Formula Drift UAE Invitational in Abu Dhabi 2011

Filed under: Motorsports, Specialty, Middle East, Racing

Formula Drift UAE Invitational

Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi – Click above for high-res image gallery

After wrapping up the 2010 Formula Drift season (Vaughn Gittin Jr. took the podium, with Tanner Foust and Ryan Tuerck second and third overall), a handful of selected professional drifters loaded their cars into steel 40-foot containers and shipped them to the Middle East for the inaugural Formula Drift UAE Invitational in Abu Dhabi.

While the locals in that part of the world aren’t strangers to wild car antics (as evident from those popular, yet crazy Middle East YouTube videos), the Invitational was formatted to introduce the locals to professional drifting – in a safe and controlled manner. The chosen venue was the new Yas Marina Circuit, designed and built for Formula One (interestingly enough, the Formula Drift guys were the first to every lay “drifting” rubber down on its fresh surface).

In addition to the main event, there was a media day (with ride-alongs), a karting competition (Tanner Foust set the all-time lap record), a visit to Ferrari World and a drag competition with locals. And, to help the local competitors, Tony Brakohiapa and Michael Essa taught drifting techniques to ten drivers from the local SSK Drift Club (four were eventually chosen to participate in demo during the main event).

The next stop for drivers Chris Forsberg, Tanner Foust, Michael Essa, Tony Brakohiapa, Fredric Aasbo, Mike Whiddett and Daijiro Yoshihara is the Qatar Racing Club in Doha, Qatar, for the inaugural Formula Drift Global Challenge on March 18, 2011.

Gallery: Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011

Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011The cars of Formula DriftFormula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011Formula Drift in Abu Dhabi 2011

Photos copyright (C)2011 Formula Drift / Ashley Glover / Nick Richards

[Source: Formula Drift]

Formula Drift UAE Invitational in Abu Dhabi 2011 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 13 Mar 2011 11:08:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tanner Foust shreds at Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid

Filed under: Motorsports, Performance, Specialty

Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid – Click above for image gallery

When the smoke cleared this weekend at the inaugural Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid event at Toyota’s Irwindale Speedway, Tanner Foust had claimed the top spot. The head-to-head event, which had drivers like Foust, Vaughn Gittin Jr., Andrew Comrie-Picard and host Ken Block cording brand-new tires in a matter of minutes, pitted powertrains (AWD or RWD) in the same brackets to keep things interesting. After several rounds of eliminations, it came down to just Foust and Block for the final – both drivers in similar 550 horsepower AWD Ford Fiestas. In the best-of-three sprints, Block ran nearly flawlessly, but Foust demonstrated inhuman levels of car control (720-degree spins just inches from a barrel) to take the first two races and the resulting overall win.

On a related side note: Earlier in the evening, Michael Essa, driving GSR Autosport’s 350R (a BMW V10-powered 3 Series), topped Vaughn Gittin to take the win at the Discount Tire burn-out contest. While other drivers spent their three minutes doing spins around the course, Essa simply cranked his steering wheel to the left and bounced off the rev-limiter (in third gear) until he disappeared into a thick gray cloud – liquidating his Nitto tires in 90 seconds of carnage.

Hit the jump to watch the complete battle between Block and Foust.

Gallery: Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid

Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid

[Photos: Mike McKay]


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Tanner Foust shreds at Ken Block Invitational Gymkhana Grid originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 06 Dec 2010 19:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Video: Ken Block hypes Gymkhana GRID Invitational

Filed under: Motorsports, Etc., Marketing/Advertising, Videos

Ken Block presents Gymkhana GRID Invitational

Ken Block presents the Gymkhana GRID Invitational – Click above to watch video after the jump

If you haven’t seen parts one, two or three of Ken Block’s Gymkhana clips, then this must be your first time on the internet. First off, thanks for checking out Autoblog.com and second, you should probably click links one, two and three from the previous sentence… sorry, a “link” is one of the underlined words. Okay. Block is looking to expand Gymkhana from the solo event that we have now seen and turn it into a head-to-head automotive showdown, complete with tire-smoking, limiter-popping action.

The Gymkhana GRID, which will take place December 3 and 4 at the Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California, is a one-on-one showdown where two drivers attack mirrored examples of a course designed by Ken Block. A host of hot shoes will be on hand to try and knock Block off the top of the podium, including Tanner Foust, Vaughn Gitten Jr. and Andrew Comrie-Picard. Notably absent is one Travis Pastrana, which the video uses as a chance to call him out for making the move to NASCAR.

The Gymkhana GRID nonetheless sounds like it will be a rather fun event to watch – especially because of the level of talent taking to the track. Grab the e-brake and slide across the jump to check out a trailer for the event (*WARNING: language may be not safe for work).

[Source: Ken Block via YouTube]

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Video: Ken Block hypes Gymkhana GRID Invitational originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Dec 2010 18:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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