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Matt Field’s Formula Drift New Jersey Weekend Ends Early Due to Debeaded Tire

Photo Courtesy of Alex Wong, Emotive Image

Matt Field debeaded a tire against Jeff Jones at Wall Speedway, ending his weekend early

Matt Field’s Formula Drift New Jersey weekend ended unfortunately early in the Top 32 round of tandem due to a debeaded tire. While Field felt strong going into both the qualifying and tandem rounds, the results would not be a full reflection of the hard work of the Drift Cave Motorsports / Falken Tire team. Overall, Field sits in 15th position overall at the halfway point of the Formula Drift season, and looks to use the final 4 events to move up into the Top 10 overall.

Thursday’s practice session was one of the best of the season for the team, with Field’s confidence carrying him through Friday’s early practice session as well. After laying down a conservative first qualifying pass to get a score on the board, Field pushed hard in his second pass and unfortunately found and exceeded the limits of the track. A small miscalculation of a few inches pushed Field into the jagged guard rail that lines the top of the bank at Wall Speedway, which whipped the front of the car around and caused some major cosmetic damage. Thankfully, the damage was restricted to the body panels, and the Drift Cave Motorsports team had the car looking 100% before packing up for the evening on Friday.

Photo Courtesy of Alex Wong, Emotive Image

Matt Field tandeming with Falken Tire teammate Odi Bakchis during practice prior to FD New Jersey

Field's scored first qualifying pass put him in 14th position, which matched him up with Jeff Jones. Jones has been looking stronger and stronger in the Pro class this season, and Field wasn’t planning to take the matchup lightly. After some strong practice runs with drivers like Odi Bakchis and fellow AEM Induction-sponsored driver Fredric Aasbo, Field was feeling enthusiastic for the matchup. Field opened up a several car gap on Jones after initiation, but a small adjustment with the handbrake mid-bank caused one of the Falken 615k+ tires to debead.

Amazingly, Field continued the run flawlessly on three tires and looked to have an advantage entering the second run. However, Formula Drift rules don’t allow a driver to re-mount a de-beaded tire if it happens on the first run of tandem, which effectively disqualified Field from the competition. Had the de-beaded tire happened in the second run, the runs would have been scored normally and Field may have moved on.

Field and his team were disappointed with the outcome, particularly knowing that their air pressures weren’t low and the de-beading was a pure fluke occurrence. Jones made a solo pass and was granted the tandem win. After debriefing with the team, Field signed autographs for several fans and even gave away a damaged rear bumper to a fan.

Photo Courtesy of Alex Wong, Emotive Image

Matt Field got some tandem practice in with AEM driver Fredric Aasbo at FD New Jersey

Looking ahead, Field hopes to discover the second-half magic he had during the 2016 season which lead to two event wins and a Top 8 appearance in the final four events. Field felt that he had a car that could have earned a Top 8 finish or beyond at Wall, and only an issue like a de-beaded tire could hold them back. The Formula Drift circuit will take more than a month off before heading to Autodrome St. Eustache raceway just outside of Montreal for Round 5.

Photo Courtesy of Alex Wong, Emotive Image

Matt Field opened up a big lead in his tandem battle with Jeff Jones but lost due to a debeaded tire

Photo Courtesy of Alex Wong, Emotive Image

Matt Field debriefs with his Drift Cave / Falken team prior to tandem competition at FD New Jersey


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2016 and 2017 Chevrolet Malibu 1.5L Engines Unlock Power with AEM Air Intake System

The intake tube, heat shield, and filter bolt together as a single unit for secure installation.

The intake tube, heat shield, and filter of bolt together as a single unit for secure installation

The Chevrolet Malibu got a new base model engine in 2016 with the 1.5L Turbo Ecotec 4 cylinder. This turbo power plant replaces the larger displacement 2.5L naturally aspirated 4 cylinder of the previous models. Where this new engine lacks in displacement, it makes up for it with turbo boost, variable valve timing, and direct injection to produce a rated 163 hp and 184 ft-lb of torque. AEM Intakes has introduced their AEM 21-813C intake kit to add some performance to this new platform.

This intake system removes the restrictive factory air box and replaces it with a free-flowing mandrel bent aluminum tube. This tube provides a smooth transition from the large oversized 21-2027DK Dryflow air filter to the turbo of the 1.5L Malibu. The use of this large filter prolongs the time between cleanings and its molded in velocity stack significantly reduces restriction and MAF sensor signal noise. The intake tube is sized to match the MAF signal required for proper function and the extra tall MAF adapter pad positions the sensor in the proper spot within the tube. A billet PCV connector interfaces with the factory quick disconnect line, providing unmatched fit and finish.

A CAD designed, powdercoated heat shield is included to seal off the air filter area from the rest of the heated engine bay. The heat shield is designed to seal to the hood and engine bay when the hood is closed but allow full view of the intake system when the hood is raised. The factory high pressure air feed is isolated in the center of the heat shield area, blowing cool air directly on the filter while allowing the entire heat shield area as a breathable volume to ensure there is always enough airflow. The intake system works as a unit to provide estimated horsepower and torque increases up to 7% over stock. The performance increases come complete with the added style of the powdercoated heat shield and tube and the increase in engine sound that adds to the driving experience.

Installation of the AEM 21-813C intake kit can be done in less than an hour with guidance from the included instructions. The AEM 21-813C intake kit is designed for the follow models and years:

2017 CHEVROLET MALIBU 1.5L L4 Fuel Injection - All Models
2016 CHEVROLET MALIBU 1.5L L4 Fuel Injection - All Models

With the hood raised, view of the intake kit is unobstructed for added style

With the hood raised, view of the intake kit is unobstructed for added style


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Travis Reeder Earns Formula D Pro 2 Event Win at Road Atlanta, Now Leads Standings

Travis Reeder drifts the keyhole at Road Atlanta en route to his event win at Formula D Round 2

Travis Reeder drifts the keyhole at Road Atlanta en route to his event win at Formula D Round 2

In his rookie season, Travis Reeder now leads the Formula D Pro 2 class by 78 points after two of four events. Reeder moved into the championship lead by winning the Round 2 event at Road Atlanta, defeating fellow Evergreen Drift alumni Matt Vankirk in the final. In addition to the payout from Formula Drift for the event win, Reeder wins $500 as part of the AEM contingency program as the highest ranking driver enrolled in the contingency program.

Reeder qualified 11th during Thursday’s qualifying session, matching him up against fellow AEM driver Andy Hateley in the Top 16 round. Reeder had a pair of consistent runs, while a few small mistakes from Hateley and a general lack of proximity in chase gave Reeder the win into the Top 8. In his battle against Hooman Rahimi in the Great 8, Reeder had consistent steering angle and a very aggressive chase run with good proximity to earn the win and guarantee an appearance in the Final 4 for the second consecutive race. As the sole driver who had earned a Final 4 appearance at both of the first two rounds, Reeder knew he would be leading the championship at the midpoint of the season. Rahimi earned $200 as the third highest ranking AEM driver. Dirk Stratton, who was also eliminated in the Great 8 but qualified higher than Rahimi, earned $300 as part of the AEM contingency program.

Travis Reeder now leads the Formula D Pro 2 championship standings after 2 of 4 events

Travis Reeder now leads the Formula D Pro 2 championship standings after 2 of 4 events

Reeder faced some adversity in his Final 4 matchup with Randall Waters as he had shallow steering angle exiting the keyhole in his chase run which put him at a disadvantage after the first run. Fortunately for Reeder, Waters misjudged his entry and tapped the rear of Reeder’s car before sliding off course which resulted in an incomplete run for Waters. The victory was a bit anticlimactic for Reeder as Vankirk had a mechanical issue shortly after leaving the line in the final battle, giving Reeder a solo lap for the event win.

The Pro 2 class takes a summer break through June and July while the Pro class travels to Wall, New Jersey and Montreal, Quebec for the next two rounds of competition. The next round of the Pro 2 series will take place at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington, which is the same track Reeder earned his Pro 2 license at via the Evergreen Drift ProAm series. Reeder could potentially lock up the Pro 2 championship ahead of the final round at Texas Motor Speedway pending his results at Evergreen.

Travis Reeder has won the top AEM Contingency prize at each of the first 2 Formula D Pro 2 events

Travis Reeder has won the top AEM Contingency prize at each of the first 2 Formula D Pro 2 events

All Pro 2 drivers are eligible for the AEM Contingency program, provided that they fulfill the requirements of the program:

1. Run an AEM Dryflow air filter on their competition vehicle

2. Run an AEM decal on locations laid out in the program

3. Finish in the Top 16 of a PRO 2 Round

The total contingency payout for each round is $1000, with payouts occurring at each round of Formula DRIFT PRO 2 competition. The highest finishing AEM contingency driver in the Top 16 will earn $500, second highest driver will earn $300, and the third highest will earn $200.

Travis Reeder runs an AEM air box on his LS-powered S13

Travis Reeder runs an AEM air box on his LS-powered S13


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Add Power to Your 2016 Chevy Cruze With an AEM Air Intake

The AEM 21-805C incorporates the factory high pressure feed and seals in the cool air

The AEM 21-805C incorporates the factory high pressure feed and seals in the cool air

In 2016, Chevy improved its Cruze line of vehicles with new styling, matching the rest of the restyled Chevy line-up, while adding a hatchback model. It is still powered by the EcoTec 1.4L turbocharged 4 cylinder but performance has been increased to 153 hp and 177 ft-lb of torque, all while retaining a 47 mpg rated fuel mileage. This fuel efficient compact car is still no slouch with a 7.7 second 0-60 time. True to their sport compact roots, the experts at AEM Induction Systems now have an answer for the restrictive factory air intake system with the AEM 21-805C intake system.

The engineers at AEM utilized two sizes of mandrel bent aluminum tube for this intake. A large-diameter straight section for the MAF sensor sized for proper ECU tuning, and a large-radius bend using smaller diameter tubing for increased velocity into the turbo inlet. These two sections are joined by a spun aluminum adapter for a smooth, restriction-free transition. The large-diameter MAF sensor section of the intake also allows for the use of the oversized 21-2038DK DryFlow filter. This filter offers increased flowable filter area, a molded in velocity stack, and the convenience of AEM’s oil-free, washable DryFlow material.

The large 21-2038DK DryFlow filter provides ample flowable area to the intake system

The large 21-2038DK DryFlow filter provides ample flowable area to the intake system

The filter is isolated by the CAD-designed and powdercoated heatshield. This shield is designed to seal to the hood, shock tower, and engine mount surfaces, while interfacing with the stock high-pressure air scoop to provide cool, outside air while preventing the engine heat from causing poor performance. The heat shield also helps provide more airflow by opening the cool area of the lower front bumper to the filter, reducing the restriction existing in the factory intake system. All these performance improvements allow measured horsepower increases up to 7% over stock and come in an aesthetically pleasing package that looks great when the hood is up. Besides the added power, the aggressive intake sound is pleasing while not overwhelming and the open element filter design makes the turbo recirculation valve audible, giving that aftermarket blow-off valve sound when the throttle is lifted.

The AEM 21-805C intake kit is easily with common hand tools. Everything required for complete installation is included in the intake kit and no cutting of your stock equipment is required. The AEM 21-805C intake kit is designed for the follow models and years:

2017 CHEVROLET CRUZE 1.4L L4 Fuel Injection - All Models


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AEM Air Intake Offers Estimated Boost of 28-HP on 2016 Lexus IS 200T

The AEM 21-791C Intake will improve acceleration, torque, throttle-response, and engine sound.

The AEM 21-791C cold air Intake offers an estimated boost of 28-HP on 2016 Lexus IS 200T

Lexus, the luxury car division of the Japanese automaker Toyota, introduced the Lexus IS entry-level luxury sports car in 1999. Originally sold under the Toyota Altezza name in Japan from 1998 until the debut of the Lexus brand and the second-generation of the car in 2006. It was offered as a front-engine, rear-wheel drive outside of Japan and a front-engine, four-wheel drive vehicle in Japan. It came in two styles – a 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback/station wagon.

The 2016 incarnation, dubbed the 200T, is a brand new rear-wheel drive model, which includes a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 241-horsepower and 258-lb-ft of torque and an 8-speed paddle-shift transmission. Although it can’t compete with some of the higher performance luxury cars in the 0-to-60 mph, it does achieve a relevant 6.9-seconds. The 200T achieves an EPA fuel efficiency rating of 22-mpg in the city, 33-mpg on the highway and 26-mpg combined.

Since it is considered to be an entry-level model, the IS 200T may lack some of the power many owners may wish it to have. That’s where the AEM 21-791C cold air intake system comes in. Dyno testing confirms that it offers an estimated 28-horsepower at 5900 RPM and will also improve acceleration, throttle response and engine sound.

It includes an AEM 21-2113DK washable and reusable DryFlow air filter that lasts for 100,000 miles before service is required, depending on driving conditions. The DryFlow media is constructed of a proprietary non-woven polyester material that has an exclusive 3-dimensional internal structure that captures contaminants without relying on sticky oil treatments. The material sits between two layers of coated aluminum wire screen that increases the structural integrity of the filter and keeps large contaminants from entering the engine.

AEM also offers the 1-1000 air filter cleaner that is specially formulated to cleanse and recharge the air filter so that it can be used over and over again for the life of the car. AEM is so sure of the quality of the filter it covers it with a Lifetime Limited Warranty.

The AEM 21-791C Cold Intake is designed for the 2016 Lexus IS 200T.

The AEM 21-791C cold air intake has an AEM 21-2112DK air filter, aluminum tube, and heat shield

The cold air intake system also includes a mandrel-bent aluminum intake tube that is covered in a durable gunmetal gray powder coated finish and a heat shield that blocks hot engine air from affecting the intake. The intake tube incorporates the engine’s emissions control devices and the valve cover breather hose.

The air filter is designed to fit into the original factory air box and the intake tube has been tuned in length and diameter to match the engine’s resonance to help get more air to the cylinders, which results in more power delivered to the engine.

The intake can be installed using common hand tools and is designed for the following vehicles:

2017 LEXUS IS200T 2.0L L4 Fuel Injection - All Models
2016 LEXUS IS200T 2.0L L4 Fuel Injection - All Models


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Fredric Aasbo Earns Event Win at Formula Drift Orlando, Leads Championship

Fredric Aasbo's Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota Corolla iM drifts the Orlando Speedworld course

Fredric Aasbo's Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota Corolla iM drifts the Orlando Speedworld course

For the second consecutive season, Papadakis Racing and AEM-sponsored driver Fredric Aasbo took home the event win at Orlando Speedworld, and the team is leaving the state of Florida with the lead in the championship points. In 2016, Aasbo was piloting the Rockstar Energy Drink Scion tC2 to the event win, but this season, Aasbo drove the newly-debuted Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota Corolla iM to the event win. Last season, Orlando Speedworld was the third event on the season schedule, but with a small shuffle of the schedule for 2017, Orlando stands as the second event of the season. The team will take the lead into Road Atlanta for the next round of Formula Drift, just 500 miles north of the Orlando Speedworld site. "What an incredible win! We only built this car over the off season and to get this first win after only the second time out is amazing," said Fredric Aasbo about the win.

Fredric Aasbo celebrates his event win on the podium with Michael Essa (2nd) and Dai Yoshihara (3rd)

Fredric Aasbo celebrates his event win on the podium with Michael Essa (2nd) and Dai Yoshihara (3rd)

En route to the win, Aasbo received a bye in the top 32 round by qualifying second, then defeated AEM-sponsored driver Matt Field in the Top 16, Alec Hohnadell in the Top 8, and Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Final 4 before reaching the championship battle with former champion Michael Essa. All four drivers in the Final 4 were former Formula Drift champions, showing just how competitive the series is this year. Aasbo was able to defeat Essa with a strong lead run and an aggressive chase run, topping off a perfect day of tandem battles that stretches Aasbo’s undefeated streak at the track to nine consecutive battles dating back to last season.

Aasbo’s battle with Gittin Jr. was one of the better runs of the day, with Aasbo’s chase run showing incredible car control behind Gittin Jr’s Ford Mustang RTR. Gittin Jr’s Mustang has been one of the fastest cars on the grid since it debuted last season, so the ability of the freshly-built Corolla iM to pull away from the Mustang in the lead, and keep within a single car of proximity around the track in the chase position made the team very happy. "Today it all came together especially in that Top 4 battle with Vaughn Gittin Jr. and that was my highlight of the day showing that I can chase really close and getting this first win in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM is huge,” said Aasbo.

Fredric Aasbo prepares for battle in his Papadakis Racing built Toyota Corolla iM

Fredric Aasbo prepares for battle in his Papadakis Racing built Toyota Corolla iM

After the Scion brand was sunsetted midway through the 2016 season, the Papadakis Racing team was given some freedom to select what car they wanted to build as the next evolution for the team. Although the Toyota Corolla iM doesn’t look like your prototypical drift car, the chassis was selected for the wheelbase (which sits 1 inch longer than the Toyota GT86) and iconic Corolla nameplate that has historically been synonymous with the roots of drifting. Overall, the car has a longer wheelbase than a Nissan S14, but just slightly shorter than both the Scion tC2 that was campaigned over the past few seasons (and won the 2015 Formula Drift championship) and slightly longer than the current S550 Ford Mustang chassis.

Fredric Aasbo defeated fellow AEM-sponsored driver Matt Field in the Top 16 in Orlando

Fredric Aasbo defeated fellow AEM-sponsored driver Matt Field in the Top 16 in Orlando

The Papadakis Racing built chassis debuted to a 5th place finish in Long Beach, the kickoff event of the 8-round Formula Drift schedule, to a huge fanfare. As the first 4-door hatchback drift car in the series, fans were anxious to peak under the hood of the car at the first event. The car maintains the same 2AR powerplant as the previous Scion tC2, pushing more than 800 horsepower through the drivetrain before the 150-shot of nitrous is enabled. Aasbo piloted the car to a 4th place qualifying effort and a 5th place finish at Long Beach, which earned them 52 championship points after the debut event for the car. With the improved finish in Orlando, Aasbo now holds a 16 point lead entering Atlanta.

Fredric Aasbo eliminated Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Top 4 en route to the event win

Fredric Aasbo eliminated Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Top 4 en route to the event win

The Orlando event win marked the ninth of Aasbo’s Formula Drift career, tying him with Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Samuel Hubinette for most all-time in the 90-event history of Formula Drift. The win was also Aasbo’s second consecutive win at Orlando, making him the winningest driver in the state of Florida. Previous competitions at Homestead Speedway and Palm Beach Raceway were all won by different competitors, making Aasbo the only two-time winner in the state. Looking ahead to the famed Road Atlanta track, Aasbo has previously podiumed in 2012 and 2014, earning second place both times. Atlanta marks the only track on the current Formula Drift schedule that Aasbo has yet to win at, which would help extend his current lead in the championship. Atlanta is also the birthplace of the Formula Drift series, and said to have some of the rowdiest fans on the schedule.

Aasbo and the Papadakis Racing team will be visiting the Toyota Manufacturing facility in Blue Springs, Mississippi, in the down time between Orlando and Atlanta. The visit will likely bring new inspiration and motivation to continue the success through the rest of the Formula Drift season.


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Travis Reeder Gets the Podium at the Formula Drift Pro2 Opener at Orlando Speedway

Reeder on the Orlando Podium

Reeder takes home the podium

The Formula Drift Pro2 category is the last step before drivers step up to the top ranks of the Formula Drift Pro Championship. In many ways, that’s what makes Pro2 a harder series because all drivers are not only gunning for the win but also there is less familiarity. However, our up and coming AEM Drivers were able to put on a show and prove they will be worthy of those Pro ranks, soon, with Travis Reeder taking the podium but not before showcasing his driving talents in the Final Four.

Travis began his weekend with a sixth seed on Thursday Qualifying before heading on to the finals. He would be the best qualified driver but George Kiriakopoulos would find himself in the eleventh seed and driving against Reeder. However, his Friday would end in Top 16 due to a broken transmission, which he still tried to drive on. A broken transmission would also end Andy Hateley’s weekend on qualifying day. He was also able to try and make the field but his best run on a broken box meant he would only get twenty-second seed of a Top 16 field.

Reeder at Orlando

Reeder looked strong in the finals

Reeder would move on to face off against the finals but in his Final Four run, his left rear tire would de-bead. Undaunted, Travis was able to keep his car moving and was awarded the entry into the finals where he would finish in second-place. It was a tough battle but one that ended with Reeder on that second step and the start of a great weekend in Orlando for AEM. Their next round is once again with the Pro Series at Road Atlanta on May 11th and 12th. This legendary track is known for its high-speeds, insane entries, and being a crowd and driver favorite. We’ll see you there.


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AEM Driver Fredric Aasbo Wins Formula Drift at the Orlando Speedway

Toyota Corolla iM on track at Orlando

In just its second event, the iM is starting to show it's a platform to reckon with

In the second round and event for the Rockstar Energy Drink/AEM Toyota Corolla iM, Fredric Aasbo takes home the victory in the new platform. It was a dominating run up to the finals for him but our AEM drivers were also out in force in the heat and humidity of Florida. With the win, Aasbo looks good for another run at the championship in 2017.

Aasbo at Orlando Podium

AEM-sponsored Frederic Aasbo take the win at Orlando Speedway

For Aasbo, his weekend started off with a second-place qualifying run and one of the coveted top four spots in the order as those drivers would get a bye-run to the Top 16. Kristaps Bluss would be the next highest qualifying driver in the twelfth seed. He would end up in the Top 16 and finish there for the round. 2016 Formula Drift Champion and AEM Driver, Chris Forsberg, qualified in the fourteenth seed in the V8 370Z since the VQ was still not ready yet. He would end up finishing the round in the Top 16 as well. Rad Dan Burkett would earn a sixteenth seed but would end up finishing in the Top 32 in Orlando.

aasbo and field

Aasbo was able to take it to the finals but Matt Field would be eliminated due to de-beading

Matt Field would qualify in the eighteenth seed and would mean that he and Aasbo would meet in the Top 16. Matt would finish his weekend here after his tire de-beaded on his run against eventual winner, Aasbo. While you would think having a bye-run would be an easy path to victory, it really wasn’t as his challenges would increase with each round until the finals. This car has only seen competition twice and that has been the first two rounds. However, he and Papadakis Racing pulled through and helped get themselves and AEM their first victory for the 2017 season. “Starting a season with a new car always feels like a gamble because there's a learning curve for the driver and the team. But we proved to everyone today that our Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM is a force to be reckoned with in this series,” said Aasbo. “All credit is due to our team and our partners. This is an amazing feeling.”

What’s next for Aasbo since taking the win and the lead in the Formula Drift Points Standings? It’s not Disney World but the plant where the Corolla is manufactured for the US. In the meantime, the rest of the AEM Drivers will be preparing for the third round of the Formula Drift Championship. That will take place at the legendary and fan favorite, Road Atlanta on May 12th to the 13th and we’ll see you there.

Aasbo versus Gittin in the Final Four

Frederic Aasbo on his way to the finals in Orlando


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AEM Announces Formula Drift Pro2 Contingency Program

AEM is helping drivers in the FD Pro2 class with a contingency program

AEM is helping drivers in the FD Pro2 class with a contingency program

When it comes to competing in the Formula DRIFT series, you need all the help you can get in regards to your budget. Fortunately, AEM Induction has introduced a fantastic way to help drivers find more power, offer a contingency bonus for those running the AEM Dryflow air filter, and save where they need it. The 2017 season will be the inaugural year for both the AEM PRO 2 Contingency Program and AEM Race Parts Discount program.

In racing and drifting, drivers tend to be a loyal bunch to the brands they know work. AEM Inductions would like to reward those loyal racers by putting cash in their pockets by way of both monetary payouts and discounts on parts purchased from us. To be eligible, a PRO2 driver must meet the following criteria:

  1. Run an AEM Dryflow Air Filter on their competition vehicle,
  2. Run an AEM decal on locations laid out in the program, and
  3. Finish in the Top 16 of a PRO 2 Round.
  4. Formula Drift Pro2 drivers are grassroots drivers with little budget, so AEM wants to help them

    Formula Drift Pro2 drivers are grassroots drivers with little budget, so AEM wants to help them

The total contingency payout for each round is $1000, with payouts occurring at each round of Formula DRIFT PRO 2 competition. The highest finishing AEM contingency driver in the Top 16 will earn $500, second highest driver will earn $300, and the third highest will earn $200. Drivers will also be able to purchase from the Race Parts Discount program and won’t just include parts for their competition vehicle but also their tow vehicle as well.

“AEM Induction views the Formula DRIFT PRO 2 Series as vital in the long-term growth and sustainability of drifting at its highest level,” says Chris Matye, Team & Series Support Manager, AEM Induction. “Many of the talented young drivers competing in PRO 2 are true grassroots racers running on strict budgets and with minimal crew. The establishment of our PRO 2 Contingency Program is directly aimed at rewarding these loyal AEM Induction customers with cash prizes. PRO 2 is developing the Formula DRIFT stars of tomorrow, and AEM is happy to lend our support to this talented field of young drivers.”

To be a part of the AEM contingency program, the drivers have to meet specific requirements

To be a part of the AEM contingency program, the drivers have to meet specific requirements


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2017 Streets of Long Beach Formula Drift Opener with AEM

AEM-sponsored Fredric Aasbo brings out the new Corolla iM at Streets of Long Beach

AEM-sponsored Fredric Aasbo brings out the new Corolla iM at Streets of Long Beach

The first round of the Formula Drift Championship is always a fun one. You have the city of Long Beach, waves, and the only street circuit drifting in the series just before the historic Grand Prix of Long Beach. AEM looked to gain a great start to the season with Fredric Aasbo, Kirstaps Bluss, Matt Field, 2017 rookie Dan Burkett, and 2016 Formula Drift Champion Chris Forsberg, among others, taking it to the streets. Would we see a breakout start?

When it comes to difficult circuits, a street circuit with almost no runoff is one that is a challenge for road racing. Now take that and ramp the idea up because you’re sliding sideways and purposely scraping the wall and your competitor's car and you’ll see why the Streets of Long Beach is a popular event for Formula Drift fans and drivers alike. It’s an event that can give you the biggest victory of your career or the worst start to your Formula Drift season. Unfortunately, FD Rookie and AEM Driver Dan Burkett was hit with the latter. While bringing an impressive eleventh place qualifying position, he would crash during Top 32 practice. His team got the RAD Industries Supra back together and into the show, but Dan eventually lost to fellow AEM Driver Matt Field, who would go on to finish in the Top 16.

Matt Field with the new Falken tires livery on his Nissan 240SX

Matt Field with the new Falken tires livery on his Nissan 240SX

2016 Formula Drift Champion, Chris Forsberg, qualified in seventh place and didn’t have the greatest start himself. Prior to qualifying, the champ had to replace his twin-turbo VQ V6 for a familiar VK V8 powered 370Z. While it was disappointing to not witness the new VQ do its magic, the familiarity of the VK showed as he was still able to capitalize on a Top 10 qualification. He would go on to the Great 8 where he would be eliminated against the eventual winner.

Fedric Aasbo, the 2015 Formula Drift Champion, brought out the brand-new Toyota Corolla iM to show that weird chassis still work in FD. While a twenty-ninth place qualifying wouldn’t properly show the performance of his chassis, the performance to the Great 8 would. He would face off against fellow AEM Driver, Kristaps Bluss in the Top 16 (who had also qualified higher than Aasbo), Bluss would fall to the FD champ before Aasbo’s Great 8 exit.

Kristaps Bluss under the famous Long Beach bridge before turn 10 at the 2017 Streets of Long Beach

Kristaps Bluss under the famous Long Beach bridge before turn 10 at the 2017 Streets of Long Beach

While a win or a top four finish would have been a sweet ending, it wouldn’t be the end for two of our AEM drivers as they would also compete in the non-points Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge during the Long Beach Grand Prix. Remember how drifting a street circuit was hard on its own? Well now add the challenge of a night event to that mix. Instead of qualifying, it would be a random draw for the Top 16 positions. Matt Field would grab the ninth position while Dan Burkett would get tenth. Dan would end up walking with a Top 16 finish, however the night would be owned once again by Matt Field as he took his second Super Drift win in a row. “We went back to back!” said Matt Field, winner of the Motegi Super Drift Challenge. “This event was strong and it feels good to get back into a car that’s in working manner after struggling last weekend, but we’re back.” For night two, Matt would end up in the Top 16 position after taking hard damage during the finals. However, Dan Burkett showed he would be the rookie sensation for 2017 by taking a Top 8 finish in his first ever Super Drift at one of the hardest circuits in the series.

The next event for the Formula Drift Schedule and our AEM drivers is Orlando Speed World Oval in Orlando, Florida. It will also be the first event for the 2017 Formula Drift Pro2 Championship where we’ll see our Pro2 drivers. Check back for more news from AEM and the 2017 Formula Drift Season.


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