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James Deane win the Formula Drift season opener in Long Beach,CA

  • PressRelease
James Deane won the Formula Drift season opener in Long Beach on Saturday with teammate Piotr Więcek making it to the Top 16 in a perfect but emotional debut for the new Worthouse Drift Team.
After qualifying in a close second with a superb drive on Friday, the Irishman started Saturday's main event with a Top 32 Bye Run before defeating Michael Essa, reigning Champion Chris Forsberg and Ryan Tuerck on the run up to the big final.
The last battle saw the multiple European and Irish Champion take on the Peru's Alex Heilbrunn during two nail-bitting runs in his 900hp, Falken Tire-shod Nissan Silva S15 to claim a popular victory and the Championship lead.
His teammate and Formula DRIFT rookie Piotr Więcek also enjoyed a stellar US debut. The three time Polish Drift Masters GP Champion qualified in an impressive ninth on Friday before successfully taking on last year's Long Beach winner Chelsea DeNofa in Top 32. The Pole's charge eventually came to an end with a Top 16 duo with Odi Bakchis but still delighted the entire squad, supported by Worthouse Metal Roofing.
James Deane win the Formula Drift season opener in Long Beach,CA
James Deane win the Formula Drift 

In a touching tribute during the live post-event interview James Deane dedicated his magnificent victory to the Worthouse Drift Team's Lukasz Dziewulak, who sadly passed away earlier last week.
“It's hard to get my head around it!” 
said the overjoyed 25-year-old Deane, who took part in four Formula DRIFT events back in 2010 before making a full time comeback with the Worthouse Drift Team for 2017.
Qualifying second with a 96 score on Friday already made my weekend. I was happy with that already so to follow that up with a victory is simply insane. I had noting to lose in the main event and just tried to treat it like any other drift event back home in Ireland but in the end I had to go beyond my limits and all the battles were absolutely crazy. I pushed, left it all out there and somehow it worked out. It's going to take a while to sink in but it's the best feeling I've ever had in my life. I'd like to say a huge thanks to everyone who made it possible as I wouldn't be here without all of these guys. I'd definitely like to dedicate this win to Lukasz who sadly passed away last week before our event. It's been a tough weekend in so many ways but definitely that win is for Lukasz.”

  • “First of all, what an amazing drive by James!” added the 26-year-old Piotr Więcek. “I don't think we could've imagined a better debut for the Worthouse Drift Team. To qualify in ninth for my Formula DRIFT debut was pretty amazing too and I was really happy with that. I enjoyed my two tandem battles on Saturday and although I'd prefer to go further than the Top 16 it was still a pretty good debut and a nice result to build on during the next rounds. Having said that it was a very difficult weekend for all of us after the passing of Lukasz, who was the driving force behind our close-knit, family-ran team. We went out there this weekend to pay our respects and I think we did honor him in the best way possible.”

Round two of the Formula DRIFT Pro Championship will take place in Orlando, Florida from 28th to 29th of April with a live stream once again available on www.formulad.com/live.

For more info about the Worthouse Drift Team visit www.drift.worthouse.com as well as the team's social media channels at www.facebook.com/worthousedriftteam and www.instagram.com/worthousedrift.
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