Formula Drift 2016 rd 1 Long Beach Beth Saravo 2

Formula DRIFT Round 1: Streets of Long Beach Results; Chelsea Denofa Takes His First Ever Formula DRIFT Victory!

Formula DRIFT presented by BlackVue returned to Long Beach for the kickoff event of the 2016 Pro Championship season. Chelsea Denofa in the BC Racing / GT Radial BMW earned his first ever Formula DRIFT victory to start the season at the top of the standings.

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Round 1: Streets of Long Beach kicked off the new season in dramatic fashion. The volume of rain, the variable surface conditions of the street course, which made for treacherous conditions in general during Friday's practice, created a rain delay, which ultimately resulted in the Series making the decision to draw on a provision of the Sporting Regulations that allows the Series to forgo Qualifying in the face of inclement weather. Drivers were placed into the Top 32 bracket based on their 2015 ranking. The weather held up for the main competition and the drivers were able to give the fans a great showing to start the season.

"The weather definitely added a challenging element to this event, but the action was as intense as ever to kickoff the season," said Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT. "Despite the rain, the fans came out to show their support. This season is already shaping up to be one of the most exciting and for the local fans we will keep things going with the Super Drift competition next weekend under the lights during the Long Beach Grand Prix."

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Returning champion and winner of Round 1 in 2015, Fredric Aasbo in the Rockstar Energy / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC battled through some car issues to meet Odi Bakchis in the Ark Performance / Feal Suspension / Falken Tire Hyundai Genesis in the semi-finals. Aasbo edged out Bakchis to enter the Finals. The 2015 runner-up Ken Gushi in the GReddy Racing / Nexen Tire SR Toyota 86 faced off against Chelsea Denofa in an exciting battle. Denofa beat out Gushi to face the champion in the Finals, which gave Gushi the third place event finish. With momentum on his side, Denofa out matched Aasbo to take his first ever Formula DRIFT victory. This also marks the first victory for tire supplier GT Radial.

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"I'd like to thank everyone that I work with including GT Radial, BC Racing, Turbo by Garrett, and everyone that helped with the car," said Chelsea Denofa, winner of Round 1: Streets of Long Beach. "We have been working on this for so long and so hard and through mechanical failures to finally be able to work together and push through to get on the top."

The 2016 Formula DRIFT Pro Championship will continue to Round 2: Road to the Championship on May 6-7 at Road Atlanta. For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Tune into Formula DRIFT on CBS Sports and check your local listings for air times.

Stay tuned for more photo coverage from our contributors, Beth Saravo and Elliott Powell.

Round 1: Streets of Long Beach Event Results
1. Denofa, Chelsea BC Racing / GT Radial BMW Winner
2. Aasbo, Fredric Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC 2nd Place
3. Gushi, Ken GReddy Racing / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota 86 3rd Place
4. Bakchis, Aurimas Feal Suspension / ARK Performance / Falken Tire Hyundai Genesis 4th Place
5. Tuerck, Ryan Gumout / Nameless Performance / Hankook Tire SR by Toyota FR-S 5th Place
6. Wang, Forrest Get Nuts Lab / Hankook Tire Nissan S15 6th Place
7. Field, Matt Falken Tire / Driftcave Motorsports Nissan S14 7th Place
8. Gittin, Vaughn Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR 8th Place
9. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z 9th Place
10. Kearney, Dean Oracle Lighting Dodge Viper 10th Place
11. McQuarrie, Tyler Mobil 1 Chevrolet Camaro 11th Place
12. Whiddett, Mike Red Bull / Nitto Tire Mazda MX-5 12th Place
13. Ng, Charles Sogun Motorsports / Achilles Tire Infiniti G37 13th Place
14. Essa, Michael Loudmouth Exhaust / Achilles BMW M3 14th Place
15. Bluss, Kristaps HGK / Motul / Achilles Tire BMW E46 15th Place
16. Jones, Jeff DOC Racing Nissan S14 16th Place

2016 Formula DRIFT Championship Presented by BlackVue Standings After 1 Event
1. Denofa, Chelsea BC Racing / GT Radial BMW 100.00 Points
2. Aasbo, Fredric Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC 80.00 Points
3. Gushi, Ken GReddy Racing / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota 86 64.00 Points

2016 Formula DRIFT World Championship Standings Top 3
1. Denofa, Chelsea BC Racing / GT Radial BMW 100.00 Points
2. Aasbo, Fredric Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC 80.00 Points
3. Gushi, Ken GReddy Racing / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota 86 64.00 Points

2016 Manufacturer Championship Standings After 1 Event
1. SR by Toyota 144.00 Points
2. BMW 132.00 Points
3. Ford 64.00 Points
4. Nissan 48.00 Points
5. Mazda 48.00 Points
6. Infiniti 48.00 Points
7. Chevy 32.00 Points
8. Dodge 32.00 Points

2016 Tire Championship Standings After 1 Event
1. Nexen 144.00 Points
2. GT Radial 116.00 Points
3. Falken 112.00 Points
4. Hankook 96.00 Points
5. Nitto 80.00 Points
7. Achilles 64.00 Points


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ABOUT FORMULA DRIFT
In its thirteenth season, Formula DRIFT is recognized as the leading international drifting championship. Established on the streets of Japan, drifting has evolved into a worldwide competitive sport that challenges each driver's driving ability and vehicle control. Formula DRIFT provides a forum for professional drifters to compete nationwide for the coveted Formula DRIFT Championship crown. As the first official series in North America, Formula DRIFT has taken competitive motorsports to the extreme, attracting fans and car enthusiasts from all walks of life and establishes itself as the world-wide leader for the Sport. For a competition schedule and ticket information, visit: www.formuladrift.com.

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