In 2-days will mark my Formula Drift competitive return to the series I’ve been chasing these last few years. The 2014 FD Season has already kicked into high-gear and is making it’s 3rd-stop on the tour at the Miami Homestead Speedway on May 29th-30th. This will be my first event of the season and I very excited to be back.
This event will also mark the beginning of Formula Drift’s new Pro-2 category. The 4-event Pro-2 class was designed to give the lessor funded teams a place to compete and build their programs yet still be in front of the large Formula Drift crowds. For those NASCAR fans, think of it as Sprint Cup vs. the Nationwide Series. The car’s are similar (same rules in Pro & Pro-2) the drivers in many instances are equally as competitive but the Pro-2 teams (in many instances) don’t have the engineering resources, the open-ended budgets and the testing time that the top-level Pro teams do.
Another first that’s happening this weekend will be the fact that I unfortunately won’t be driving my familiar DVM Mustang but instead will be piloting the 3-series BMW of Chelsea DeNofa Motorsports. I had hoped to have the Mustang ready for this event but budget constraints and parts not showing up have kept the car from being 100% ready for battle. If you’re going to an FD event (Pro-2 or otherwise), you better show-up with “all guns a-blaze’n” because this new category is open to not only dedicated Pro-2 teams but also any and all Pro teams not currently ranked in the Top-16 in Pro points. Just a casual rundown of the current ladder show’s some truly potent Pro teams as possible Pro-2 competitors that simply haven’t found their Pro-stride yet this year.
This event will mark Formula Drift’s fist visit to the south Florida speed-plant and I see this as an opportunity! At most tracks on the schedule, there are teams and drivers that have been competing at them for over 10-seasons. This event however, no driver will have more experience at it than anyone else so although I’m in a new car, I really feel I’ve got a good chance at doing well.
Speaking of the BMW, I got a chance to test the car last week at Orlando Speedworld. I started off conservatively (with respect given to the Chelsea and his equipment) but by days end, I was really going quick and the car was driving like it was designed to. It’s suspension set-up is amazing and my hat’s-off to DeNofa Motorsports for building such a great car.
The Miami Pro-2 event will run on Thursday & Friday this week and opens the weekend for the full FD contingent. It will only be a Top-16 format so qualifying on Thursday will be ultra critical. After Miami, the Pro-2 teams will bypass the Wall, NJ round that is Pro-1 only event then they will pick back up in Seattle, WA on July 17-19, followed by Ft. Worth, TX on Sept. 11-13 and then the season finally at Irwindale Speedway on October 9-11.
I also have a new sponsorship to tell you all about, JMS Chip & Performance out of Lucedale, MS has come on board in an official capacity. I say official because I’ve known the guys at JMS for sometime and have regularly looked to them for parts and guidance on the Mustang. They have been great help with my projects and I really looking forward to putting their new Nitrous Controller, SparkMAX Booster and other products to good use. They offer some great performance products for all types of cars both import & domestic and we both are very excited to get their line of products in front of the Formula Drift fans and teams. Please feel free to click on their logo here so you can check out all the cool parts and services they offer.
Please continue to keep-up with us here at my DVM web site and on both the Facebook page and Instagram (@DougVanDenBrink). Following this event in Miami, I’ll send out a follow-up post to let everyone know how things go…
Talk to you soon!