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Formula D Long Beach ’16 Results

Forever underdog Chelsea DeNofa finally earns his first event victory after 6 seasons in the BC Racing E46.

Apr 9, 2016
Photographers: Jofel Tolosa, Mike Sabounchi, Leslie Clemens

Already people are calling Formula D Long Beach ’16 one of the best ever, and who can blame them. Conditions kept teams on their toes throughout an unpredictable Friday, and Saturday’s first round of tandem eliminations only further tested everyone’s patience as rain returned. But then Mother Nature gave Long Beach, Calif., a break and the round of 16 until the finale was held largely in dry weather.

FD LB 2016 tandem bracket Photo 5/146   |   FD LB 2016 Tandem Bracket

Making the most of it was first-time event winner Chelsea DeNofa in the BC Racing BMW E46 3-Series. DeNofa, who runs his drifting program on a shoestring budget, has always shown talent and drive (and sometimes overzealousness) but has had a professional career plagued by car issues; he referred to as much on the podium when he mentioned the triumph was all the more remarkable considering he did not have to use his five-minute competition timeout, which is normally reserved to fix or attempt to fix vehicle issues.

Chelsea DeNofa Photo 12/146   |   Chelsea Denofa

It’s taken DeNofa six seasons to earn his first event W, and it was no cakewalk. He had to get through 2009 and ’14 champion Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy 370Z, 2010 champ Vaughn Gittin, Jr., in the Monster Energy Mustang RTR, and last year’s runner up in the points Ken Gushi in the Greddy Performance 86, only to face ‘15 champ Fredric Aasbo in the Rockstar Energy tC. DeNofa persevered, though, and in the end kept enough of his car together to receive the approval of the judges.

Forsberg denofa battle Photo 19/146   |   Forsberg Denofa Battle

DeNofa becomes the 23rd unique driver in Formula DRIFT history to win an event. His improbable run marks the beginning of another championship season, which as of this point is wide open. The series heads next to Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., for Round 2 May 6 and 7. We’ll have more top-to-bottom coverage of Round 1 in the days ahead, but for now enjoy our quick and dirty photo album from a wet and wild Long Beach.

Daidriving Photo 23/146   |   Daidriving
National anthem Photo 39/146   |   National Anthem
Kiss Photo 55/146   |   Kiss
Kyle Mohan MX 5 Photo 71/146   |   Kyle Mohan MX 5
Wang crash Photo 87/146   |   Wang Crash
Fredric Aasbo Photo 103/146   |   Fredric Aasbo
Wang essa battle Photo 119/146   |   Wang Essa Battle
Bob Hernandez
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