Round 4 of the Formula DRIFT PRO Championship in New Jersey on June 11 saw a couple of firsts- the first-ever 1st place win for GT Radial driver Travis Reeder and GT Radial Champiro SX2 RS, a tire that is designed and manufactured at Giti Tire’s Richburg, SC plant.
Reeder’s win at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ, follows the two podium finishes by GT Radial driver Chris Forsberg in Orlando and Atlanta.
Reeder, who has been a FD PRO driver for four years, had to battle some of the sport’s top drivers to claim his first win with his BMW M3 riding on GT Radial Champiro SX2 RS tires.
The constant radius turns of the figure-8 Englishtown course allows the drivers to position their cars intimately close to one another at very high speeds. It results in spectacular action, but mistakes can have savage consequences.
While the established drivers were trying to mount a championship challenge, several of the newer names snuck in the back door and grabbed the silverware from under their noses. The Final was fought between two drivers who’d never been in a FD PRO Final or even stood on the podium. Interestingly, both use BMW M3 race cars with Chevrolet LS V8 engines; a combination that is becoming increasing popular throughout the FD series.
Reeder qualified in 29th so his victory was unexpected to say the least, but he pushed his BMW on GT Radial tires to its limits and beyond.
Reeder faced top qualifier and drifting megastar Chelsea DeNofa in the Top 4 round. As expected, DeNofa’s lead run was at hyper-sped. He hit his lines and ran deep through each zone. And while the crowd was mesmerized by the Mustang RTR driver, the replay showed Reeder mimicked every move. As the two drivers lined up for the second run, the pressure was on DeNofa to somehow exceed Reeder’s performance or pressurize him into a mistake. However, DeNofa ran shallow in two corners before making a significant correction in another. And Reeder was the shock winner. Or the shocked winner, to be precise, because he didn’t seem to believe the result against a driver he admired so much.
Reeder’s opponent in the Final was Rome Charpentier who also had never been to a Formula DRIFT podium. The Final Round saw the two cars make contact in the first run, sending Charpentier’s car across the grass. Charpentier returned to the starting line for the chase run but couldn’t find the proximity he’d shown in previous heats and Reeder was awarded his first ever Formula DRIFT win. He is now in 7th place in this season’s driver standings.
“To get a PRO trophy is absolutely unbelievable. It’s totally been worth the wait, the stress and the hard work,” Reeder said after receiving the first-place trophy.
Three-time Formula DRIFT champion Forsberg finished second at the Orlando event on May 21 after reaching the podium with a second-place finish in Atlanta on May 7.
Seven drivers are now competing on GT Radial Champiro SX2 RS tires at Formula Drift and continues to win drivers over with its performance.