Round 1 in the streets of Long Beach yet again. For me this is my 7th year covering the Formula Drift Series and what a kick-off for 2015 it was. The crowds were massive at yet another sold-out event, and I don’t know if it was the stories that built up to the first event, or could it have been the fact that there was notable changes in Drivers, Teams, and the Cars? The field seemed short due to the fact that some of our favorites like Taka Aono and his flyin 86, and Danny George with the LS Powerful Miata weren’t there doing battle to name a few. I’m sure I’m missing a few drivers but the show must go on as they say. If you haven’t been to a Formula Drift event, you are definitely missing on some of baddest, coolest events out there. Keep in mind the Drifting and the Race Cars is just a small piece of the pie. You got a sweet Car Show that generates some visual pleasure depending on how you look at it. RWB and LTMW repped hard, and several cars peaked my interest, especially an Orange Mazda FC way in the back with a Top Drift Windshield banner. Don’t know who he is or what he’s packing, but if I was the judge he would be my overall choice for the show. Lol.

Vendor Row was spectacular as usual, for So-Cal most of the well known brands and companies had booths. Turbo by Garrett, Rays Wheels, Brian Crower, and KW Suspensions were some of the many others that showcased new products and shared tons of information with everyone in attendance. As for the Racers that everyone wanted to see and meet, I believed that the crowds in the Rockstar Energy Drink Pit had the most as the two-time Formula Drift Champion Tanner Foust makes a comeback, this time with a VW Passat Drift status. Yup a 700HP beast that looks just as good standing in the pits and sliding around. Unfortunately for Tanner a 5 year hiatus has put him behind the pack as he grows back his winning ways. Another comeback is the Crazy Kiwi from across the other part of the world, Mad Mike Whiddett who was able to make it to the first round for briefing and sizing up his competition. Rumor is that the Twin Turbo 3-Rotor powered Miata he will be using was not able to make it to the states in time. But not to worry, he’ll debut the lil monster at Road Atlanta which happens to be our all-time favorite track. Another new contender is Masashi Yokoi an FD Champion who dominated the circuit in Japan. Sporting one of the coolest liveries of the fleet, and an S15 to boot, he did fairly well, but not enough for him to get past the Top 32 while being eliminated by Fredric Aasbo.

Another cool car and one hell of a smoke machine was Daigo Saito’s Nissan GTR. This thing really looked like Godzilla, from the massive wheels, high roofline, and mean stance, it rocked out with plumes of tire shredding smoke throughout the course. But he too faced the judges early and wasn’t able to qualify. But as with every round, you never know what’s going to happen, for instance on the other side of the coin, Forrest Wang from Las Vegas premiered his beautiful mean green S15 who easily qualified 1st, and was a crowd favorite. But just like Yokoi he was defeated by Matt Coffman and his War Machine. After a long day the winner ended up being Fredric Aasbo from Rockstar x Papadakis Racing. Bringing the 4 Cylinder TC up to par and battled his way through the madness and placing 1st overall. Odi Bakchis placed 2nd and Ryan Tuerck came in at 3rd.

With 2015 being enormously packed every weekend with events everywhere, it’s going to be one epic year in racing. So before we leave to the Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix, enjoy the Gallery below and like, share as always. Thank you Chris of KW Suspensions, Jim, John, Brandon, Andy and the rest of the Formula D Staff, Yukio of Turbo By Garrett and all our fans. See you all in Road Atlanta!!! – Rommel Estrada #fdlb #turbolife #kwsuspensions #dsport #motolyric #trackhookers