Nearly two months have passed since everyone learned Irwindale Speedway – the Southern California short oval renowned not just for stock car racing but also drag racing on the facility’s 1/8-mile strip and drifting in said oval – was in fact not going away, after being led to believe it was. The abbreviated version of that part of the story is basically a new management group came in and saved the joint from eminent closure. In spite of this news, many drifting fans (lump us in there) were waiting for the other shoe to drop – namely that the Formula DRIFT professional championship, which has ended its season at Irwindale since the series’ founding in 2004, would commit to returning to the motorsports park known by many as “The House of Drift.” Well, today that happened.
Via press release, Formula D confirmed it would be back at Irwindale Speedway in October to end its 2018 eight-round campaign, and will do the same for the 2019 and 2020 championships. This comes after FD initially announced in November 2017 it would be ending its ’18 Pro and Pro 2 series in Las Vegas due to the SoCal track’s closure. Additionally, Thursday Night Drift, a monthly test-and-tune session at Irwindale for all levels of local sliders, will return, though no concrete date was given when that will begin.
Furthermore, with Formula D’s triumphant return to the House of Drift comes word of a new pro-am series ostensibly put on by FD. Little more than that was revealed in the bulletin, but if this were in fact true, the championship would be direct competition for the area’s other pro-am series, Just Drift’s Top Drift. Pro-am series currently serve as one of the early rungs on the competition ladder before heading to Pro 2 and, ultimately, Pro. We’ve been promised more about this in the days ahead.
For now, anyone seeking more info is urged to check out tonight’s Maximum Driftcast podcast at 6pm PST; you can access the podcast on iTunes or at maximumdriftcast.com. Formula DRIFT returns to Irwindale Speedway October 12th and 13th to close out 2018’s pro title, and kicks off the year in Long Beach April 6th and 7th. For a competition schedule and ticket information, head over to formulad.com.