FD 2018 Technical Rulebook Overview/changes

For some reason, FD’s yearly technical rulebook isn’t readily publicly available. Regardless, I found a copy and looked through it. As usual, the formatting is so wildly different from last year that you can’t just do a straight text comparison. They do highlight major changes in red so that’s nice. It is annoying that, in this not publicly available document, there are advertisements. There are also some typos or accidental duplications, but overall the document is well put together in comparison to last year’s.

There are several additions that seem to just close loopholes not exploited yet (no pressurized refueling allowed) or closing loopholes someone was maybe exposed for (you can have 2 batteries but they have to be connected and in use).

Notable changes are:

12v must be available for FD cameras/telemetry where the rear view mirror mounts. Seems like FD will soon be taking in car telemetry and record runs through their cameras. Later in the document it specifies provisions about data collection. This could be an interesting game changer in the future but looks like it likely won’t be used this year.

FD will be impounding all podium finishers immediately after end of competition and they will be checked for weight and tire size compliance. I suppose this will be quick to perform but why the sudden change? I feel like there’s drama here I don’t know about.

Technical manager is now called competition director. Although I have no idea why this is a change. Kevin got a promotion?

Bumper structures must be magnetic steel. This is one supposedly due to JR’s aluminum crash support system to save weight. I’m not sure why it was outlawed. Maybe just due to cost savings for other drivers.

Wing standoffs no longer allowed at specific tracks. Unless it’s trunk mounted. This appears to keep wings from hitting walls and shattering. Tracks include “but not limited to Long Beach, Orlando, Wall, Las Vegas, and Seattle”

If your vehicle has chassis tearing or subframe stud problems please contact the Formula Drift Technical Department. This isn’t new, I just like how there’s an exception for the E36/E46 chassis.

Brake systems may be biased only front to rear. No brake bias may be used in a side to side configuration. Again this isn’t new but I have heard of drivers biasing side to side in order to not lock up one of the front tires when lightly left foot braking without turning on the brake lights.

Wheel paint/tire stickers. This is likely related to the bullet above. Perhaps this will also help show ebrake drags too. I can see how many people will hate this change but I personally like it.

Wheel tethers are recommended on the front and rear wheel for 2018, but may be required for 2019. I like how they hint that it might become mandatory. I haven’t looked into ways of tethering wheels but if they aren’t too obtrusive, it should be a simple change.

Pro and Pro2 will have different patches for 2018. Because we need to remind Pro2 guys that they aren’t Pro1 drivers?

Tires sponsor section is completely blank. It’s definitely TBD but it’s odd that there isn’t anything listed at all. I don’t recall this in previous years.

Pro2 specifics:

Minimum 2900lbs, mandatory 260mm max width tire, and 18 inch wheels. The 260 width rule is fine. I find it a little odd that they are mandating an 18 inch wheel. This will level the playing field and most drivers would be on an 18 anyway.

Tires must be used unmodified, as supplied by an Official Tire Supplier. Filing, buffing, or any other disguising of tire sidewall is prohibited. This is a Pro2 specific rule. Maybe drivers wind up having to use a tire they don’t like and are sanding off the logos of the manufacturers? That’s a lot of effort to go through to hide what tire you’re running. The unmodifying tire rule (like sticky compounds or bead lockers) is still around for both Pro and Pro2; this is simply on top of it.

Changes that I think are odd, newly specific, or weird:

Air jacks are now explicitly prohibited. I don’t know of anyone currently using them and they would add extra weight. But I can see why this is now explicitly prohibited.

Skid plates are now allowed but can only cover what’s necessary. That’s nice.

In cabin adjustments are not explicitly not allowed. Except brake biasing front to rear but that isn’t allowed between runs or during runs.

Helmet visors must be down during runs. That makes sense but why is it written in the rules all of a sudden?

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