After an incredible start to the 2021 season, Formula DRIFT—America’s fastest-growing motorsports series—swings up to New Jersey on June 18-19 for the third round of the premier PRO Championship and the second round of the PROSPEC Championship.
Although the series has visited New Jersey for almost two decades, this will only be its second visit to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, better known to drag racing fans as Englishtown Raceway. However, the former NHRA drag strip facility was recently converted into a dedicated drifting arena, and is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. As such, FD NJ will be the most highly anticipated new venue in the series’ history.
Although the track was built and ready to receive the Formula DRIFT teams and fans last year, the global pandemic put everything on hold. And after the disappointment of the cancellation, the 2021 event will be explosive!
The Formula DRIFT series has always had a warm welcome in New Jersey, with the previous location at Wall Stadium Speedway always selling out and organizers forced to turn fans away as the facility reached capacity. To address that situation, E-Town has more than double the seating capacity and paddock space, allowing the full complement of PROSPEC Championship teams to join the PRO Championship for the first time in NJ. This means fans get double the action, with both categories qualifying on Friday and competing on Saturday.
We should also recognize the commitment of the entire organization at Raceway Park, led by President Michael Napp. The decision to build a dedicated drifting arena within the footprint of one of the nation’s premier NHRA drag strip was in response to their love and dedication for the newest and only growing motorsports series in the US. It’s a true indication of the growth and influence of Formula DRIFT as well as the track’s affinity for the drift community, who Napp described as, “The best people, participants, and spectators.” As the fast-growing motorsport series with young, connected fans, Formula DRIFT offers Englishtown Raceway Park a strong outlook for many years to come.
Visitors to E-Town will be greeted by the traditional NHRA tower and its huge, tiered grandstand facility, giving fans an excellent view of the drift action from every seat. The new track maintains the original drag strip, but incorporates a new figure-8 drift course to entertain the anticipated sell-out crowd, who will enjoy intense competition well into the night.
With the track being new to all 64 drivers in both championships, expect to see some new names rise to the top during the competitive heats. The flowing course will allow the drivers’ agility and precision to shine, and will always favor aggression. It’ll get loud and smoky as the action builds before the two round winners are crowned on Saturday June 19.
Coming into FD NJ, Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis (Lithuania) leads the FD PRO Championship driving his V8-powered Falken Tires/Feal Suspension Nissan S15 thanks to a win at the opening round in ATL and a fourth place in Orlando. Matt Field (USA) sits in second place in his Falken Tire/Drift Cave Chevrolet Corvette, 22-points behind Odi thanks to consistent driving. Third place is occupied by Chelsea DeNofa (USA) driving the BC Racing/Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D, who will arrive in NJ following his impressive victory in Orlando.
DeNofa and his teammate Vaughn Gittin Jr (USA) in the Nitto-shod 1200hp Monster Energy Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D have catapulted Ford above Toyota in the 2021 Formula DRIFT Auto Cup. While the strong performance of Bakchis and Field has bolstered Falken Tire’s position at the top of the 2021 Tire Cup, keeping it narrowly ahead of Nitto Tire ahead of the third round.
In the 2021 PROSPEC Championship, Nick Noback (USA) took the top spot in his KoruWorks BMW E46 at the opening round in Orlando. In the Final heat, Noback beat teammate Blake Olsen (USA) in the KoruWorks/GT Radial BMW E92, while 2020 Champion Dmitriy Brutskiy (Belarus) placed third in his Essa Autosport/ISC Suspension BMW E46. And while the PROSPC teams don’t have Auto Cup standings, BMW drivers are clearly enjoying an advantage early in the season.
If you want to attend the inaugural FD NJ event at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, we highly recommend you visit the Formula DRIFT website as soon as possible for event details, ticket purchases, COVID requirements, and more.
If it’s sold out, or you can’t attend in person, diehard Formula DRIFT fans and newbies can catch all the action on the popular free-to-view livestream broadcast. Available for both Friday qualifying and Saturday elimination heats, the livestream can be viewed via the Formula DRIFT website, the FD YouTube page or FD Facebook page.
Formula DRIFT is an all-weather event. Rain or shine, we send it! A wet track won’t stop the drivers and adds another variable to keep everybody guessing who will win.
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