When you look at coverage from Formula Drift Long Beach, the full layout is never completely visible, leaving you curious about it’s setup. For the past few years, Long Beach is the one track I’ve ALWAYS wanted to experience. It’s all walls, completely opposite of any other course in Formula D. Not only is it a different type of track, it’s set up for the Grand Prix – on the closed streets of downtown Long Beach.
This season, I’m one of the two spokesmodels for Nexen Tire. The Nexen Tire team consists of drivers: Kyle Mohan driving the Mazda RX8, Cyrus Martinez in the Nissan 240 S13, Alex Pfeiffer in the Nissan 350z, and Taka Aono & John Russakoff in Toyota Corollas.
Arriving at the track on Saturday, I headed straight to the Nexen booth. Gates hadn’t opened yet so I started helping tie up Nexen tees to toss out later in the day. We thought we would get a little crazy and start rolling in surprises. Some t-shirts had nothing, some had lanyards, and some got the special hook up – wads of toilet paper. I truly wish I could have seen the person’s face when they untied their shirt to find TP.
As soon as my sidekick Elysha Lee arrived, we changed into our outfits and got right to work: taking pictures with fans, attracting people to the booth, talking with everyone – all that “good stuff.” While competition was at a halt, we were working, moving back and forth from the Nexen Tire booth to the Megan Racing booth. But as soon as the drifting began, Elysha and I ditched our sparkly hot pink heels, slipped on our Vans and headed straight trackside to watch the event.
Top 32 began and I was happy to watch the event as last year I hardly got to watch the competition. At one point good friend Patrick Mordaunt was competing against my team driver, Kyle Mohan. It was definitely difficult rooting for either one, wanting both of them to be the one moving on. But when Kyle was announced Top 16, Elysha and I were jumping with excitement. Especially her, being able to umbrella during the introductions for the first time! In the end, Kyle qualified 5th!
As Top 16 approached, I was pretty pumped! All my favorite drivers (meaning my friends) were getting ready to compete. Watching rookie, Fatlace driver Walker Wilkerson fight hard, but getting bumped out by Ryan Tuerck and then Matt Powers finishing 2nd was a lot more than I had expected! Talk about kicking off the season, like a boss!
The next round is Road Atlanta. This time, I’m going to bring my own camera so you can see things from my perspective!