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Fueling the Drift: FuelTech Powering Formula Drift Drivers

May 21, 2024

Fueling the Drift: FuelTech Powering Formula Drift Drivers

In the high-octane world of Formula Drift, drivers push their skills and their cars to the limit with each adrenaline fueled lap. While most motorsports emphasize speed, drifting is all about style. Formula Drift drivers spend years perfecting their skills, logging thousands of hours behind the wheel, however talent alone doesn’t bring home championships. Drivers depend on their vehicles to provide the power and responsive handling necessary to be competitive in professional motorsports.

FuelTech, a leader in high performance engine management systems, stands at the forefront of automotive technology, fueling some of the sport's most formidable competitors. Drivers like Diego Higa, Taylor Hull, Frederico Sceriffo, and Joao Barion have all harnessed FuelTech's cutting-edge technology to maximize their performance on the drifting circuit.

FuelTech at Formula Drift Atlanta

FuelTech’s PowerFT line of Electronic Control Units (ECUs) first gained recognition on the drag strip, powering numerous championship runs and world records in professional and outlaw drag racing classes. As FuelTech’s reputation for performance and customization spread, drifters began to embrace FT550 and FT600 ECUs impressed by their impressive range of features including map selection on the fly, multiple maps, internal data logger, nitrous and boost control, anti lag, VTEC and VVT control, O2 closed loop, individual cylinder control for fuel and ignition, water/methanol injection, flex fuel compatibility, auto trans control, and more.

FuelTech - Diego Higa competes in Formula Drift series at Road Atlanta

Diego Higa, Formula Drift at Road Atlanta

Diego Higa #169

Diego Higa is new to Formula Drift, entering his 2nd season in the highly competitive series. His standing as one of the world's top drivers is clear with more than 38 trophies, the prestigious Golden Helmet award from the Brazilian Automobile Confederation, and the title of Champion from the Netflix reality competition series "Hyperdrive." For Higa, drifting is in his blood. His father, Neto Higa, is a former drift driver with a garage in Brazil that is popular with drift drivers seeking performance upgrades. Neto has fostered his son's natural talent, sponsoring young Higa's path to becoming a professional drift driver. Higa uses FuelTech's engine management systems to provide the power and control necessary to match his aggressive driving style, allowing him to adjust to track conditions in real-time, giving him the edge needed to execute precise drifts under pressure.

FuelTech Formula Drift Diego Higa with the FT600 ECU

Diego Higa checking his tune before hitting the track!

Check out Diego's Netflix Hyperdrive and Formula Drift cars. 

FuelTech sponsors Taylor Hull as he competed in Formula Drift series at Road Atlanta

Taylor Hull, Formula Drift at Road Atlanta

Taylor Hull #82

Taylor Hull joined Formula Drift Pro Spec in 2015 and despite only competing part-time, he rose to the Elite Pro series in only 2 years, but his rise has not been smooth sailing. A major crash put his S-14 out of commission, ending his 2016 season and leading him to sit out the first half of the 2017 season as he struggled to get the Nissan back on the track. Hull made waves in 2018 with the first purpose built Cadillac ATS-V drift car, bucking the norm of using import vehicles in drifting. Despite struggling to overcome new car gremlins, the risk paid off drawing sponsorships that allowed him to continue to pursue his drift dream. In 2022 Hull unveiled his newly built 2013 C7 Corvette, sponsered by COMP Cams, complete with a first-ever front-mounted transmission. Hull cites ease of installation, user-friendly software, and reliability in choosing a FuelTech ECU. The versatility of FuelTech's engine management systems is the perfect complement to Hull's unconventional builds.  

Taylor Hull uses FuelTech in his Formula Drift car

Taylor Hull's 2013 C7 Corvette 

Check out Hull's famous Cadallac ATS-V

Frederico Sceriffo #117

FuelTech sponsors Formula Drift driver Frederico Sceriffo

Frederico Sceriffo, Formula Drift at Road Atlanta

Widely regarded as one of the most talented and experienced drift drivers in the world, Frederico Sceriffo brings an artistic flair to drifting. Discovering drifting at age 13, there was no turning back for young Sceriffo. Two years later he was competing in Italy's first drift event in a borrowed yellow Subaru, finishing 2nd (yellow is still his trademark color). In the years since, Sceriffo has spent time competing across Europe, Japan where he trained under drifting pioneer and Team Orange Founder Nobushige Kumakubo, China, and Russia before coming to the United States in 2018 to realize his dream of becoming a Formula Drift driver. Unfortunately, a crash in Round 1 of his first Formula Drift event resulted in his beloved V12 Ferrari 599 GTB, which he calls "Fiorella," engulfed in flames. While he has struggled to find the podium since joining Formula Drift, he has started the 2024 season strong, finishing 5th in Long Beach, CA.

Inside "Fiorella," Sceriffo's Ferrari 599 GTB

Federico Sceriffo with FuelTech Founder Anderson Dick

Joao Barion trusts FuelTech for Formula Drift

Joao Barion, Formula Drift at Road Atlanta

Joao "Sheriff" Barion #357

Joao Barion, better known as Sheriff Barion, is known for his fearless speed and dynamic maneuvers, began his racing career in karting at age 9. Seven years later he made the jump to South America Formula Three racing and later European Formula 3000 before making the jump to drifting in 2017. Sheriff Barion competed in the Netflix reality competition show "Hyperdrive." He made it all the way to the finals where he faced fellow Brazilian and drifter Diego Higa. Unfortunately, a radiator leak in his custom 1965 Ford Mustang forced him to surrender the victory to Higa. Sheriff Barion holds the Official Drift Brazilian Champion, but is focused on making his mark on drifting in the United States.

On the track Sheriff Barion pushes his Corvette C7 Z06 / LS to the limit and off the track, he has gained a new sponsorship from Extreme Sim Racing, providing fans the opportunity to view Barion's pit which is conveniently located next to Extreme Sim Racing's immersive drift simulators.

FuelTech driver Joao

Joao Barion getting ready to hit the track in Atlanta, GA.

Joao Barion uses a FuelTech FT600 ECU in his C7 Corvette to give him the advantage in the competitive world of Formula Drift.

Barion's Corvette features an FT600ECU.

Check out some of the highlights from Formula Drift 2023 at Road Atlanta.

Extreme SIM Racing Experience from FuelTech
Experience Drifting Firsthand

Fans eager to get a taste of the heart pounding, adrenaline rush drivers experience on the track can put their skills to the test behind the wheel at the Extreme Sim Racing immersive experience. FuelTech has partnered with Extreme Sim Racing to bring fans into the high octane world of professional motorsports with their Sim Drifting installation at Formula Drift events nationwide. Simulators offer amateurs a chance to try their hand at drifting in a controlled, immersive environment and allows the pros to refine their skills on different tracks and track conditions. It's not only a fun experience but also a unique opportunity to understand the skill and precision required in professional drifting. Stop by the Extreme Sim Racing tent to get behind the wheel, check out their sim cockpits for your own racing rig needs, and pick up your favorite FuelTech merchandise and components all in one place.

Sim drift racing powered by FuelTech and Extreme Sim Racing
Jump behind the wheel of Formula Drift

FuelTech's Role in Advancing Drift Technology

FuelTech's impact on Formula Drift extends beyond individual drivers. By providing advanced engine management systems and components, FuelTech is pushing the boundaries of what's possible in competitive motorsports. Our technology allows drivers to push their vehicles to the limit, maximizing power and improving safety. Our industry leading technical support empowers drivers to achieve and exceed their performance goals. Our products are designed to provide the versatility needed to adapt to track conditions, fuel types, vehicle models, and more. At FuelTech, we don't just support the racing community, we are part of the racing community. As the sport of drifting continues to grow, the partnership between FuelTech and the drivers who use our products will continue to serve as a testament to how technology and talent combine to create spectacular motorsport moments.

FuelTech Drift Fueled by Passion

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