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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Oct 11 2012, 3:32 PM

Ford Mustangs have enjoyed great success in the sport of drifting, with Vaughn Gittin Jr. claiming the 2010 Formula Drift Championship, and sitting atop the points standings leading into the final round this season.

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 |  Sep 27 2012, 3:02 PM

Despite all the success that Hyundai has achieved in various forms of motorsports in North America, the Korean automaker has decided to reassess its involvement in racing after the 2012 season.

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 |  Aug 29 2012, 3:32 PM

For the second year in a row, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart put on a show by driving something other than what the public is used to seeing. 

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 |  May 08 2012, 2:10 PM

Atlanta’s city council recently passed an amendment that made several changes to the city’s noise ordinance, directly targeting drifting.

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 |  Mar 02 2012, 5:31 PM

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The first 86 people in North America to own a Scion FR-S are pretty lucky as it is, but their deal just got a lot sweeter thanks to some VIP treatment from Toyota.

Apparently the privileged few who managed to get an order in ahead of the masses also get an expenses-paid trip to Long Beach, Calif. in April to sit front row at Formula Drift. They also get to have dinner with Scion vice president Jack Hollis which includes a Q&A session.

Sure, the stripped-down version isn’t making it to American soil, but this is arguably a better reward for enthusiasts than offering a tuner-specific package.

It’s especially cool that this came as a surprise, though the majority of people lining up to buy an FR-S probably feel jealous if not disappointed.

Despite this, it seems an official price is still under wraps, though we’ll make a lot of noise once word gets out.

GALLERY: 2013 Scion FR-S

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Discuss this story at FR-SForum.com

 |  Jan 09 2012, 6:46 PM

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Scion Racing has made its 2013 FR-S Drift Car official at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. Less than a week ago, we spotted photos of the same car testing, and our assumptions proved correct: This is the Formula Drift race car for Ken Gushi and the 2012 drift season.

Built in collaboration with GReddy, the FR-S drift car will feature 600-hp and over 500 lb-ft of torque and is presumed to be turbocharged. That’s all the details Scion fed us with on the new drift car, but we’re sure we’ll be hearing more as the Formula Drift season opener on April 6-7th, approaches. But judging by its decals, it appears that the FR-S will operate with KW suspension and Gushi will be drifting on Hankook tires for the 2012 season. GReddy’s brake calipers peek behind the Rays wheels and there’s no doubt Cosworth had their hands in building the powerplant.

We can’t wait to see this thing go sideways.

GALLERY: Scion Racing FR-S Drift Car Official Photos

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GALLERY: Scion Racing FR-S Drift Car Detroit Auto Show Debut

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See AutoGuide’s complete 2012 Detroit Auto Show Coverage Here

Discuss this story at FR-Sforum.com

 |  Aug 05 2011, 4:30 PM

 

Versus, the network that currently airs Formula Drift coverage, was recently acquired by NBC Sports. Starting on January 2nd, 2012, Versus will officially become the NBC Sports Network.

The name change will start with the coverage of the NHL Winter Classic and NBC Sports will continue to market and brand on previous-Versus programming. As part of the Versus rebrand, the NBC Sports Group will also be updating its logo, making its peacock larger and using new fonts for the NBC Sports.

It will be interesting to see if Formula Drift will continue to air on the new NBC Sports Network, which could impress potential sponsors of the drift series more so than hearing that their television coverage comes from Versus – even though they’re just the same.

[Source: AOL Sporting News via Wrecked Magazine]

 |  Jul 20 2011, 9:30 AM

2010 Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. takes his dog and pony show to the Middle East: drifting Saudi Arabia in his Ford Mustang.

At the Al Reem Circuit, he puts on a show that would make Ken Block proud. Titled Drifting In The K.S.A, Gittin was given permission to do basically anything around the racetrack, which he takes full advantage of: he first tackles the course grounds in a Boss 302 before bringing out his Monster-liveried Falken Mustang in a cloud of tire smoke.

“Everyone I met, from Princes, to other professional drivers, to swarms of fans, treated me with amazing hospitality and kindness.” Said Gittin. “It was an incredible experience that I will never forget and I look forward to coming back to the K.S.A!”

Click the jump to watch the video and to gain terrible ideas on doing this yourself. But as always…don’t. Unless you were 2009′s Formula Drift Champion.

 

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 |  Jun 18 2011, 8:45 PM

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Currently up on eBay is Hubinette Racing’s / NuFormz Dodge Charger SRT8 originally built for the Formula Drift competition. And while it’s a truly formidable drift machine – it captured first place in Summit Point in 2007 – it’s more about owning a piece of history if you’re a a fan of the sideways sport. The reason? It was the first domestic four-door drift machine ever built, having spent the last couple of years sitting in the NHRA Museum after Sean Carlson’s untimely passing.

The only steel piece left on this car is the roof, while all the other panels have been swapped out for carbon fiber and fiberglass counterparts. It features a fully built 6.1L HEMI engine, naturally aspirated, though the exact specs of the powerplant were not mentioned in the auction. What is mentioned however is the extensive suspension and drivetrain modifications and the car currently sits on 18-inch Intro wheels.

The starting bid is currently at $39,000 and we certainly hope whoever does end up buying it takes it back out to compete.

[Source: eBay via Wrecked Magazine]

 |  May 01 2011, 11:28 AM

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To help ensure the company’s new supercar doesn’t show up as tomorrow’s news after being wrapped around a pole, Lexus has created the Lexus LFA Driver Development school to get educated on how to control their amazing new machine.

In this video that spotlights the Lexus LFA Driver Development School, several LFAs are seen trekking along at Infineon Raceway at Sonoma, California. Scott Pruett, Lexus’ official LFA promotion driver, can be seen speaking about the LFA. But what really caught our attention is Tony Brakohiapa, a Formula Drift driver and instructor at Infineon Raceway, who takes the LFA drifting. Even though we’ve been fortunate enough to get behind the wheel of the LFA and take it well past 160-mph, the thought of going sideways never really occurred to us. Then again, we’re not paid to destroy tires for a living.

Check out the video after the break.

[Source: Wrecked Magazine]

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 |  Feb 10 2011, 6:03 PM

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In the most shocking drifting-related news we’ve heard thus far in 2011, Tanner Foust will be taking a temporary retirement from the world of American drifting, announcing today that Formula DRIFT will not be on his schedule of events to attend this year. This is after hearing rumors that the new Papadakis Racing Scion tC would be one of the craziest vehicles we’ll ever see in the Formula DRIFT series.

So with Tanner Foust leaving the driver seat, who will be filling his role? None other than 2010 Formula DRIFT’s Rookie of the Year, Fredric Aasbo. Aasbo, known for aggressively piloting a Toyota Supra, will be a great fit behind the wheel of a RWD Scion tC. Stephan Papadakis Racing will also be joining forces with Team Need for Speed with the newly built Scion tC.

“No offense to Papadakis, the team, the fans or the competitors, but the thing that I will miss the most about not drifting this year is that crazy NASCAR TRD V8-powered Rockstar Scion tC,” says Foust. “It’s been an amazing two years behind the wheel of the Rockstar Scion tC. Best of luck to Aasbo and the new Need For Speed Scion tC.”

We’ll keep our eyes out, as the two-time Formula DRIFT champion will surely be missed in the series. The good news is, we’ll be seeing plenty of Foust as his schedule of events include European Rally events, X-Games and his television responsibilities. Foust’s last competition in the Rockstar / Papadakis Racing Scion tC will be at the Formula DRIFT UAE on February 25th.

Two different press releases available after the break.

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 |  Oct 16 2010, 10:17 PM

There was certainly a lot of hype around Vaughn Gittin Jr’s Ford Mustang at the beginning of this year’s 2010 Formula Drift season. The newly built 2011 Ford Mustang, with help from sponsors Monster Energy Drink and Falken Tire, featured every bit of experience Gittin and his team has developed over the years of drifting American muscle. And all the hard work has finally paid off as Gittin Jr. has taken the 2010 Formula Drift championship.

This past weekend, the season finale took place at Irwindale Speedway. And while Vaughn Gittin was clearly the leader in points, Tanner Foust and teammate Daijiro Yoshihara still had an outside chance of taking the championship. But Gittin wasn’t letting off the gas anytime soon facing two-time champion Tanner Foust in the grand finale. Even with the championship locked down at that point, Gittin put on a show for the spectators, taking Foust to a one-more time battle. Ultimately the Irwindale event would belong to Foust with Gittin still taking home for the 2010 championship.

This season was a dominating one for Gittin Jr and his Falken Tire / Monster Energy Drink team. He found the podium at six of seven events showing just how much experience pays off. So a huge congratulations goes out to the Falken Tire team for finally locking down a championship and we look forward to seeing what they have in waiting for 2011.

Official press release available after the break.

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 |  Oct 07 2010, 11:33 AM

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Think the 3D craze is just a fad and going away silently into the night? Think again. As skeptical as we were with the whole Avatar movie craze in 3D, seeing was believing. How technology has changed over the years has seriously impacted how we enjoy our entertainment at home. With more and more sports broadcasts going towards 3D, it’s no surprise the brilliant minds over at Formula Drift have teamed up with DIRECTV to bring the first ever 3D drifting broadcast to households nationwide.

The footage will be filmed at this weekend’s season finale at Irwindale Speedway and DIRECTV couldn’t have picked a better venue. With its high speed banks and insane clipping points, Irwindale Speedway is also officially known as the “House of Drift” and will truly let viewers get a great idea of what drifting is all about. For those who have witnessed drifting at a live event, the excitement level is intense. And perhaps drifting in 3D will come as close as we can get to the excitement from our households.

Formula Drift claims that it’ll be aired before the end of the year on DIRECTV’s 3D channel, n3D. Perhaps it’ll be a sign of things to come for 2011?

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 |  Sep 19 2010, 5:28 PM

The folks at Wrecked Magazine have started/elaborated on the rumor that Titan Motorsports would be turning towards drifting for 2011. With their dominance in sport compact drag racing and their expertise in all things horsepower and motorsports, it wouldn’t be a surprise that Titan would get their hands dirty in some sideways action. So instead of just hunting around, we went straight to our insider source at Titan Motorsports to get some of the details.

We expected to hear that Titan is working on a RWD-converted 2011 Scion tC sporting a 2JZ powerplant, given Titan Motorsports’ relationship with Scion in drag racing and their expertise with Supra tuning. Instead we’ve been informed that while Scion hasn’t completely shut the door on the deal, but they aren’t looking to add a third car to the series.

Titan is, however, looking to get involved and did confirm that they’re in talks with a current top 16 drifter. Our guess would be Frederick Aasbo, a Supra drifting expert. Even though Titan hasn’t confirmed that they’ll even be running a Toyota, our guess is they’ll still want to end up wit ha 2JZ in whatever they work with. That is unless an opposing OE manufacturer is willing to step in. Titan did confirm that they are open to various manufacturers if Toyota or Scion decide not to be involved.

So in summary? Titan Motorsports is definitely interested in getting into Formula Drift competition for 2011, but has no confirmed plans on driver or car. They are currently exploring manufacturer and tire support and while they’d love to continue building their relationship with Toyota and Scion, they are opened to exploring new platforms as well.

 |  Aug 05 2010, 8:36 AM

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Formula Drift’s success has been overwhelming in America. Not only does the series do a great job ensuring the fans get the excitement they expect after paying the ticket price, but they do a fantastic job in taking care of their drivers, sponsors and race teams. Formula D’s TV show scheduling is about to begin on Versus and they have recently released the opening video segment that stars plenty of Formula Drift’s finest.

The intro video features coverage up to the Seattle event, and really does a good job capturing the excitement one would expect from drifting. The show will be offered in HD starting on August 30th and will air every Sunday for fourteen weeks for seven events. The time slots are 2:00PM EST, 11:00AM EST and each episode is re-aired each week following the initial airing.

More kudos to Formula Drift in teaming up with a successful television network to garner more fans and attention, keeping racers and sponsors happy around the nation.

Check out the video after the jump:

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 |  Jul 31 2010, 8:07 AM

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The perfect spectator sport, drifting’s rapid growth is also due to its drivers that have come to have their own celebrity-like status. Always overly enthusiastic and true characters of the sport, fans are quick to attach themselves to their favorite driver, much like their favorite basketball player or quarterback.

Will Roegge has been releasing some top-notch digital films centered around the automotive industry and this one is no different. He traveled to the first couple of Formula Drift events, capturing coverage of the Team Need for Speed Drift drivers Matt Powers (Nissan 240SX S14) and Mad Mike (Red Bull Mazda RX-7) along with interviews and highlights.

What this video shows the world is how each and every driver has such different driving styles and personalities on and off the track. But at the end of the day, they’re all still vying for the same championship and share the same passion and love for a growing sport.

Check out the fantastic video after the break.

[Source: Formula Drift]

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 |  Jul 25 2010, 7:22 AM

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Back in May, we caught wind of Rogue Status’ Drift xB that they built. Initially we were a little skeptical that it would be more of a show car and street performer, rather than a competition-ready drift machine. Would it ever go sideways on a track? No one knew or could tell, so needless to say we’re surprised and pleasantly happy when this video surfaced.

Professional Formula Drift driver Patrick Morduant headed to Willow Springs in the RWD 2JZ-Powered Scion xB to really put it to the test. The car actually does pretty well and looks wicked going sideways around Horse Thief Mile and we’re loving every second of the video. What’s also interesting is that Patrick Morduant was the one putting it to the test and not one of the Scion-sponsored drivers such as Ken Gushi or Tanner Foust. Regardless, we’re sure it was just for fun and isn’t a sign of things to come. But hey, it would be interesting to see how it would hold up in real competition wouldn’t it?

[Source: WreckedMagazine]

Check out the Rogue Status Scion xB drift video after the jump:

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 |  Jul 11 2010, 12:22 PM

While the entire world is still holding their breath for an actual release of Gran Turismo 5, Microsoft’s Xbox 360′s motorsports entrant is still kicking strong. One of the coolest features in Forza Motorsport 3 is the ability to create graphics for your vehicles, pixel-by-pixel or however you can if you’re talented enough. We wouldn’t say we’re not talented, we just don’t have the patience to figure out better ways to do our own graphics like some other people. But Dr. Westies is extremely talented and this isn’t his first toy for the Xbox Live players.

So for those interested in tuning the Lexus SC430 drift car look-a-like, search “DRW” or “Miki 2010″ in the Forza Motorsport 3 storefront to grab it. Dr. Westies is quick to share that the graphics package incorporates 994 layers per side of the car. That’s a whole lot of time and patience we would never have to develop our own. But hey, we’ll definitely be adding one to our collection and hopefully Dr. Westies “gets bored” more often.

GALLERY: Dr. Westies’ Forza Motorsport 3 Ryuji Miki Lexus SC430 Drift Car

[Source: ForzaMotorsport.net]

 |  Jul 06 2010, 5:01 PM

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Product placement has always been a key part of any successful marketing and advertising campaigns. It all started with movies and television shows and now has even entered the realm of video games. Some campaigns are just pure tacky while others are cleverly placed to really inspire the consumer to go out and get the product. With the advent of YouTube and online videos, companies have taken their campaigns online where they can easily reach millions of viewers in a matter of minutes, literally. Viral marketing is now king and online media is the throne that it sits on.

Ever since NOS Energy Drink was acquired by the Coca-Cola company, good ‘ol corporate America has done a real strong push in bringing the product into the face of the masses. By teaming up with all facets of motorsports, NOS Energy Drink has done a great job tying their product to the right consumers. Chris Forsberg is one of the main NOS Energy Drink drivers, competing in Formula Drift and being a two-time champion. So it’s no surprise that NOS would be more than willing to spend some advertising dollars with some clever marketing.

The Bro Show consists of Jeff and Curtis, two brothers willing to do “anything” to get their own online series on Break.com. So episodes mainly consist of wild and crazy stunts and this one is no exception. The brothers headed out to Irwindale Speedway with Chris Forsberg and his NOS Energy Drink Nissan 350Z convertible to get a taste of drifting…and naturally, NOS Energy Drink.

After Forsberg did a demo lap, Jeff climbed into the passenger seat believing Curtis, his brother, was just hanging out on the track dressed in bright orange. Easy for the driver to spot and avoid…right? Well what Jeff didn’t know was that Curtis was swapped out for a dummy and Forsberg was told to crash straight into the dummy. Check out the video after the jump to see how it all unfolds.

[Source: Formula DRIFT]

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 |  Jul 05 2010, 6:15 PM

Now that Luke Lonberger has gotten his hands dirty helping build Conrad Grunewald’s Hankook Drift Chevrolet Camaro, it looks like he’s interesting in getting his hands behind the wheel of his own sideways machine. A render has surfaced of a drift Chevrolet Corvette sporting Lonberger’s shop logos and full Hankook theme.

A Chevrolet Corvette seems to be a natural vehicle to campaign alongside Grunewald’s Camaro. It also helps that Grunewald use to campaign a Corvette, possibly lending Lonberger a lot of data and info on what exactly works and what doesn’t. There’s no arguing that there’s always room for another competitor and another domestic further expands drifting’s involvement and fan base.

We’ll be really interested to see if this Corvette comes to fruition and if Lonberger really will be behind the wheel. He promises that more information will be released “when the time comes,” whenever that may be. Hankook could definitely use a winning car though, with their GT-R and Camaro not quite doing what they hoped this season.

[Source: Wrecked Magazine]

 |  Jun 21 2010, 5:30 PM

If anyone ever told you video games were a waste of time, show them this article. Robert  Waddell from Rock Hill, SC took home a customized 2010 Nissan 370Z, built by Chris Forsberg Racing.

Forsberg, of course, is the 2009 Formula Drift Champion, who campaigned a Nissan 350Z, sponsored by NOS energy drink. Waddell won the car by competing in a video game tournament, besting four other competitors in a game of Need For Speed: Shift. Not a bad way to get a free set of wheels.

[Source: NOS Energy Drink]

 |  Jun 06 2010, 7:25 AM

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This weekend is Formula Drift’s Round 3 event at Wall Speedway in Wall, New Jersey. So naturally people are already sneaking in photos from what’s being unloaded in the pits. One of the new vehicles uncovered is Ryuji Miki’s new drift Lexus SC430. And while we’re surprised by how physically unappealing it is, we’re excited to see this luxury platform go sideways.

Ryuji Miki’s drifting career has been a wild ride ever since he captured the D1 Grand Prix championship in 2004. After switching to the Top Secret / ORC 350Z with little success, Miki ended up back into the APEX’i RX-7. After a break-up with Bergenholtz Racing, Miki continued campaigning with APEX’i but it looks like they’ve finally decided the FD is just way too old and had to go.

What is even more interesting on his latest car is the prominent Lexus branding. Perhaps the team nailed themselves some OE support? We’ll have to see if and how well the car competes this weekend, or if Miki will be back in the FD. Either way, Formula Drift is getting more exciting with plenty of domestics, imports and now luxury cars – Essa’s BMW M3 and now this Lexus SC430.

[Source: Wrecked Magazine]

 |  Jun 02 2010, 10:10 PM

The boy geniuses from ‘Keep Drifting Fun‘, Will Roegge and Josh Herron, have just released their latest video, an up close and personal account of the Formula Drift Atlanta weekend from the perspective of defending champ Chris Forsberg.

Forsberg, who’s NOS energy drink sponsored Nissan 350Z roadster is among the most recognizable machines in the wildly popular Formula Drift series, tells the tale of an action-packed weekend of drifting including a little NASCAR-style bumping and a bent suspension. But as the video shows, Forsberg battles through adversity like a true champion to finish on the podium, moving him into 5th place in the 2010 championship standings heading into Round 3 at Wall Speedway in New Jersey this coming weekend.

The dynamic duo of Roegge and Herron definitely have a genuine passion for drifting, traveling the country in their 1974 Volkswagen Westfalia van while documenting the action at all seven rounds of the Formula Drift championship as well as visiting many grassroots drift events as part of their ‘Keep Drifting Fun’ documentary effort.

Check out the video after the jump and be sure to visit keepdriftingfun.com for more info on their cross-country adventure and video-making. And if you happen to bump into these bearded drift hobos at an event, give them an air high-five for us!

[Source: Keep Drifting Fun]

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 |  May 12 2010, 1:50 AM

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Although Diajiro Yoshihara is hardly a newcomer to the world of drifting, it was something of a surprise to see this series veteran take home the victory at Road Atlanta this past weekend given that he hadn’t won a Formula Drift event since 2007 and was driving a freshly built Discount Tire and Falken sponsored Nissan 240SX.

Making Dai’s win in Hotlanta even more impressive was his performance in the final pairing against current overall points leader Vaughn Gittin Jr. in his insanely powerful Ford Mustang GT.

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The 2010 Formula Drift championship is shaping up to be the most competitive season yet, with Gittin and Yoshihara leading the standings, followed closely by three former series champions, Rhys Millen, Tanner Foust, and defending champ Chris Forsberg. The cream already appears to be rising to the top and the challenge ahead for Falken stablemates Gittin Jr. and Yoshihara is clearly a monumental one.

Still, drifting is an inherently unpredictable motorsport and with so many strong contenders among the top 32 drivers, it’s still anybody’s guess who will come out on top at season’s end. Conrad Grunewald finally finds himself in a competitive machine, the Atlanta crowd pleasing Hankook Tire sponsored Chevrolet Camaro, and after a strong weekend in the dirty south we expect to see him continue to rise through the ranks. Former champ Samuel Hubinette is also driving a new machine this year, the “love it or hate it” Dodge Challenger that seems to polarize drift fans just as strongly as his Dodge Viper and Charger did in previous years.

The quality of the drifting this season has been higher than ever too, exemplified by Tanner Foust’s amazing tail-first entry into a high speed lefthand turn at Road Atlanta, a track he’s always been among the fastest and most aggressive drivers at.

Check out the video after the jump.

[Sources: Speedhunters, Formula Drift]

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