After Dark: Too Close to Call @ FD Las Vegas

September 1st, 2011

August 30, 2011 (Howell, NJ) The GR Mobil1 Chevy Camaro put on a wonderful show for the fans at Las Vegas Motorsports Speedway this past weekend at the 6th Round of Formula Drift competition. Ryan Tuerck drove his heart out for a top 8 finish. Together, GR and Tuerck are working their way back up the point’s ladder to attempt to finish the season off within the top 5 in points. The team currently is sitting in the 6th spot only 100 points out of first place.

Like always the event started off great with tons of fans and spectators. The bleachers were packed, leaving only standing room at the facility. Announcer, Jarod Deanda, had the fans on their toes during what could have been some of the best battles in Formula Drift history. A few of the great battles were between Daijiro Yoshihara and Toshiki Yoshioka, and Yoshioka took the tough win. Then by far the most talked about battle of the event was Ryan Tuerck vs. Darren McNamara that ended up going on for two “One More Time” rounds. When the smoke cleared it was such a difficult call for the judges to make. “It was almost to close to call,” said one of the judges.

Even though the GR team finished the event well and everything seemed to go smoothly, it wasn’t so. During the last practice session on Saturday afternoon the rear of the Chevy Camaro bottomed out on a bad bump that was on the outside of the course, severely damaging the rear of the Camaro. Since the team had the proper spares, the Camaro was put back together in the nick of time to make it out for the first round of competition against Charles Ng a fellow Nitto Tire driver.

The team will have the month of September off preparing the Mobil 1 Camaro for the final round of Formula Drift at Irwindale Speedway in Southern California. The Camaro needs some minor repairs and freshening up after 2 exciting events on the West Coast.

“The crowd was tremendous here in Las Vegas and the drifting was some of the most exciting I have seen all weekend,” said team owner Gary Gardella. “The GR crew and Tuerck really worked together to have a successful weekend. I was on my toes during the last round of our competition, looking to advance; however, Darren McNamara and his team worked very hard to get that win and it was well deserved; great job guys.”

Although the Mobil 1 Camaro will be taking a month off, the team will still be taking an old gem out to the track. On Oct 1st & 2nd Gary will be making his way back into the drag car looking to do the impossible and take the Cobalt to a 6 second pass at over 215 MPH. Will it be possible? You will need to be there to find out. More to come on Gary’s personal Face Book page.

Formula Drift Evergreen Speedway Crushes Attendance Record

July 28th, 2011


July 28, 2011 (Howell, NJ) Rain. The Gardella Racing team woke up to a gray sky on Thursday, typical weather for Seattle. So, the crew went off to the track to prepare in case the weather decided to clear up. Getting a good look at the car is always important especially after a 2,500-mile trip across the country and through some pretty large mountains. Once everything was set up and the Camaro checked out ok in the mid-season tech inspection, Formula Drift called practice due to the wet grounds.

Friday the team got an early start since Tuerck was unable to get seat time due to the weather on Thursday. Early in practice the team was concentrating on some steering upgrades completed after the last event at Wall Speedway. It was really amazing how crew chief, Scott Davidson was able to improve the steering with just a few minor descriptions Tuerck gave him. Once practice was completed the team started to prepare for the first round of qualifying. Tuerck made his first attempt and it was a low score that was in the 60’s. There seemed to be a slight clutch pedal problem as described by Tuerck. Mike Whitney and Scott Davidson looked over everything and decided to re-bleed the clutch system and Tuerck needed to go right back out for his second qualifying lap. Tuerck made his best attempt and with luck on our side he was able to score in the 80’s, which placed the team in the 10th position. The problem still existed so the crew worked all night to solve the issue.

Ending qualifying with an issue, the team started off early on Saturday to take advantage of every lap possible in practice since the Mobil 1 Camaro sat out Friday nights session to resolve the clutch problem. With all of the drive train issues fixed the GR team was back in business and ready to create havoc for the rest of the teams in the series. The Top 32 was going to be difficult for Tuerck in the Mobil 1 Camaro, especially running a very talented driver from Japan named Toshiki Yoshioka. Tuerck was able to move right past him even though Yoshioka ran very well.

Next up for Gardella Racing, were great friends and racing legends, the Bergonholtz brothers, with Joon Maeng behind the wheel of their Nitto Tire RX-8. Advancing past the Top 16 was going to be difficult because Joon was running so well this weekend, but Tuerck was able to advance past him. Next on the agenda was Chris Forsberg in Top 8 and like always, Chris was running the most consistent of all the drivers. Tuerck gave Forsberg his best, but spinning on his lead lap coming out of the last clipping point exiting the course, ended up giving the win right to Forsberg. Forsberg ended up moving into the finals and finished strong in 2nd place to Daijiro Yoshihara.

“Over all it was a successful weekend for the team,” stated Gardella. “I am glad to see how it all turned out. The Camaro is now ready to head to Vegas and we are happy that the car does not need to come back to NJ,” continued Gardella. “We did not need any more excitement after the big wreck at Round 4 Wall Speedway.”

If you did not have a chance to watch the Live Steam show which brought in over 170,000 unique viewers in two days, you probably would not have known that it was a sold out crowd. This past weekend Formula Drift stated that they were up 10% from their record attendance last year.

Next up for the team will be Round 6 Las Vegas. The season is starting to come down to the wire with only 2 events left. With the series now being on a more even playing field, the championship is fair game. It will be interesting to watch if the Gardella Racing team will break back into the top 5 for the championship.

On a side note the team media update was sent late last week; however, it did not include a key article that features the Gardella Racing team. Speedhunters had a phenomenal write up along with some of the most amazing photos yet of the Mobil 1 Chevy Camaro. Be sure to hit the link and see just how perfect the GR Camaro looks.

A Summer Solstice Give Away

July 19th, 2011

A few months ago when I was cleaning out the Mobil 1 tractor-trailer, I came across a couple of amazing photos taken by Larry Chen of the Mobil 1 Solstice in 2010. After thinking about what I should do with them, a crazy idea ran through my head; have Tuerck sign them, frame them, and do a give away. Fortunately, Ignite Racing Fuels stepped in to help partner with this project.

Summer has arrived and it is now time to start the giveaway of “A Summer Solstice.” In the next 10 days, two lucky fans of the GR team are each going to win a limited edition framed photo.

To become a contestant of the Summer Solstice giveaway become a fan of the Ignite Racing Fuel Fan Page. Leave a post on Ignites’ wall to tell us why you deserve one of these awesome photos and where you are going to place it (Click here for the Ignite Facebook Page). Two lucky fans will be selected to become the winners of these limited edition photos.

*Please note we are only shipping the photos within the lower 48 states.

A Summer Solstice
Gardella Racing & Ignite Racing Fuels
Presents A Summer Solstice
Photos by: Larry Chen


June 22nd, 2011

June 22, 2011 (Howell, NJ) For Gardella Racing there has always been that ”special track.” During their drag racing days, it was Atco Speedway and Englishtown Raceway Park. These were the events that family and friends would come to show support and have a great time. Since the team has turned to drifting, that hometown track has turned into Wall Speedway. Although the track has changed, the “hometown” story remains the same, anticipation, excitement, and an unforgettable ending.

Formula D round 4 started off status quo with practice on Thursday, where Tuerck promptly adjusted to the Camaro. Despite requests to have some minor things tweaked on the Camaro, overall, the car seemed to work for him quite well. It is always a tough transition moving from such a light, compact car like the Solstice to a heavier, bigger car like the Chevy Camaro. Over the past 3 years, Tuerck has made many laps around Wall Speedway in the Solstice and had it dialed in perfect. However, with the fine-tuning of the new high horse power LS7 and the amount of the smoke from the Nitto’s NT05’s, the team was confident that they had a great combination.

Friday rolled around with overcast all day and the local news was calling for evening thunderstorms. Formula Drift moved along with practice and jumped into qualifying rather quickly. The day went smoothly for the team who qualified in the number 1 position with a score of 91.2. Tuerck and the Mobil 1 Camaro came off of this qualifying day capable of taking the event win on Saturday.

As soon as the gates opened up on Saturday, people started to pour in non-stop until Formula Drift had to shut the gate down around 3:30 pm; a great problem to have in a racing series like this. Since the team qualified number 1, it was by far the easiest top 32 round they may ever run; a by run. There were so many zeros scored in qualifying, that the field did not fill up. In top 16 the Mobil 1 Camaro faced Matt Field, an upcoming driver who is getting better with every run, but it was not enough to take out the number 1 qualifier Ryan Tuerck. Advancing into the round of Top 8 Tuerck’s competition seemed to get fiercer with Matt Powers. Tuerck had a very clean lead run against Powers and Power followed Tuerck very closely, but when Powers led, he had a few corrections in the bank and throughout the rest of the course.

The Top 4 was very exciting for the team and fans; there were Chevy Camaro’s set up against each other. Majority of the fans, felt that the Mobil1 Camaro of Tuerck had the advantage going into this round. Tuerck lead first and brought the car into the bank with a ton of angle and a lot of speed, which is a recipe for disaster at this speedway. The left rear hit the wall lightly, but it was enough to snap the front end into the guardrail and that just destroyed the front section of the Camaro. Unfortunately, the repairs needed were too severe to make it out within “5 minute” rule. Conrad Grunwald ended up moving on to the final round and gained the event victory.

“Once again, the team had a great turn out. Everyone had a phenomenal time; it is always nice to see our families come out and support us,” stated team owner Gary Gardella. “Being on the road for so long you sometimes forget how great the feeling is to have friends and family there with you on race day. This was our only local event of the year, but we will be back to drag racing on October 1st & 2nd at Englishtown Raceway Park. So, if you are in the area, mark that date on your calendar. “

The Mobil 1 Chevy Camaro had a lot of media exposure at Wall. Mobil 1 Grid TV filmed both at the Gardella Racing shop and Speedway for an upcoming edit. Additionally, the team flew in video icon, Stephen Brooks, from Liverpool to shoot an edit from the weekend from a new perspective. Also, Speedhunters took pictures and is in the process of writing a feature on the Camaro. Finally, Performance, Audio, and Sound magazine was on site following the Camaro for a feature they are composing on the Camaro.

The team heads to Seattle for Round 5 on July 21st and 22nd. Evergreen Raceway always brings in a good crowd and the track requires precision driving, making for a great show. If you are in the area, make your way to the track and witness the cutthroat driving and competition in the race for the Formula D championship.

Formula Drift’s Debut in West Palm Packs the House

June 8th, 2011

When Gary Gardella started the drift program back in 2008, he never understood why Formula Drift did not have an event in Florida. He took any chance he could to push for an event in Palm Beach on the schedule. So when the announcement was made last year, it was assumed that the venue was going to a big hit. Like always, FD was able to come through and put on an amazing show. The crowds poured in as the sun was setting, in the nick-of-time for the top 16. Over all, our hats go off to the series for making the FL debut, a successful one.

The Gardella Racing team performed well right from the start during Thursday’s practice. Tuerck adjusted to the new course and layout quickly, but the car seemed to lack a bit of grip. Crew chief, Scott Davidson, decided to make some sway bar adjustments in an effort to get more grip to the Nitto NT05’s and it sure did work. After the changes were made and Tuerck felt comfortable on the course, the series decided to run a 100% different layout. This unexpected change of track layout was not a challenge for Tuerck, as he easily picked up on a brand new design.

Friday was qualifying day and Tuerck’s confidence was high, as he is really feeling comfortable in the all-new Mobil 1 Chevy Camaro. After the first round of qualifying Tuerck scored a respectful 80; however, it was not good enough to place the team in the top 5. Tuerck left a lot on the table that he was able to improve on and for the 2nd round he knew exactly what he needed to do to sit on the top of the ladder. Tuerck ran his second lap on point, putting the Camaro in all the right spots, but the judges seemed to think differently. When all was said and done, Tuerck and the Mobil 1 Camaro sat in the 14th qualifying position.

Saturday the main competition kicked off with the GR team up against Grass Roots phenomenon, Walker Wilkerson, in his Fat Lace S13. Wilkerson lead Tuerck first and when he entered into the first corner he threw a reverse entry, but it was not enough to shake Tuerck as he was prepared for it from the gate. Tuerck moved on from Wilkerson to face what would be the event winner, Justin Pawlak, in a controversial elimination round.

“I do want to say that the Formula D series is doing a great job,” said team owner Gary Gardella. “I want to give them credit for putting on a great show in Florida. All of the teams have a small challenge ahead, to turn the cars around in a very short time. Our crew will be working hard to have everything prepared for our home coming at Wall Speedway in NJ on June 17th & 18th,” continued Gardella. “On a side note, I would like to mention that we are very excited as we look ahead to 2012. It has been a difficult road over the past few years, but with the support of a great partner like Mobil 1, we were able to make it through some tough times.”

If you are located in the tri-state area, join the Gardella Racing crew at Wall Speedway in NJ on June 17th and 18th. Come and support your local team and enjoy a great day out with friends and family.

O’Sullivan Confident of Future Drift Success Following Gardella Racing Debut

May 13th, 2011

Irish drifting champion Eric O’Sullivan has today spoken with renewed confidence following his offical debut behind the wheel of the Gardella Racing Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice at the recent Formula Drift Round 2, Atlanta.

Driving the Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice for the very first time in competition, O’Sullivan recorded a debut Championship Points haul for the New Jersey team by making it through to the Top16 elimination rounds at the second event in the 2011 Formula Drift Pro Championship tour.

The introduction of Eric O’Sullivan to his 2011 vehicle was not without incident however. Impact with a perimeter wall during Thursday practice coupled with a Top 32 collision in defeating Kyle Mohan meant that both O’Sullivan and his Gardella Racing crew were tested under difficult circumstances throughout the event. O’Sullivan eventually exited the competition following a narrow defeat to 2009 Formula Drift champion Chris Forsberg in an sudden death elimination battle.

Commenting on his Gardella Racing debut, Eric O’Sullivan said “I am extremely happy at how my first event unfolded. Atlanta threw alot of difficult situations at us yet the equipment and team handled it comfortably. The car and the crew are second to none and that support is invaluable as we plan to challenge for future success. I think that this performance immediately proves we can now run with the best & I am looking forward to clocking up some test mileage before Round 3 in Florida”.

Eric O’Sullivan will shortly begin preparations for Formula Drift Round 3 at Palm Beach Florida. To keep up with Erics progress please log onto Eric’s official website, Twitter or Facebook Fan Page.

Photo: Eric O’Sullivan leading Chris Forsberg at Formula Drift, Road Atlanta.
Credit Jacob Leveton,

Red Bull Peachtree Battle

May 12th, 2011

Event Recap: Round 2 Road the the Championship

May 12th, 2011

May 11, 2011 (Howell, NJ) Road Atlanta, host to the Formula Drift Road to the Championship event, is considered the birthplace of drifting in the US. Road Atlanta marks the home of the first FD event, 8 years ago. With that being said, fans come back every year and this year the turn out of spectators was amazing; people were jammed into the hills like never seen before.

Right from the gate Thursday’s practice was very exciting for the GR team. Even with limited testing time, the 2011 Mobil 1 Chevy Camaro handled and ran great. The LS7 engine worked wonders and sounded almost perfect. It is common to have a few minor glitches with a new build and this was no exception; however, the issues did not affect the team during competition. Once practice was over on Friday, the team went right into qualifying. After his first lap, Tuerck scored a 91.0 and a 94.4 for his second run. His final score put Tuerck and Gardella Racing in the 2nd position on the qualifying ladder behind the leader, Conrad Grunewald, heading into Saturday’s elimination rounds.

“It was great to see two Chevy Camaro’s qualify number one and two,” started team owner, Gary Gardella. “This was essentially our first outing with the Mobil 1 Camaro and I could not be any more proud of my team and the hard work they put into preparing for this event,” continued Gardella. “I could not ask for anymore out of these phenomenal group of guys. Each and every one of my team members worked around the clock over the past month to have this vehicle ready for competition. In my opinion the team does not often get enough credit when a car does well; Mike Whitney, Scott Davidson & Eric O’Sullivan deserve some recognition.”

During top 32, Tuerck faced Tako Aono, a driver who has not missed an event since Formula Drift’s conception in 2003. Due to Aono running into some mechanical issues, Tuerck was able to easily advance on to the Top 16 round. The next battle was very interesting, Justin Pawlak vs. Ryan Tuerck. These 2 guys are long time friends, but it never stops either driver from giving it their all. Minor contact early on, threw off the alignment on the Camaro, which made it very difficult for Tuerck to drive. Pawlak advanced and went on to the next round to get eliminated by his teammate, Darren McNamara.

Next stop for the GR team will be beautiful West Palm, Florida. This will be the first new venue for the Formula Drift series in a number of years. We are all very interested to see what Florida has to offer the series and anxious to get this event underway on June 3rd. For more information on the event please take a look at

In other news, video and photos are available from the Red Bull Peachtree Battle in downtown Atlanta:

Video –

Photos –

Gardella Racing on Display at the NYIAS

April 23rd, 2011

April 22, 2011 (Howell, NJ) The New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) kicks off Saturday, April 23, 2011 at the Jacob Javtis Convention Center in New York City and the Gardella Racing team will be on display during the nine-day event.   To help open the event, a Mobil 1/Gardella Racing Pontiac Solstice drift car will be greeting spectators as they enter the convention center on Saturday.

For the length of the show, the team has a Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice drift competition racecar on display in the Red Bull Drift Team:  Gardella Racing/Nitto Tire display area.  In addition, Gardella Racing drift driver and Red Bull athlete, Ryan Tuerck, will be signing autographs daily during this historical event.

The NYIAS has been hosting automotive exhibitions since 1900. In the last decade, the Show has boosted the number of new vehicle announcements, broken attendance figures, and increased media attention to extraordinary levels. The Show offers virtually every make and model vehicle sold in the U.S. under one roof giving consumers the unique opportunity to see everything the auto industry has to offer. From fuel-sipping economy cars to million dollar supercars, NYIAS has something for everyone.

Please see below for a complete schedule of events and more detailed information about the NYIAS visit their website.

In more news, Formula D released their attendance count from the season opener event in Long Beach, CA.  Check out the release and read more about record spectator numbers at Round 1: The Streets of Long Beach.


April 12th, 2011

April 12, 2011 (Howell, NJ) This past weekend Gardella Racing was in the streets of Long Beach CA for the Formula Drift season opener. With a packed house and a seemingly more competitive field then 2010, the LB streets have proved it is going to be a great new season. DIRECTV was on the premises shooting in 3D, Live Stream brought in huge numbers online, the bleachers were packed from one end to the other, and the paddock area was jammed packed after the top 32 break.

The team worked hard early on to give the Mobil 1 Solstice a competitive edge. During practice on Friday, Gardella Racing looked good; having one of the fastest cars in the field and requiring only a few minor adjustments to maximize the performance out their new official tires, Nitto NT05’s.

Fridays in Formula Drift are an important day for the teams; with just 2 rounds of qualifying, ladder position is determined for Saturday’s festivities.  The GR team ended up qualifying comfortably in 10th position. This was definitely not one of the better qualifying positions for the team, but it did land them on a very good side of the ladder.

Once eliminations started on Saturday, Ryan Tuerck and the team started off very strong rolling through the competition. In the round of 32, Tuerck faced off against great friend, Joon Maeng in the Full Tilt Poker Bergenholtz Mazda RX-8. Moving onto the round of 16 Tuerck faced potential Rookie of the year driver, Walker Wilkerson, in a super clean Nissan S chassis.  The GR team advanced to the Great 8, where Tuerck faced the toughest competitor yet, Dai Yoshihara.  This was a very competitive battle going back and forth, there was a strong possibility of going One More Time (OMT); however, the judges called Dai Yoshihara for the win and to move on in his Discount Tire Nissan.

After all, it was a very successful weekend for the team.  With the announcement of the all-new Mobil 1 Chevy Camaro, there was major buzz about the team around the drifting community. Also, Gardella Racing and DSTROYR debuted a collaboration tee shirt that has been in the works over the past few months,  The shirts were available at the event for retail and the response was fierce from fans.

The team now moves on to the New York Auto Show April 23rd at the Jacob Javits Center on 11th Ave in NYC. This event will be the official debut of the Camaro as it takes to the streets of NYC for a quick demo along with the LS7 powered Solstice.