May 4, 2013

Formula Drift Long Beach 2013: Grounds Report

Is it the rush and grit of competition?  Is it the enveloping mist of burnt gravel and rubber?  Is it the tension and excitement expressed by the demonstrative crowds?  Perhaps, it’s the appeal of such an intriguing sensory combination, set within one of California’s most famed coastal cities.  Whatever one may conclude to be a defining element of his or her experience, everyone can agree that the annual first round competition of the Formula Drift series upon the streets of Long Beach has always provided a spectator with some of the most memorable, thrilling moments within the realm of automotive sports.  As the premier drifting circuit in North America, Formula Drift attracts an international roster of the most talented drivers, eager to test their skills against others within their field at a prestigious world stage, where they hope to gain recognition as the very best at what they do.  With these top professional drivers come some of the
biggest brands in sports promotion, proudly attaching themselves upon names and figures that could hoist a major competitive trophy alongside their banner at any given day.  For this reason, Formula Drift is essentially one of the automotive scene’s growing marketing arenas, which in turn, nurtures and sustains a significant modeling industry presence upon the event grounds year after year.  Though quite content with allowing drivers to bask in their well-deserved limelight, it’s hard to deny the impact that these professional promotional personalities have had upon the Formula Drift series, effectively acting as a primary show contributors throughout the circuit’s history.

Only a week removed from the official start of the Long Beach Grand Prix, the Formula Drift season opener in Long Beach officially initiates one of the city’s grandest back-to-back weekend sporting spectaculars of the season calendar.  Eager fans and spectators would already be exposed to the LBGP’s track layout, as courses and safety barricades have already been prepared, enclosing and surrounding the streets of the city, which would become the scene of some of the grueling and exciting track battles set to take place within just a week of the event.  At this time, however, they would find themselves heading into the grounds adjacent to the Long Beach Convention Center, where live drifting competition would be taking place. 

General Event Grounds

From the entrance, event attendees would be initially treated to a vast vendor village and pit experience, organized in a manner that would allow fans to seamlessly interact with product manufacturers and track stars within an entertaining hybrid layout.  Several grandstands at its far edge would act as a primary vantage point for all the track action of the day along with a separate vehicle showcase area at the other side of the tracks to cater to the delights of avid car culture enthusiasts.  With various points of interest established throughout the entire area of the utilized venue space, model industry talent would be involved within a variety of activities throughout the event, as they hoped to completely immerse their audience within the spirit of competition and festivity that Formula Drift fans have become quite accustomed to in the past.
Vendor Booth Representatives
The Umbrella Girls
Between competition segments, as the crowds move away momentarily from the main attraction for other forms of entertainment, the condition of continued enjoyment often rests upon the enthusiasm and personality of a dedicated and hospitable brand specialist, who can offer a pleasant alternative to the inactivity of the wait.  Whether they are promoting wheels, parts, a service or a particular lifestyle, these beautiful and talented women provide a diversion toward other subjects and interests that ultimately enrich the overall event experience for everyone involved. 
Also known as paddock girls or grid girls, these uniformed, umbrella-wielding beauties are tasked with the important responsibility of protecting the fearless professional drifting competitors from threatening overexposure from the sun.  Through their efforts, they often gain considerable attention from fans and media alike, usually influencing the formation of some of the most massive lines of the event through charming offers of personally signed image memorabilia during intermissions in track action.

Coverage of Formula Drift:  Streets of Long Beach 2013 continues next…

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