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Carl Rydquist 2014 Formula D Season Wrap Up






Mean Machine. Pre-Season testing with the new Garrett GTX 4088R installed as well as the new C&R Racing NASCAR dogbox, at Willow Springs Oval.



Giving tribute to my friend Paul Walker by supporting his charity organization Reach Out World Wide, I ran the ROWW crest on the hood all season, and #ROWW on the quarter panels of my 350Z V8 Turbo.





Long Beach was one of the best times of the season. Full of fans and friends, and I was excited that the car had become really quick compared to 2013. We also gave a lot of interviews and created a great video from the event.



Carl Rydquist – RRE LS 350Z – Formula D Round 4 – Wall, NJ


Wall Speedway New Jersey… the 4th round of the Formula D Championship. For the RRE Turbo LS Powered 350Z FD Team featuring Carl Rydquist as the driver… well the team went into the wall so to speak :-P


First Carl’s mentor and inspiration Bryan from Berk Technologies decided he was off the team. He still sent his tent though. Sam was mean to him or something. So the weekend started with Carl out of sorts. Then Sam’s woman wouldn’t let him go so we were two men down. John Vick came to help out.


Problems with the sway bar clearance did not allow the car to run with the sway bar that they needed for the bank transitions so that put the car at a disadvantage. Add in that the video guy was a tooth off and the team was in for major disappointment.


So we just made this cool video and took some cool pics with the fans that didn’t know any better. Rossy called a team meeting and regulated so better luck next event in Washington!

Carl Rydquist – RRE LS 350Z – Formula D Round 3 Miami Florida

Before this event we mentioned that we were ready to battle, and battle we did! Piloting the Road Race Engineering Berk Technology Nissan 350Z powered by Champion Spark Plugs through both the PRO and PRO2 categories at Formula Drift’s newest venue Homestead-Miami Speedway, our driver Carl Rydquist started off with winning 1st qualifying spot in PRO2, followed by a 23rd qualifying result in PRO, then Carl went onto win 3rd place in the PRO2 tandem competition on Friday night and finally capped off the weekend with a Top 16 finish in PRO.


Rossy Welch, team manager Road Race Engineering

Carl’s FormulaD Pro2 podium finish under the sunshine of Miami has made one of my biggest dreams come true in my favorite racing series. It feels wonderful to work with such a talented, young and passionate team. I’m so proud to be part of it and thankful for the opportunity. We can feel the love from our fans and with the support from our sponsors, that is what keeps us working harder.


Carl Rydquist, driver RRE 350Z V8 Turbo powered by Champion Spark Plugs

What an amazing weekend! The team behind this car consists of Road Race Engineering, Berk Technology and S-Empire, Carl explains, and it’s a strong combo that combines tons of experience with brains and competence to find solutions to the challenges we come up against and to execute the jobs that are needed. I am equally impressed, fascinated and thankful and I’m extremely happy to have won my first Formula Drift trophy!


Formula Drift PRO Rd4 in New Jersey takes place on June 20-21 and our preparations have already begun. The Z chassis, then powered by a V6 engine boosted by a Garrett GT3582R turbocharger ran well there last season so we have a great baseline and Carl did well in qualifying at that track, but still with today’s level of development speed in Formula Drift we have to work tirelessly on sharpening the competitive edge to climb further up the standings where we are currently sitting in 29th place in the PRO series and 3rd in the PRO2 standings.


Carl Rydquist – RRE LS 350Z – Formula D – Round 2 Road Atlanta, Georgia

We have amassed great momentum during the start of the 2014 season by excellent working relationships with our technical partners and with great support from fans around the globe, however we did suffer a no-points weekend in the second round of the 2014 Formula Drift PRO Championship by taking 34th spot out of 60 cars at Road Atlanta. Now how do you handle a gut punch like that? Answer: Like a Champion.

Carl Rydquist – RRE LS 350Z at the Formula D Opener in Long Beach

Road Race Engineering’s 2014 Formula D Season debut happened in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 20,000 drift fanatics in Long Beach California last weekend. Our practice session ran trouble free and our driver Carl Rydquist qualified the Road Race Engineering Berk Technology 350Z into 24th spot among 64 professional drivers. This was Carl’s best result since his Formula D comeback (best previous FD qualifying position to date: 7th, 2009).


During the Top 32 tandem practice sessions it was clear that the car was significantly quicker now than last season. The tight turns and close walls of the Long Beach Grand Prix circuit isnt necessarily known as one of the higher speed drift events. But it was obvious that Carl was able to chase down several other big power cars.


In the battle for a spot in the Top 16 bracket, Carl was able to pull out a gap in his lead run thanks to the Garrett GTX4088R turbo powered LS2 V8 and our sticky Hankook Ventus R-S3 tires, however being fast also turned out to be a challenge in the follow run behind opponent Forrest Wang.


Carl comes from a road racing back ground and said: “I am used to being in front and racing hard to leave the competition behind so that part went as planned. While I was following Forrest, I started out too close too soon and simply bogged down behind him and he was able to maintain great angle and line at a relatively low speed.


The Road Race Engineering Berk Technology 350Z, (Carl calls the car “Animal”) ran flawlessly. The 830hp turbocharged LS V8 motor didn’t miss a beat all weekend, so this one’s totally on me. It was frankly one of my worst tandem follow runs I can remember. Nothing that I can do about it now, but something to draw experience from. The good news is that the car is quick and controllable, I can charge close and battle for tandem wins this year.”


Thanks to the qualifying result Carl and the team are moving onto Round 2 at Road Atlanta in 19th place, tied in points with among other drivers former champions Daigo Saito (2012) and Daijiro Yoshihara (2011).


Rossy Welch  our Team Manager said: “I could see that Carl didn’t want to damage the car at this event, which is good, but you also have to go for it 100% to win. We’ll focus and push harder at Atlanta next month. But this is a really good start for us, we made important points and we met so many fans that love the car that this awesome team has built and we feel very blessed and happy for the support from all of our sponsors. This is already becoming a really exciting year!“

See you at Road Atlanta on May 9-10 or on the FD Livestream!

Danny George’s Driveby at RRE

The RRE/Berk Technology LS Turbo powered 350Z was all ready for the show and safely in the pits the night before the FD season opener in Long Beach California. Danny George had some last minute parts challenges and a long haul from Las Vegas and needed a place to spread out and finish up some details the night before the race. We opened up the shop, the dyno and some sofas to crash on for our 2nd favorite Formula D team for an all nighter.


Carl Rydquist Formula D 350Z Test Day

We have the rebuilt refreshed respiffyfied repowered 350Z up and running after the off season rebuild and overhaul. Time to go testing at Willow Springs Raceway.

Last season Carl’s 350Z ate it’s VQ turbo motor half way through the season. He made the decision to simplify things and go LS2 V8 power. With some higher flowing cylinder heads and a little Nawz it was running high ~400 whp to the wheels. Enough to drift on but not enough to make mad smoke on demand and put the car sideways at will.

So in the off season Art (S Empire) and Sam added a Garrett GTX 4088R turbo to the mix. With Sam’s tune using the AEM EMS Seris 2 ECU we now had all the power we needed and then some. Time to make some smoke and dial in the suspension for the new power.

Carl Says:

This thing’s getting quicker now. First time out with the Road Race Engineering (official) 350Z with this mad S-Empire turbo V8 setup. Turned out to run solidly so far in the SoCal sunshine (knock on wood!), so I started to play around with it. Small but crucial chassis setup adjustments by Berk Technology ended up giving me a really good car. Great feeling in the car, very solid feeling and completely different sound with turbo and straight cut gears. Love it. Going to have a lot of fun taking this to the Streets of Long Beach.

Road Race Engineering Collaboration Announced for 2014 Formula Drift Racing Season

After a solid performance in their debut Formula Drift season Berk Technology and Rydquist Racing announces their partnership with industry veteran Road Race Engineering in Santa Fe Springs CA.  Road Race Engineering brings over 20 years of experience from a variety of motorsport disciplines including Pro Rally, time attack, drifting, hill climb and drag racing.  The partnership will help further deepen the field of talent in the up and coming Rydquist Racing Formula Drift Program.

Originally hailing from Gothenburg Sweden, driver Carl Rydquist built his career in European GT car racing and has made appearances and wins in some of the world’s most famous racing events including the 24hrs of Nurburgring, 25hrs of Thunderhill, and the Zandvoort 500.  Rydquist has his sights set on making a big impact on US soil going sideways with Formula Drift.

“Our Top 32 finish at Irwindale was due on large part to the support we have with Road Race Engineering.  Their decades of experience really shines through on and off the track and we couldn’t have asked for a better match.”  Carl Rydquist – Driver/Team Owner – Rydquist Racing.

“Road Race Engineering is excited to represent our partners in 2014 on the Formula Drift circuit and show the world what our capabilities are on the race track.  This also gives us the opportunity to show our clientele how deep our experience is with different engine packages ranging from small displacement import motors to big displacement domestic V8’s.”  Rossy Welch – Marketing Director, Road Race Engineering.

Rossy Welch looks to further establish their organization as one of the premier Southern California facilities that produces some of the best professional level race cars as well as well rounded street driven performance vehicles.

Road Race Engineering’s president Mike Welch looks to apply his 25 years of motorsports experience to the Rydquist Racing and Berk Technology effort.   Welch is very enthusiastic about the newly forged partnership as the team evolves into an ever family of long time partners in the performance industry.

“It’s a perfect match up with Carl Rydquist and Bryan Berk as they already work closely with some of Road Race Engineering’s already long standing partners.  For over a decade we’ve been very close to their partners ACT Clutch, AEM, Hankook Tire, Turbo by Garrett, and KW Suspension.  Not only do we get to work together on projects using our in house Dynapak dyno, we are now able to get behind this joint effort in Formula Drift.”  Mike Welch – President, Road Race Engineering.

The partnership between Berk Technology and Rydquist spans three years and has proven to be a potent combination.  The pair looks to continue their formula for success in Formula Drift in 2014.

“We’re very fortunate to team up with such a solid organization.  Road Race Engineering brings a lot of energy and talent to the program and after the Irwindale finals I can say that we are already off to a fantastic start.  We are a sophomore team and we can only move straight up the ladder from here.  2014 already looks like it’s going to be a fantastic year for Berk Technology and our partners.”  Bryan Min – President, Berk Technology

Joon Maeng Formula D – Round 6 – San Antonio, Texas

We are just back from the 6th round of the 2013 Formula D championship in Texas. We were supporting Joon Maeng in his Lucas Oil – MAV TV RRE LS-13. Joon’s car just went through a round of serious weight reduction by Nate. He tried centralizing the weight in the rear a little more and well as a second round of weight reduction on the front end.

The light weight and revised suspension that Nate built made the car incredible. Joon said that the car is a serious championship contender as it sits now after dialing it in throughout the year.

This is the first year of  running at Texas World Speedway for the Formula D series. Everyone was a little off, quite a few upsets in qualifying had everyone surprised. \Yet it was cool seeing several smaller privateers get into the top 32. Joon qualified decent at 26th place with a 79 point run, but luck put him up against this year’s points leader Michael Essa. Tough first round for sure and Joon didn’t get to move on to the top 16.

We were also helping out with the Rydquist Racing – Berk Technologies LS-1 powered 350Z. Carl gave qualifying his best shot but didn’t make it into the top 32. It was his first run with the LS-1 engine. For Round 7 in Irwindale Carl is going to add some NAWZ for a little more power to finish up the season. It will be Turbo LS-1 for 2014!


More pics and story (more…)

Mitch from MP Tuning Tunes the Rydquist Racing – Berk Technologies FD 350z @ RRE

Mitch Pederson from MP Tuning was here on the RRE Dynapack dyno tuning on our friend’s Rydquist Racing-Berk Technology Formula D 350z with it’s fresh LS swap. Fun stuff!

AEM Series 2 standalone ECU
Champion Spark Plugs
ACT clutch system
Fiveo Injectors

One of the pulls the factory LS water neck fitting popped out making a bit if a geyser :-P Go General Motors! Sealed back up and cleaned up the mess and back to tuning in 15 minutes. Now we know they randomly do that.

From Brian Berk:

The OEM GM steel water neck is “press fit” and worked its way out of the water pump in spectacular fashion. The neck is probably 3-4 thou smaller than the orifice and is only held in by a 50-60 thou wide bead of thread locker. I welded on an aluminum neck after this little mishap.

They went out testing and the car is currently running great. Getting ready for Round 6 of the Formula D championship at Texas Motor Speedway September 13-14.


Video by Drew @ Thirstyfilm

Joon Maeng – PAS Magazine Feature Article

Joon Maeng’s LS-13 got a nice feature article in PAS Magazine this month. Nice story and background on the car with all the tech specs. Read the full article here: Like Car, Like Driver


There’s two sides of every coin for a reason

Joon “Gentle” Maeng may look like just another young driver on the Formula Drift circuit, but don’t let his appearance fool you. He has been through many ups and downs, and a number of cars too. This year brings a new beginning and a fresh start for the South Korean. His personal Lucas Oil / Mav TV sponsorships were renewed, and he is now joined by Nexen Tires to take on the competition, managing his own program with the help of Road Race Engineering. Reliability is key to success in the unforgiving world of drifting, and his latest Nissan S13 chassis has been conceived from the ground up with that in mind.

To play with the big boys, a basic four-cylinder engine wouldn’t cut it. Maeng’s team knew this and went a different direction, swapping a Brodix 8.2-liter LSX V8 into the front of the sport coupe and tuning it to put out a whopping 800 horsepower and 750 lb-ft of torque. The power is managed through a dog box transmission and ACT clutch and flywheel, transferring into a brand new Weir Performance rear end.

Read the Full Article Here on pasmag.com 

Joon Maeng Formula D Round 5 – Evergreen Speedway – Monroe, WA

Round 5 of the Formula Drift Championship took place at Evergreen Speedway located just outside of Seattle Washington.


Thursday practice gave Joon a feel of the track with the s13, Joon was “Balls Out” this weekend in so many ways!


Friday qualifying was very crucial Joon laid down a 73.5 in his first run, which would get him in the top 32 , Joon was aggressive in run 2 with an 85 point run under his belt, Joon qualified 21st which would put him against Conrad Grunewald who drives the Hankook tire Camaro ss


In Joon”s chase run, he would keep good proximity on the bank but straighten in the “Power Alley” due to e-brake issues, giving Conrad Grunewald a huge advantage


Joon’s lead run was clean and aggressive. Conrad had multiple mistakes but it was not enough to give Joon the win, Conrad would move on to the top 16.


The crew had fun however.

JTP Stops by to use the RRE Dynapack

Justin Pawlak had an Eclipse back in the day and we have always watched his rise through the ranks in Formula D to the top. He now has a full ride with team Falken driving the signature teal/blue Falken Mustang. John Mueller of Muellerized.com is now his spotter and is in charge of his suspension program too.

Justin just got his personal turbo FC RX7 together and stopped by RRE to tune it on the dyno. AMDrift.com’s Dave Karey came by to shoot it and do a little write up on the day. Check it out here.

Joon Maeng – Formula D Long Beach

On Friday afternoon at the Formula D opening event at Long Beach here in Southern California Joon qualified 21st to make it into the show on Saturday.

On Saturday morning after the morning practice and warm up session we heard some odd ticking noises from the valve cover area. On further inspection we found that the LS7 had a broken valve spring. :-/ Joon was not able to get into the top 16 for the main event.

Kevin @ Nexus Visuals is Joon’s videographer and he put together this video of the weekend:

Click here for more pics from David Karey @ AM Drift and the RRE crew: (more…)

Erica Ocampo – RRE Formula D Umbrella Girl

Erica Ocampo is our official RRE Umbrella Girl for the Formula D season this year competing with Joon Maeng’s LS13. You will remember her from last year’s Mitsubishi Owner’s Day and also from the cover of DSport with Tim Smith’s EVO X.

Check out her website here : http://www.ericaocampo.com/

Joon Maeng Formula D Press Day

Joon’s first runs giving rides to the media and tearing up the streets at Long Beach’s Formula D Press Day in the Lucas Oil/RRE LS13.

Joon Maeng @ FD Tech Day

Joon passed the Lucas Oil RRE LS13 through tech inspection this last weekend for the runup to the 2013 Formula D season. Here are some pics from the tech day and an interview with wreckedmagazine.com.


Joon Maeng – American Real

Joon’s Sponsor MAV TV shot a promo video of Joon here at the shop, they have it up now!

Joon Maeng was born in Seoul, Korea and moved to the United States at the age of nine. His passion for speed and cars began early in his childhood. Since then, he has remained loyal to his passion through the sport of drifting. When he’s not racing Joon manages Daily Udon & Sushi restaurant and builds drift cars.

Joon Maeng- FormulaD Las Vegas- Lucas Oil RRE LS13 Premiere [updated]

Joon Maeng debuted his new LS2 powered S13 at the Las Vegas Formula D this weekend. We just finished building the new car over the last  month and a half. Joon lost his ride in the Nitto Tire RX8 with Ron Bergenholz just before the Seattle Formula D round.

Joon had a S13 bare shell in the wings waiting and all the guys at RRE chipped in with some serious long all nighters to get the new car built and running.

Lucas Oil and American Real TV have always been a personal sponsor of Joon. They both are really helping to get Joon to the last two races of the FD championship this year.

The S13 is wrapped with one side as Lucas Oil

And the other as American Real TV.

After being let go from Bergenholtz Racing, Joon Maeng decided to continue as a privateer in the Lucas Oil/Nitto Tires V8 S13 240SX. This car was a plain 240SX body shell that was built into the LS2 V8 beast you see here in just over a month and a half.

Nitto Tire, Sam’s Auto Land, Parts Shop Max, Feal Suspension, Westech Performance, ACT and many, many other companies stepped in to help Joon make this happen.

With some final suspension adjustments Joon qualified 12th Friday night with a clean 82 point run. With the new course layout it was a night of big upsets.

RRE mechanic Lod Tongkul is Joon’s crew chief and RRE fabricator Art Thavilyati (more…)

Joon Maeng – Panama Drift Photos and Video

Joon is back and we got some great pics and a little video from his trip down to Panama. Enjoy!

Here is his write up on the event:


Joon Maeng – Prepping for Panama Drift

Lod, Art, Ruben  and Joon just finished up prepping Joon’s S13.5 for the Formula D drift demo and stunt show in Panama City, Panama on Feburary 5th. They added some heat protection around the turbo and swapped Joon’s MotoIQ grip road racing setup back to drift.

Lod put the 240 turbo on the dyno for a clean up tune with the AEM EMS and knocked out a solid 400 whp/375 ft lbs of torque on the RRE Dynapack dyno on 91 octane.


Jack Gets a Magazine Cover (Sort of)

I picked up the newest issue of Modified Magazine last week and I was looking at the cover. Checking out the CBRD EVO they had there and wait, what? Hey! RRE’s favorite up and coming drifter Jack Reynolds got his 240 (with a Dart V8) pictured at the bottom! We have been helping Jack as much as we can. He is a great kid and he slides that beast with no fear. Modified Mag has a nice series of articles this month about how to get into drifting and time trials. Congratulations Jack!



Formula D – Title Fight

Well www.speedhunters.com says it well… “the biggest man in the smallest car” Jeff Abbott got into the big show Friday by qualifying 27th on Friday night under the lights at the House of Drift in Irwindale. At the drivers meeting to announce the qualifying it was all: “Good news, you qualified 27th, you are in!” and then it was “bad news… you go up against Dai Yoshihara for your first run!”

Jeff drove his heart out. Dai led on the first run and you could just see Jeff pedaling as fast as he could trying to keep up to the V8 powered S-13. On the second run with Jeff leading he pulled off a great run. But with Dai making everything count with his potential championship on the line, there wasnt much the little 1.8 liter Mazda had to hold him off. The run would have been enough to advance to the sweet 16 against many other cars. Oh well, it was Dai’s night in the end.

Jeff ends the season with bigger motor visions dancing in his head. We’ll see what comes over the winter!


MotoIQ just posted a great interview with JOON MAENG.


Before getting in to that however, I have to say, all that stuff you hear about Joon is true.  I got the chance recently to hang out with Joon over the weekend at Redline Time Attack when RRE was out supporting his S13 for the event July 2-3 at Big Willow.  Joon and I shared a hotel room, so we hung out a bit on and off the track.  After careful study of Mr. Maeng, I have to say, he is just as cool as the media describes him as.  The guy has a magnetic personality and he is just golden to be around even when his car was overheating in the 112 degree heat (that translates to something like 10000000 degrees on the track).  Joon took the whole weekend in stride, the ups the downs and even me, snoring while he was trying to get some sleep.  It was a great weekend and I hope to get the chance to hang out with the RRE crew and Joon again soon!!

Also, The fact that Joon is the first Korean American pro drifter is no joke in the Korean community.  Koreans take stuff like that seriously and the community is behind this guy with their love and support!!  There is a minidoc on this here:


….enough said…  Here is the interview.  Don’t forget to check out MotoIQ!!  Their site is worth at least a day wasted in the office at your cubicle monitor!!  ALSO, I changed ALL the pictures on here, so the MotoIQ story will have pics. of Joon in his beastly RX-8.