From Amateur to Pro Formula Drifter
Jonathan Nerren began his drifting career in Japan while serving in the US Navy. He started competitively drifting once back stateside in 2010. While making his way through the ranks in amateur and multiple PRO-AM series, he starred on the NBC TV show “Octane Academy”, while aired 8 episodes. Jonathan ultimately finished in 2nd place overall, representing Vaughn Gittin Jr in the final.
Jonathan received his Formula Drift Pro 2 license twice in 2015, winning the US Drift Championship as well as placing 2nd overall in the Streetwise Drift Championship, dominating the East coast. In 2016, he competed in the Formula Drift Canada Pro Series alongside new teammate Tyler Nelson. 2016 brought many podiums for the new team, ultimately finishing 4th and 6th overall in Pro FD Canada in the 30+ driver field. Jonathan also took the overall series championship in the Turismo Drift Series. Jonathan’s 3rd teammate also earned his Pro 2 license in the same year through his coaching and team support.
In 2017, the JNR team brought on a 3rd Pro driver and a 4th teammate to compete in PRO-AM. 2017 was the year of podiums and wins, dominating FD Pro Canada. The team finished 2nd and 3rd overall with JNR seeing podiums every event, with Jonathan finishing 2nd overall in Pro FD Canada, he locked in his Formula Drift Pro 1 license.
What is Formula Drift?
With 60 currently licensed drivers competing in PRO and PROSPEC (formerly PRO 2), Formula Drift is recognized as the premier North American professional drifting championship series. The series consists of an eight-round championship played out at race tracks across North America.
The car must be rear-wheel drive and use the original steel frame. You can use an all-wheel drive car like a Mitsubishi Evo, but it must be converted to rear-wheel drive. Each Formula Drift car must be from “production” with a run of at least 600 units. No SUVs are allowed
In this video, Jonathan Nerren teaches the steps to learn drifting.Watch Video
Tyler is a drifter from North Carolina and has been driving and drifting for quite a few years now. He decided to compete in Formula D Pro AM in the US Drift series. Tyler utilizes a Nissan S chassis on coil overs and toe arms. He really pushed himself this season and had quite a few great runs.
Tyler has been in competition motorsports since he was a child. Like many pros, Tyler started in kart racing and gradually moved on to more traditional racing. He also spent some time doing midget asphalt racing and placed first in many events. In 2010 he competed in his first major drift competition judged by Vaughn Gittin Jr and placed third. In 2011 Tyler spent most of his time saving and preparing his car and during that time went back to Kart racing for some competition. He placed 1st during that season in 4 out of the 5 events he raced at. In 2013 Tyler placed in the top 8th for the Pro AM season and then went back into hiatus to once again spend a year developing his driving techniques and his car.
Shelby Mustang Formula Drift
Watch Tyler Nelson in Formula Drift Round 1 and 2. Although this event didn’t allow any spectators due to covid-19, there was no lack of excitement and exhilaration this round for both Pro and Pro-2. Here is a recap of this Formula Drift round. Photos courtesy of Robert Goodwin and Valters Boze.
The bracket lined up driver Tyler Nelson with seasoned champion Chris Forsberg in top 32. Tyler is running coil overs with track race valving, and upgraded coil over springs on his 800+ HP Shelby S550 Mustang.Watch Video
George Kiriakopoulos’ Story
George Kiriakopoulos is a talented Greek Pro Driver going now into his 5th racing season for 2021 in the drifting division of motorsports. He originally comes from Chicago with a Greek background but now is based in Las Vegas, Nevada where he owns, runs and operates his own personal professional shop named Modified Performance.
George has a strong motorsport background of managing Kenneth Moen’s, Norwegian FD Pro 1 Driver, whole 2012-2013 Formula Drift racing program as well as being a spotter and crew tech/mechanic for American FD Pro 1 Driver, Matthew Coffman, 2015-2017 racing seasons. He is a talented and experienced mechanic/ technician with over 8 + years of building custom competition chassis’s of all variety setups ranging in import to domestic expertise. The passion of driving originates from his well rounded knowledge of any automotive/motorsport disciplines such as oem dealerships, off roading to street moto as well as exotic time attack.
George started drifting since 2014 in which he first began competing in Vegas Drift (Southwest Drift) series in 2015-2016 and then shortly received his Formula Drift Pro 2 license to enter the 2017 season series. As 2019 was George’s 3rd consecutive season in the Formula Drift Pro 2 Series as a licensed pro driver, he has changed the direction of his privateer program and currently has taken a pause competing in Formula Drift Pro 2 series only. For the 2021 season, George will compete in The Drift League licensing series plus driving in numerous of demos and different styles of drift events such as Gridlife to broaden marketing reach. He has created from ground up, the name Modified Performance, as his own solid driver name brand building and masterminding all of his own competition race cars each season with the assistance of team sponsors.
Current 370Z Build
Currently George’s racing pro chassis for the 2021 season is the identical unique chassis and power plant setup from 2020 with the Fly 1 Motorsports carbon Fiber 370Z wide-body Niko kit plus new Crown Carbon Crafting aero add ons giving it a complete aero esthetic carbon body lift. In addition to the pro 370Z, a demo 370Z (car street legal built to FD spec) is currently in progress of being completed to be utilized in conjunction for double marketing exposure. George run’s his own privateer driving program with fully sponsored video/ media coverage by multiple videographers/photographers for the whole 2021 on/off racing season including Gridlife, Desert Meihan, The Drift League, Nissfest, Vegas Drift, Vetdrenaline, Winter Jam and many other events throughout. Follow George’s pro racing adventures, driver lifestyle, battles, races, shop life and next events he’ll be driving at all on his social media channels below!Watch Video
Trans Am Drivers
Trans Am Driver
Legacy Trans Am Driver
Dylan Archer started his racing career in E-Racing in SIM Races and even won the E-Sports Virtual Silverstone Trans Am Series which catapulted his driving career into driving in the full fledged Trans Am series. His father Tommy Archer was also a driver in the Trans Am Series and Dylan is following in his footsteps. Dylan has been driving both in the real world and the SIM world as well as being a coach for SIM drivers with Tommy Archer and Bobby Archer under Archer Brothers E-Sports.
Virtual Silverstone Trans Am E-Sports
In Race 2, Dylan Archer (No. 32 Archer Brothers Racing) spent most of the race fending off Kicera, who had to win to reclaim the championship lead. But driving under an immense amount of pressure on the very physical track, Archer kept his composure, despite some very heavy pressure from Kicera, all the way to the finish line to claim his second win of the 16-race season.
“Kicera got into the back of me, I know that wasn’t intentional, and then I had to just keep the car under me. Then going through the Esses, the rear end stepped out and I had to catch the car,” Archer said. “I had to keep my head down, and after I made those mistakes, I set my fastest laps.”
Archer’s performance in the E-Sports championship relit his dad’s (Bobby Archer) passion for Trans Am racing. Now, the father-son duo is actively searching for a real TA2 seat for the 2020 season so that Dylan can continue the Archer family tradition of Trans Am racing.Watch Video
Monster Truck Drivers
Joe Sylvester was born on October 19, 1983 in Boardman, Ohio, where he currently resides. He’s known for competing with his truck, Bad Habit, since 2006, but took a break in 2014, when he began racing Pro-Torque trucks. In 2016, he returned to monster truck driving as a fill in for multiple teams until 2019, when he made his official full time return. Joe holds the title for the longest ramp jump in a monster truck at a massive 72.42m/237ft since September 1st 2013. On July 28th 2022, he attempted another record; the speed record. The goal was to beat Bryce Kenny’s record of 100.3 MPH. Joe succeeded by going 101.84 MPH and broke the monster truck speed record.
2x Guinness World Record Holder
In 2006, Joe bought Tim Tesmer’s Carolina Crusher and turned it into the first Bad Habit, and, in 2009, Sylvester built a new chassis for the truck. Since 2010, Sylvester has had a sponsorship with Ready Lift, however, it ended in 2012. In 2010, Sylvester broke Dan Runte‘s World Record for the biggest jump in a monster truck. He would beat Runte’s new record in 2013. Also in 2013, Joe Sylvester would be invited to his first Monster Jam World Finals by winning the 2nd Young Guns Shootout. The same year, he sold his current Bad Habit and began driving a Bad Habit for 2Xtreme Racing.
In 2014, he got his 2nd World Finals invitation. Also, 2014 would be Joe’s last year with monster truck racing, as he would continue his career in racing Pro-Torque trucks. His Bad Habit truck became Quad Chaos under Aaron Cain but Sylvester would still have ties to the sport, this being with his girlfriend at the time; Cynthia Gauthier, driver of Monster Mutt Dalmatian. In the summer of 2015, he would drive Dirt Crew as a one time fill-in, and in 2016, he started to be a fill in and backup driver for Monster Jam. He would drive Zombie Hunter, Gas Monkey Garage, Zombie and El Toro Loco. In March of 2017, he drove the black El Toro Loco in Saudi Arabia.
In 2018, Joe announced he would be the new driver for Black Stallion in the Monster Jam Stadium Tour for 2019 for select shows, sharing driving duties with Michael Vaters. In late 2019, he brought back Bad Habit, as Bad Habit Relapsed, sponsored by his Coffee brand High Octane. In West Salem, Ohio 2021, he drove Sinistar. On July 28, 2022, Bad Habit debuts a new Jeep Gladiator body. He attempted another record, the speed record by trying to beat Bryce Kenny’s record of 100.3 MPH. Joe succeeded by going 101.84 MPH. In Canfield, Ohio for the Outlaw Monster Truck Drags, Joe won the whole show.Watch Video
Polaris RZR Drivers
Baja National Champion
For the second year in a row, Gonçalo Guerreiro, with Fernando Mendes as navigator, conquered the victory at Baja Portalegre 500 in the SSV category. A success that allowed him to become national champion. Goncalo is a young Portuguese racer on the JB Racing team who has won two back to back victories at Baja Portalegre 500. This second victory solidifies his position and exposure in the Baja world.
Baja Portalegre 500 SSV
For the second year in a row, Gonçalo Guerreiro, with Fernando Mendes as navigator, conquered the victory at Baja Portalegre 500 in the SSV category. A success that allowed him to become national champion. Two reasons strong enough to justify being one of the most emotional in the final control, but with other emotions in the mix: “I don’t know what to say. I’m happy, but it was a difficult race. I dedicate this victory and the title… to my grandmother, who passed away recently.”
The duo João Monteiro/Nuno Morais was the main opponent. “We started badly, then came to attack, but 15 kilometres from the end a belt broke. It’s inglorious, but that’s how it is, that’s racing”, said the driver. In the immediate places were classified Marco Pereira/Eurico Adão, Ricardo Sousa/Jorge Brandão and Ruben Rodrigues/Rui Paulo, who closed the front quintet.
Roberto Borrego, the championship leader at the start of the Baja Portalegre 500, also deserves a mention, but today he was withdrawn from the discussion of the top places due to technical problems. The ninth place was not enough to prevent Gonçalo Guerreiro from reaching the title.Watch Video
Wilkey’s Baja Buggy Virality
Blake is the quintessential blue-collar hero who made his way from an ironworker to a well known social media personality that is crushing it on the regular. Amassing a cult following of over 250k followers on his @blakewilkey357 instagram page, Wilkey’s antics have racked up millions of views and can be seen in compelling original videos like SoCalxShred, Mini Boat Mafia, Havasu Assault, Urban Assault, Urban Assault 2 Las Vegas, and Country Club Assault.
Now, Blake Wilkey is a legend and known all around the off-road world. He currently has a buggy shop in Mexico where he shreds the sand dunes. Blake has dubbed his newest exotic off-road racer “Jaws” to keep it in line with his uniquely personal running shark theme. Blake’s shark den stable includes the Megalodon (V8 Baja Bug), Slug Shark (a Class 11 VW), Hammerhead (Jeep XJ Cherokee), Baby Shark (Polaris RZR), and a fleet of support vehicles.
Shark Attack – Urban Assault
Shark Attack has a classic 1967 Volkswagen (VW) chassis, with a custom-built engine producing 700+ horsepower. It is equipped with superior suspension and massive tires to take on all of the high-performance action. To top it off, Wilkey made sure he or his creation wouldn’t encounter any problems while on the road, so he made it street-legal. The government requires that a dune buggy has traditional safety lights such as turn signals, headlights, rear lights, and brake lights, and those requirements are precisely what the Shark Attack was equipped with.
In December of 2015, Wilkey teamed up with Perplexed Media to shoot a four-minute video of the Shark Attacks stunts. After being posted in January of 2016, the Youtube video titled “Urban Assault: San Diego Shark Attack” was a hit in just five months. It raked in over 1.5 million views by May 26th of that same year and sat around 3 million views four years later.
Not long after Shark Attack’s fame, Blake Wilkey decided to sell the enticing dune buggy, and a prince in Dubai made an offer that Wilkey couldn’t resist. The prince offered Wilkey $63,000 for the famous street-legal dune buggy, and now Shark Attack continues to grow its popularity on Instagram, conquering sand dunes in the country of Mexico.Watch Video
Polaris RZR Driver
Meet Ruslan “Greasehandz” Yankilevich from Perris, CA. At 8 years old Ruslan entered the local off-road race scene and had his first 570cc UTV built by Pinnacle Off road. At 9 years old, Ruslan competed in the Lucas Oil Series in the 570 class. Later that year Ruslan took on the UTV World Championship in his RZR 570, with only 2 months of desert racing experience. He went on to complete the race mistakenly in the Adult 800cc class. He entered and completed the 2020 Parker 250 in his RS1. Ruslan has raced the Mint400 twice solo in his RS1. He also finished the 2021 Vegas to Reno race as part of a duo with Alexia Leaming, becoming the youngest duo to ever finish Vegas to Reno in 6th place. He’s raced a total of 11 desert races with 8 of them being BITD to date.
The Canal Jump
Enter 2019, the “Canal Jump” heard around the world. When “Ruslan Greasehandz” became known throughout the off road/motorsports social scene. Some would say for good reasons, some would say for very stupid reasons. That’s for the fans and public to decide. Having been to the Imperial Sand Dunes, (otherwise known as the Glamis Sand dunes, located in Southern California), many times Ruslan began eyeballing the infamous canal, that only few have ever attempted, and even less have conquered. As he approached the canal, he explained “it was much much bigger than I had thought” After some basic calculations, the 10 year old daredevil began backing up, signaled the thumbs up, stood on the throttle, and – SENT IT! Sent it like no other 10 year old has! After flying through the air almost approximately 100’, Ruslan landed, with just inches to spare. Inches away from complete disaster. Instantly solidifying himself as an off road legend, at the ripe age of 10. The 10 year old daredevil even filmed, and edited the entire stunt on his GoPro, threw it up on Instagram, and the rest is history. Ruslan became an overnight sensation, being the first person on record to complete this stunt in a UTV, yes, at 10 years old. Other people/vehicles have achieved this in dirtbikes, quads, trucks, and sand rails, but this is the first UTV to reach the milestone. The stunt gained him exposure, fans, thousands of new followers daily, and notable sponsors.Watch Video