The Buffalo Motorsports Examiner recently had the chance to speak with 2009 Formula Drift champion Chris Forsberg and learn about this relatively new-to-the-U.S. series. Learn more about Forsberg, Formula Drift and his famous NOS Energy Drink commercial in this and future pieces here.
Formula Drift is not as well-known a series as NASCAR or IndyCar, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less exciting than its more-popular counterparts. With a television package on NBC Sports Network, the relatively-new series – its first season in the U.S. was 2004 – is picking up steam, and with its 2014 championship coming down to the wire, it might be time to check out the sport.
2009 Formula Drift champ Chris Forsberg is one of the original racers in the series, competing every season since its 2004 debut. Forsberg’s background in auto racing dates back to his youth and two very different forms of the sport – drag racing and motorcycle racing.
“My uncles were very much into NHRA drag racing, Funny Car, Top Fuel, and so on, and my grandfather actually was working with a Funny Car team and that’s how my uncles got into it,” said Forsberg. “They used to take me up to Maple Grove Raceway, which was about an hour from my home when I was growing up, and that was my first experience with racing.”
“In my early teenage years,” he continued, “ I went to a couple of flat-track races with my cousin – he was into flat-track racing motorcycles and I went to a couple of his races and was just fascinated with the speed and really enjoyed watching the guys out on the track.”
Drifting as a sport originated in Japan, and Forsberg first saw the sport through videos sent over by an acquaintance living in the country.
“I was first exposed to it through the friend of a friend who lived in Japan,” said Forsberg. “He was sending us videos clips to us through RealPlayer – this was before YouTube – and we’re watching these cars slide around and it was just fascinating, the control and speed.”
“Myself and a few other friends were kind of the first in the country to get into the sport,” he continued. “When we were learning how to drift, there were no websites, there were no how-tos, it was all trial and error. I basically taught myself how to drift in empty lots, back roads, farmlands, and just watching these videos that we were getting from Japan, and trying to find anything that was in the car so we could focus on their hand motions, their foot work and seeing what they were doing.”
Forsberg moved to California in 2004 to pursue a career in drifting, and has been a standout in the series ever since, winning his first race the following year at Irwindale Speedway in California.
Learn more about Forsberg at his website, www.chrisforsberg.com, and about Formula Drift at formulad.com.
Coming up: Learn about the sport of drifting, Forsberg’s side gigs and his famous NOS Energy Drink “Bottle Trick” commercial.
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