We are excited about the start of the 2018 Formula DRIFT pro championship, like a kid counting down to Christmas. This marks the remarkable 15th season for FD (congrats, guys!) and while we’ve been noting the changes among the competitor corps via social media, today one of the big players in the series announced its driver lineup for this year’s championship races – Nexen Tire.
Nexen will hit the ground running at the season opener in Long Beach this April with an eight-man FD hot shoe crew that consists of veterans Chris Forsberg, three-time series champion and wheelman of the NOS Energy Drink Nissan 370Z; Ryan Tuerck, pilot of the Gumout Toyota 86; and Kyle Mohan, driver of the MazdaTrix Mazda MX-5. Norwegian and 2015 champ Fredric Aasbo will have Nexen rubber at all four corners of his Rockstar Energy Drink-backed, yet unnamed Toyota, as will Dominican Jhonnattan Castro on his Gerdau-Metadom 86. Repping the young bloods on the tire squad are Alec Hohnadell in his Rain X S14 240SX, RAD Dan Burkett in the RAD Industries Mk4 Supra, and Formula D Pro freshman and Aussie Josh Robinson in his Holden Ute.
All eight will campaign the year on Nexen’s N’Fera SUR4G extreme UHP tire. The SUR4G will also serve as the semi-exclusive tire for the Formula DRIFT Pro 2 Series; at the 2017 SEMA Show, FD revealed it entered into an exclusive relationship with Nexen and Achilles Radial, who will serve as the Official Tire Suppliers of the Pro 2 Championship, a move said to contain team costs and increase competition parity.
One can reasonably assume with all the firepower on its roster Nexen will be gunning for a series Tire Championship in 2018. For the last two years it has had to play second fiddle to Falken, which has the seemingly unstoppable James Deane in its corner, among others. Even if this year is another snooze in the drivers title chase like 2017, we’re hoping the tire cup will be more fun to track. Wraps come off of the 2018 Formula D Pro Championship April 6th and 7th on the Long Beach Grand Prix street circuit.