SEMA attracts the biggest and brightest stars of motorsport, and it’s no different for drifting. At the 2016 edition of the trade show, high profile cars were spotted throughout the Las Vegas Convention Center, pro and pro-am drivers made appearances galore, and the biggest player in the game, Formula DRIFT (FD), continues to use the forum – the convergence of aftermarket industry operations, large and small – to make its annual announcements about the season that just ended and what next season has in store.
In Wednesday’s FD press conference from the show, President Jim Liaw revealed Black Magic Car Care will be the series’ 2017 event title sponsor, and the championship will be called the Black Magic Formula DRIFT Championship Presented by BlackVue Dash Camera – which makes it sort of seem like it actually has two title sponsors. In other news, Formula D re-upped with CBS Sports Network for an additional two years, and also growth plans with Network A are being hammered out for the Live Stream.
Throughout the week, hot shoes like freshly crowned 2016 FD champ Chris Forsberg, all of Team Nexen Tire (including our boy RAD Dan), Tyler McQuarrie, and others, had signings or were seen just cruising around the show. In a pretty cool promotion during SEMA, HPS Performance Products gave away RC versions of the RAD Industries Mk4 Supra that were spitting images of the full-sized version.
Speaking of Forsberg, he brought out an updated version of his drifting RB-powered S30, which sat in the AEM Intakes booth and took the show by storm, winning accolades like Best Asian Import at the Grand Turismo Awards and our own Super Street Best in Show Award Presented by Meguiars. Elsewhere, Ryan Tuerck’s Gumout GT4586 Ferrari-powered 86 sat in the GoPro booth, the Huracan drifted by Sam Hubinette and his wife Stina in the video “#HuracánDrift” was parked in the Nitto Tire space, and Tony Angelo’s ‘Cuda Fishtail was outdoors with the Nexen Tire trailer, all deserving special notice.
Actual drifting was going down at the Ford Out Front area with pros Vaughn Gittin, Jr. and Justin Pawlak, among others, and another demo with several additional pilots was held in conjunction with the event-ending SEMA Ignited festivities on Friday night. Drifting is alive and well, thank you very much, and you just had to hit up SEMA 2016 to see the sport’s potential continue to grow. Now enjoy a bunch of pictures of drift cars from around the show.