Return of the USDrift Shootout
The very first USDrift competition took place in 2002 at the inaugural HyperFEST event at Summit Point Raceway, WV. Fast forward a few years to 2006 where the original USDrift Shootout event took place during the first East Coast GTLive event at VIRginia International Raceway. The event consisted of Grand AM Cup racing, GT Track Attack, XDL US Stunt Riding Championship, USERA endurance race, Tarzan’s Lap Battle, Rally-X, NASA Rally Sport, first ever International Spoon Sports Festival, NCCA sanctioned car show, bike show, and karting. GTLive would continue at VIR over the course of the next 3 years.
The first two USDrift Shootout events were won by Doug Van Den Brink from Cornelius, NC in his D’Vanz Motorsports Ford Mustang GT in 2006 and 2007. In 2008, Brian Wilkerson from Baltimore, MD in his MA-Motorsports Nissan 240SX would break Doug’s winning streak and be the last to win the event.
This USDrift Shootout will take place over the course of three days; Friday May 18, Saturday May 19, and Sunday May 20, 2018. Unlike recent years of the USDrift PRO/AM series which took place over the course of 4-5 events in a season, this year’s season will consist of just ONE event, similar to some the East and West PRO/AM Championship events previously held at VIR and Laughlin, NV in the mid-2000’s. The primary reasons for this transition back to a one event licensing format was to make one big event that showcased the drivers and their talents versus several smaller ones. The other reason was to help lower the costs for drivers associated with running a 4-5 event PRO/AM series. We are hoping the savings from not being required to attend 3-4 extra events with the added expenses of time off from work, fuel, lodging, meals, and crew will allow them more time and money to allocate towards better development of their programs in the form of new/upgraded parts, back-up/replacement parts, generating more media content, and attending more local open track day events for valuable seat time and fun.
The Patriot Course at Virginia International Raceway is a 12-turn, 1.1-Mile road course nestled inside the historic and world famous 3.27-Mile Full Course. The track features various elevation changes and provides drivers with an exciting and challenging layout. Many competitors have won on the Patriot Course their first time driving there, so it’s a great track for both new and veteran drivers alike. The starting grid will take place between T2 and S2 (see map) and the competition course will consist of turns T1a, T6b, T6a, T5c, T5b, and T5a running clockwise (reverse of the normal counter clockwise racing layout for the Patriot Course).
The event format will be a 40-car double elimination competition. Friday will consist of practice sessions for all competitors with spotters help from the judges during some of the practice sessions. Since this is a double elimination bracket event, there will be no qualifying for the event. At the conclusion of Friday practice during the driver’s meeting, a randomized computer program will seed the drivers in the bracket for the event on Saturday. This is done to allow more tandem action for the drivers, as well as provide drivers with a second chance to continue through the bracket should they lose a battle, crash, have a mechanical failure, or other instance that may result in a loss. Saturday will start the tandem competition and it will conclude on Sunday afternoon.
With any system, there are advantages and disadvantages to them, however we feel the advantages for this event outweigh the disadvantages.
Some of the advantages of the double elimination bracket are:
• No more one car on track at a time during qualifying (as this time will now be used for more tandem battles).
• Consolation round (battle for third place) has always been a double elimination round in traditional brackets, so this would remain.
• If the top two drivers in the event were pitted against each other in the first round of a traditional single elimination bracket, one of them would be eliminated from the event after that round. Under a double elimination format, the loser of that first match could still win each subsequent match and eventually work their way back up to the finals and potentially meet the same driver again.
• All drivers are guaranteed the ability to compete in at least 2 tandem matches.
• If a driver crashes, breaks, or loses, they still have a second chance to continue in the event (pending they can get back on track).
Some of the disadvantages of the double elimination bracket are:
• Amount of time it takes to conduct will be about double the amount of time of a normal Top 32 single elimination bracket, hence the reason for a 3 day event.
• The championship match could technically happen twice, even without a One More Time call, which could be confusing for some. Since the event is a double elimination, it’s unfair to have the winner’s bracket champion eliminated with their first loss. Therefore the winner’s bracket champion needs to beat the loser’s bracket champion only once to win the event, whereas the loser’s bracket champion much beat the winner’s bracket champion twice. Hence the reason the championship match could happen twice.
Judges for this event will be the 3 current Formula DRIFT judges; Ryan Lanteigne, Andy Yen, and Brian Eggert.
Eligible participants must be at least 18 years old (16 years old with parental consent*) and posess a valid state or government issued photo ID. Drivers are eligible provided they have not competed in any round of the Formula DRIFT Pro Championship in the last 5 years (2013 and prior are eligible).
*NOTE: A minor release form must be filled out and be on file with USDrift for 16 and 17 year old participants. All minor participants should have at least one parent or legal guardian present at all times. Select individuals under the age of 16 years old that have been pre-approved by USDrift may be allowed to compete.
The 2018 USDrift Competition Rules and Regulations (CRR) is available here. Specifics regarding the format of the Shootout event will be updated shortly.
This event will be limited to only 40 drivers. The cost to enter is $750.00. Registration will be split into two stages of 20 entries each. The first wave of 20 registration spots opened up at 9:00AM EST on Thursday, March 1st, 2018 and sold out within the first 15 minutes. The second and final wave of 20 registrations will open up at 6:00PM on Tuesday, March 13th, 2018. Hopefully these two options will help ensure competitors have a fair chance to enter should one of the registration date/times be inconvenient to their schedule. Registration entries will open at the aforementioned times and be available until they are sold out. To avoid potential instances of inflated resale, registration transfers will be handled on a case by case basis and be at the sole discretion of USDrift. Please do not purchase an entry unless you plan on competing. Entries are non-refundable.
• $5,000 cash prize* (if there are 40 registered competitors, the prize purse will be increased to $10,000)
• Custom PRS Guitar awarded to winner
• 3 custom carbon fiber trophy cups awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finishers
• 1st place wins their weight in Smartmouth Brewing beer (must be 21+ to be eligible)
• Set of Cosmis Racing Wheels
• 3 Formula DRIFT PRO2 licenses valid for the 2019 season
• Additional prizes will be announced as they become available.
RACER SUPPORT AND CONTINGENCY PRIZES
We have some awesome partners who are working with us to offer you some amazing deals on their great products and/or offer you the chance to earn cash, credit, or gift certificates by using their products on track. These partners and their programs will be announced shortly.
For additonal information, please contact us at info[at]usdrift.com
*last updated 3/8/2018