Source Interlink Media hosted their 3rd Annual Formula Drift Tech Day where many of this year’s FD drivers could get their cars inspected before the season starts. This cuts out the hassle of having the car teched the weekend of the event, and it’s also where a lot of new builds and liveries are unveiled for the first time. With what could been a closed-door, utilitarian process no more exciting than a trip to the DMV, FD and Source Interlink have created media feeding frenzy and hype machine.
The event featured open parking, vendor booths, food trucks, and chilling. Many drifting fans bring their own modified cars. For many people, this event is a car show and a meet, with some tech inspections going on in the background.
Upon my arrival I spotted Bil Baldwin, and also Karl Osaki’s S14.
This S14 was built by DNA Motoring, who also built the S13 Karl ran in the 2013 season. It’s powered by an LS3 with Holley EFI cams and an intake putting down around 500whp. Karl’s 2013 Rookie season didn’t go swimmingly due to mechanical issues so it’s good to see him this year with a reliable setup.
Dave Briggs towed his car all the way from Toronto!
After getting teched, Dave parked his 800hp, nitrous injected S14 on the curb.
This made me especially nervous considering California’s strict road regulations. But check out that livery!
Forrest Wang made the much shorter trek out from Vegas. Not much has changed to his car as to engine components but Wang is now driving for Hankook tires!
Tyler Wolfson is a rookie this season, after waiting a year after getting his FD license. It’s nice to see an FD back in FD, and yes, it’s still rotary powered.
Something I’ve been longing to see was Andy Hateley’s LS3 E30. Years of work has gone into the build for this car and the workmanship shows.
Don’t forget his d̶o̶g̶ wolf, Gonzo!
Pat Mourdant has joined Ark Performance and is now driving his teammate Dennis Mertzanis’s Genesis from last year.
Mertzanis has been put in an identical car, with identical liveries. Pat is running a turbo V6 while Mertzanis is running a supercharged V8. I know many people will and already have confused the cars for each other. To visibly see a difference in the cars notice that their racing seats and side mirrors are different. Not to mention the intercooler behind Mourdant’s front bumper.
Odi Bakchis showed up with not a livery, but only his new tire sponsor. Odi was one of five drivers to scramble for a new tire sponsorship after Nexen unexpectedly dropped out of the 2014 Formula Drift season.
One of the other former Nexen drivers was Kyle Mohan and this season his Mazdatrix RX-8 looks better than ever.
This year’s powerplant is a Turbocharged Dry-sump 20B putting down around 800hp. I like this horsepower race. One other cool thing about this car is the scoop on the roof that feeds air directly into the rear mounted radiator. Many of us asked what he was doing about tires. Kyle simply said he could not say anything at this period in time and smiled. My guess is that Kyle has nothing to worry about in terms of tire sponsorships this season.
Charles Ng is back this season after taking a few seasons off to drive in the World Touring Car Championship.
He will be driving a supercharged G37 built by The Drift Cave and CXRacing. The livery is done up by Speedhunters with “MAXIMUM ATTACK” prominently displayed all over the car.
Tech Day 2014 was a success. Southern California doesn’t host very many open events, especially ones that are free and on private property. I spoke with a few staffed with Source Interlink and they have been saying that these events are always a pleasure to host, so I would expect to see Formula Drift Tech Day in future years.