

Activity has already started down at the Long Beach street course, so it's time to take a look at the season to come.

With so much news heading into the season opener I don't even know where to start. How about with the new cars?

For starters we have Michael Essa's M5-powered 3-series. OK, it does look like the car is sitting a little high in the pic, but once you hear the sound of the V10 you'll probably forget about the ride height.

Equally hyped is Conrad Grunewald's 2010 Chevy Camaro SS. Camaros and tire smoke are an American institution, and Conrad's 'Maro is a welcome addition to the FD roster.

And on the other-side of the Ford vs. Chevy battle will be Vaughn Gittin Jr. and his new 2011 Mustang, which will be fully unveiled tonight here in Los Angeles.

Rounding out the drift ponycar wars will be Sam Hubinette in his new Dodge Challenger. Just like SCCA Trans Am in 1970, except 40 years later, and in drifting…

Robbie Nishida is also scheduled do bring the Hankook GT-R out this year, but we haven't heard much about the build recently. Will the car be ready for this weekend?

It may not be a new build, but both Mad Mike and his RX8 are newcomers to the Formula Drift Series.

Another RX8 to look out for this season is the BMI four-rotor RX8, which will be driven by East Coast-based driver Brian Wilkerson.

Meanwhile, many of the existing cars have been given a lot of upgrades for 2010, such as Dai Yoshihara's LS1 S13.

And of course Matt Powers' S14, looking like a completely different animal (pun intended) than it did in 2009.

Taka Aono will keep the AE86 spirit alive with a new livery for 2010. Car looks awesome.

There's also been some drivers shuffled around during the off-season. Joon Maeng will pilot the Bergenholtz RX8, now with the backing of Full Tilt Poker.

While Justin "JTP" Pawlak has joined Team Falken, driving Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s 2010 Mustang GT.

Another thing to look out for this season is the wave of international drivers coming to drive in FD. James Deane has earned a spot driving the Falken S15 at Long Beach.

Dean Kearney is also back for more after appearing at the '09 season finale at Irwindale.

The same goes for Norweigan driver Fredric Aasbo and his JZA80 Supra.

Forrest Wang will also be making his FD debut this season, driving a Drift Emporium G35.

Rally driver Andrew Comrie Picard has also decided to venture into drifting. He'll be driving Samuel Hubinette's old Dodge Viper as the second part of Sam's two-car team.

There's also a lot of excitement for the former Pro Am drivers who are moving into the big leagues for 2010. For example, Dave Blunt in his BMW E30.

Or Ian Fournier and his R32 Skyline.

Tommy Roberts will also be doing it big, looking to follow in the footsteps of his buddy Matt Powers.

As for this year's competition ? There are plenty of contenders. Could '09 champ Chris Forsberg repeat?

Will Rhys Millen recover from a less than succesful '09 season?

Will Ken Gushi put his Scion tC into championship contention? Check out the car's new look for 2010, bringing back the Super Advan wheels.

Tyler McQuarrie nearly made a run for the championship last year, but was damaged by mechanical problems. He's certainly a favorite in 2010.

Tanner Foust has had a full year of seat time in his Scion tC now – not that it really matters, as this guy's a favorite no matter what he's driving.

Ryan Tuerck is another driver who's completely comfortable in his car and should be championship contender for sure.

Or will a new face rise up and become the next FD champion?

Those are just some of the storylines we'll be following this season. The first act of the show will begin Friday morning in Long Beach.

How can you not be excited for this season? It's going to be awesome.

-Mike Garrett



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cool, looking forward to seeing my first Drift event:)


I am so stoked for this season. Everything looks insane and I cannot wait for long beach!! I just wished these events were televised like nascar so I could watch it on the East Coast.


I thought I saw split-trip spokes on Gushi's tC. I was hoping to god that they were Super Advans. Thank god I was right.


Oh no! Mike, you need to get that car down in the weeds! I know you can do better than that.


Hell yeaaah!!! Don't know who's z best! Nearly 99% drivers are great! )))

Hmm..Seems, that Hubinette's Challenger sits too high


Hope, I can go for one of the Formula D rounds this year

It's not easy to do that been here in Russia)


MATT POWERS AND TEAM NFS ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


That 335i looks like crap, ugly as hell! They should have looked at Ueno's 3-serie for style!


GO FREDRIC! really nice to see a fellow scandinavian in the Formula Drift :D and that supra he is driving is insane :D


Should be an exciting season...There are some really great cars this year.


as hyped as i am for the FD2010 season, (making the trip down from Norcal), the aesthetic appeal of the 2010 grid is a bit.. disappointing, at least in my opinion. most noticeable is the massive wheel gap that a lot of the cars exhibit. it wasn't so prevalent in the past, and i understand it's purpose in maximizing geometry stability in the drift, but to me it just further distances professional drifting from the grassroots and street bad-assery that drifting was born from. there's a lot of other little things to gripe about too, like the desecration of Mad Mike's three-rotor turbo RX-8 (now covered in big white blotches), the distasteful bodykit that chris forsberg's Titan 560Z still wears, and the hideous three split-spoke Advans on Ken Gushi's now-2AZ-powered tC.


that BMW looks terrible in my opinion


I for one cannot wait for Saturday, got my ticket sitting in my sweaty little palm :) I am thrilled at the new machinery, and glad to see the cars are finally starting to become Function, instead of just Form. Sure MOAR LOE looks sweet, but c' really gonna sandbag your chances as a professional by dropping your car until the suspension is killed? Yeah, remember how many wins Matt Powers got for how low his car was? Same with JTP? Exactly.

This trend is telling me that the teams competing are actually taking FD very seriously. Sure I think there may be a few car-choice FAILs, but thats only to be expected when so many never-been-drifted cars are out there, like the camaro, the challenger, the GT-R, etc. There are at least twice the car types in FD than there are in D1, and i think that will be GREAT for the sport.

And before you cry that these cars are all whack, trust me I'm getting pretty freakin sick of the "only Toyota and Nissan can be REAL drift cars" bs so many of you worship. There are great cars all over the place if you only open you mind, and variety is a GOOD thing.


I'm just curious to know when Robbie is dropping the GT-R will he go back to the 350Z?


I'm with D1RGE on this one. While yes, the mainstream drift scene does get a little horrendous, they're starting to evolve into functional drift cars. Purists will flame, but that's how it goes. You think the first people who contested each other in speed didn't try to alter what they started with to get better than each other? Do you think it ended up remotely close to what the base was? I, myself, am fully grassroots, I still appreciate the evolution of competitive drifting. (The innovations they make = more fun parts for me later!) While I love my S13 slammed, I like to raise my car a little and throw her into the turns harder every now and then. My friend bought a SN95 Mustang and made it into a pretty animal drifter from seeing Doug Van Den Brink's Mustang.

All in all, stop knocking the shit. Hate to yourself, whatever, you're entitled to your own opinion, but remember that after they're done thrashing their "crappy, gaudy" cars, the end product becomes better engineered products for you to run later on your personal rides.


You don't always have to lower the suspension of a car that much to make it look good.

Riveting on a simple air dam made out of some raw material can look pretty freakin' awesome. I could see that working on the tC's, for example.


That's a fresh looks for Matt Powers' S14.

Still prefer the old colour scheme tho.

Love Tommy Roberts' S Chassis.

Ian Fournier's R32 goes hard!

Seen a few pics of his R32 on SAU.

Good stuff.


HELL YA FD2010 is going to be awesome, hoping to make it down to Seattle this year.

GO IAN!!! rip long beach up buddy, hope to see ya soon!


get more good cars like BMW and when you put them on your page dont write anything on their bodies


most of them r soooo ugly :( god save the nissan for s-chassis


Homologation cars always held a special place for enthusiasts. This spoof rwd scion follows fords long run of "anti-homologation" cars... ones we can never buy, because the brand won't make it, even though the race version proves we want it.

Maybe brands really no longer matter. If thats the case, lets ditch the whole loyalty thing altogether. For my money, I'm never buying ford or scion, or any brand that builds AWD fiestas and RWD TC's, while building rolling toasters for the masses.


Ok- that pic of the M5 makes me think of Nena Cherry with it's buffalo stance! It looks like a rally car (and not on a tarmac stage!) I don't care how it sounds if it looks that boutros!!! This is gonna be an amazing season! I predict JR dominates! Can't wait to see Nishida's GTR tho ;) also I hope Taka Aono does well, just to show a Hachi can still represent!!!


V10 or not the 3 series has some serious giraffe height.


as i mentioned on Jon Sibal's blog a week ago or so, i am SUPER surprised to hear that ACP is getting into drifting, but i wish him the best! I've seen him at many a rally event here in Canada over the years, and he's a pretty intelligent dude, it'll be interesting to see how he does in FD! It's also interesting how Foust is getting into rallying ;)


its on like Donkey Kong.. keep me posted..


Hubinette's Dodge Challenger looks soooooooo gooood!!!!!!! WOW, JUST WOW!!!!! I think I just drooled all over my keyboard!


Fredric "Halllon" Aasbo is a great drifter i hope he win!


In addition to the Ian the Northwest will be represented by Evergreen Drift drivers Victor and Roland at LB.

Victor -

Roland -

This season will be more insane than ever!


Can't wait for the pony-car drifting battle! Show those imports who's boss!


all these new cars and drivers this year is crazy.



Spotting Matt Powers as an example of why being low is a bad an example of why being low can work. The dude was a priveteer, drove 2 events, and placed FOURTH in a field of HUGELY corporate sponsored car. Did all of that in a super low car that looked good. You don't have to have an ugly car with 5 ft of suspension travel to be competitive.

I'm really excited to see how Team NFS does. Should be an entertaining season


both david blunts & mike essa's are awesome as fuck!


Just watched the whole thing live on driftsream and wow just so much talented drivers but one to watch is the new camero, unfortunatly mad mike span at quailfying and eric osulivan blew his engine in the scooby