By Patrick Rall
For the last 8 years, Sam Hubinette has been piloting high
performance Dodge and SRT vehicles including the Viper, Charger
and Challenger in various drift circuits around the world. But last
week, “The Crazy Swede” announced his retirement ahead of the 2012 Formula Drift
season. Hubinette retires with two
Formula Drift championships and 9 event wins – making him the winningest driver
in Formula D’s history.
The cause for Sam Hubinette’s decision to leave the drifting
world where he has done so well is that two of his team’s major sponsors “changing
interest”. There is no detail beyond
that, but we have to wonder if one of those major sponsors is Dodge/Mopar. Over the past few years there has been no name more prominently advertised by
The Crazy Swede on and off the track. Due to drifting’s lack of popularity in the US, it wouldn’t come as a huge shock if the Chrysler Group found their
support of the drift program to be non-beneficial to the company.
“Two of our main sponsors changed their marketing
direction, so we decided that the best thing to do with the Dodge Challenger
SHR drift car is to focus on doing demos. For competition, we’re pursuing
opportunities in rally cross and off-road truck. We hope to run a round or two
of the Formula DRIFT competitions for 2012, but won’t know for sure until
things settle down,” Hubinette. “It has been such a good time to be
part of the Formula DRIFT Series from day one and to be the inaugural Series
champion means a lot to me. Drifting and Formula DRIFT has given me many
opportunities in my career including stunt driving in movies and car
Hubinette, who began racing with Dodge Motorsports in 2004, entered
into the world of off road truck racing last year with a successful season with
Team Mopar in a Ram race truck.
Hubinette netted four event wins, 7 podium spots and a 4th
place finish in the 2011 season standings – making for a very successful rookie
year in the world of truck racing.
Luckily for the drifting world, Sam Hubinette plans to
continue participating in international drifting exhibitions but we won’t be
seeing him – or his high performance Dodge products – winning any more Formula