Image courtesy Formula Drift

Formula Drift reveals 2019 U.S., Japan schedules; to add new series in Korea

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Formula Drift just keeps, well, drifting upward and onward.

The extreme motorsports racing series on Thursday announced not only its U.S. event schedule for 2019, it also revealed its Japanese schedule for next year.

In the U.S., the series returns to its traditional home on the Streets of Long Beach (California) on April 5-6 for the Pro category.

The first combined Pro and Pro 2 round will take place three weeks later in Orlando, Florida, from April 25-27.

The Japanese Formula Drift Series kicks off May 18-19 at the famed Suzuka Twin Circuit, with four additional events slated to be contested in June, July, August and October.

But wait, there’s even more.

The fast-moving series continues its global growth, announcing a four-round series for the first time in South Korea.

The South Korean slate will take place at Pocheon Raceway, approximately one hour north of Seoul. Dates are still in the process of being worked out.

Here are the U.S. and Japan Formula Drift Series schedules:

Location Categories Date
Long Beach, CA PRO April 5-6
Long Beach, CA Super Drift Challenge Invitational April 12-13
Orlando, FL PRO / PRO2 April 25-27
Atlanta, GA PRO / PRO2 May 9-11
Wall, NJ PRO June 7-8
Monroe, WA PRO July 19-20
St Louis, MS PRO / PRO2 August 8-10
Dallas, TX PRO / PRO2 September 12-14
Irwindale, CA PRO October 18-19


Additionally, Formula DRIFT Japan announced its provisional schedule for 2019:

Location Date
Suzuka Twin Circuit May 18-19
Ebisu Circuit June 22-23
Fuji International Speedway July 26-27
Okuibuki Motor Park August 24-25
Okayama International Circuit October 5-6

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Indy 500 analyst role part of looking forward for Danica Patrick

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It’s been 10 months since Danica Patrick last competed in an auto racing event and she is completely fine with that.

Patrick was last seen in a cockpit in last May’s Indianapolis 500, part of her mini-retirement tour from racing that also included a run in the Daytona 500.

Now she’ll be back at the track, serving as an analyst for NBC’s broadcast of the 103rd Indy 500 on May 26.

It will be an interlude to her post-racing career.

“I really don’t miss racing,” Patrick said during a teleconference Wednesday.  “I’m really happy. I selfishly set out (with) the intention I wanted to travel a lot. I’ve definitely done that. Also working on my other businesses.”

Without racing, Patrick is able to look over her “Warrior” clothing line and her Somnium wine. She’s also been a host of ESPN’s Espy Awards show.

“I’m not a look-back kind of person, I’m a look-forward (person),” Patrick said. “This is something that’s part of looking forward. This is something totally new and different for me. It’s coming at a place where I have a lot of history, but it hasn’t been my job, which is why I’m going to work really hard to make sure I’m ready, like anything else I do that’s different.

Since retiring, Patrick said she watches racing “when I can.”

“I’m not going to lie, I’m happy doing what I’m doing,” Patrick said. “It’s allowed me new opportunities like this.”

This won’t be the first time Patrick has served in an analyst role for a race. She did the same for some Xfinity Series race broadcasts in the last few years of her NASCAR career.

“It’s very good to have had that experience,” Patrick said. “Obviously I was giving my driving experience sort of perspective and that insight, which is something I’m going to be doing again. But it was a guest spot.

“This is firm and established, part of a small team of two with Mike (Tirico) and I. I think there’s going to be a lot more preparation involved, I’m going to need to know a lot more information.”

Patrick said there will be one difference in her Indy 500 experience this year compared to the eight times she competed in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“I didn’t purposely look at the buildup of the day,” Patrick said. “I didn’t want to see the fans rolling in, all the pomp and circumstance. I really liked to keep it quiet. I wanted to just walk out there and have it be the event, not let myself get built up too much in my head with nerves, just the platform, the iconic event that it was, the millions of people. I just wanted to stay focused and go do it.

“This time, I’m sure I will see the buildup. I’m sure I’ll see the place fill in and turn from a quiet, peaceful, magical place, (and) at the shot of a cannon it’s going to start unraveling. That will be a cool perspective for me that I purposely haven’t really watched closely.”

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