Formula Drift Tech Day Details:
- Third year for event at Source Interlink Media in Irvine, CA
- 700+ local tuners arrive and show-off their rides
- More than a dozen competitors inspected ahead of season start
- Charles Ng returns in G37 Coupe | ARK Performance campaigning 2 Genesis Coupes, including 1000hp AR1
We spent the better part of the last two months preparing for Formula Drift to return to Source Interlink Media's Irvine, Calif. facility for Tech Day, the annual pro drift car preview and inspection, and encompassing car show. It's become quite the affair after mixed results in stints at Universal Technical Institute in San Berdoo and Super Autobacs in Stanton (when it was around).
Last year's Formula Drift event at the Orange County HQ of Super Street, Import Tuner, european car and Honda Tuning was completely insane in terms of attendees, and organizers were crossing their fingers lightning would strike twice.
It did. By the time the Formula Drift Tech Day event started officially at 10a.m., the massive parking lot behind the Source Interlink Media building was at capacity, as hundreds of enthusiasts came to check out the competition machines as well as take in the impressively big car show and meet. Import models Janey B, Maureen Chen and Sandra Wong were on hand to sign autographs, aftermarket parts were displayed in vendor booths for Mackin Industries and Tanabe, and food trucks Sexy Burger, California Grill Truck and Dos Chinos kept everyone's tummies stuffed.
Inside Source's tech center, Formula Drift Tech Day staff commandeered two lifts to scrutinize the pro drift cars. ARK Performance showed up with not one but two Hyundai Genesis Coupes, the AR7, last year's V6 powered entry now turbocharged and driven by Pat Mordaunt, and the AR1, a new chassis motivated by a 1,000-horsepower blown V8 and piloted by longtime ARK ace Dennis Mertzanis. Charles Ng also made a triumphant return after skipping the last two Formula Drift seasons to run touring cars, showing up with his Achilles Tire Infiniti G37 Coupe.
Other Formula Drift pros like Joon Maeng, Dave Briggs, Odi Bakchis and Forrest Wang brought out familiar entries to Tech Day. Perennial underdog Taka Aono was back with his turbo Scion tC-powered AE86 Corolla, flossing greater boost for 2014 in a quest for 800hp, as was Kyle Mohan, his Mazda RX-8 rocking more steering angle than ever before. Our favorite car of Formula Drift Tech Day, however, had to be FD rookie Andy Hateley's bright orange BMW E30; we imagine the thing is probably viewable from space.
It seems a bit unlikely, considering how much was going on, but miraculously Formula Drift Tech Day 2014 went off without a hitch. And that's a good thing, because next year we're emboldened to go even bigger and better than ever before. Scope the video and gallery to see what Formula Drift and car show action you missed this year. Don't forget the 2014 FD campaign - the championship's 11th - gets underway April 4 and 5 on the Grand Prix of Long Beach Street Circuit.