October 16th 2018 at Irwindale, California saw the re-crowning of James Deane as the Formula Drift champion, but it was by no means as “easy” the feat as the previous year. Every driver stepped their game up, leaving spectators happy they weren’t the ones judging. As tensions waned, engines cooled, pit crews wiped the sweat off their brows and friendships resumed along with the sacrifice of a bit of malted barley (read…beers), it was not the end of the roller coaster ride for some as quite a few drivers opted to join in on the Winter Jam fun at Sonoma Raceway in December 16th (see finishing “off that year’s stock of rubber donuts”).
However, December 17th began officially the silly season of drift car disassembly, chassis checks, team announcements, sponsor and livery reveals, tire abuse also known as testing, new parts torture tests and the crazed thrash of reassembly into a weapon of mass diversion. This silly season usually has some teams playing their cards close to their chests until round 1 in Long Beach on April 4th. However, 2 major bits of news have dropped:
1. Alec Hohnadell has lost his Pro seat at Huddy Racing to last year’s Pro 2 combatant, Dylan Hughes. Dylan, piloted his tried-and-true LS powered S13 to a very close 2nd place in the championship, is a well-known key member of Forsberg’s FD operation so it will be interesting to see how he develops Huddy’s BMW. Alec has resigned to reuse his old s14, which is still a very capable chassis but gone on to say that he’s going to go it solo team-wise.
2. We lost count how many times Chris Forsberg had engine troubles in 2018 (still finished 4th overall though, like wth that’s crazy). He announced that he’ll be continuing development on a reliable twin turbo setup for the 350/370Z’s VQ engine; but expressed his frustration of its fragility and has switched to the venerable VR from the R35 GTR, which is a durable and proven 1000+ hp setup.
3. Vaugh Gitten Jr is taking his off road truck nicknamed “Brocky” with its massive suspension articulation to FD’s tracks. Really……?? Nope i’m kidding. Vaughn and Chelsea are still in their mustangs albeit almost the same suspension movement with their 3 wheel motions ( ’64 ford impala x2)
That’s all the news we have for now but will keep you all up to date as the clock ticks down to FDLB round 1.
Cover Photo by David Karey