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2010 Season Formula DRIFT Rockstar Energy Scion- Looking Toward Monroe, WA

July 13th, 2010 No comments

This season has been a good start for the Rockstar Energy Scion Racing team in Formula D. After three rounds, Tanner Foust is sitting in third place with a weekend of intense racing looming on the horizon in round four in Monroe, WA. Tanner has been performing very well, but it takes more than a good driver for a team to win a championship.

When asked about what challenges the Rockstar Energy Scion Racing Team have faced this season, team owner Stephan Papadakis commented, “We thought last year was very competitive, but this year is even harder. There are 10+ teams/drivers that could win each weekend. It makes for a really exciting event. We love the challenge! Also, we are always working on getting more steering angle. Most factory cars have 35 degrees of steering. We are close to 50 now, but it is hard to control the wheel at that angle.” Patience is a virtue that the Rockstar team is embracing, realizing that championships cannot be won in one event. They’re taking this season one event at a time, focusing on the task at hand, and working together to win a third Formula DRIFT championship for the Rockstar Energy Scion Racing Team.

The competition and air are only getting tenser as the Formula DRIFT championships in Irwindale, CA are quickly approaching. Each weekend will be full of intense, tire spinning, smoky and sideways action. Tanner Foust and the Rockstar Energy Scion team are looking to be strong competitors for the championship, but as Stephan Papadakis said, nothing is set in stone. It’s anyone’s race.

Categories: Drifting Tags: ,

Ireland’s Eric O’Sullivan Slides Into The U.S. Drifting Scene!

September 9th, 2009 No comments

Transitions are often a difficult part of change for people. Relate it to your own experiences and you’ll see that change almost always brings a challenge to the table. Some people shy away from challenges, some welcome it. In the case of Eric O’Sullivan, he’s the type of person that not only welcomes challenges, but also typically excels when faced with them.

If you track Eric’s life back to a year ago, he was a national drifting champion in a professional European drifting series. He loved traveling Europe, racing, and meeting new people. When Eric was presented with an opportunity to expand his racing career to North America however, he didn’t think twice before packing his bags and taking on a new challenge.

Before his arrival to the states, Eric had established relationships with various companies that backed his racing endeavors. In addition to the companies that were on board with Eric’s racing program, he picked up a few more sponsors such as AEM, Dynamic Autosports and Hankook Tires. For his rookie year in the ’09 Formula Drift Championship series, Eric had a huge transition ahead of him.

One of the more prominent differences in Eric’s drifting campaign happens to be his car. Formerly, Eric piloted a right-hand-drive AE86. Upon joining the Dynamic Autosports / Hankook Tires / Rockstar Energy Drink team however, he was placed behind the wheel of a North American spec Subaru Impreza STI. The STI is of the left-hand-drive variety and converted to rear-wheel drive. It took Eric a couple competitions to warm up to the new vehicle. However, Eric has overcome many obstacles along the way and set himself up for the coveted Formula D Rookie Of The Year Award.

It was at Formula D’s fifth round of racing that Eric climbed through the competition to really prove his drifting mastery in the states. The fifth round of racing in the Formula D series was held at the Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington on August 7th and 8th. The Hankook Tires team did exceptionally well as all members qualified into the Top 16.

As eliminations began, Eric was pitted against veteran Formula D driver Kenji Yamanaka. The initial tandem run had Eric leading with Kenji giving chase. Eric took a high line along the high-speed bank of the Evergreen Speedway. Gaining momentum against the bank caused a substantial gap between the two competitors, giving a strong finish to Eric. On the second tandem run, Yamanaka led and Eric stayed door to door with his competitor, the judges called it and Eric moved onto the Top 16. During these eliminations, Eric’s teammates Robbie Nishida in his Nissan 350Z and Ryuji Miki in his RX-7 moved onto the Top 16 as well.

In the Top 16 race, Eric raced Drift Emporium’s Jodin Lejeune in his supercharged-V8 Infiniti G35. Since a smaller-displacement four-cylinder engine powers the Dynamic Autosport’s Subaru, Eric knew he had to utilize the bank maneuver once more to gain a lead against Jodin. Eric dove into the bank and maintained his distance. In the following run, Eric chased Jodin and drew an aggressive line to take the win and secure his position in the Great 8 elimination.

The Great 8 competition was a much closer race than the previous bouts. Running against Tony Brakiohiapa, Eric turned up the pressure and chased Tony closely in the first run. With Eric leading, Tony did the same and the race was too close to call. The judges demanded a “One More Time” to determine the winner. During the OMT race (One More Time), Tony pitched his car too wide on the inner corner and Eric passed. On the next tandem run, Eric ran a high line along the bank, pulling far away from Tony. The judges called the round in favor of Eric, which moved him into the Final 4.

Lining up against Falken Tire’s Vaughn Gitten Jr. in the Semi Final proved Eric’s place to run with the top contenders. Gitten led in the first run with a strong line, however Eric did well by staying close behind. On the 2nd run, Eric led but there was a major impact between the two racers. The judges deliberated over the cause of the crash and ruled in favor of Eric. Even though this decision forwarded Eric into the final, the damage to his vehicle was too great to compete. Settling for the 2nd place on the podium, Eric took home a strong finish.

With two more rounds of racing left in the Formula D championship series, Eric plans to land another podium finish before the final. With the amount of ambition that Eric possesses, we don’t doubt that we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in the future.

Eric O’Sullivan drives a North American spec Subaru Impreza STI. Photo by Wrecked Magazine. Courtesy of AEM.

Categories: Drifting Tags:

How do you drift?

June 9th, 2009 No comments

How do you drift?

Drifting is quickly becoming a staple in the racing scene in America. Originally started in Japan, this type of racing is something everyone can do, no matter how expensive your car is, or what kind of setup you have, but takes much practice to master it. Many original drifters do this around mountain roads where the turns are sharp, but you need to be a master to do this and not end up on the bottom of the mountain. Below we’ll explain a little bit more about drifting and what you need to do in order to drift your car.

What is drifting?
Drifting is the fine art of controlled chaos. Basically, you take turns in your car by sliding through them, almost sideways. It’s a complex way of forcing your car to be out of control while controlling it the entire time. If the drifter is really good, they can take a few turns in a row, and slide through all of them.

How do you drift?
Drifting is easy to do, but it’s hard to get it controlled. First, you need to have a car that will allow you to drift. The easiest would be with a car that is rear wheel drive, or rwd. If you try to drift with a FWD or a front wheel drive or an AWD all wheel drive, it would be a lot harder for you to do this, as you need the rear wheels to kick out. With a RWD car, you can try the clutch technique. The way you do the clutch technique to start a drift, is to push in the clutch, and shift into second or third gear. Rev up the motor, and quickly turn your car away from the turn, then jerk it back toward the turn, and then pop the clutch to cause the rear wheels to spin. If you do this correctly, your car will be sliding along the turn, and you have now lost traction. The trick here is to hold the start of this, in order to cause a drift. Keep your foot planted on the gas, and regulate the wheel spin with the throttle. Don’t let the wheels stop spinning, all while keeping the car sliding through the turn. Once you reach the end of the turn your car should be able to either start another drift toward another turn, or continue forward. The other method is to use your e-brake. This method is for people who have a front wheel drive FWD car, and can’t get the rear wheels to spin. If you are trying to be a drifter with a FWD, we highly recommend to do this with a rear wheel drive car. with the e-brake, you would pull up on the e-brake when you are ready to start the slide, and follow the same directions as above.

What cars are good for drifting?
The best car for drifting would be something that is rear wheel drive, and preferrably light and tossable. Because many times people can get into accidents and hit the wall, we recommend to drift with a car that is not very expensive. A good car for drifting that is also very popular, is a Nissan 240SX. Because this car is inexpensive, has many available performance parts, and many engine options, it’s our favorite drifer. We also recommend the Toyota Corolla AE86, Ford Mustang, Mazda RX7, Nissan 350Z, and other similar rear wheel drive sport cars and sport compacts.

Are there any requirements to be a drifter?
As long as you have a drivers license, you can be a drifter. Men and women all do this, and it’s a very fun type of racing.

Where can I drift?
Every county has their own places for legal drifting. We do not recommend drifting illegally, as it can harm you and others. Some cities might have special times when you can test your drifting around an abandoned parking lot, but usually the best place is the drifting circuit. You have to pay to get in, but you get to learn better about your car because you are on a real race track. It’s also safe and lots of fun to do on a weekend with your friends.

What kind of mods do I need to drift?
There are not too many requirements, as just about anyone can drift with a RWD car, but there are aftermarket parts that can make it much easier for your car to drift controllably. We recommend to first learn how your car handles before modifying, and then working on the trouble areas. We recommend a good coilover kit, lightweight wheels, and tires that allow you to break them loose. Focus on the handling before you start adding power, because the more powerful the car is, the harder it will be for you to master. Start low and work your way up.

Is drifting the fastest way around a corner?
Drifting is not the fastest way around a corner, but it’s the most fun. :)

Drifting Glossary

Here are some common terms you might hear in the drifting community.

AE86 – The AE86 is an 1984-1987 Toyota Corolla GTS RWD that is also called a Hachiroku.
Chicane – The chicane is a series of quick left to right and right to left turns, sometimes known as an s turn.
Countersteer – When you countersteer you are balancing and maintaining your oversteer, and basically turning your steering wheel in the opposite directon of the turn once the vehicle goes into an oversteer.
D1 – D1 refers to the D1 Grand Prix which is an All Japan professional drifting competition.
Donut – When your car spins around in a circle during a burnout.
Drift King – Keiichi Tsuchiya is known as the drift king, or the living legend of drifting.
Drift Run – This refers to the car or truck going through the drift course at the time.
E Braking – Using your e brake to start a drift.
Exhibition Drift – Basically, doing show off moves while drifting such as opening the door, one hand drifting, hanging out the window, etc.
Heel-Toe – This type of driving is when you are pressing your left foot on the clutch while the right foot presses on the brake with the toes and the heel is used on the gas pedal to rev the engine before downshifting. This allows for smooth downshifting.
Limited Slip Differential (LSD) – Allows both rear wheels to spin at the same time by transfering power to both wheels equally.
Oversteer – Causing the rear of the car to over rotate, which can start a drift.
Powerslide – The ability to use your horsepower to cause a loss of traction to start a drift.
Road Course – A race track that is madeup of straights, corners, and bends. Not the same as an AutoX course which is usually in a parking lot.
Silvia – This is the JDM or Japanese version of the Nissan 240SX, which is one of the most popular drift cars. This comes in S13, S14 or S15 and is available with an SR20DET engine.
Staging Lanes – This is the area where everyone stages to get ready for the race.
Sweeper – A very long turn
Understeer – This is a loss of traction in the front tires where the car is forced to slide forward as opposed to continue through a turn.

D1 Grand Prix Racing Video
We came across this video on YouTube, and are sharing it here for you to get an example of the excitement of D1 Grand Prix Drifing. Enjoy!

Categories: Drifting Tags:
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