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Out at Round 6 in Las Vegas of this year’s Formula Drift season, Mike Ryan put on the first ever drift demonstration in a semi-truck with his famous Freightliner Cascadia Pikes Peak Edition. Prior to that event however, Ryan got some testing time out at Irwindale Speedway in Southern California with Samuel Hubinette. The team also gave a very special kid a ride he’ll never forget.
Both Ryan and Hubinette were conducting some last minute testing on their vehicles before Las Vegas, but they also invited out William Klopper, who is battling cancer, for a truly memorable day. Hubinette was granting a wish from the Make-a-Wish Foundation to William’s friend Patrick by inviting them out to the track for ride-alongs.
The nicely executed video does a great job capturing the day’s events, showing off how remarkable it is to watch Ryan drift his Freightliner alongside Hubinette’s Dodge Charger, while throwing in a true feel-good moment with Klopper and his friend.
Watch the video after the jump:
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.
In what is a clearly a great marketing stunt, BF Goodrich is teaming up with Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White to teach him how to drive. And by driving, we mean the typical fashion we expect to see with BF Goodrich – tearing up tires all over the track.
White had the privilege of going to San Bernardino Airport where he met up with three of Team BFG’s members: Samuel Hubinette, Lars Wolfe and James Shearer. Each driver represented a different facet of motorsport, drifting, time attack and King of the Hammers, respectively.
Despite not even knowing how to drive a manual when the day began, White seemed to be a quick learner and was extremely fascinated with drifting – something expected from a persona like White.
Check out several videos after the break of Shaun White and BF Goodrich.
GALLERY: BF Goodrich and Shaun White
The Off Road Championship (TORC); is one of the most gruelling race series going. Each event is a short track natural course where jumps and fender banging are par for the course, much like a four-wheeled motorcross, which makes it very entertaining to watch.
Chrysler’s Mopar and Ram divisions recently announced that they will be official sponsors for the series, providing trucks for drivers as well as an official pace vehicle in the shape of a Ram Runner Pickup. First revealed at the Jeep Easter Safari last year, the Ram Runner is a package designed for 1500 trucks that adopts pre runner style equipment, such as larger wheels and tires, suspension upgrades, including Fox Racing shox and flared fenders.
The five drivers which will be sponsored by Mopar and Ram in the TORC series are Rob MacCachren and two-time drift champ Samuel Hubinette of Traxxas Racing and Bryce Menzies, plus Ricky and Luke Johnson of Menzies Motorsports.
The first race in this year’s TORC series is set to kick off at Redbud MX in Buchanan, Michigan on Memorial Day weekend. Mopar says that fans who attend the events this year will also have a chance at experiencing off-road driving themselves. Now that’s interaction.
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.
This weekend’s X-Games 16 is starting to become a star-studded event full of Formula Drift’s best drivers. We already know Tanner Foust and his experience with the X-Games, and now Samuel Hubinette and Andrew Comrie-Picard (Formula Drift driver and teammate) will both be driving NOS Energy Drink Mitsubishi EVOs on BFGoodrich tires.
The NOS Energy Drink EVO is not new to X-Games but it has been rewrapped for this year (as pictured above). Rumor has it that Hubinette’s practice was cut short when he hit a berm and threw the EVO up on two wheels. So it’ll be interesting to see how the competition plays out in the Super Rally with Hubinette, Picard, Verdier and Foust battling it out on the rally course rather than the drift course.
AutoGuide will be sure to update with X-Games news and results, especially if anything flips over!
UPDATE: Ready to match the EVO entry, Subaru has also just released details on it’s three car effort for the X-Games, with Travis Pastrana, Dave Mirra and Sverre Isachsen all piloting 500-hp Subaru WRX STIs.
BFGoodrich Tires, a company well known for its innovative and action-packed TV commercials, has drawn inspiration from the animal kingdom for its latest “Bolt On” ad campaign. As you’ll see in the video (after the jump), in the first installment it’s the grip of a tree frog that’s used to illustrate BFG’s point about bolting on grip by installing a set of their high-performance street tires, while the Behind The Scenes video (also after the jump) gives us a taste of some of the other animals we’ll see in future “Bolt On” ads.
Although the animal kingdom analogies will be at the heart of this campaign, the ads also feature two stars in the automotive world and members of the TeamBFG program. Two-time Formula Drift champion Samuel Hübinette did the stunt driving for the spots and Rally pro Lars Wolfe provided technical and special counsel. The vehicle featured in the broadcast ad is a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X with BFGoodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S tires.
The new campaign features a media plan that includes a variety of television, print and Internet advertising mediums. Kudos to BFGoodrich for thinking outside the box on this campaign and injecting some humor and style into their “Bolt On” ads. We look forward to seeing what animal makes a cameo in the next one.
[Source: BFGoodrich Tires]
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.
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.
Breaking into its seventh season, Formula DRIFT took to the Streets of Long Beach for its trademark season opener. This event is always a fan favorite being one of the only, if not the only, drift event that takes place on actual streets rather than a race track, course or parking lot. Many new cars made their debut at this event, some having great success while others clearly have a lot of bugs to figure out. American muscle prevailed however, as Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s new 2011 Falken Tire / Monster Energy Drink Mustang claimed the top podium spot with its debut.
Rhys Millen and his Red Bull Hyundai Genesis has clearly benefited from an off-season of thorough testing and upgrades as he finished up second place. Two-time champion Tanner Foust found himself in third with his Rockstar Energy Drink / AEM Scion tC. The threesome made for a colorful podium with three different brand of energy drinks being represented.
What made this event even more exciting was the debuts of several new drivers from all around the world seeing their first action in competitive American drifting. “With drivers from 13 nations and 12 current and former drifting champions, Formula Drift continues to grow drifting globally with the most diverse field of competitors than any other drifting series in the world,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula Drift.
Samuel Hübinette’s Dodge Challenger looks to have a few more bugs to work out, but his skill and expertise made sure he wasn’t far from a podium finish. Other new muscle cars included Conrad Grunewald in his Hankook Chevy Camaro and Tony Brakohiapa in the Sam’s Autoboy Ford Mustang. Noticeably missing, and without controversy, was Robbie Nishida’s Hankook Nissan GT-R and Eric O’Sullivan’s Subaru. Both were supposed to be big-name competitors and it must have been truly disappointing for both of these drivers flying over 10 hours to not see any competition.
Round Two of Formula Drift is scheduled to invade Road Atlanta on May 7-8th, 2010. We’ll be keeping a close eye on any testing during the break and will be sure to report on the second event of another exciting season of drifting.
GALLERY: Formula DRIFT Long Beach 2010
We broke the news last month that Samuel Hübinette would be campaigning his own two-car drift team for 2010. His new 865-hp Dodge Challenger would be campaigned with his previous championship-winning Dodge Viper, now driven by Canadian rally-star Andrew Comrie-Picard. With Formula Drift Long Beach competition starting today, the new team was out testing at Riverside, California this past week.
We spotted this video on YouTube and figured we’d share. It’s the best we can do to whet our appetite for this weekend’s competition. Things look extremely exciting with all the major teams finally making their official announcements, debuts and testing videos. We’ll be sure to report on all the results from the first event of the 2010 Formula DRIFT season. Check out the video of the Challenger swinging sideways, burning BFG rubber after the break.
GALLERY: Samuel Hubinette Testing Drift Dodge Challenger
Earlier this month we reported about Samuel Hubinette’s plans for 2010. What some may not remember is that merely three years ago, celebrity and son of Hulk Hogan, Nick Hogan, was actually competitively drifting alongside Samuel in a Dodge Viper SRT-10. Clearly the fame that came with Nick Hogan and fast cars wasn’t from his short drifting career. Instead, it was from the tragic accident that proved that there is such thing as too much horsepower. Nonetheless, the kid’s back out on the prowl and has committed to the Xtreme Drift Circuit (XDC) campaigning a black turbocharged Nissan 350Z.
The good news out of all this is that Nick Hogan will be involved with a group called “Keep It On The Track”, promoting and educating Americans the consequences of participating in illegal street races and driving without a seat belt. Perhaps it’s a day late, especially for the unfortunate passenger during Hogan’s Supra accident, but hey whatever it takes to keep it off the streets.
We couldn’t help but to include one of Hogan’s highlights from his last drifting endeavor, taking a champion-caliber car and finding the wall at Irwindale Speedway. That’s after the jump.
Dodge returns to drifting with a Challenger and Viper for 2010
2009 was an up-and-down year for Samuel Hübinette who has been a two-time Formula DRIFT champion and Hollywood stunt driver. Notorious for ripping it up in a Mopar-backed Viper SRT10 for many years and nicknamed The Crazy Swede by fellow competitors, Hübinette had a difficult start with his Mopar-backed Charger in 2009; and then mid-season Mopar was forced to back out of their sponsorship altogether due to difficult economic times.
As if the 2009 season couldn’t get any more tumultuous, Hübinette’s NuFormz team owner, Shaun Carlson, tragically passed away in October. Question marks were raised everywhere as one of the most talented drivers in the Formula DRIFT series seemed to be without a full ride. But talent always prevails, and Hübinette has finally announced his big plans for 2010.
Now factory-backed by Dodge, Hübinette will be campaigning his all new Dodge Challenger while teammate Andrew “ACP” Comrie-Picard (new to Formula DRIFT) will be swinging sideways in the familiar and championship-winning Viper SRT-10. Samuel Hübinette Racing also welcomes back the partnership of BFGoodrich tires. Hübinette looks forward to a strong and successful 2010 drifting season and we wouldn’t be surprised if he’ll be back in championship form with all his expertise and experience over the years.
We’ll be sure to keep an eye on both drivers, when the season kicks off in Long Beach, CA on April 9-10.
The official release is available after the jump.
Formula D future uncertain for long time Mopar racer Samuel Hübinette
As a part of Chrysler’s restructuring plan it has announced that Mopar will cease its sponsorship of the NuFormz Racing team and driver Samuel Hübinette.
The writing has been on the wall for quite some time now as Chrysler has been seeking every area where it can cut costs. Additionally, a strong sign was when Hübinette took to the track during the first round of the Formula D series in Long Beach in a Dodge Viper – and not the Challenger (pictured above) that Mopar debuted at the 2008 SEMA Show.
“As a part of Chrysler’s comprehensive restructuring plan to revitalize our business and succeed as a stronger car company, we’re rigorously reviewing all expenditures and making tough business decisions,” said Mike Accavitti, Director of Brand Marketing and Strategy at Chrysler. “The decision to end Team Mopar’s sponsorship of NuFormz Racing was difficult because of our long-term relationship with the ream and all of the success we’ve enjoyed competing in Formula Drift.
Driving for Mopar, Hübinette won the first ever Formula D contest and holds the title of the most outright victories. He won the championship in 2004 and 2006 and was a runner up in ’05 and ’08.
“I had a great eight-year run as a member of the Team Mopar family and want to thank the company for all the great memories I’m taking away,” said NuFormz Racing team owner Shaun Carlson. “It’s a tough decision, but given the current economic environment inside and outside of racing, I certainly understand it.”
The sponsorship contract will be terminated after the next event in New Jersey on June 5/6.
Official release after the jump:
Mopar unveils its 2009 Formula D Championship-contender at SEMA
Chrysler’s global parts and service division, Mopar, will continue its successful drifting program in 2009 using the new dodge Challenger. The Challenger replaces the Charger used in years past by Dodge driver and two-time Formula D Champion Samuel Hübinette.
Significantly lighter than the factory car thanks to a stripped-down interior and a new carbon fiber body by NuFormz Racing, the shiny silver drift car is powered by a Mopar A8 engine built by Gary Stanton Racing Engines. With the addition of Mopar W9 ported heads and, no doubt, loads of other internal modifications, the Mopar Drift Challenger now makes 850 hp and 849 ft-lbs of torque.
Mopar also supplied the sway bars for the custom suspension.
For 2009 Mopar will continue its sponsorship agreement with BF Goodrich.
One interesting highlight is the use of rollerblade wheels on the rear quarter panels – a design intended to keep the big brute sliding across the concrete barriers (as is likely to happen) instead of bouncing off them.
The 2009 Formula D season is scheduled to begin April 10th at Long Beach.
Official press release after the jump: