TOYOTA GRAND PRIX OF LONG BEACH 2009: DRIFTING
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sun, May 17, 2009
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
(John Grafman photo) Drifting could be called a freak show with rules geared to artistic performance as opposed to getting across the finish line first. The giant plumes of smoke herald the oncoming cars. However, maybe likening the Formula Drift competition to circus clowns would be more appropriate for all the fun it generates. The cars though, are no laughing matter. Take the Rockstar Scion tC driven by Tanner Foust; it has a NASCAR drivetrain beneath the Toyota skin. Besides the huge gains in power, the Scion evolves into one mean rear-wheel drive car, essential to drifting.
John Grafman photo) In spite of some cars not being what they appear to be, the crowd still eats this up. This is good times for even the youngest attendees that couldn't care less about winning, losing, or brand imaging. The kids relish the out of control antics, as these outshine any video game on the market. The Long Beach track is unlike any of the other Formula Drift competitions, as this is the only one that takes place on city streets. All sorts of cars are used from the Viper, and Corvette, to the Mustang GTs, and even the new Hyundai Genesis Coupe. The field of drivers starts off with 32 in head-to-head competition, which then gets narrowed down in each successive heat. At end the of the day the trophies go to drifting veterans Ryan Tuerck in the Gardella Racing / Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice (number 44) in first place, Samuel Hubinette in the NuFormz Racing / Mopar Dodge Viper (number 77) taking second, and Tanner Foust in the aforementioned Scion (number 36) capturing third. - John Grafman
John Grafman photo) LA Car's Long Beach Grand Prix coverage: LBGP 2009: The Circus Comes to Town LBGP 2009: Pro/Celebrity Race LBGP 2009: The Molly Sanders Interview LBGP 2009: Drifting LBGP 2009: The Tanner Foust Interview LBGP 2009: American Le Mans Series LBGP 2009: IndyCar Racing LBGP 2009: Speed World Championship LBGP 2009: Racing Goes Green LBGP 2009: The Grand Prix Lifestyle