New Goodyear drift series to act as feeder for Formula Drift

Published on May 27th, 2010

Goodyear has been one of the most active supporters of drifting in the local scene, responsible for bringing in the Formula Drift franchise and organizing many other side events. Now, the tyre maker is providing a stepping stone for drifters to move up to the Formula Drift series with the Goodyear International Drift Series.

The first round has been locked down for the weekend of 12 and 13 June, to be held at Precinct 3 in Putrajaya. A line-up compromising of local and a number of international drifters will be on hand to thrill the crowd with their precision drifting.

The second and third rounds have been tentatively set for July and September with the dates to be confirmed later.

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“Following the success of our sponsorship with the Formula Drift Asia Series in 2008 and 2009, Goodyear is proud to embark on further developing drift in the region by organizing its very own international drift series in both Malaysia and Thailand for drifters who aspire to move into the professional ranks of the Formula Drift Pro series. We aim to see some 40 drivers participating in the first leg of the Goodyear International Drift Series,” said Nasution Abdul Rahman, Managing Director of Goodyear Malaysia.

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The Goodyear International Drift Series will serve as a feeder or affiliate of the Formula Drift Asia series, acting as the official platform for aspiring drifters to participate in the 2011 Formula Drift Asia Pro Series.

It’s in line with the government’s initiative to further nurture budding local talents and in playing a role in the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) program, 1 Belia 1 Malaysia. Previously organized drifting events include the recently concluded KBS Goodyear Drift Challenge 2010 have paved the path for the Goodyear International Drift Series to further nurture drifting and motor sports in general locally to compete internationally.

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“We have seen the sport of drift in Malaysia grow from strength to strength and we are pleased to see that Goodyear Malaysia has had such a positive impact on the Malaysian community. We are confident that the Goodyear International Drift Series will continue to promote even greater interest in local sports in 2010,” said Engku Azman Sayed Mohd, Assistant Director, Sports Development Division, Ministry of Youth and Sports.

A primary purpose of the feeder series is that beginning 2011, drifters that do not possess an official Formula Drift Pro license will be ineligible to compete at Formula Drift Asia events. Therefore, the series will award the top 15 drifters at the end with an official Formula Drift license, allowing them to participate in the Formula Drift Asia Series.

“As the professional field of drivers get more competitive, the grass roots level drivers will do so as well. In order to provide a positive environment for learning, progression and competition at the local and regional level, Formula Drift has adopted the Goodyear International Drift Series as a pro-am affiliate in Malaysia and Thailand. Through this network, regional competitions are also created, resulting in a ladder system for drivers to gain the coveted Formula Drift Asia Pro license,” said Marcus Lim, General Manager of Drift Pac, the technical consultant of Formula Drift Asia in charge of the track layout, safety regulations and judging.

However, Marcus went on to add that even though it is a feeder series, the trademark concrete walls will still be shadowing the course layout albeit at a further distance for more runoff area.

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Being a feeder series, the rules and regulations will be adopted right out of the Formula Drift rulebook. The opening round will see Formula Drift USA judge Andy Yen supervising the three other judges that will hail from Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

Of course, the Goodyear team drivers will be out in full force for the series. Ariff Johanis, Azrina Jane Abdullah, Michael Gan and Hanizam ‘Loyai’ Hamzah will be flying the Goodyear colours during the series together with Kiwi driver Daniel ‘Fanga Dan’ Woolhouse. Fanga Dan is a former D1 New Zealand champion and will be piloting his RB26DETT-powered Holden Commodore running on Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric tyres during the event.

text & pix: Dinesh Appavu

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