Redline Motive

Gardella Racing Slides Into 3rd Place to Finish the 2010 Formula DRIFT Season

The 2010 Formula DRIFT season was one for the record books. Teams were sporting new cars with bigger and more powerful motors which only intensified the competition and excitement at every event. Fans were treated to big tire smoke and screaming full throttle action at each of the 7 stops throughout the season.

The season started off a little slow for Gardella Racing and their AEM Sponsored Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice driven by Ryan Tuerck, but they rallied about half way through the season and charged hard with two 2nd place finishes along the way to finish in 3rd place overall, taking the podium spot from Daijiro Yoshihara by just 1 point.

AEM Induction Systems recently had the opportunity to asked team owner Gary Gardella about their 2010 season and what may be coming down the pipe for 2011. Here’s what Gary had to say.

What were some of the major challenges your team faced for the 2010 season?
To start the season off, we were running our Ecotec 4 cylinder that produced a ton of HP, but just did not have the torque curve that was needed to keep up with some of the big shots in the Formula Drift series. So, starting the season off we knew we were at a disadvantage. Fortunately, we were able to turn this around for the second half of the season once we dropped in an LS7.

How do you feel about your team’s performance over the 2010 season?
I think it was phenomenal! I have always raced to win and this season was a major learning curve as I continue to adjust to a judged sport. As the season went on, I realized that I had to relax, begin to understand the sport as a whole, and not put so much pressure on myself and the team.

What was the highlight of the season for you?
The highlight of my season was in Evergreen Speedway when we finished 2nd to Tanner. It was not because we finished on the podium, but because the guests we had at the event had so much fun. They were on their feet the entire event rooting on Ryan Tuerck and the Mobil 1 Solstice.

What was the lowpoint of the season?
Not winning an event.

What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned from the 2010 season?
Like I mentioned above, that winning is not everything. Throughout my entire racing career, I have raced to win. In drag racing you are able to make upgrades and modifications to the car and win. In drifting you are judged and the equipment you are using is only part of the equation. I have never lost so much in my entire career, yet this has been one of my most successful years in racing for many other reasons.

Are there any changes you’re planning to make for the 2011 season that you can share?
You will see many major changes in our program for 2011. To start, we are focused on building new competition cars during the off-season. There will be a second driver in our Solstice for a few select FD events. The team is also planning an international tour in the 2nd half of 2011.

Gardella Racing is definitely hitting their stride and looks to be one of the strongest contenders for the top of the podium in the upcoming 2011 season. They’ve learned so much from the 2010 season and it’s only going to help make next year that much better.

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