what’s new for this year’s Shootout event.
First up, the Shootout will now be held as its own standalone event. Last year, a lot of the drivers had to choose between partying and competing, so in order to alleviate that troublesome decision making process we just decided to run it separately from HyperFEST. This means that HyperFEST will not have a competition element and be three days of drifting. Now everyone can party and compete without worrying about one activity negatively affecting the other. Plus it means more track time for everyone at both events.
Because the Shootout is now its own event, that means it can’t be the same weekend as HyperFEST (May 17-19, 2019). Therefore, the Shootout will be held on June 21-23, 2019 at Dominion Raceway located in Northern Virginia. Dominion Raceway is conveniently located immediately off I-95 at Exit 118, approximately 45-miles north of Richmond, VA and 60-miles south of Washington, DC. We will be utilizing the 2-Mile road course featuring 12 turns and 70' of elevation change. There is a fully paved paddock area with self-service fuel, clubhouse with food, bar, and showers. Electric hookups are also available in the paddock. The competition course will be turns 2 through 7/8 and the Sunday open track day will be the entire 12-turn course.
The format will be changed slightly now since we aren’t sharing the track with HyperFEST activities. Friday will remain practice for the whole day, however Saturday will now be the entire tandem competition. Sunday will be an open track day on the entire 2-mile, 12-turn road course where all of the Shootout drivers can stay and drive with about 20 other non-competing drivers (who can sign up after the Shootout registration is over).
Lastly, we are adding two more Shootouts to the schedule. The second Shootout will take place in conjunction with Sonoma Drift on August 16-18 at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, CA and the third Shootout in conjunction with Midwest Drift Union on September 6-8, 2019 at Kilkare Raceway in Xenia, OH. Both the USDrift and Midwest Drift Union Shootouts will offer $10,000 cash prize purses amongst other great prizes to be determined shortly. We will post information regarding both of these additional Shootouts, as well as on the Midwest Drift Union and Sonoma Drift outlets as it becomes available.
Now for what’s the same.
40 driver max, no qualifying, and double elimination tandem bracket.
Registration will be broken up into two waves of 20 spots each taking place on different days at different times to ensure people have a decent chance of participating. Registration will take place on February 7th at 9AM and February 19th at 6PM.
Winner will receive their weight in beer (must be 21+ to be eligible), $10,000 cash prize purse prize (1st = $5,000, 2nd = $2,500, 3rd = $1,500, and two $500 prizes awarded at random), carbon fiber trophy cups, and Formula DRIFT PRO2 licenses valid for the 2020 or 2021 season. Additional prizes will be announced shortly.
If you’re not familiar with the Shootout event, here is a detailed explanation of the format. The event will be a 40-car double elimination competition. Friday will consist of practice sessions for all competitors with spotters help available from the judges at select times during the practice sessions. Since this is a double elimination bracket event, there will be no qualifying for the event. At the conclusion of practice on Friday, we will randomly seed the drivers in the bracket for the event on Saturday. This is done to allow more tandem action for the drivers, as well as provide drivers with a second change to continue through the bracket should they lose a battle, crash, have a mechanical failure, or other instance that may result in a loss. Saturday will consist entirely of tandem battles until a winner is determined. Sunday will be a bash style event where drivers who competed in the Shootout, as well as other non-competing drivers may run on track together.
As with any system, nothing is perfect and there are advantages and disadvantages to everything. However, we feel the advantages for this event outweigh the disadvantages, and 2018 proved that this format works and makes for an exciting and hard-fought event.
Some of the advantages of the double elimination bracket are:
Qualifying. No more one car on track at a time during qualifying. Qualifying consumes up a ton of valuable track time; from single car runs, calculating scores, etc. By eliminating the qualifying aspect from the competition, that time can be better allocated to additional tandem time used by everyone. Plus, it's more exciting to watch two cars tandeming on track versus one solo run.
Third place. The consolation round (battle for third place) has always been a double elimination round in traditional brackets, as the battle consists of both losing drivers from the semifinals. Under a double elimination bracket format, this battle would remain and hold consistent with the rest of the event format.
One More Time. See the best battles more than once. If the top two drivers in the event are matched up against each other in the first round of a traditional single elimination bracket, one of them would be eliminated from the event after that matchup. However, under a double elimination format, the loser of that first match could still win in each subsequent match in the consolation bracket and eventually work their way back up to the finals and potentially meet the same driver they faced in the first match again.
No one and done. All drivers are guaranteed the ability to compete in at least 2 tandem matches during the event. It's tough to spend all that time, money, and effort leading up to and during an event only to have to pack it up after losing your first battle whether it was a result of your own or a mechanical issue. However, under a double elimination format, drivers must lose twice before they are officially eliminated from competition. Think of it like having an extra 1-UP in Super Mario Bros. Also, even if you don't make it far in the bracket on Saturday, any extra time we have Saturday after the competition, we will get drivers back out on track to have fun. Also, stick around for Sunday, as we have all day to mess around on the entire track with non-competing drivers as well.
Two Championship Matches. The championship match could technically happen twice, even without a One More Time call (which actually happened in 2018) if the winner's bracket champion loses in the finals. The result would be that both finalists would have one loss each at that point, requiring another championship match to take place to determine who is eliminated by receiving a second loss.
Some of the disadvantages (if you want to call them that) of the double elimination bracket are:
Time. The amount of time it takes to conduct a double elimination bracket will be about double the amount of time for a normal Top 32 single elimination bracket. Hence the reason we have a 2-day event, with a third day as a backup if needed.
Confusion. The championship match could technically happen twice, even without a One More Time call (which actually happened in 2018). We listed this as an advantage above, but it can be a disadvantage too because it can be confusing to some. Since the event is a double elimination, it's unfair to have a winner's bracket champion eliminated with their first lost in the finals. Therefore, the winner's bracket champion needs to beat the loser's bracket champion only once to win the event, whereas the loser's bracket champion must beat the winner's bracket champion twice to win the event. Hence the reason the championship match could happen twice.
Eligible participants must be at least 18 years old (16 years old with parental consent*) and possess a valid state issued driver's license. Drivers are eligible provided they have not competed in any round of the Formula DRIFT PRO Championship in the last 3 years (participants in 2015 and prior are eligible). NOTE: No restrictions for Formula DRIFT PRO2 competitors.
*A minor release form must be filled out and be on file with USDrift for 16 and 17 year old participants. All minor participants must have at least one parent or legal guardian present at all times during the event. Select individuals under the age of 16 years old that have been pre-approved by USDrift may be allowed to participate. For additional information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The competition portion of this event will be limited to only 40 drivers. The cost to enter is $750.00 and includes driving on all three days. Registration will take place on the USDrift website and be split into two stages of 20 entries each to ensure most people have a fair chance at registering should one of the dates/times be inconvenient to their schedule.
The first wave of 20 spots will start at 9:00AM on Thursday, February 7th, 2019.
The second wave of 20 spots will start at 6:00PM on Tuesday, February 19th, 2019.
To avoid potential instances of inflated resale, registration transfers will be handled on a case by case basis and be at the sole discretion of USDrift. If a transfer is permitted, a $75 fee will be withheld from the registration. Please do not purchase an entry unless you plan on competing. Entries are non-refundable.
The open track day option for Sunday will be limited to only 20 drivers. The cost for the open track day will be $200. Registration for the open track day will start at 9:00AM on Friday, March 1st, 2019.
RACER SUPPORT AND CONTINGENCY PROGRAMS.
These will be updated as soon as they are confirmed.
The 2019 rulebook will be posted in the next few days. There are only minor changes in it between this year and last year. The biggest things are merely recommendations for 2020 and beyond giving you over a year to prepare.
Competitors and their crew (unfortunately no spectators) are able to stay at the track in their trailers, campers, tents, etc. For everyone else, there are a variety of nearby hotels as listed below, however you are welcome to search for others.
Best Western Plus Inn & Suites | 5217 Mudd Tavern Road, Thornburg, VA 22580
Holiday Inn Express & Suites| 6415 Dan Bell Lane, Thornburg, VA 22565
Country Inn & Suites | 5327 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Fredericksburg, VA 22408
Hampton Inn & Suites | 4800 Market Street, Fredericksburg, VA, 22408
Quality Inn | 6409 Danbell Lane, Thornburg, VA 22565
Media applications will be available in late February or early March.
If you are interested in becoming a partner and/or vendor at this event, please contact us at email@example.com.