Formula Drift kicks off the 2011 season in Long Beach

Filed under: Motorsports, Racing

2011 Formula Drift Streets of Long Beach

2011 Formula Drift Streets of Long Beach – Click above for high-res image gallery

A handful of well-known drivers and manufacturer-sponsored cars typically dominate the Formula Drift circuit – Foust, Gittin, Hubinette and Millen. At the opening event in Long Beach this past weekend, though, the big names were noticeably absent from the podium.

Perennial contender Tanner Foust retired from the sport last season to focus on his rally and television careers, Sam Hubinette couldn’t manage to get his new Dodge Challenger to the starting line, and last year’s champion, Vaughn Gittin Jr., failed to qualify for Saturday’s knockout round. Rhys Millen in his newly painted Hyundai Genesis Coupe only managed to make it into the quarter finals.

The eventual podium featured first time winner Justin Pawlak, who drove to victory in Gittin’s hand-me-down Mustang, Matt Powers, another newbie to the podium, and Daijiro Yoshihara, who finished fourth last season. You can read more about the event in the press release after the jump or browse through our photos from the event in the high-res gallery below.

Gallery: 2011 Formula Drift Streets of Long Beach

Photos copyright (C)2011 Drew Phillips / AOL

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Formula Drift kicks off the 2011 season in Long Beach originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 19:25:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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