The 2011 Formula Drift season is just around the corner, and competing vehicles are out in full testing mode. Samuel Hubinette hasn’t been at the top of the podium for a couple of years now, but it looks like this year his two-car team will be something to look out for. He’ll be behind the wheel of his Dodge Challenger, while Dean Kearney of Ireland will be piloting the infamous Dodge Viper SRT-10.
Both cars are sporting new looks for the 2011 season, welcoming sponsorship from Dodge, V-LEDs, BFGoodrich and Federal Tires. Dodge will be the primary sponsor of Hubinette’s Challenger, while V-LEDs is the primary sponsor of Kearney’s Viper. Interestingly enough, it looks like Hubinette will be driving on his traditional BFGoodrich rubber while Kearney will be burning off Federal Tires.
Kearney captured the 2009 European Pro Drift Championship, and with the experienced Hubinette by his side, it’ll be an interesting year to see how these two battle it out with the rest of the field. We’ll be looking forward to the season opener on April 8-9th at Long Beach, California.
Check out the video of Hubinette testing his Challenger after the break, along with the official press release.
* Specially prepared Dodge Challenger and Dodge Viper SRT10 are set for new season of drift competition
* Samuel Hubinette Racing welcomes European ProDrift champ Dean Kearney as second driver
* 2011 Formula DRIFT season kicks off at the Streets of Long Beach (Calif.) April 8-9
Two-time champion Samuel Hubinette is set to unleash a one-two Dodge punch on the Formula DRIFT (FD) Series in 2011.
The “Crazy Swede,” who returns for a second year of dual owner and driver roles, will drive his own Samuel Hubinette Racing (SHR) Dodge Motorsports Dodge Challenger, while new teammate, European ProDrift champ Dean Kearney will pilot the SHR Dodge Viper SRT10, sponsored by V-LEDS-Federal.
Dodge Motorsports will again serve as primary sponsor for Hubinette’s Challenger. V-LEDS will take the primary sponsorship role on Kearney’s Dodge Viper SRT10, while veteran Brad Manka will return as crew chief for both SHR machines.
“We’re very excited about the upcoming season and can’t wait to get to Long Beach,” said Hubinette, who earned two FD championships in his first three seasons, including the series’ inaugural year in 2004. “The SHR Dodge Challenger should be even more formidable with a year of competition under our belt, and Dean Kearney is a talented, young driver who will surely be competitive right out of the gate in the SHR Dodge Viper SRT10.
“I’m also very grateful to continue important relationships in 2011 with sponsors such as Dodge, BFGoodrich, and welcome in new sponsors, including Discount Tire and V-LEDS. We intend to repay their support by putting on the best drift show we can and by bringing home some victories and competing for a championship,” Hubinette added.
Kearney is more than ready to join Hubinette in the SHR spotlight. The 22-year-old native of Waterford, Ireland, nicknamed “Karnage” is an accomplished driver, having captured the 2009 European Pro Drift Championship.
“This is a perfect fit for me, and I feel right at home with Samuel and the whole SHR family,” Kearney said. “With driver nicknames ‘Crazy Swede’ and ‘Karnage,’ fans are going to quickly see SHR as one of the most exciting teams in all of drifting this season.”
Dodge is looking forward to another successful season of drift competition. “Samuel brings a ton of passion and experience to everything he does for Dodge, so we’re excited to be back with Samuel Hubinette Racing in 2011 and look forward to the arrival of a second champion, Dean Kearney in the SHR Dodge Viper,” said Bryan Viger, Head of Dodge Motorsports. “We can’t ask for a better team to represent Dodge and Dodge Motorsports in the Formula DRIFT Series.”
Jake York, president and CEO of new team sponsor V-LEDS, one of the largest automotive LED replacement bulb retailers in the world, shares the enthusiasm as the 2011 season opener approaches. “We can’t wait to see our logo on the SHR Dodge Viper SRT10,” York said. “Dean is sure to quickly let loose on the Streets of Long Beach and we look forward to the start of the season and developing a long-term relationship with SHR.”
Hubinette, Kearney and SHR kick off their season in the 2011 FD Round One event on the Streets of Long Beach, Calif. on April 8-9. The season continues at Road Atlanta, Braselton, Ga., May 6-7; Palm Beach International Raceway, Palm Beach, Fla., June 3-4; Wall Speedway, Wall, N.J., June 17-18; Evergreen Speedway, Monroe, Wash., July 22-23; Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Aug. 26-27; and Irwindale, Calif., Oct. 7-8.
About Samuel Hubinette
A native of Jokkmokk, Sweden, Samuel Hubinette is a two-time drifting champion and also a Rally Cross X Games bronze medalist. He has competed in various offroad races including the Baja 1000 and also has a history in road racing. When he isn’t competing professionally, Hubinette rides motorcycles and works as a stunt driver in car commercials and in Hollywood productions.
Hubinette developed a taste for speed in his native Sweden, where he earned a reputation for pushing snowmobiles, motorcycles and cars to their limits. He competed in Touring Car with Volvo from 1997 through 2000 and worked for Volvo Cars for nine years as a test driver in product development. He has also worked as a performance driving instructor including a three-year stint at the Skip Barber Racing School, where he was a member of the elite Special Product Group.
Hubinette and his wife Stina recently welcomed baby daughter Stella into their household in Newport Beach, Calif.
Follow Hubinette, Kearney and SHR on: www.samuelhubinette.com, www.facebook.com/samuelhubinette, www.twitter.com/samuelhubinette, www.dodgemotorsports.com, www.hubinetteracing.com, www.deankearney.com, www.twitter.com/deankarnage, www.facebook.com/deankarnage and www.formulad.com