Compiled by SEMA Editors
Formula DRIFT Announces Partnership with Network A; Blackvue Bonus Prize Money
Formula DRIFT presented by BlackVue has announced a partnership with Network A—a global action-sports channel—to launch the first digital and mobile channel dedicated exclusively to drifting. The Formula DRIFT channel will feature livestreams of all of the North American events and select events from Japan and around the world. It will also offer a full lineup of highlights, interviews, classics and original programming featuring the greatest drift drivers and cars. The livestreams, video-on-demand, syndication, and social-platform video distribution will all be powered by the Sportsrocket media platform. The channel will officially launch later this spring, but will provide a preview through www.formulad.com and www.NetworkA.com for the launch of the 2016 season this weekend from the Streets of Long Beach, April 8–9. The sell-out event showcases the world’s best drifters competing on the wall-to-wall course of the Long Beach Grand Prix street track. All festivities are open to the public and each day will also be broadcast live. Formula DRIFT also has announced that it will offer an additional $25,000 in prize money to any driver who wins three specific events—Long Beach, Evergreen Speedway and Wall Speedway.
Chrissie Beavis and Nicole Pitell-Vaughan celebrate their second-place result in the #180 Toyota Tacoma at the finish of the 2016 Rallye Aicha des Gazelles. Photo credit: Nicole Dreon/Rallye Aicha des Gazelles
American Teams Score Record Results in 2016 Rallye Aicha des Gazelles
After nine days of off-road competition in Morocco, American teams claimed two podium spots in the hotly contested 4x4 division of the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles. Final results saw four American teams placed in the top 10 and all eight U.S. entries awarded finish positions. Southern California off-road racers Chrissie Beavis (Rally America) and Nicole Pitell-Vaughan (Best in the Desert) fought for the lead throughout the contest in their #180 Toyota Tacoma. They qualified for a first-place starting position and held the lead until Day 4 of the endurance event, when a strut mount broke and they had to limp through the remaining checkpoints of the day. In a race where advantage is measured in distance, rather than time, the pair finished an estimated 1.1 miles behind their closest rivals, the Swiss duo of Regine Zbinden and Ela Steiner. It was an historic finish for an all-U.S. teams in the contest. The previous best finish for an American in the 4x4 division was in 2011 when U.S. driver Emily Miller partnered with French navigator Armelle Medard and scored a runner-up result. Beavis won the Crossover category in 2015 alongside driver Alyssa Roenigk. Joining Beavis and Pitell-Vaughan on the podium, in third, were sisters Susanah and Jo Hannah Hoehn of Carlsbad, California. Also in the top 10 were returning competitors Emme Hall from Oakland, California, and Sabrina Howells from Los Angeles. Susie Saxten and Ivy Cass, both from Encinitas, California, scored a ninth-place result.
Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels Named Title Sponsor of NMCA West Coast World Finals
Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels has announced its title sponsorship of the NMCA West Coast World Finals. The fifth-annual NMCA West Coast World Finals, scheduled October 14–16, is a three-day event held at the Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California. Racers will compete in 11 classes to earn points toward year-end prizes and the title of world champion. The fifth annual NMCA West Spring Nationals kicks off April 1 with Mickey Thompson’s return as a contingency sponsor for the series. The company will offer contingency awards for all Pro, Sportsman and special-event classes, and Mickey Thompson Motorsports will offer trackside support during most national events.
Team Pertronix of East Ridge High School from East Ridge, Tennessee, took first place with a low time of 20:33.
Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Qualifying Coast to Coast
It was a doubleheader weekend for Hot Rodders of Tomorrow. High school students from the East and West Coasts competed in the engine challenge for their chance to qualify for the Dual Championships later this year at the SEMA Show and PRI Show.
East Coast students battled at the Chattanooga Cruise-In, resulting in five qualifying teams. Team Pertronix of East Ridge High School from East Ridge, Tennessee, took first place with a low time of 20:33. Team Flex-a-lite of Burton Center for Arts and Tech from Salem, Virginia (22:53), Team Nitrous Express of Bolton High School from Arlington, Tennessee (30:43), Team Moroso of Sequoyah High School from Soddy Daisy, Tennessee (31:05) and Team ARP of Jacksonville North Pulaski High School from Jacksonville, Arkansas (33:54) also gained their national championship qualifying ranks.
In California, teams matched up at the MagnaFlow qualifying event in Rancho Santa Margarita delivering three more qualifiers. Team MagnaFlow of Rancho Alamitos from Garden Grove (28:56) made the cut at their sponsor’s event. First place was awarded to Team Fast of Loara High School from Anaheim (26:00), while Team Meziere of Katella High School from Anaheim (28:30) followed in second.
Tanner Foust Represents Dapperman
Rockstar Energy Drink driver Tanner Foust will represent Dapperman men’s grooming products on- and off-track in the coming season. The champion driver and television personality joins the family-owned company as one of its first brand ambassadors. Under the terms of the new partnership, Foust will now display Dapperman on his competition helmet with his other key partners.
NMRA Keystone Automotive Ford Nationals Returns to Maple Grove Raceway
After five years, the National Mustang Racers Association (NMRA) returns to Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania, April 28–May 1, for the NMRA Keystone Automotive Ford Nationals, which will feature drag racing between the original Street Outlaws, wild Renegades and many other all-Ford classes plus a weekend of car shows, vendors and a swap meet. The event will also feature Elaine Larsen jet dragsters, the American Muscle All-Female Shootout, an Old School 5.0 Reunion, Super Ford Showdown bracket race and Turbo Coyote Shootout.
LucasOilRacing.TV Adds More Than 1,400 Hours of Programming
LucasOilRacing.TV—the first 24/7 on-demand all-motorsports network—has added more than 1,400 hours of national and international racing, car shows and live streaming events to its worldwide programming. Next up live will be Lucas Oil Off Road Racing from Lake Elsinore, California, April 23–24.