Like an indomitable storm, the Formula Drift Series descended upon the streets of downtown Long Beach this past weekend for round 1 of the 2009 season, bringing with it the thunder of Team Mopar’s tire-destroying Dodge Viper SRT10 drift car to a crowd of more than 40,000 fans. Also making an appearance was the 2009 Dodge Challenger SRT8 drift car, giving fans a preview of things to come later in the season. Now entering its 5th season, the Formula Drift Series has grown exponentially in just a short period of time and has been a key player in exposing drifting to the U.S.
Dodge has been heavily involved in the Formula Drift Series since its
inception, entering such cars as the Charger SRT8, Viper SRT10
and Viper Competition Coupe. While “Ma Mopar” has had some success with
its Charger drift car, the team always seems to gravitate towards the
tried and true Viper when it needs a win. Samuel “The Crazy Swede”
Hubinette drove the SRT10 to a 2nd place finish at Long Beach, his 13th
podium finish in the series.
While the judges deemed that Hubinette was outperformed in the final
match, there should be no question about which was the superior car.
With its Paxton-supercharged 8.3-liter V10, this super snake puts down
an incredible 825 horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque. To make sure
this power is transferred to the pavement, a staggered set of 18×10
(front) and 18×13 (rear) wheels are utilized. But even the massive
345/35ZR18 BF Goodrich G-Force T/A tires in the rear could not keep
this Viper from sliding when throttle was applied.
The Viper makes for an incredible platform to build a drift vehicle on,
but the SRT10’s reign cannot last forever; Hubinette will pilot a
Challenger SRT8 for the remainder of the season. Debuting at Road
Atlanta in May, time will tell if this new chassis can maintain Mopar’s
legacy of heavy-hitting drift machines.- Alex Nishimoto