Formula Drift Round 1 - Streets of Long Beach

Formula Drift lights up the streets of Long Beach

Text By Luke Munnell, Photography by Henry Z. Dekuyper, Luke Munnell

Stroll down Pine Avenue in Long Beach toward Oceanfront blvd. at 9 A.M. on any other Saturday of the year, and not too much would jump out at you. A few European-style bars and restaurants that come alive by nightfall, and blend in with their surroundings by day, serenaded by the hushed bustle of commerce at work - distant sirens behind hurried motorists in their daily commute; the sounds of business as usual, in a city that doesn't sleep. But for the past four years, pedestrians during the first weekend of the Long Beach Grand Prix have been met with an entirely difference ambience: that of burning R-compound rubber, unfiltered C116-laden exhaust fumes, and the mightly, uncorked din of squealing tires under boosted SR20DET- and RB26DETT-, blown VK56- and LS1-, and bridge-ported 13B-powered race machines roaring off the condos, hotels, and fine upscale eateries that line the otherwise tranquil Long Beach oceanfront. It's a shocking experience - witnessing the tranquility of the early morning streets being shattered by vehicles and driving that would otherwise prompt an all-out national guard assault - but one that seems a perfect fit for enthusiasts that never stop pushing the boundaries of ability and legality, in a city that sets the pace for the world to follow. Wake up! Round 1 of Formula D: Streets of Long Beach just blew the f-- up!

By Luke Munnell
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