Faruk, Faruk, Faruk is on Fire


November 13, 2019

Sonoma, California

Image credit: Nate Westfield

After an exceptionally successful showing at the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas, Faruk Kugay and his Formula Drift car participated in the week’s end celebration, “SEMA Ignited!” As usual, Faruk delivered and went out with a bang as his car did, in fact, ignite! During his final run for the night his engine blew, the result of running too much power through the rods in the built motor, and his car became engulfed in flames in spectacular fashion. He was able to exit the car while safety crews put out the blaze. Faruk’s health has been evaluated, and he has no medical issues. He and the team appreciate the outpouring of concern for his well-being.

A YouTube video of Faruk’s incident at SEMA Ignite! can be found here: https://youtu.be/YWP2f1bLuuY

“Faruk, Faruk, Faruk is on fire!” People have been singing this lyric to Faruk for years, a personalized take on, “The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire.” It’s just that no one ever knew it would be prophetic! Faruk’s known for his will to persevere and resiliency. Just a couple hours after Friday’s incident he related, “It symbolizes our community, my program, and all dire situations. We and our community will rebuild.” Undaunted, plans to rebuild the car with a new engine are already underway. With an incredible amount of friends and fans asking how they can support us after the fire, Faruk and graphic designer Simona Merker have created a light-hearted shirt design to give people a way to support the team. It will soon be available at www.teamfaruk.com.

The day after arriving back in Northern California, Faruk took his E92 to Square Peg Winery in the midst of what two weeks ago was an evacuation zone. A photo shoot at the winery had been scheduled in late August, long before the community and Faruk’s car had been set ablaze. After the incident on Friday, Faruk found it imperative to proceed with the photo shoot, as it symbolized on a much smaller scale that fires will not hold our community back. “What we have gone through with our car is nothing in comparison with what Northern and Southern California have faced recently. My heart goes out to those who have been forced to evacuate and worse, lost their homes and businesses.”

Tonight, November 13, 2019, marks the last Wednesday night of Sonoma Drift for the season at Sonoma Raceway. We hope the community enjoys this much-needed diversion after the most recent round of wildfires in the area. Faruk’s burned drift car will be on display in the paddock.

Team Faruk operates out of the SGK/Works shop at Sonoma Raceway. Faruk Kugay’s current car is a BMW E92 chassis paired with a Toyota inline-6 2JZ engine. He and the car appeared in multiple episodes of Hyperdrive on Netflix. The engine has a signature sound that’s as thrilling to hear as his electrifying drifting style is to watch. The team is building a Nissan S14 for the 2020 Pro 1 Formula Drift season, which includes events all around the United States and is broadcast and streamed worldwide. The burned E92 will be used as planned, as a demonstration car for special events and appearances. Faruk also manages Sonoma Drift, which brings together a local community of racing enthusiasts most weeks during the year.

Image credit: Maxim Dossioukov