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Formula Drift PRO 2 Class Explained

Hateley_0395 At the 2013 SEMA Show, Formula Drift announced the introduction of a PRO 2 class beginning with the 2014 season. This class would be something of a stepping stone for drivers who have earned their license via a sanctioned regional ProAm series to be able to compete against similarly-skilled drivers under a similar format to the PRO class. The goal was to allow drivers to be able to compete at four of the same Formula Drift tracks and be judged by the same Formula Drift judges, but at a more affordable cost and a more equal driver skill level to learn the ropes of the series without the full investment that the 7-round PRO class requires. Overall, many found the 2014 Formula Drift PRO 2 class to be a major success, and the class has continued for 2015. Savage_0998 The Formula Drift PRO 2 roster is set in two ways: via promotion from ProAm, and also via relegation from the PRO class. Only the top 32 drivers from the PRO class will be allowed to retain their license, while any other drivers falling to 33rd or below in the final season standings will only be permitted to compete in the PRO 2 class in the following season. On the ProAm side, typically four drivers from each sanctioned ProAm series will be promoted and given a PRO 2 license for the following season. Any driver who finished the season in the top 16 of the PRO class will be ineligible to compete in PRO 2 for the following season, while drivers who finish between 17th and 32nd will be allowed to compete in both classes. The PRO 2 class competes in a top 16 tandem ladder on Friday evening as the headline event on the Friday schedule, while qualifying takes place on Thursday afternoon on the selected weekends where both classes compete. PRO qualifying occurs on Friday afternoon shortly before the PRO 2 class hits the track, with the PRO tandem bracket being set at 32 drivers and occurring on Saturday. Literral_0435 Each year, the top 8 drivers from the PRO 2 class will earn their PRO class license. In 2014, Dan Savage won the PRO 2 class, and was joined by Matt Coffman, James Evans, Nate Hamilton, Jeff Jones, Jeremy Lowe, Geoff Stoneback and Brandon Wicknick in earning their PRO licenses. Both Jones and Stoneback also finished in the top 32 of the PRO class standings, meaning they earned their PRO license via both possible methods. This season, several international drivers and former Formula Drift drivers returned to the series including Juha Rintanen, Hiro Sumida and Kenji Yamanaka. Due to the PRO 2 rules, they are required to re-earn their PRO license through the PRO 2 class, which has brought an interesting level of competition to the class. Sumida_2603 The four stops on the 2015 PRO 2 series are Orlando Speedworld in Florida, Evergreen Speedway in Washington state, Texas Motor Speedway just outside Dallas and Irwindale Speedway in Southern California. At the Orlando Speedworld stop, Peruvian driver Alex Heilbrunn defeated Andy Gray, who heils from Scotland but currently lives in Japan during the finals. Jeff Jones earned the final podium position by virtue of his qualifying score, with Dave Briggs rounding out the top 4. Several drivers who were expected to be competitive, including Yamanaka, Andy Hately, Chris Jeanneret and Pat Cyr narrowly missed the cutoff or had mechanical issues, and will be looking to break the top 16 at Evergreen Speedway this weekend. After the first round of the 2015 PRO 2 class, here’s a look at the standings:

Position Name Vehicle Points
1. Heilbrunn, Alex IMR BMW 3-Series 107 points
2. Gray, Andy Tire Toyota Chaser 83 points
T3. Jones, Jeff DNA Motoring Nissan S15 67 points
T3. Briggs, Dave Briggs Racing Nissan S14 67 points
5. Wolfson, Jeff Scion FR-S 53 points
6. Wicknick, Brandon Chase Bays/RUN2JZ Nissan S13 52 points
T7. Patterson, Brandon Damascus Apparel Nissan S14 51 points
T7. Rintanen, Juha Nissan S14 51 points
9. Evans, James Sikky Racing Nissan 350Z 38 points
10. Lawrence, Kevin Nissan S13 36 points
11. Cleef, Tommy Van Van Cleef Motorsports Toyota Supra 36 points
12. Goble, Brody Indy Speed Shop V8 Nissan 240SX 36 points
13. Hull, Taylor Nissan S14 36 points
14. Kugay, Faruk Nissan S14 35 points
15. Litteral, Ryan Ryan Litteral Racing Nissan S14 35 points
16. Rowlings, Kelsey Nissan S14 35 points

  Here’s a look at the drivers list for the second stop on the PRO 2 class schedule, happening this weekend at Evergreen Speedway, in alphabetical order:

Ambivero, Fello
Briggs, Dave
Brockett, Dan
Brockway, Donovan
Burkett, Dan
Cleef, Tommy Van
Cyr, Pat
Evans, James
Ewerth, Ron
Fillipi, Chris
Fournier, Ian
Goble, Brody
Gray, Andy
Hateley, Andy
Heilbrunn, Alex
Hull, Taylor
Jeanneret, Chris
Jones, Jeff
Kabargin, Sergey
King, Kasey
Kugay, Faruk
Lawrence, Kevin
Lewis, Andrew
Litteral, Ryan
Moore, Cameron
Parsons, Will
Patterson, Brandon
Rintanen, Juha
Rowlings, Kelsey
Sumida, Hiro
Svensson, Mikael
VanDenBrink, Doug
Wicknick, Brandon
Wolfson, Jeff
Yamanaka, Kenji
Youe, Alex

Be sure to tune in to the Formula Drift livestream on Friday to watch these drivers battle for the right to earn a Formula Drift PRO license!

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