Wednesday’s most anticipated press conference from the 2013 SEMA Show (and really any SEMA for the past 11 years) was Formula DRIFT’s, a mix of summary from the past season and preview for the next year and beyond. Coming off a landmark tenth anniversary season – one that saw new champions and a staggering amount of reach (2.5 million viewers on the series’ ‘DriftStream’ alone) all signs seem to point to continued growth for the planet’s most elite sliding series.
With an eye toward the brand’s next decade, series founders and principles Jim Liaw and Ryan Sage announced year 11 will again feature seven US rounds, four FD Asia stops and a number of other events, starting with the American championship's annual Tech Day, which is returning to our facility’s garage in March for the second year running (yay!) The stateside agenda goes something like this:
- April 4-5, Round 1, Long Beach Grand Prix Street Course, CA
- April 11-12, Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge, Long Beach Grand Prix Street Course, CA
- May 9-10, Round 2, Road Atlanta, GA
- May 30-31, Round 3, Florida
- June 20-21, Round 4, Wall Stadium, NJ
- July 11-12, Round 5, Evergreen Speedway, WA
- September 12-13, Round 6, Texas Motor Speedway
- October 10-11, Round 7, Irwindale Events Center, CA
Globally we can expect:
- January 18-19, Formula D Asia, Bangkok, Thailand
- March, Sumitomo Rubber demo, Honduras
- August 30-September 1, Exhibition, Autodrome St. Eustache, Canada
- 3 more Formula D Asia rounds, in Australia, Malaysia and back to Thailand
Arguably the biggest news to emerge is that the FD US and Asia championships are officially merging to prepare for a series world championship starting in 2015, something many fans have been hoping for. More details will be forthcoming as the 2014 season nears, but in the meantime both operations will begin laying the groundwork by combining resources and homologating teams from both series.
Also to come, FD is launching a Pro 2 series in the US to bridge the gap between ProAm championships and the top tier, which is now being called Pro 1. Events will be held in conjunction with select FD weekends.
We are sufficiently pumped – April can’t come soon enough. For more deets hit up the series site atformulad.com, and we’ll see everyone in Long Beach in a few months!