Seeding Bracket Results from Long Beach

The weather conditions were cloudy and dry for the K&N PRO Seeding Bracket. New for 2024, solo qualifying runs are history. Instead, the Top 24 qualifying positions were determined by the 2023 Championship Standings. Moving forward, the first 24 positions will be based on the results of the preceding round.

Drivers who finished outside the Top 24 in Irwindale or are new to the Formula DRIFT PRO Championship must compete in a 16-car Seeding Bracket. In the Seeding 16, the drivers compete in tandem runs to secure their place in Saturday’s Top 32 competition heats. The eight successful drivers secure positions 25-32, and the remaining eight are eliminated.

The new Seeding Bracket benefits drift fans by allowing them to see competitive tandem runs on Friday, while new and emerging drivers can compete at each round rather than being eliminated after solo qualifying runs.

Two new judges joined the series, with Vernon Zwaneveld (Netherlands) and Reese Marin (USA) joining regular Brian Eggert (USA). Drivers moving up to PRO from the Formula DRIFT Link ECU PROSPEC Championship include 2023 Champion Ben Hobson (USA) and double PROSPEC Champion Dmitriy Brutskiy, who intends to also compete in PROSPEC this year.

They are joined by Andy Hateley (USA), Rudy Hansen (USA) and Derek Madison (USA)
European Drift Masters Champion Conor Shanahan (Ireland) and 14-year-old Hiroya Minowa (Japan) have also joined the PRO Championship.

All seven of the new drivers were drafted into the Seeding Bracket because they had no 2023 FD PRO ranking. Teenager Minowa won the Seeding Bracket. The Japanese Rookie beat LZ in the Final while driving his Enjuku Racing / Cusco / Jerry Yang Racing Toyota GT86. The win placed him 25th in the Top 32 competition heats and means he will face Dylan Hughes (USA) on Saturday.

With LZ finishing second, he will take 26th place and meet Chris Forsberg (USA) in the Top 32. While third place means Rookie Shanahan will be matched against Ryan Tuerck (USA)
The eight drivers eliminated were Joao Barion (Brazil), Derek Madison (USA), Kyle Mohan (USA), Andy Hateley (USA), Ryan Litteral (USA), Dmitriy Brutskiy, Mike Power (USA) and Ben Hobson (USA).

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