Race Preview: 2018 Season Finale Formula Drift Round 8 at Irwindale Speedway

Only one round remains in the 2018 Formula Drift season. Round 8 will bring the FD drivers to the "House of Drift" Irwindale Speedway in California. The 2018 championship fight is between 2017 Formula Drift champion James Deane and 2015 champ Fredric Aasbo, with a slight chance Polish driver Piotr Wiecek could upset the duo this weekend.

Round 7 at Texas Motor Speedway was the Team Worthouse show. Wiecek grabbed the top spot garnering his first win of the 2018 season. His win came down to a battle with teammate Deane. The duo have had to battle each other for what feels like every round and this time Wiecek came out on top after Deane had an issue during the final battle.

Aasbo, Deane's other 2018 championship competition going into Irwindale, took third place on the podium in Texas.

Going into Round 8, Wiecek has third place for the year on lock with 469 points and is only 87 points behind second place Aasbo, so he does have a chance at bettering his position at Irwindale or even possibly taking the championship.

There are still many drivers that can claim spots in the Top 5 for the year. Chris Forsberg currently has the number four spot with 379 points, but trailing not too far behind him is Justin Pawlak who is only 7 points behind Forsberg, and Matt Field is only 18 points behind the three time Formula Drift champ with his 2018 Corvette drift car.

Ryan Tuerck, Kristaps Bluss, Aurimas "Odi" Bakchis, and Daijiro "Dai" Yoshihara round out the Top 10.

Chelsea DeNofa will be one to watch at Irwindale. Though not in the title fight, he started to come alive after the halfway point in the season. Grabbing a third place podium spot in Round 6, and narrowly missing the podium at Texas, coming in fourth place. Field will also be another to watch. Grabbing two second place finishes this year he will be hungry to grab a first place finish before the end of the season.

The Round 8: Title Fight takes place Oct. 12-13. Catch the results on The Drive after the action wraps up.

Watch Formula D Star Matt Field Drift a 1,000-HP Corvette on a Canyon Road

Formula Drift driver Matt Field can deliver some impressive stunts on the track, but doing so without the comfort of a controlled environment (or safety barriers) is another ball game. That's exactly what he did on his most recent video, which seems him thrash his new 1,000-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette drift car through a mesmerizing canyon road.

The video, which was filmed in partnership with his sponsor Heat Wave, showcases Field's drift skills and ability to control his high-power 'Vette all around the twisty road. In addition to awesome drone shots and unique angles taken from inside the cockpit, the footage also includes a pit stop with Field's Formula Drift pit crew. And while drifting videos are certainly nothing new, the combination of crazy car control and high-quality video production truly make it stand out.

For the 2018 Formula Drift season, Field replaced his S15 Nissan 240SX, which can actually be driven in Forza Horizon 4 and Forza Motorsport 7, in favor of the brand new Chevrolet Corvette build seen on this video.

Field has been campaigning in Formula D at the wheel of his Corvette drift car in 2018. From Round 1 at Long Beach to Round 7 at Texas, the progression and comfort level has been steady throughout the year. Field was able to grab a second place podium spot in both Round 4 at New Jersey and Round 6 at St. Louis and is currently in sixth place in the FD Pro Standings.

You can check him out in competition this weekend at the last round of the 2018 Formula Drift season at Irwindale Speedway in Southern California on Oct. 12-13.

Watch Vaughn Gittin Jr. Drift His Ford Mustang Around the Entire Nurburgring

Professional drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. is officially the first and only person to have drifted his way around the 12.9-mile Nordschleife circuit at the world-famous Nurburgring. The Formula D racer accomplished the jaw-dropping feat at the wheel of his 900-horsepower Ford Mustang RTR drift car.

A video documenting the smoke-filled show is now live on YouTube and is appropriately named The Drift King of the Ring, which showcases Gittin Jr.'s extraordinary skills that he's sharpened over the course of a decade in the Formula Drift circuit. During every single mile of the nearly 13-mile lap, Gittin Jr. does all kinds of sideways stunts including dropping the rear tires off the tarmac, doing 360-degree drifts, and even kicking gravel on a nearby filming drone.

"The Nordschleife is one of, if not, the most iconic track in the world and I have been in love with the danger and folklore of the famous Green Hell at the Nürburgring since I can remember," said Gittin Jr. “I finally went there in person in 2013 and it was then that I made a promise to myself that one day I would return to drift it in its entirety. Drifting the Nürburgring represents the ultimate challenge to me: it is something that many questioned whether it would be possible and whether the car and driver could do it and come out in one piece. Something inside of me had to take this on to find out. I didn’t go there for a lap time, I went for a good time!"

According to Gittin Jr., this stunt was originally attempted last fall, but harsh weather in the area ruined his and the film crew's chances of filming a quality video. Interestingly enough, that's where the idea of drifting sections of the Nordschleife at the wheel of an F-150 Raptor was born. Approximately six months after the release of the Raptor video, it has garnished millions of views on YouTube and wowed truck and drift enthusiasts alike.

“I was out of my comfort zone for the majority of the hot laps," Gittin Jr. recalls. “I did not know the Green Hell nearly as well as I thought I did. Everything changes when you’re going sideways at those speeds. When we stopped for the first tire change I was elated. I had to catch my breath, which is something I have never experienced behind the wheel since I was a rookie in Formula Drift.”

As you can see in the photos above by famous automotive photographer Larry Chen; Gittin Jr. and his crew did get the job done this time, and needless to say, the results are simply spectacular.

Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Company Turo Launches in the United Kingdom

Car sharing company Turo, often referred to as "the Airbnb for cars," has grown throughout the United States since it was founded in 2009. Consequently, the innovative platform has branched out across the world and has now entered one of its most important markets to date: the United Kingdom.

The company, which allows private cars to be rented via online and mobile interfaces, announced its U.K. launch on Monday. Currently, Turo has over eight million users throughout 5,500 cities in 56 countries, one-third of that eight million having joined in 2018 alone.

"By launching our full peer-to-peer marketplace in the U.K. we’re taking another major step closer to putting the world’s one billion cars to better use," said Turo Chief Executive Officer Andre Haddad. "The U.K. is our most-searched-for destination outside North America, and British guests in the U.S. and Canada represent our largest portion of international travelers. This makes us confident that now is the right time to expand here.”

Turo is aiming to make use of the 31.3 million cars that can be found in the U.K.

It claims that the average transaction earns an owner £130, and they receive 75 percent of that money within five days. All rentals are covered by Turo's European insurance partner, Allianz.

Turo previously launched a Commercial Host program in the U.K. back in 2016 and has garnered the interest of 50,000 people over the last two years.

This Formula Drift Drone Footage Looks Like a Forza Motorsport Trailer

Drone footage of cars racing is quite entertaining and not everyone has the skill to follow cars with close proximity as they fly by. However, Johnny Schaer who runs YouTube channel johnny_fpv, has some serious drone controlling skill. He released video footage he compiled from a recent Formula Drift event where he tested out the new GoPro Hero 7 camera. Watch as the cars in this case slide around the track.

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Epic times at @formulad a few weeks ago testing the new Hero7 camera from @gopro ?????? Full video on my YouTube page @dirk_stratton @hgkracingteam @kazuya_taguchi @fredricaasbo @jcastroracing @forrestwang808 @mattfield777 @justinpawlak13 @kylemohanracing @chelseadenofa music ????: @daftpunk: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (@faroutofficial remix) #getfpv #lumenier #airvuz #formuladrift #drifting #hobbywing #futaba #nexxblades #gopro #facemelt

A post shared by Johnny Schaer (@johnny_fpv) on Sep 20, 2018 at 2:36pm PDT

The footage is something else. If we did not tell you already, it is real race footage that at first glance looks like the kind of camera angles you get when watching a Forza Motorsport video game trailer. Funny being that there is a Formula Drift car pack coming to both Forza Motorsport 7 and the soon to be released Forza Horizon 4.

Schaer points his drones through the drift car smoke and a few feet away from the cars, almost in the windows while pairs of cars do battle on the track. Schaer's footage features many Formula Drift drivers such as Fredric Aasbo, Matt Field, Chelsea DeNofa, Justin Pawlak, Kristaps Bluss, James Deane, and Dan Burkett. You name the driver and his video probably has them.

After the drift footage, Schaer goes through the details of his drone setup including the motor hardware that keeps the drones airborne. They are custom made mini-drones that help him to keep up with the drift cars.

To get up close and personal with all the cars on the track, check out Schaer's drone drift footage below.

Hoonigan’s Steve Arpin Discusses His 600-HP Ford Focus RS RX Rally Racer

Rallycross driver Steve Arpin recently stopped by Hoonigan Racing HQ to give loyal fans a detailed breakdown of his track weapon of choice: the Ford Focus RS RX Rallycross car that he and legend Ken Block race in the new Americas Rallycross Championship (ARX) series.

For the most recent episode of Hoonigan's video series Build Biology, Arpin is interviewed by Hoonigan co-founder Brian Scotto. The pair dives into Arpin's racing history before rallycross when he drove for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports team alongside the likes of Danica Patrick. Arpin jokes that when Patrick decided to race full time he got the boot and went to rallycross. He has been with his current team since 2015 when the outfit raced in the now-defunct Global Rallycross series.

Arpin shows Scotto all the goodies found in the new car and explains that prior rallycross campaigns have been in the smaller Ford Fiesta rally car variants. The Focus RS RX is a bigger car than the Fiesta and it weighs 2,866 pounds with him aboard.

Developed by Ford and M-Sport, the Focus RS RX is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine pushing out 600 horsepower on 50 psi of boost. Arpin says if they ran the car without a restrictor it would easily put out 1,000 horsepower.

Throughout the video Arpin goes through all the nooks and crannies of his office, showing the steering wheel and its array of buttons including the anti-lag system control and a special secret "Hoon" button, the rear mounted radiator, the engine bay, and even the flat underside.

Piotr Wiecek Nabs First Formula Drift Win of 2018 at Texas Motor Speedway

Round 7 of the 2018 Formula Drift season is now complete and Polish driver Piotr Wiecek grabbed the top spot this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway over teammate James Deane and Fredric Aasbo.

In our event preview, we projected that Wiecek and Deane would eventually battle during the round at TMS. The duo has met numerous times throughout the season, providing some of the most entertaining runs of 2018. This time, their meeting was in the finals.

Wiecek got the best of Deane and grabbed his first win of the 2018 season on Saturday. He previously came third at Round 1 in Long Beach and third at Round 5 in Seattle. Wiecek's win erases some of the point deficit behind Aasbo but keeps him in third place in the series championship standings with 469 points.

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The dream final for me and my man Piotr - #PW215 vs #JD130! @worthousedrift team support has been amazing this weekend! Just WOW! @falkentire | @formulad

A post shared by James Deane (@jamesdeane130) on Sep 15, 2018 at 8:54pm PDT

Deane's second-place finish adds to his plethora of podiums this season. He came second at Round 2 Orlando, first at Round 4 New Jersey, and first at Round 5 Seattle. He continues to sit at the top of the title hunt with 556 points.

Behind the Worthouse team duo was Aasbo. The 2015 FD champ's third-place finish at Texas keeps him in the championship race which will come down to the final round at the "House of Drift," Irwindale Speedway. Aasbo is currently just 49 points behind Deane with 507.

Trailing the top-three championship leaders, who happened to all be on the podium at FD Texas, was Chelsea DeNofa in P4. He's caught fire as of late, and this weekend marked his second event in a row cracking the top-four after a podium in St. Louis.

After all of the action, the championship top-five remains the same, albeit with a slight order change. Chris Forsberg and Justin Pawlak switched fourth and fifth spots with Forsberg now in fourth, touting 379 points, and Pawlak in fifth with 372 points. The rest of the top-10 has also barely changed with the exception of Daijiro Yoshihara taking the 10th spot from Ken Gushi.

The final round of the 2018 FD season brings the drivers to Irwindale on Oct. 12-13.

This Double Amputee Drifts Better With His Feet Than Most People Do With Their Arms

While traveling through Poland, the Hoonigan crew stumbled upon Bartosz Ostalowski—a double amputee drifting aficionado who pilots his car with only his feet.

After losing both of his arms in a motorcycle accident, Ostalowski quickly adapted. He wears a race shoe on his right foot, while his left foot operates more like a hand. In order to drift, his purpose-built Nissan R34 is fitted with an emergency brake pedal above the accelerator in lieu of a hand-controlled lever. He changes gear via a shoulder paddle shifter, and due to using his feet to drift, he sits visibly farther back in the car.

Highlighting the slide-crazed European, Hoonigan's Eugene Jr. is joined by "Danger" Dan Sommer in a recent episode of the team's Field Trip video series. They meet up with Osta?owski while at the Polish Drift Masters competition, shooting video of the miracle worker on-track.

"He's doing with one foot what we can't do with two hands," said Sommer.

Ostalowski's perseverance is undoubtedly respectable and worth a second look. He joins the ranks of Alex Zanardi, the two-time CART Series champion, who lost his legs in a major crash during the early 2000s. Zanardi is back to competitive action and recently took part in a one-off DTM appearance with plans to race in the 2019 Daytona 24 Hours behind the wheel of a BMW M8 GTE.

To get all the details on Bartosz and the rest of Hoonigan's Polish excursion, check out the full clip below.

Watch This Formula Drift Toyota Supra Slay an Urban City Lot

This weekend is Round 7 of the 2018 Formula Drift season, and pro driver Dan Burkett is on his way to Texas Motor Speedway, but not before stopping by a sponsor's shop and shredding some rubber in his rad Toyota Supra.

Burkett is the mastermind behind RAD Industries, which The Drive has covered extensively. He maintains his own YouTube channel where occasional vlogs and build videos are uploaded, showing what it's like to be a Formula Drift team owner and driver.

Burkett has been consistently putting out content all season before, during, and after each Formula Drift round. In RAD Industries' most recent vid, Burkett and his wife Renee hop on a plane to Texas for Saturday's competition. For most of the events this season, the duo has been trucking their race trailer across the country, but for this round, they stored the trailer close to TMS and flew back to RAD Industries' home in Santa Ana, California.

For the lifestyle segment of Burkett's video, the first seven minutes or so detail his trip to Texas and the mundane incidents that happen to everyone including professional drivers—canceled flights. Eventually, he gets on the plane and the action really begins when he takes his tire-shredding 'Yota to slide around at sponsor DeatschWerks' parking lot.

The Drive chatted with Burkett about his fun at the concrete playground as well as his tenure thus far as an FD driver. "Drifting gives me a free feeling like nothing else in life. You can express your driving style as well as the car," Burkett explained. "I'm living out my dreams."

Burkett lays his competition car on the line for your entertainment. For all the fun, check out RAD Industries' full video below.

Porsche Partners With Turo, Announces VIP Rental Programs

Porsche has announced two forward-thinking programs which will give drivers short-term access behind the wheel of the famed automaker's most popular models.

The manufacturer previously released what it called the Porsche Passport program which allowed drivers to buy into a monthly subscription, giving them limited on-demand access to drive cars like the Cayman and 911. Now, expanding beyond that initial idea, Porsche is launching a pair of new ventures: Porsche Host and Porsche Drive.

Porsche Host includes a partnership with the well-known car sharing marketplace provider Turo. It features top-tier hosts who have gone through training to provide the best Porsche experience with their cars, enabling them to tout a seal of approval of sorts from the brand. Drivers can book a Porsche Host car for one day to a month or even longer.

"Porsche is one of the most searched makes on Turo," Steven Webb, director of community and communications at Turo, told The Drive.

The Host program will be exclusively available to drivers in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

“This partnership is an amazing opportunity to enhance Porsche trips on Turo and to engage with a massive group of enthusiasts on our marketplace,” added Turo CEO Andre Haddad. “As a lifelong Porsche enthusiast, I have personally enjoyed the experience of handing the keys of my 911 to Porsche connoisseurs.”

He should know, of course, as his own 2006 model was the first Porsche 911 to ever be shared on the innovative platform.

Along with the Turo partnership on the West Coast, Porsche will be launching the Drive program in Atlanta, Georgia, where Porsche Cars North America is headquartered.

According to Porsche, this service includes the same white-glove concierge delivery, gas, and insurance as the Passport program. It features weekly, daily, and hourly options with a four-hour minimum in current model year vehicles all the way up to a Porsche 911. On the low end, $269 plus taxes/fees for four hours will get you in a Porsche Macan, 718 Cayman, or Boxster while $2,909 plus taxes/fees will get you behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 for a week.

“By providing new and varied paths for Porsche enthusiasts to access our vehicles, we are able to add another layer to our vision of being the most aspirational automotive brand while meeting the changing mobility habits of today’s consumers,” said Klaus Zellmer, president and CEO of PCNA. “With Porsche Drive and the Porsche Host program, we are testing new options for access to our brand experience.”

Porsche Host will launch Oct. 8 while Porsche Drive customers can visit the website now to reserve their selection.