For fans of racing, last weekend’s Super Drift events were icing on the cake. They were part of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend, a motorsport festival on the streets of Long Beach. And, along with the IndyCar main event, Formula DRIFT was putting on a show.
The Super Drift event here traces its history to 2005. That’s when Grand Prix organizers invited Formula DRIFT to put on a drift demo. The next year, a standalone event was created, and it’s been part of the Formula DRIFT schedule ever since.
The event is a little different, taking place on turns 9-11 on the Grand Prix track. Drivers race through heats until one winner remains. However, a condensed schedule means this isn’t a full Formula DRIFT event with 32 drivers. Instead, the Long Beach Super Drift event invites eight drivers to duke it out over two nights of competition.
Fans had a nice surprise on Friday night with the return of Forrest Wang in the Achilles Tire/Yellowspeed Racing/NRG Innovations Nissan. Wang has been absent from Formula DRIFT since the 2019 season. That’s also the year when he won both Super Drift rounds. This year, however, he didn’t take the top spot.
On the first night, Jeff Jones in the Jeff Jones Racing/GT Radial Nissan 370Z came out on top. He defeated Wang in the first round and, after a One More Time, eked past Justin Pawlak driving the Falken Tire Ford Mustang. Finally, Jones overtook Michael Essa in the FCP Euro/Liqui Moly/GT Radial BMW M3 in the final round.
On Saturday, it was Pawlak’s night to shine. After he beat Essa in the first round, the speed of Pawlak’s Mustang was too much for Wang in the Final 4. An all-Mustang final versus Trenton Beechum in the Clonex Racing/Nexen Tire Ford Mustang did not come to pass, as Beechum had car problems that left him in the pits. All that was left was a victory lap for Pawlak.
Next up for Formula DRIFT PRO and Link ECU PROSPEC championships is the final round at the Irwindale Speedway on October 22-23.
For more information on schedule, tickets, and drivers, visit formulad.com.
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