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Southwest Drift Series RD 1 2015

Vegas Drift expands its licensing program outside of Nevada

Feb 20, 2015
Nissan 240sx blake olsen Photo 5/38   |   Nissan 240Sx Blake Olsen

The road to Formula Drift is no easy task. For many, scoring a Formula D license is like getting a chance to play in the NBA, or NFL or whatever your sports preference is. You need a fetishistic dedication to the craft and a competitive edge among your peers. In attempts to further develop its Formula D licensing program, Vegas Drift has expanded its series outside the city of sin and started the Southwest Drift Series. Round one was held at Wild Horse Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona where I tagged along with my good friend Christopher Pow Billedo.

Nissan 240sx pow bash bars Photo 6/38   |   Nissan 240Sx Pow Bash Bars

Formula D Pro 2 Supra Build

Nissan 240sx front three quarter Photo 7/38   |   Nissan 240Sx Front Three Quarter

We started the 350 miles trek from L.A. to Arizona around 8pm and with the S13 Nissan 240SX in tow we didn't arrive until 5am. Needless to say, sleep was nonexistent with the 7am Southwest Drift Series tech inspection.

Nissan 240sx bcl wing Photo 8/38   |   Nissan 240Sx Bcl Wing
Nissan ka turbo Photo 12/38   |   Nissan Ka Turbo

Approximately 40 drivers came to pitch their cars sideways around the Bondurant course, while being judged by pro drivers Taka Aono, Tommy Suell, George Marstanovic and Brandon Wicknick. The three-hour Southwest Drift Series practice plagued a handful of drivers with mechanical issues including Pow. While going tandem with another driver a rod shot through his turbocharged KA motor.

Nissan 240sx ait racing d1 fenders Photo 13/38   |   Nissan 240Sx Ait Racing D1 Fenders
Nissan 240sx ka turbo motor blow Photo 14/38   |   Nissan 240Sx Ka Turbo Motor Blow

Pow says, " I felt really comfortable with the car [S13]. On my second practice run I was following another driver and on initiation I was able to keep it really close in proximity. He made a mistake on the second turn and I saw my opportunity to put it on his door! As soon as I was half-a-foot away from the lead car's door my engine shut off and I saw flames through the windshield. I immediately drove off course to prevent oil spilling on the track and jumped out as fast as I could. Turned out the fire was already gone and my day was done."

Subaru wrx chargespeed front bumper Photo 15/38   |   Subaru Wrx Chargespeed Front Bumper
Subaru wrx rear three quarter Photo 16/38   |   Subaru Wrx Rear Three Quarter

I bumped into our good friend David Lloyd, previously featured on Super Street's September 2013 cover, and learned of his wild 2JZ motor swap. David made it to the Top 16 and got a "one more time" in his battle against Ethan Hunter before being knocked out.

Nissan 350z front bumper Photo 17/38   |   Nissan 350Z Front Bumper

Rathyna Gomer from California was another highlight to see, as she was the only girl competing in the first round of Southwest Drift Series. She managed to pilot her LS-powered Nissan 350Z into the Top 16 round before being taken out by Joe Tardiff.

At the end of the day Tony Cisneros, in a S14, took the top podium spot. Travis Avery took 2nd, and Joe Tardiff ended in 3rd place. Southwest Drift Series Round 2 will take place back in Las Vegas on April 26th, 2015. However the Southwest Series will be making stops in Denver, Colorado and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Nissan 240sx animal style drift Photo 18/38   |   Nissan 240Sx Animal Style Drift
Nissan 240sx kouki headlights Photo 25/38   |   Nissan 240Sx Kouki Headlights
Nissan 240sx s13 headlights Photo 32/38   |   Nissan 240Sx S13 Headlights
Rover jump Photo 36/38   |   Rover Jump
Jofel jump Photo 37/38   |   Jofel Jump
Rover pow jofel Photo 38/38   |   Rover Pow Jofel
Jofel Tolosa
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