What a whirlwind Saturday was! This past weekend our team was out at Formula D Long Beach, the Season Opener for 2017. Thanks to our friends at Centerline wheels for helping facilitate getting us in.
We’ve never been a part of the Drifting Scene here at ModBargains, so it’s really something to see firsthand. At the same time, many of us on staff here are veterans of the drifting sport itself, so this was especially cool.
And what a day it was for both drivers and cars. Our logo on the car’s rear bumper got a little drift kiss in saturday’s competition.
We were allowed unique access to the RTR Motorsports pits and got the opportunity to snap some photos you won’t find anywhere else. The wheels on both cars are actually available for your Street car, too. Chelsea DeNofa’s gorgeous gold Centerlines are in the foreground while Gittin Jr’s Monster Green RTR wheels by HRE are just behind with Nitto Tires on both.
Some places we couldn’t go, like the driver’s meeting seen here.
Here’s the car looking good between sessions.
We got an up close look at the guts of the racecar and an idea of just how the cooling system is set up.
People flitted around the pits like hummingbirds as the crew hustled to get each car ready for the next session.
Chelsea chats with spectators while Vaughn gets ready for the finals.
The 1000-hp Roush-Yates built Coyote DOHC V8 engines sound incredible echoing off the buildings of downtown Long Beach. As a former resident of one such building, I gotta tell you, the sound these beasts make each year is almost like hearing the voice of God himself. It’s incredible. It’s glorious.
While we didn’t have media credentials ourselves, our photos of the cars through two layers of fence didn’t look so hot, so our friends at RTR Motorsports were happy to share these incredible shots of the weekend’s action.
Scope out the ModBargains logo right on the door! It’s still mindblowing to clearly see our logo on this fantastic race car in action.
It wouldn’t be long beach without a photo of palm trees. The Mustang gets on two wheels in this shot.
When you’re in a racecar, all you can hear is the sound of your own idle. It’s weirdly zen right before the flag drops.
The cars have a whole lot of fender gap for this reason – when you’re throwing the car sideways, there’s going to be a bit of body roll.
Look at dat asssssss. Love the logo placement.
The mural on the Long Beach Convention Center exterior is one of those things that screams “Long Beach”. It’s always special to race with the whales in the background.
The team reviews their data from the last run and considers what adjustments to make.
Of course, there’s more to see at Formula D than just the #BroStangs. There’s quite a bit of diversity beyond the two American Mustangs and the Viper, check out some of the other cars we spotted in the pits.
Another car on the grid is this rather angry-sounding BMW E46 M3, wearing massive fender flares and a very warmed over BMW inline six under the hood. Sharing space in the same pit with the E46 M3 was this Infiniti G37 coupe that’s been stripped down and converted for drifting. This is probably the only drift-spec Infiniti I can recall seeing but it’s certainly cool. Toyota, for lack of the Scion division, was out with the Toyota iM, which is laid out with a longitudinally-engined RWD setup.
The turbo four is fed by an AEM intake and custom AEM fuel management. Check out the dump valves on the turbochargers. These two cars stole the weekend, these europeans came across the pond and really put everyone on their toes. Our friends at RTR have their work cut out for them going into round 2. The turbo inline six under the hood of this car (we think this started life as a 2JZ but at this point it’s kinda hard to tell the turbo sixes apart)
Competition aside, these two cars brought some great looking liveries to the game.
Over at the Mazda end of the spectrum, this car is running my absurd Forza Horizon 3 build with a warmed over race-spec 3-Rotor Rotary Engine in the engine bay. Note we didn’t use the phrase “under the hood”… because do you see a hood anywhere? Good luck fitting a hood over that. This thing sounded ridiculous on the track.
While Toyota has one FWD car converted to RWD for drifting, Toyota’s RWD car for drifting also made an entrance. This facelifted 2017 Toyota 86 replaces the outgoing FR-S. Further on in the pits, we happened upon this E46 M3 with a roots supercharged V8 from Whipple perched proudly on top.
This car still has its CSF Radiator front mounted.
Ryan Tuerck’s GT4586 features a reverse-mounted Ferrari 458 engine that’s been twin turbocharged and forced to power the rear wheels of this ZN6 chassis. Here’s a better shot of the car and those crazy backwards headers. The rear of the car is just as dramatic as the front end with a massive spoiler and rear diffuser. The Tri-Bar LED Tail lights are a nice touch.
The Fifteen52 Forged wheels are a great touch and keys in beautifully with the Ferrari theme. And of course, the paint is Ferrari Rosso. On the other side of the 86 spectrum is this blue example driven by Dai Yoshihara. Dai’s 86 is also equipped with Tri-Bar LED Tail Lights, albeit in the red-clear variant.
We had an incredible time at Formula D Long Beach and look forward to following the RTR Team’s progress through the 2017 season.
Thanks for joining us, we hope you enjoyed the photos. See you next time!
Story & Primary Photography Nick Gregson
Select Photos Courtesy RTR Motorsports Media Team