Formula DRIFT’s Pro 2 series just had a barnburner of a finale in Texas, an incredible event to close out the four-round season and seal the deal on eight new FD Pro licensees. The list of new pro drivers includes Kevin Lawrence, Travis Reeder, Matt Vankirk, Josh Robinson, Dirk Stratton, Ola Jaeger, Randall Waters, and Szilveszter Gyorgy. Below is a little on each pilot and their respective season – congrats to all on earning a ticket to the big time!
KEVIN LAWRENCE – 252 points
Enjuku Racing RB25 S14.3
K-Law didn’t qualify for Round 2: Road Atlanta but it didn’t matter. The only Three Palms Drift champion ever and only entry on this list to use Nissan RB power still collected enough points with wins at Rd. 1: Orlando Speed World and Rd. 4: Texas Motor Speedway to squeak out a very close triumph in the driver point standings.
TRAVIS REEDER – 250 pts.
Nameless Performance LS3 S13
2016 Evergreen Drift Pro-Am champ Reeder found the Pro 2 podium twice in 2017, finishing second behind Lawrence in Orlando and winning outright at Road Atlanta. He missed catching Lawrence by just two points in the final season standings, the closest margin in Pro 2 history.
MATT VANKIRK – 230 pts.
MVK Racing 2JZ S13
Vankirk is another Evergreen Drift champ (2015) and, like the above, also made it to the podium two times this year. He slid to second place at Road Atlanta and was your overall winner for Rd. 3: Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash. (basically his home track).
JOSH ROBINSON – 174 pts.
Magnuson Superchargers Holden Commodore Ute
One of a handful of international athletes on this list, Robinson hails from Australia and brought with him a long wheelbase Holden Commodore Ute, which is not even sold in the States. In Pro 2 this season, the Aussie finished fourth in points, nabbing third place at Round 1 and a P2 qualifier and fourth place at Round 3.
RANDALL WATERS – 171 pts.
IAS Performance LS7 S14
After finishing 14th in Pro 2 last year, the 2015 Lonestar Drift champ stepped it up this year, qualifying P2 in Orlando to kick off the season and go as deep as fourth place at Road Atlanta.
DIRK STRATTON – 155 pts.
Stratton Racing LS7 C6
Stratton had his Pro license last year – finishing fourth – but chose to return to Pro 2 this year, we hear to sort out his program further and try to build up sponsorship. The 2016 Pro 2 Rookie of the year qualified high at Road Atlanta (P2) and Evergreen Speedway (P1) in 2017, and in Washington also secured a third-place finish.
OLA JAEGER – 132 pts.
Japan Auto 2JZ JZA80
Norwegian and bud to 2015 Pro champ Fredric Aasbo, Jaeger runs Aasbo’s former ride, the Japan Auto JZA80 (affectionately known as “Chucky”). After a pretty lackluster first three rounds this season, Ola went on a tear in Texas, qualifying P1 and then storming to a second-place finish, very nearly achieving a perfect event.
SZILVESZTER GYORGY – 131 pts.
Szilveszter Drift 2JZ S13
Gyorgy was a master of consistency in 2017, the Hungarian driver qualifying and finishing mid-pack all season long – P8 qualifier and a Great 8 exit in Florida, P7 qualifier in Georgia, and P7 qualifier and another quarterfinals exit to close out the year in Texas.