GT Radial kicks off second season in Formula DRIFT
The GT Radial brand enters its second year of competition in Formula DRIFT with three veteran drivers, looking to build on momentum established in its inaugural year of competing in North America’s professional drifting championship.
Competing on GT Radial Champiro SX2 ultra high performance tires are: Kyle Mohan, Conrad Grunewald and Chelsea DeNofa. Mohan ran on GT Radial tires last year, while Grunewald and DeNofa are new drivers on the GT Radial roster.
“In addition to having Kyle competing again on GT Radial tires, we are very excited to welcome Conrad and Chelsea to the GT Radial Formula DRIFT team for 2015,” said Mike Meeiem, motorsports marketing manager, Giti Tire (USA), Ltd. “We are anticipating strong results from these drivers on our Champiro SX2 tires.”
In the first round of competition on the Streets of Long Beach April 10-11, all three drivers qualified for the round of 32 and DeNofa made it to the round of 16.
Mohan’s familiar Mazda RX-8 is sporting a new look and more power for the 2015 season. The three-rotor car is lining up for Formula DRIFT leaner and meaner. Mazdatrix was able to extract additional horsepower from the three-rotor engine, and every other part of the car has been updated and improved.
Mohan, who is entering his 10th Formula DRIFT season, qualified for each round of competition in the 2014 Formula DRIFT season and advanced to the top 16 on three occasions in the No. 99 GT Radial/Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8.
“We demonstrated last year that the GT Radial Champiro SX2 has a ton of potential in Formula DRIFT and can compete against the other tire manufacturers in the series,” Mohan said. “The GT Radial tires provide a huge amount of grip and smoke, although with the extra horsepower Mazdatrix found in our three-rotor engine, making smoke will never be an issue."
Conrad Grunewald Racing (CGR) has unveiled a project build drift car with Chevrolet Performance and Scoggin Dickey Parts Center. With support from BRE Motorsports, the ReplayXD/Always Evolving Camaro features a twin-turbo with an LSX 376. A second car will be used for media and event appearances and will be on display at all seven of the Formula DRIFT events at the CGR paddock.
DeNofa, a six-year veteran in Formula DRIFT, drives a turbocharged V8-powered BMW 3-series and is widely regarded as a fan favorite among the drifting crowd. Last year he took home the 2014 Formula DRIFT “Hardest Charging Driver of the Year” award. His follow run in Texas last year was considered the greatest follow run of the year by many observers. He expects to break into the top 10 on GT Radial tires in 2015.
The Champiro SX2 was developed for driving enthusiasts who want higher levels of traction, response and driving control in dry and wet conditions. An outstanding performer on the street and the track, the Champiro SX2 has already experienced considerable success in Formula DRIFT Asia.
After an exciting kick-off to the 2015 season at the Streets of Long Beach, Formula DRIFT will visit six other venues nationwide, including Road Atlanta, Orlando Speedworld, Wall Speedway New Jersey, Evergreen Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and the big finale at Irwindale Speedway on October 10.