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Formula Drift kicks off 11th season on Streets of Long Beach

Tue, 08 Apr 2014 17:44:00 EST

The 2014 Formula Drift series kicked off last weekend in Long Beach, and saw Chris Forsberg, who you'll recall went mad and drifted around a warehouse in an Infiniti M, take the title behind the wheel of his Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z (shown above).

Forsberg really ran away with the first round of competition, outscoring his closest opponent, second-place finisher Kenneth Moen and his Bridges Racing Nissan 240SX, by 20 points. Third place was 2013 championship winner Michael Essa and his Yokohama BMW M3, 30.5 points behind Forsberg.

In the manufacturers' title, Nissan took an early lead with 122 points, which isn't a huge surprise considering five of the top ten drifters were piloting either a Z or a product of the brand's S platform. Ford, which had two drivers (Justin Pawlak and Vaughn Gittin, Jr.) in the top ten, took home second place, while BMW is currently third in the manufacturers' standings.

While it looks like Forsberg and Nissan are pulling out an early lead, there are six more events in this year's championship. The next contest is set for May 9th and 10th at Road Atlanta. You can check out the entire Formula Drift schedule at the series' homepage.

We had photographer Drew Phillips on hand for the Long Beach contest. Take a look at his gallery of smoking tires and sideways cars at the top of the page. You can also scroll down for the complete results right from Long Beach.

Long Beach, Calif. – April 6, 2014 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro kicked-off the first event of the 2014 season with Round 1: Streets of Long Beach to a sold out crowd. Chris Forsberg in the Hankook Tire Nissan 370 Z takes the victory and the lead in the chase for the championship.

Round 1: Streets of Long Beach started off the eleventh season of Formula DRIFT to a sell out crowd. Over 20,000 fans gathered to experience the drifting action and excitement on the famous Streets of Long Beach Grand Prix course. The Dailymotion Livestream partnership saw over 230,000 unique viewers watch the Driftstream over the event weekend with over 1 million views in a 24 hour period.

"It is truly a fantastic feeling to see not only the live event attendance grow steadily year after year, but also the global Driftstream audience," says Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT. "We pride ourselves in being able to provide entertainment to such a young, engaged and tech-savvy audience."

Consistent driving helped propel Chris Forsberg to the top of the podium to earn the season's first victory and championship points lead. Forsberg faced Norway's Kenny Moen in the Bridges Racing Nissan 240SX in the final battle and after a close decision the judges awarded Forsberg the win. The top qualifier and 2013 defending champion, Michael Essa in the Essa Autosport / Yokohama Tire BMW M3 rounded out the podium with third place.

"It feels amazing to be on top of the podium, especially here at the first round of the eleventh season of Formula DRIFT," said Chris Forsberg, winner of Round 1: Streets of Long Beach. "We will try to keep the momentum with our new changes and take the championship home."

The 2014 Formula DRIFT season continues with Round 2: Road to the Championship on May 9-10 at Road Atlanta. For more information visit: and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram @formulad, Facebook and Twitter @FormulaD.

Formula DRIFT Championship Presented by GoPro 2014 Standings After One Round
1. Forsberg, Chris Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z 104.50 Points
2. Moen, Kenneth Bridges Racing Nissan 240SX 84.50 Points
3. Essa, Michael Essa Autosport / Yokohama BMW M3 74.00 Points
4. Pawlak, Justin Falken Tire Ford Mustang 68.50 Points
5. Aasbo, Fredric Hankook Tire Scion Racing tC 52.50 Points
6. Wang, Forrest Get Nuts Lab / Hankook Tire / STR Racing Nissan S14 51.00 Points
7. Bakchis, Aurimas Feal Suspension / Nitto Tire Nissan 240SX 51.00 Points
8. McNamara, Darren Falken Tire Nissan S14 51.00 Points
9. Gittin Jr., Vaughn Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR 39.50 Points
10. McQuarrie, Tyler GoPro / Mobil 1 Chevrolet Camaro 38.00 Points
11. Goodin, Pat Enjuku Racing Nissan 240SX 35.00 Points
12. Tuerck, Ryan Retaks / Maxxis Tires / Air Force Scion FR-S 35.00 Points
12. Grunewald, Conrad Megan Racing / Top 1 Oil / BRE Chevrolet Camaro 35.00 Points
13. Mohan, Kyle GT Radial / Energy-X Mazdatrix RX-8 35.00 Points
15. Baribeau, Mats Gold in the Net Toyota Mark II 33.50 Points
16. Mertzanis, Dennis Hyundai Genesis Legato AR1 33.50 Points
17. DeNofa, Chelsea BC Racing / Nitto Tire BMW 3-Series 20.50 Points
18. Mordaunt, Patrick Hyundai Genesis Legato AR7 19.00 Points
19. Kearney, Dean ORACLE Lighting SRT Viper 17.50 Points
20. Gushi, Ken GReddy Performance / Scion Racing Drift FR-S V2 17.50 Points
21. Nishida, Robbie Achilles Radial / Bridges Racing Lexus SC300 17.50 Points
22. Castro, Jhonnattan Progreso Nissan 370Z 17.50 Points
23. Hohnadell, Alec Enjuku Racing Nissan S14 17.50 Points
24. Saito, Daigo Achilles Radial Lexus SC430 17.50 Points
25. Rydquist, Carl Road Race Engineering / Berk Nissan 350Z 17.50 Points
26. Yoshihara, Daijiro Falken Tire / Discount Tire Subaru BRZ 17.50 Points
27. Jones, Jeff CX Racing Nissan S14 17.50 Points
28. Landreville, Marc Marc Landreville Racing Nissan S14 17.50 Points
29. Stoneback, Geoff GSR Nissan S14 17.50 Points
30. Angelo, Tony Tangelo Racing Scion FR-S 17.50 Points
31. Briggs, Dave Achilles Radial / Turbo by Garrett Nissan S14 17.50 Points
32. Richter, Jeremy Jeremy Richter Racing Nissan S13 17.50 Points
Round 1: Streets of Long Beach Event Results
1. Forsberg, Chris Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z Winner
2. Moen, Kenneth Bridges Racing Nissan 240SX 2nd Place
3. Essa, Michael Essa Autosport / Yokohama BMW M3 3rd Place
Manufacturers Championship Standings After One Round
1. Nissan 122.00 Points
2. Ford 108.00 Points
3. BMW 94.50 Points
4. Scion 87.50 Points
5. Chevrolet 73.00 Points
6. Lexus 35.00 Points
6. Mazda 35.00 Points
8. Toyota 33.50 Points
9. Hyundai 19.00 Points
10. Dodge 17.50 Points
Tire Championship Standings After One Round
1. Hankook 157.00 Points
2. Falken 119.50 Points
3. Achilles 102.00 Points
4. Nitto 90.50 Points
5. Yokohama 74.00 Points
6. Kenda 52.50 Points
7. GT Radial 35.00 Points
7. Maxxis 35.00 Points

By Brandon Turkus

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