Road Atlanta to host inaugural Formula Drift

Road Atlanta hosts inaugural Formula Drift® during unique import weekend. BRASELTON, GA (Jan. 26, 2004) -- Road Atlanta will host the inaugural Formula Drift® Series event as part of a new import tuner focused weekend called Drift Atlanta®...

Road Atlanta hosts inaugural Formula Drift® during unique import weekend.

BRASELTON, GA (Jan. 26, 2004) -- Road Atlanta will host the inaugural Formula Drift® Series event as part of a new import tuner focused weekend called Drift Atlanta® that also will include two invitational, non-points, SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car races, and a Mazda Extreme Street import car show.

The Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires, Formula Ford Zetec Championship and SCCA Pro-IT series will also be part of the Drift Atlanta®, April 24-25, at Road Atlanta. Lifestyle marketing events including a concert and extensive vendor displays will also be included.

"We are genuinely excited about this event," says Road Atlanta President and General Manager Mike Swaine. "Not only do we have the privilege of launching an exciting new series, but we have put together an attractive slate of events that will be of great interest to these new enthusiasts."

Announced as a four-event Championship in 2004, SCCA Pro Racing will sanction the Formula Drift® Series, which will be promoted by Irvine, Calif.-based Slipstream Global. Slipstream was responsible for the first professional drifting event in North America, the 2003 D1 Grand Prix at Irwindale, CA, and is the management company for the Mazda Extreme Street import car show.

"We are very excited about the response and the possibilities of this championship," says Jim Liaw of Slipstream. "Sponsor involvement has been incredible and it is exciting to see all the drivers and teams willing to commit to the entire Championship. Soon these American drivers will be able to compete at the Japanese D1 level. In the meantime, we will continue to provide them a platform to compete and excel."

Drifting is a high-skill, high-powered motor sport that calls for drivers to control a car while it slides sideways at high speed through a marked course. It is similar to rally racing, but is done on a closed, paved course. It is judged on execution and style rather than just time.

The Formula Drift® competition at Road Atlanta will be conducted in the Turn 10 complex, a right left-right-hand combination that will require the drifting competitors to quickly change direction while in full drift mode. The competition will include Saturday qualifying to determine a 16-car field for the finals Sunday, with two cars paired together on consecutive runs (one leads, then they switch). A panel of professional drifting drivers will determine the bracket winners.

The Drift Atlanta® weekend will also include a special invitation SCCA SPEED World Challenge Touring Car non-points race, plus the Mazdaspeed Miata Cup, Formula 2000 Zetec Championship and the SCCA Pro-IT series.

"SCCA Pro Racing is excited about the opportunity to offer sport compact and motorsports enthusiasts a creative alternative to the traditional road racing event," said Mitch Wright, Vice President and General Manager of SCCA Pro Racing. "We've put together a youth oriented event weekend that includes the hottest new thing in motorsports -- Formula Drift - and packaged it together with North America's premier sprint production car road racing series -- SCCA SPEED Touring Car.

"In addition to that lineup, the weekend will also showcase the talented drivers in the Mazdaspeed Miata Cup Presented by Hankook Tires and Formula Ford Zetec Championship. We've been working with a number of tracks to put on an event like this and Road Atlanta was the first one to help make it a reality."

The Mazda Extreme Street is one of the top sport compact/import car shows, and has been part of Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta the past two years. It will be a feature attraction in conjunction with many American Le Mans Series races during the 2004 season, and offers prizes for numerous Best in Class hot import cars.

Tickets for Drift Atlanta® are now on sale. A two-day ticket will be $25, while a Sunday only ticket will be $20. Infield Parking is free with an advance ticket purchase, and will be $5 at the gate.

Road Atlanta will launch a new Web site at www.atlantadrift.com with event information, including a message forum and online ticketing ordering capability. More information about the Formula Drift® series is at www.formulad.com or www.slipstreamglobal.com. For more information about the SCCA SPEED World Challenge, visit www.world-challenge.com.

-scca pro racing-

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