• May 17 / Varsity BaseballLiberty High School - 0, Howell - 15
  • May 16 / Girls Varsity SoccerLiberty High School - 0, St. Dominic - 1
  • May 16 / Girls Varsity SoccerLiberty High School - 0, St. Dominic - 1
  • May 15 / Varsity BaseballLiberty High School - 4, Timberland - 1
  • May 13 / Varsity BaseballLiberty High School - 12, Howell North - 2
Student News of Liberty High School


Student News of Liberty High School


Student News of Liberty High School


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The Battle Of Wet Horsepower

A recap of the first event of the 2024 FD season
James Deane chases Fredric Aasbo in the Torque Motorsport Top 8. (Provided by Formula Drift)

Let the season begin. Formula DRIFT Long Beach took place on April 13 and it displayed so many new changes and crazy moments brought to light for the 2024 season. Ranging from new drivers, new sponsors, new layouts, new judges, and everything in between. 

Before an event would start in previous years, each driver would drift around the track one time and the judges would give it a score from zero to one hundred. This score would then place them in the top 32 tournament bracket for the event. 

Formula DRIFT announced on their Instagram on March 12 that this change would happen for the first time in Formula DRIFT history, which became arguably the biggest change for the 2024 season. This change completely removed all single-run qualifying for an event, meaning that in order to qualify to participate in an event, you must take the win against another driver in tandem as if it was the actual event. 

This new system is called the “seeding bracket” and the first one concluded with a boy named Hiroya Minowa taking the win. He is 14 years old and came from Japan to compete. He is a wild driver and the community can’t wait to see his future considering he’s already crushing the big leagues at 14 years old.

Another big change for the 2024 season was the announcement of multiple new drivers. First, drivers Andy Hateley, Ben Hodson, Derek Madison, Dmitriy Brutskiy, and Rudy Hansen made the jump from PROSPEC to PRO competition and had their official PRO debut. PROSPEC is basically the little leagues of Formula DRIFT and this is where drivers begin their career before earning their place in PRO. All of these drivers are amazing at what they do, but one of them is sticking out above the rest. 

Ben Hodson finished first place in PROSPEC last year and made his jump to PRO this year, but he did it in style. During the off-season, pro driver Vaughn Gittin Jr. reached out to Ben Hobson and they became partners for the 2024 season for RTR Vehicles. But these aren’t the only new drivers for the new season. Drivers Conor Shanahan and Hiroya Minowa have traveled overseas from Ireland and Japan to compete. 

Shanahan and Minowa both began their drifting careers at a young age, with Shanahan competing at the age of 8. He joined the Drift Masters European Championship when he was 15 and has been drifting ever since. Similarly to Shanahan, Minowa began drifting when he was 8 years old, then began drifting competitively when he was 11 and now he’s competing in Formula DRIFT at the age of 14.

Besides the drivers, there were also a lot of changes introduced in the media and judging side of the sport. Jarod DeAnda has been announcing for Formula DRIFT for 20 years now and he now has a new co-announcer, Jacob Gettins. Gettins has been working in motorsports for 10 years now and is currently the host of the Formula DRIFT podcast “The Outerzone” on March 6, it was announced he would be joining Jarod DeAnda in the announcer’s booth for the 2024 season. 

The judges are one of the most important parts of Formula DRIFT, and it takes a lot to be one which is why changes aren’t super common. This is why everyone was excited to see that Reese Marin is becoming the third judge for the 2024 season. This change replaces Ryan Lanteigne as well as Brian Eggert and Robbie Nishida. Marin has a huge list of accomplishments including being an experienced driver, instructor, and competition spotter. 

Other than changes, the event itself was crazy. Everything was going smoothly and according to plan until rain began to fall during the top 16. It started slow, which wouldn’t normally be a big deal, but when you’re drifting, it affects everything. During each event, there are people constantly monitoring things like heat, wind, rain, and everything like that because it really affects the cars in more ways than it would seem. The rain slowly became more aggressive as the event progressed, and it made it more and more difficult for the drivers to get through the track. After a long-fought wet battle, driver James Deane came out victorious. James Deane is considered the greatest drifter to ever live. He has a total of 21 championship titles all across the world. Three of those are from Formula DRIFT, which he won in 2017, 2018, and 2019, making him the first-ever Formula DRIFT back-to-back-to-back champion. 

As Formula DRIFT Long Beach concludes, James Deane is in first place for the championship, Simen Olsen is in second place, and Aurimas Bakchis is in third. The next event of the season is in Atlanta, Georgia on May 11 at 2:30 p.m. CST. Join up and watch the live stream on YouTube and Motorsports.TV.

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About the Contributor
Braden Altrup
Braden Altrup, Entertainment Editor of Broadcast Media
Braden Altrup is a Junior and is the Entertainment Producer for the Broadcast team. He has been editing video since he was 10 years old and earned 5 awards from video contests across the country. He was on the Liberty soccer team for his first 2 years of school, but then focused more on his videos and helping run the Broadcast class. He works for his step-father installing car stereos and speakers into cars, and is into drifting/building cars in his free time.

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