By SEMA Editors
Last year’s SEMA Young Guns winner Kyle Kuhnhausen in his ’72 Datsun.
The nationwide search for aspiring, up-and-coming young vehicle builders comes to Southern California, as the SEMA Young Guns Regional Program joins Formula DRIFT in Long Beach, California, April 6.
As the second stop of the 2019 SEMA Young Guns Regional Program, the Formula DRIFT event will feature 10 builders age 27 or younger competing for a chance to participate in the 2019 SEMA Battle of the Builders program and showcase their vehicles at the SEMA Show, November 5–8, in Las Vegas.
Since 2014, the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition has served as the automotive industry’s premier vehicle competition. Open exclusively to builders with vehicles on display at the SEMA Show, the competition expanded in 2017 to provide exposure for a limited number of rising young builders. This year’s program includes partnerships with nine venues, with one winner from each venue awarded an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the 2019 SEMA Show, transportation of the winner’s vehicle, a designated feature spot at the Show and entry into SEMA Battle of the Builders.
“We’re excited to have the SEMA Young Guns Program join us at our season kickoff of the Formula DRIFT Black Magic PRO Championship, April 5–6,” said Jim Liaw, president of Formula DRIFT. “Supporting and discovering new, young talent in the industry is an important initiative that we’re proud to be part of.”
As part of Formula DRIFT’s O'Reilly Auto Parts Streets of Long Beach presented by Permatex, vehicles from 10 young builders will be on display as the builders compete for a chance to advance to the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition in Las Vegas. The 10 participants will be selected from applicants who enter the Young Guns regional competition at www.semayoungguns.com before March 30, 2019.
“As our only Southern California stop, Formula D’s Long Beach event will be one of the most exciting of the season,” said Ira Gabriel, SEMA vice president of marketing, PR and communications. “The region has a long history of vehicle customization, and we’re looking forward to discovering some amazing talent at this event.”