Formula Drift 2023 - Long Beach
April 12, 2023
Burnt rubber, big skies, and California sunshine, Formula Drift kicked off the 20th anniversary with a traditional season opener on the streets of Long Beach. With the standard Long Beach course layout of the past, Forgestar’s PRO Series drivers Matt Field and Dylan Hughes face two outside zones, one inside zone, and a tricky touch-n-go. To come out on top, drivers must showcase snappy initiations and sharp transitions throughout a series of blind corners. With these challenges ahead, FD fans were in for a wild weekend brimming with smashes, crashes, and fierce competition.
Based on fan feedback, Formula Drift updated the judging format for qualifying to take on a holistic approach. Instead of individualized judging, each judge will rank all aspects of the driver’s run, including line angle, style, and X Factor. To kick off qualifying, Dylan Hughes came out swinging with his E46 landing a solid #11 position. Unfortunately, our 2022 runner-up champion Matt Field wouldn’t see such luck. Struggling through his first run, Field receives an incomplete after an immediate spin-out. Field would qualify in the 27th spot with just 78.66 points in his second attempt, leaving him at a huge disadvantage moving into the competition.
In the Top 32 heat, Matt Field faced off against three-time FD PRO Champion Chris Forsberg in a thrilling match-up. The battle went to One More Time (OMT), requiring both drivers to repeat their runs. Field eventually emerged victorious but faced more challenges ahead. In the Top 16, he had a minor collision with Dean Kearney, and in the Top 8, he had an epic battle with Chelsea DeNofa that saw DeNofa slide into the tire wall. Moving into the Top 4, fans nearly experienced a rewind of last year’s collision between Aasabo and Field. Luckily new reinforcements installed after last year’s incident keep the ‘Vette intact allowing Field to come out victorious and move into the finals with Rome Charpentier. Conquering the final head-to-head, Field took the #1 podium position and 100 points in the PRO standings.
Whether it’s the sting of second place, new title sponsors, or just pure passion for the sport, Field proves right off jump he isn’t just here to play but to win in the Formula Drift 2023 season. Join us next month as the Formula Drift 2023 schedule continues in Atlanta, Georgia, where drivers will continue on the Road to Championship. Find more on Formula Drift’s winning wheel, the Forgestar F14 here, and stay tuned to the 2023 FD season to see them in action!