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STILLEN Event Tracking

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Formula Drift Round 1: The Streets of Long Beach

April 1, 2017

By Richard Fong

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On the streets of Long Beach, April 1st was no Fool’s Day. Drivers waged fierce battles in the first round of the Formula Drift Championship, leaving no room for anyone faint of heart or too timid to push beyond the limit.

 

Now in its fourteenth year, Formula Drift kicked off the 2017 season on a moderate spring day in Long Beach. The weather could not have been more conducive for a day of tire-smoking fun and enjoyment for all. Attendees could walk through the competitor pits while also checking out the expanded vendor row that occupied the area adjacent to the pits as well as the infield behind the bleachers with the AutoCon Car Show.

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Bye, Bye, Bye

As fans of drifting, we were bummed about the number of bye runs that kicked off the Top 32 eliminations. The top five drivers enjoyed automatic advances into the sweet 16 round for a couple of reasons. First, the usual attrition that comes with drifting, K-rails and tire barriers and, second, a reduction in the number of qualified drivers on the Pro roster. There just weren’t enough to fill a field of 32. We are hopeful that more drivers will see the opportunity to compete and fill the driver list in the near future.

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Upsets Abound

Despite the number of bye runs, the 2017 season kicked off with a shake-up of the norm as numerous upsets throughout the eliminations by up-and-coming drivers sidelined veterans and champions alike. Top qualifier Vaughn Gittin Jr. faced elimination in the Top 16 round at the hands of Dean “Karnage” Kearney.

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Former champions Dai Yoshihara and Michael Essa faced off in the first round. Yoshihara suffered an unfortunate mishap when he snapped a power steering belt just before finishing turn 10. This caused him to straighten out and almost collide with the K-rail, suffering a loss.

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The 2015 champion Fredric Aasbo competed in his new Toyota Corolla iM drift car as if he’d been driving it for years. After his first round bye run, he beat Kristaps Bluss to move on to the Great 8 against Alex Heilbrunn. Heilbrunn also enjoyed a first round bye before beating Juha Rintanen to advance to his match up with Aasbo. Heilbrunn upset the Norwegian Hammer and advanced to the Final 4.

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Three-time champion Chris Forsberg defeated Alec Hohnadell in the first round before facing Ken Gushi in a too-close-to-call second match. Forsberg and Gushi delivered a great battle that many felt could have gone for a one-more-time rebattle, but the judges ruled in Forsberg’s favor to the dismay of the crowd, who chanted a chorus of “One-More-Time” as the judges’ decision was posted on the Jumbotron. Forsberg faced elimination by the number two qualifier, James Deane in the Great 8. Deane enjoyed a bye run before defeating Essa on his way to face Forsberg. Deane’s victory over Forsberg put him into the Final 4.

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First Time Finalists

Bakchis has competed for seven years and podiumed six times, while Tuerck has thirteen years in Formula Drift competition and twelve podiums to his credit, according to driftstats.com. By comparison, Heilbrunn has just one year in Formula Drift Pro2 and one year in the Pro Championship. Deane competed at four rounds of Formula Drift competition back in 2010 and returned for the first time since to compete in the USA at Long Beach. Bakchis paired with Heilbrunn while Tuerck matched up with Deane.  The sophomore drivers each prevailed, putting both into the finals for the first time. When the smoke cleared and the contenders lined up in front of the grandstands, the judges awarded James Deane his first Formula Drift event victory as Heilbrunn proudly claimed his first podium as runner up. Since Tuerck qualified higher than Bakchis, he was awarded third spot on the podium.

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With the first round in the books, Formula Drift and its roster of drivers prepare to make the trek across the US of A to Round 2 at Orlando Speed World. On the weekend of April 28-29, the state of Florida will feel the thunder as both the Pro and Pro2 divisions lay down rubber to the tarmac. This season is already shaping up to be an exciting one so be sure to keep your eyes focused on the Formula Drift Championship!

The emergence of the new 2016 Toyota Tacoma has been long-awaited by truck fans everywhere.  Throughout its history, the Tacoma is largely known for its rugged toughness, utilitarian nature, and classic Toyota reliability.  However, despite its history of success and popularity, the outgoing second generation Tacoma had begun to become long in the tooth.  Aside from a few aesthetic alterations here and there, the last-gen Toyota Tacoma remained largely unchanged throughout its ten year run starting in 2005.  With an astounding 75% share of the mid-sized truck market, the word on the street was that Toyota had grown somewhat complacent.  However, the 2016 Toyota Tacoma – the first of a new, third generation – offers many new improvements upon Toyota’s award-winning formula.

What’s New for the 2016 Toyota Tacoma?

For starters, a brand new 3.5-liter V-6 with 278 HP and 265 lb-ft replaces the outgoing, outdated V-6 (the base level 2.7L I-4 engine remains the same).  Aside from the improved power, torque, and fuel economy (est. 19/24/21 mpg), the new V-6 Tacoma also will be the first Toyota truck to use an Atkinson-cycle engine.  Additionally, the engine’s computer can also shift between direct and port fuel injection.  All new 6-speed automatic and manual transmissions can be mated to the new V-6, both of which are viewed as huge improvements to the outgoing units.  The frame and suspension have also been highly upgraded, and the interior features a quieter cabin, a useful hand lever e-brake, and a new central control center.  There’s even a GoPro camera mount that comes standard near the rearview mirror.  It’s perfect for filming your off-roading adventures, which brings us to our next point…

Roads?  Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads

A large majority of Toyota Tacoma fans appreciate the truck for its rugged nature and its ability to handle whatever off-road obstacles are thrown at it.  The new 2016 Toyota Tacoma is no exception to the rule, with Toyota claiming that it can conquer just about any terrain.  The TRD Off-Road trim offers a new multi-terrain selector system, allowing the driver to inform the vehicle of what type of environment they will be encountering.  This system allows for instant changes in transmission mapping, throttle response, gear selection, and traction control levels to specifically match the current landscape, whether that be mud, snow, sand, or rocks.   Additionally, the Tacoma also features Toyota’s exclusive “crawl control” system, which essentially enables the vehicle to handle throttle and braking control, allowing the driver to concentrate solely on steering in more demanding situations.

With the new 2016 Toyota Tacoma, drivers can hope to harness some of Toyota’s legendary off-road racing heritage as they tackle their own sand dunes and rock canyons, much like famed off-road racer BJ “Ballistic” Baldwin.  Recently announced as the driver of the new Tundra TRD Pro Baja truck for the upcoming 2016 SCORE International season, the three-time SCORE International champion hopes to further cement his and Toyota’s legacies.  With the release of new pedestrian and racing versions of its trucks, Toyota is certainly hoping to flex its off-roading muscles this year in 2016.

Protecting Against the Off-Road Onslaught

With all of the off-road adventures guaranteed to come your way while driving the 2016 Toyota Tacoma, we recommend looking into some proper protection from any and all “off-road onslaught.”  Husky Liners – one of the leading manufacturers in floor liners, mudguards, and other forms of “vehicle armor” – has recently released a line of mud guards for the new 2016 Toyota Tacoma.  Husky Liner mud guards are custom molded and tailor-fit to match the 2016 Tacoma’s fenders perfectly, offering a sleek style that looks like a factory OEM addition.  The mud guards are made from durable, impact resistant, all-weather thermoplastic that is guaranteed to protect your Tacoma from any kind of debris Mother Nature kicks up at it.  They are even built with maximum width for full tire coverage – there’s no way any rocks are getting past these bad boys.  The exclusive “Husky Shield Film” that comes with the mud guards makes them not only easy to install, but also offers an extra invisible protective layer between the mud guard and your vehicle’s paint.  As we all know, the faster it takes to install the mud guards, the quicker you can be out off-roading in your new Tacoma – it’s a win-win for both you and your truck.  To top it all off, all Husky Liner products come with a hassle-free, lifetime guarantee.  It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Part Number

Husky Liners HUS56941 Front Mud Guards

Husky Liners HUS57941 Rear Mud Guards

 

753933560010_P04

 

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the Husky Liners mud guards for the 2016 Toyota Tacoma (or any other offerings for your truck), please give our experts a call!  You can reach them at 866-250-5542 and they will be happy to give you more information, answer any questions you have, and help you order your new Husky Liners mud guards!

 

The annual OC Auto Show has always been a great way for Orange County Residents to see what is current in the Automotive world without having to make the big trek up to Los Angeles a month later.

If you are in Orange County and want a convenient way to go look at all the cars currently on the market and a few prototypes as well, the Auto Show is a great event. There are definitely some great cars that we found interesting and exciting. Our top 3 would have to be…

Toyota FT-1:

The “Supra Successor” has been a big topic of discussion in the car community for years. While there are still a lot of detail unreleased, if this car makes it to production in the near future it will be epic. If you haven’t had a chance to see it in person, photos don’t do it justice.

Ford Focus RS:

The epic hatch is filling the empty shoes left by the late Mitsubishi Evo X. With a 2.3L Turbocharged Engine putting down around 350 HP to all 4 wheels. Looks like the Subaru WRX STI is gonna have some competition again.

Lexus GS-F:

Lexus has been teasing GS owners for years with the idea of a M5 competitor. With the newest generation of the GS released, Lexus has finally delivered on their promise. Though not the most stunning in stock form, we feel the body lines and shape have great potential to our fellow enthusiasts out there.

If you want to check everything out in person tickets are only $12.00 and the show runs from now through Sunday (Oct. 18th).

 

Hypertech’s expanded the applications for their very popular and customer-rave-reviewed Hypertech Interceptor Tuner. The vastly successful Hypertech Interceptor Tuner has been gaining power, performance and fuel efficiency for Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram drivers for a few months and now Toyota and Lexus drivers can get the very same tuner. Hypertech’s Interceptor Tuner does almost everything for your vehicle’s performance so once you plug the Hypertech Interceptor Tuner in and set the tuning how you want, you’ll notice a huge difference in the power and response of your vehicle.

With settings for you to have the option of putting in regular, or premium gas at the pump you just set the Hypertech Interceptor Tuner to know which you’re running and it does the rest. Rams with the 5.7L Hemi see 33HP and 40ft/lbs torque gained and whether you’re driving that big working truck, or even cruising luxuriously in a Lexus LX570, you’re going to see an immediate difference in the engine response the first time you touch the accelerator.

Customer tested and proven to grant the ability to get off the line faster, and maintain a regular cruising speed more efficiently, the difference is that once you can resist the urge to floor it at every stop light, you’re even going to have noticeably higher MPG, with gains between 1-2mpg, especially with maintained speed and light acceleration driving.  Hypertech’s Interceptor Tuner is a non-ECU access device and has been developed to provide some of the same benefits and vehicle responses as the more expensive Programmers which are similar, quite a bit more expensive, and not available on the applications the Interceptor is.

Hypertech Interceptor Tuner

Here’s the list to help find the Hypertech Interceptor Tuner that’s right for you:

Hypertech Interceptor Tuner part # 705001 2011-2013 Chrysler 300C 5.7L HEMI / 2011-2013 Dodge Challenger 5.7L HEMI / 2011-2013 Dodge Charger 5.7L HEMI

Hypertech Interceptor Tuner part # 705002 2011-2012 Ram 1500/2500/3500 5.7L HEMI

Hypertech Interceptor Tuner part # 705003 2011-2013 Dodge Durango 5.7L HEMI / 2011-2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7L HEMI / 2013 Ram 1500/2500/3500 5.7L HEMI

Hypertech Interceptor Tuner part # 705004 2012-2013 Chrysler 300C 6.4L HEMI / 2011-2013 Dodge Challenger 6.4L HEMI / 2012-2013 Dodge Charger 6.4L HEMI

Hypertech Interceptor Tuner part # 705005 2012-2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee 6.4L HEMI

Hypertech Interceptor Tuner part # 705006 2012-2013 Jeep Wrangler 3.6L V6

Hypertech Interceptor Tuner part # 705007 2011-2013 Chrysler 300C 3.6L V6 / 2011-2013 Dodge Challenger 3.6L V6 / 2011-2013 Dodge Charger 3.6L V6 / 2011-2013 Dodge Durango 3.6L V6 / 2011-2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee 3.6L V6

Hypertech Interceptor Tuner part # 706001 2007-2013 Toyota Tundra 5.7L V8 / 2008-2013 Toyota Sequoia 5.7L V8 / 2008-2013 Toyota Land Cruiser 5.7L V8 / 2008-2013 Lexus LX570 5.7L V8

 

Check out all the Hypertech and everything we carry at STILLEN.

Speak to an expert today to place an order, schedule maintenance or an install at (866) 250-5542 or visit the Performance Shop website today.

ANNOUNCING STILLEN’S ALL NEW SCION FR-S / SUBARU BRZ BODY KIT

STILLEN FR-S Body Kit

Continuing STILLEN’s long-standing heritage of producing OEM-quality polyurethane body kits, we’re excited to release the highly anticipated body kit components for the new Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ.

These OEM-quality body components are the result of a community-sourced design contest publicized on Facebook.

After a two month open entry period, top finalists were picked by STILLEN’s staff from over 100 design entries. The top contestants were then voted on by STILLEN Facebook fans. After a tight race between Greg Thompson and Mohammed Irfendy, Thompson took the win as people’s choice.

The parts were sculpted at STILLEN’s modeling shop in Costa Mesa, CA. Final production pieces are manufactured out of OEM-quality polyurethane in-house at the STILLEN headquarters and manufacturing center. Polyurethane has many benefits for aftermarket automotive applications, the most obvious is it will maintain an OEM-quality finish without cracking, as opposed to composites like fiberglass or carbon fiber.

STILLEN FR-S Body Kit Side

STILLEN FR-S Body Kit shown without Roof or Rear Deck Wing

Components are available separately, as well as packaged together as complete kits. The components include:

POLYURETHANE FRONT LIP SPOILER
This clean yet aggressive lip spoiler has a strong visual effect on the front of the FR-S. Installs over the OEM fascia, and has body lines to ease in painting the piece a 2-tone for additional effect, or can be painted completely body color as well. Front lip spoiler fits FR-S only.

POLYURETHANE SIDE SKIRTS (ROCKERS) WITH REAR CORNER ACCENTS
This 4-piece kit includes both passenger and driver-side side skirts, and also includes rear corners for both sides. Like the lip spoiler, there are body lines present to incorporate a 2-tone paint scheme if desired. Side skirts replace the OEM skirts, and the rear corner accents cover the OEM rear fascia.

STILLEN FR-S Roof Wing

POLYURETHANE ROOF WING
A unique element which rounds out the body kit, seeming to extend the roof line into the rear window. Installs at the top of the rear glass, designed specifically to match the contours of the vehicle.

STILLEN FR-S Rear Deck Wing

POLYURETHANE REAR DECK WING
This simple design element adds a surprisingly large amount of character to the rear trunk. Easily installed and does not require drilling.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT OUR NEW WEBSITE AT WWW.STILLEN.COM