Local race fan experiences Formula Drift on the streets of Long Beach
May 01, 2013On April 9 I got to attend media day for the first time ever!
Included with this day is a "ride-along" in a drift car. Now I've been for several rides with my brother Ken Block who is a Rally racer, but is best known for his Viral Gymkhana videos on the internet and I still, to this day, get goose bumps when I remember those rides!
I've also have gone for a "ride-along" with Kyle Mohan on the Willow Springs race track which was very thrilling to say the least! But Drifting? Drifting is a whole other ball game, especially on the streets of Long Beach.
With my helmet securely fastened I climbed into Kyle's drift car, we drove up to the start line and with another drift car next to us—off we go! With a squeal of rubber, we headed full tilt toward the wall! Then Kyle slammed the brakes just moments before it looked like we would hit the wall, cranked the steering wheel to swing the back end around, then headed for a repeat performance with the next turn. Ten seconds later it was all over. The only evidence it had even happened was written on the road behind him, clouded by aerated tire.
Mohan, a Long Beach native, is one of 59 drifters who competed this weekend in Formula D—the only drifting series in the world that runs on a city-approved street course. He is also one of 16 drivers invited to participate in the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach the following weekend on the same three-turn section of street.
If you've never been to a drifting race in person, I must highly recommend it! It is amazing to me how two cars can race side by side and drift like that. The Formula Drift Final Event will be held on October 11–12, 2013 at the Irwindale Speedway.
Unfortunately Kyle did not get into the finals at Formula Drift this weekend, but there are 6 more races!
Here are this weekend's results: 1. Yoshihara, Daijiro—America's Tire/Falken Tire Nissan S13; 2. Gittin Jr., Vaughn—Monster Energy/Nitto Ford Mustang; 3. Forsberg, Chris—NOS Energy Drink/Hankook Nissan 370Z.