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Formula Drift 2016 has begun, starting out in Long Beach, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. Formula Drift Atlanta 2016 is just around the corner. Yeah, I was supposed to post this nearly a year ago, but I recorded a conversation I had with Travis on the patio and translating the conversation into a blog post was not as easy as I thought it would be.

So, if you’re looking for a fun event for the bigger kids and adults on Saturday, May 7th, 2016 you should check out Formula Drift at Road Atlanta. Children 12 and under are free, but you’ll be there for a good 8+ hours, so I don’t recommend taking younger kiddos.

Flashback to 2015…when I should have posted this.

Travis seems to think he’s only been pumped about Formula Drift since early this year (January/February 2015), but I’m pretty sure I’ve heard him talk about way before that, many, many times…Either way, months of anticipation led up to the actual Formula Drift event that began on May 8th (2015) and continued through May 9th (2015) at Road Atlanta.

Travis has not had enough shining moments on this blog as I would imagined he’d have by now (because I’m a slacker and I work full-time outside of the home and we have a hungry teenager), but here we are with great pictures and moments to share.

I’m pretty sure the only reason I escaped the wrath of purchasing a Canon DSLR without discussing it first was because Travis knew he’d be able to use it for Formula Drift. The action shots are amazing! (that purchase resulted in major guilt for me and that’s when we decided together that we will discuss all major purchases before making them. As he always says, “we’re in this together”. I love him!)

We decided to capture the action with words

from Mr. Vines, interview style. Enjoy!

I love listening to Mr. Vines talk about anything and he loves to talk about anything car related, so it was a win-win situation! When I say interview style, I brought the laptop outside and we sat at our new patio table, Joy and had a few adult beverages.

Formula Drift Atlanta 2015 at Road Atlanta - Mr. Vines and The Future Mrs. Vines


The Future Mrs. Vines: Tell me about how you got into Formula Drift.

Mr. Vines: It was a long time ago. I guess I was a bit more into drag racing at the time, then my uncle would take me to the track at Road Atlanta, where we could drive our own cars around the track. From that he found out about Formula Drift at Road Atlanta and asked me if I wanted to go and I said “yeah, definitely”.

The Future Mrs. Vines: How many times have you been?

Mr. Vines: I’ve been every year since…probably 2007.

(for the record, the first Formula Drift took place at Road Atlanta in May 2004). 

The Future Mrs. Vines: What exactly is drifting?

Mr. Vines: “I don’t know. Look that sh!t up on Google.” –

The Future Mrs. Vines THOUGHT: He’s so cute when he says I don’t know. Then he said, “don’t post that”. OOPS.

The Future Mrs. Vines: So, what exactly is drifting (again)? Describe what you see, what you feel and what you hear. Describe your senses…

Muscle Car vs. Import Formula Drift

Mr. Vines (continued): One thing about it is, for me seeing a car coming down a hill at 80-90 MPH and then kicking the back-end out and then just sliding through a turn, seeing smoke, the smell of the burning rubber, seeing the driver basically slide all through the track with control and back to the finish line.

The Future Mrs. Vines: When you talked about Formula Drift, did you think I really wanted to go?

Mr. Vines: No.

The Future Mrs. Vines: Why not?

Mr. Vines: It’s a car thing. It’s a guy thing. I didn’t think you really had any kind of desire to walk around all day long, whether it’s the vendors or some of the events. I just didn’t think you’d be interested.

The Future Mrs. Vines: So, what was your reaction when you saw me at the event?

Mr. Vines: I was extremely happy that you joined me, well you and Nicholas both joined me. And YEAH, I was definitely even more excited especially with Nicholas wanting to know the next time Drift was in town.

Formula Drift Atlanta 2015

(Side Note says Travis: I was a little unhappy that I had to leave a little earlier than I wanted. I wanted to stay at least maybe another hour or two longer, but for certain reasons we had to leave. (A friend had too much to drink, aka a little too much of the sauce).

The Future Mrs. Vines: Tell me about your typical Formula Drift Event

Mr. Vines: Friday is practice rounds and qualifying, you get to meet the drivers and the vendors are there. Saturday is the main event which begins later in the afternoon. Throughout the day, there are other competitions.

The Future Mrs. Vines: What are 5 things you MUST do when you attend a Formula Drift Event?

Mr. Vines (1): The first think I like to do is hit the paddock to check out the vendors and sponsors such as Yokahama, Hankook (autographed posters), Scion Racing, U.S. Airforce, NOS Energy Drinks, Monster Energy, GoPro, Nitto. It can change from year to year.

Formula Drift Atlanta 2015

The driver’s cars (that are not competing in events that take place before the main event) and the race teams they represent are in the paddock area.

The Future Mrs. Vines: They had that little car show at the end of the paddock area. How would you describe that?

Mr. Vines: That was actually something kinda new they did this year. Anytime I’ve ever gone to Drift, there was never really any car show. There are no prizes. Anyone from nearby states would come to display their cars. People love walking through the aisles of cars to see their customizations.

Mr. Vines (2): Next, I head back up to the main track, seating area and would like to grab something to eat and watch other smaller events that are going on…

Formula Drift Atlanta 2015

Mr. Vines (3): Go back down into paddocks to watch the cars get lined up to head out for practice before the main drift event.

Mr. Vines (4): The Actual drifting event

Line, angle, style and tandems are the four different criteria the driver’s are judged on as they make their runs. (To learn more about the judging criteria click here.)

The Future Mrs. Vines: I’m pretty sure my comparison to couples figure skating or synchronized swimming made you want to punch me a little bit. (We don’t condone or take part in violence. This is all in a joking manner).

The Main Event at Formula Drift

a sidebar before we share Travis’s #5 must-do at a Formula Drift event.

The Future Mrs. VinesTell me about the main event at Formula Drift

Mr. Vines: Saturday is the main event. The drivers go head to head and battle until one remains. from the beginning of the day, I wake up like “yes, let’s go. DRIFT“, I’ve got to wait on you, Nicholas is already ready to go. “Let’s go, Let’s go, Let’s go”. It’s like that every year. I’m just ready to get out there at 8-9 o’clock in the morning.

Formula Drift Souvenirs, Freebies and Giveaways

Another must do (#5) is getting souvenirs, according to Travis.

Mr. Vines : At least 4 or 5 booths are set up with what I call Formula Drift gear with t-shirts, hats, key chains, etc. that are available for purchase.

Mr. Vines:  Other souvenirs can be grabbed in the form of free loot. Each vendor always brings something to the table, I guess you could say. Whether it be a foam finger or a hat or earphones; it can even be a coozie. When you walk up to the vendors, most of the time they’re giving something away (sweepstakes), something of more value than what they’re just giving out for free. It could be a set of rims; it could be a set of tires. #giveaway

The Future Mrs. Vines: You went up to Rain-X and they were giving away a Mustang.

Mr. Vines: You can get anything from car wax and car wash up to free rims or a free car.

The Future Mrs. Vines: So, we didn’t win that, just for the record?

Mr. Vines: No, we didn’t win it. You just walk up there, you register and usually they’ll give you freebies; a bag of goodies. It changes from year to year.

The Future Mrs. Vines: It’s been awhile since I’ve attended any kind of event where you get free stuff from vendors. The one thing that stuck out to me going from booth to booth was that to get the freebies, you had to register, but you did it on an iPad or tablet.

Mr. Vines: It used to be that you write it down and you drop it in a little thing.

The Future Mrs. Vines: Technology has definitely has advanced.

(speaking of technology…this never came up in our conversations / the interview in preparation for this blog post, but they had camera drones at the race. It was really cool to see!)

Formula Drift 2016

We’re all (Travis, Nicholas and myself) looking forward to Formula Drift 2016 at Road Atlanta. It comes right after we move and just days before my parents come into town to visit. As a 36-year-old woman, I can honestly say Formula Drift is one of the most exhilarating events I’ve attended when it comes to cars.

At the time we attended the 2015 event, it really brought us together as a family with a common interest. If you’ve got a “Fast & Furious” aficionado at home, I highly recommend taking them to your local Formula Drift event.

Check out the 2016 Formula Drift Schedule here!