Formula DRIFT: Long Beach Qualifying Results

April 8, 2023Pam Ghee
Formula Drift

It was a clear and sunny day in Long Beach, CA this afternoon as the 2023 Formula Drift season kicked off. This year is the 20th anniversary of the Formula DRIFT series. This season opener also marked the start of some new rule changes to the series: Formula DRIFT Rule Changes. 32 drivers entered Round 1. However, as the drivers pushed the limits of the course some drivers found their limit.

The knockout qualifying format was utilized to set the competition bracket for Saturday. Knockout Qualifying Format requires the bottom eight qualifiers to run a second time. This includes anybody who failed to score on their first run. With 32 drivers competing for 32 competition places, nobody would be eliminated from competition if they successfully completed one run. Due to early contact with the track limits and/or not finishing runs the follow drivers were relegated to KQF: Mike Power (USA), Nick Noback (USA), Robert Thorne (USA), Matt Field (USA), Jonathan Hurst (USA), Adam LZ (USA), Kyle Mohan (USA) and Joao Barion (Brazil)

Photo by Larry Chen Courtesy of

All 8 drivers were required to make a second run to qualify for the main competition. Six made the cut but Barion and Mohan did not complete a clean run and were eliminated form the main competition. You can check out the qualifying coverage here:
Formula DRIFT #FDLB 2023 – PRO, Round 1 – Knockout Qualifying

The top three drivers:

1.  Ryan Tuerck (USA) – Rain-X / Nitto Tire / Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Corolla; Score: 98.33
2.  James Deane (Ireland) – AutoZone Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-FD; Score: 92.66
3.  Chelsea DeNofa (USA) – Pennzoil / BC Racing Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-FD; Score: 92.00

Reigning and 3 time champion Fredric Aasbo was only able to manage a 7th place finish in qualifying. Aasbo had a few miscues on the main racing line. He also received some point deductions for not maintaining exit angle after the the first half of the course.

Qualifying results were as follows:

Round 1 Bracket Provided by

You can catch tomorrow’s action here: FormulaDRIFT Live Stream at 10:30am PST


Formula DRIFT is recognized as the leading international drifting championship. Established on the streets of Japan, drifting has evolved into a worldwide competitive sport that challenges the driver’s skill while demanding a great deal from their vehicle in terms of power and strength. Formula DRIFT provides a series for the best professional drifters from around the globe to compete for the coveted title of Formula DRIFT Champion. As the first official drifting series in North America, Formula DRIFT has taken competitive motorsports to the extreme, attracting drift fans and car enthusiasts from all walks of life, and established itself as the global leader for the sport. For a competition schedule, ticket information, special content and livestream, please visit