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

October 28th, 2010 No comments

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.

AEM Sponsored Gardella Racing and Rockstar Scion Racing Take 2nd and 3rd at Formula Drift

October 7th, 2010 No comments


The wine country of the northern Bay Area was quiet and peaceful until Formula Drift slid through on September 10th and 11th. Fans were treated to some awesome drifting action and a sneak preview of the intense competition to follow at Irwindale, CA October 8th and 9th.

Gardella Racing and their AEM sponsored LS7-powered Pontiac Solstice made their presence known over the weekend with a strong finish in 2nd place. Ryan Tuerck drove phenomenally and took the Retakes Insane Entry Award for his performance. The competition was stiff as Ryan had to face Darren McNamara, Dai Yoshihara, and Tanner Foust on his way to the final race against Vaughn Gittin Jr. “The car felt great and I felt great. The setup was perfect,” said Ryan, and his car and his team have helped to put him just 85 points out of first place.

Rockstar Scion Racing and their AEM sponsored NACSAR V8 powered Scion tC had a great weekend too and kept their team in strong contention for the championship, finishing in 3rd place over the weekend. “It has been an incredibly competitive season,” said team owner Stephan Papadakis,

“To be heading into the final round in third place after four podiums is a testament to how high the level of competition has been this year.” Stephan’s observation couldn’t be any more accurate, as Tanner had to do battle with Patrick Mordaunt, Tyler McQuarrie, Rhys Millen, and Ryan Tuerck on his way to his podium finish.

It all comes down to this – The Title Fight, October 8th and 9th in Irwindale, CA. With only 100 points separating 1st and 4th place, the stakes couldn’t get any higher. Just one 1st place finish can send a team to the top of the podium. AEM sponsored Gardella Racing and Rockstar Scion Racing are poised and ready. Drift fans won’t want to miss the exciting finish to the 2010 Formula Drift season. Every driver is going to be charging hard, leaving everything on the track. This will be a race for the ages.

[Source: AEM]

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