The pro drifting universe shook a tiny bit for Formula DRIFT's annual press conference from the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, because the schedule is changing for the 2020 title - exciting news for FD nerds like us, who have seen the series grow at a somewhat measured pace over its history. While no new rounds have been added to their 8-event calendar, the timing of competitions at Orlando Speed World and Road Atlanta have been swapped, plus rounds at New Jersey's Wall Stadium and Texas Motor Speedway have been replaced.
For the last couple years, Formula D hit Orlando in early May and Road Atlanta later in the month, but starting next season those relative dates will be switched so Georgia will be early and Florida now later in the month. In addition, due to outgrowing the venue at Wall, FD revealed it will be leaving the short oval facility but staying in New Jersey, heading back to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown for the first time since 2008 - a venue we believed was no-go due to NIMBY neighbors closing down drag racing there. Apparently pro drift cars aren't as loud and objectionable as NHRA ones, because not only is E-Town having FD back for the next three years, the track is also building out a custom arena for the pro series that will be different from the course the area's Club Loose uses.
|PROVISIONAL 2020 FORMULA DRIFT CALENDAR|
|Long Beach GP / Super Drift||April||17-18|
|*indicates change of venue|
In September, Texas is gone, replaced by Sonoma Raceway in Northern California and giving Cali three FD events in a season (like it did when the erstwhile Infineon was on the calendar in 2004 through 2010). The FD Pro 2 season will end in Sonoma, and apparently the change in venues was precipitated by attendance and the growth of the scene in NorCal over the last decade. Finally, Formula D unveiled Singapore tiremaker GT Radial will be returning to the championship after a 6-year hiatus.
Elsewhere at the show, new liveries broke cover for FD Pro drivers Rad Dan Burkett and Rome Charpentier, and Pro 2's Donovan Brockway. Burkett's new skin on his A80 Toyota Supra was designed by RAD team manager (and Dan's wife) Renee, and reflects a deepening partnership with main sponsor GearWrench, which brings splashes of orange to the widebody Mk IV's vivid blue scheme. Similarly, new sponsor Voodoo Ride figures heavily in Charpentier's bright green BMW E36, which is heading to Formula D Pro in 2020, and Brockway's Red Baron Racing F22 will be rocking a new, red, white, and blue wrap for next year.