The 2008 drifting season has finally come to a close and we’re happy to announce D’Vanz Motorsports finished on a high note. The event, billed as “The Red Bull Drifting World Championship”, was the biggest of it’s kind in which there were two events in one massive weekend. One portion of the weekend pitted the drivers from the American Formula Drift series that ended their season in the top 16 points positions vs. 16 of the best drivers from series outside the United States.
The second part of the weekend, and the one DVM was focused on, was the “Pro-Am” competition. For this event, drivers looking to gain access into the Formula D Championship had to battle current FD drivers that for a myriad of reasons, still needed to earn a few more points to hold onto their spot in the FD line-up for the 2009 campaign. Our driver, Doug Van Den Brink, having only competed in a couple of Formula D events in 2008, was one looking to fight-off those hoping to take his spot.
The event was held at a special venue on a massive harbor-side dock in the Port of Long Beach. A purpose built drifting track, highlighted by a very fast entry, followed by 4 technical turns. The track proved to be challenging with many drivers falling victim to the walls and barricades and other drivers stepping up to show off their total car control. The level of competition was at an all-time high and created one of the most exciting events in drifting history.
“This is a very intimidating track.” Van Den Brink was heard to say early in the weekend. “Basically you have a “drag-race” starting line with a concrete “catchers-mitt” facing you at the other end. It’s just plain sick!”
The Red Bull and Formula D event planners saved nothing, as the event was jam-packed with food courts, product vendors, DJ’s, show cars and even sky-divers. It was everything a motorsports fan could ask for and maybe even a little more. Between the action on the track and the sights and sounds in the paddock area, it was hard to decide where to spend your time. The unique track layout and massive grandstands assured that everyone had a great view and the folks lucky enough to score VIP passes in the many hospitality areas were pampered in ways only the world’s “elite citizens” are used to.
Once the dust had settled, Rhys Millen came out on top as the event’s World Champion, laying down run after run of near perfection. One industry insider was overheard saying that this was probably Rhys’ finest hour behind the wheel as the rest of the field was really in his wake all weekend. On the Pro-Am side, it was Quoc Ly taking home the victory with our man Doug coming in a respectable 5th place securing his 2009 Formula D license.
“This was a very stressful event with so much riding on its outcome. My main goal was to make it through to the Top-8 and secure my spot for the 09’ season, which I did. It was also a goal not to do a lot of damage to the car which would put us in a financial hole this winter. Fortunately, we came out of the event with only a minor scratch. Now we can focus on making improvements to the car for next year and with any luck, we’ll secure enough sponsorship where we can campaign the whole season and move ourselves into the Top-16 and gain us an invitation to this Red Bull event next year.” Doug added.
Now the real work begins. Major changes to the Mustang are already on the minds of Doug and his crew and sponsorship deals are being put forth on a weekly basis. The 2009 Formula Drift schedule will remain the same as it did in 08’ with 6 of 8 events being west of Las Vegas. This will again prove to be a challenge for our North Carolina based team but with their strengthened relationship with the So. California based StreetWise Motorsports giving them a new base of operations out on the West Coast, they should be able to operate a bit more economically. The team has once again shown that they can be a force in this series; their overall exposure level is up, their website and fan traffic is on the rise and all this is setting them up to be a prime candidate for major sponsorship. The goal over the winter will be to secure and activate these marketing opportunities and test-out new car set-ups that will put them in a strong and competitive position come the season opening at the Long Beach Grand Prix on April 11th.
Let it not go without saying that all of us at D’Vanz Motorsports are indebted to all of those who have helped make this season possible. We are profoundly humbled by everyone’s continued enthusiasm and tireless efforts that have gotten this team where it is today…. Thank you and may you and yours have the happiest of holiday seasons….