In the first episode of Team Falken driver Dai Yoshihara’s webseries we get a peek behind the scenes during his pre-season test with his Discount Tire S13 built by the guys at SPD Metalworks. Dai also tries his best to explain drifting. Spoiler: he fails… But its still fun to watch him try! Scroll down and check it out!
Tags: · 240SX, Dai Yoshihara, daiyoshihara, Discount Tire, DiscountTire, Drift, Drifting, Falken, falken tire, falkentire, Features, Nissan, Nissan 240SX, Nissan S13, Nissan240SX, NissanS13, S13 Coupe, S13Coupe, team falken, TeamFalken, Video
The 2011 Formula Drift season kicked off over the weekend on the Streets of Long Beach for Round 1. Many were waiting to see how things would start to pan out with many new cars on the grid as well as new drivers and just as suspected things started off wacky. The biggest talk of the event was 2010 Formula Drift Champ Vaughn Gittin Jr. failing to qualify for the event. During Gittin’s first qualifying run he had a major bobble in the middle of the sweeper which resulted in a very low score of 41. When it was time for his second run he ran the course nearly flawlessly until he reached the hairpin at the end and lost drift. Losing drift once you initiate a turn will automatically get you a big fat 0 from the judges leaving Vaughn only his first score to try to get by on but it wasn’t nearly enough. Many feel that this setback for Vaughn will undoubtedly end any hopes that he will repeat as champion this year due to the nature of Formula Drift’s point system. Time will tell I suppose.
With Vaughn out of the running and Sam Hubinette also bowing out due to engine troubles many were speculating on who would capitalize on the a few of the heavy hitters being absent. Conrad Grunewald qualified 1st and Dai Yoshihara qualified just under him so many felt it would come down to those two in the final battle. However, once the Top 32 competition started the next day Grunewald fell to Chris Forsberg in the Top 16. Dai Yoshihara on the other hand was on a mission. He had never won at Long Beach before and he was looking to change that. Dai took down rookie Aurimas Balchis, Ross Petty, and then Ryan Tuerck to get all the way to the final four where he was pitted against Justin “JTP” Pawlak. The battle between them was fierce and evenly matched. Many were sure the battle would go into a OMT (one more time) but the judges gave the win to JTP to the ire of the thousands watching on the live driftstream. With that, Yoshihara’s hopes of winning Long Beach for the first time were relegated to “next year” although he wasn’t totally out of the show yet. After that battle, Chris Forsberg was lined up against his buddy Matt Powers who was dominating the day in his old but new Need For Speed Nissan S14 240SX now with V8 power. Their battle was equally epic but in the end Matt Powers bested Forsberg to get into the final show down against JTP. This would be the first time either driver would make it into the final show down. While they were preparing to fight for top spot Dai and Chris went head to head in the consolation round for third place where Dai edged out Chris to lock in a bronze for the event.
All that was left was for Powers and Pawlak to fight it out for their first win. When the smoke cleared (literally) it was Justin Pawlak who won the judges favor and took his first ever Formula Drift victory in his Falken Tire Ford Mustang. Despite losing to JTP, Matt Powers had plenty to celebrate as he earned his first podium finish and upgraded his status from “fan favorite privateer” to an official “force to be reckoned with”. While Dai wasn’t able to get a win here the fact that made it to the podium shows the new comers that he isn’t going anywhere soon and is officially in the running for the 2011 Formula Drift Championship title.
With Formula Drift Round 1 in the books all the drivers are now turning towards the south and the next round which will be at Road Atlanta on May 6th-7th. If you can’t make it don’t worry you’ll be able to watch the whole thing live right here as I will have the driftstream posted on MotorworldHype.com for your viewing pleasure.
Check out the photo galleries from the event!
Tags: · Dai Yoshihara, daiyoshihara, Discount Tire, DiscountTire, Drift, Drifting, ea games, EAGames, Events, Falken, falken tire, falkentire, Formula D, Formula Drift, FormulaD, formuladrift, FormulaDriftLongBeach2011, jtp, Justin Pawlak, JustinPawlak, matt powers, MattPowers, need for speed, NeedForSpeed, News, TeamFalken
You can always count on Falken Tire for a compelling behind the scenes video of all their motorsports activities. This latest piece takes us behind the pit wall during the ALMS testing session at Sebring FL as the team works on getting their Porsche GT3 RSR dialed in for this season. This is definitely a nice way to spend three minutes! Scroll down to watch.
This spy shot popped up on the interwebs today courtesy of Mike Kojima. This will eventually be Dai Yoshihara’s 2011 Formula Drift competition car. Unfortunately the car probably wont have the awesome staggered tire sizes you see in the picture. That was just a playful poke by Mike at the new Formula D tire rules for 2011. We’re waiting with baited breath to see how the car will look once Falken crew is totally done with it. Get ‘r done boys!
Tags: · 240SX, 240SX Coupe, Dai Yoshihara, Drift, drift car, drift car build, Drifting, Falken Drift, falken tire, FD, Formula D, Formula Drift, FormulaD, News, Nissan, Nissan S13, S13, Silvia S13, team falken
Vaughn Gittin Jr has parlayed his many years involvement in Formula Drift with Team Falken and his support from Ford Racing and Monster Energy Drink by winning the 2010 Formula Drift series championship! Dai was still in the running, especially since he out qualified Vaughn in the top 32 but an accident in his battle against Matt Field in the top 32 dashed all chances of Dai taking the title. At that point all Vaughn needed to do was advance out of the top 32 himself to lock in the title and that is exactly what he did when he defeated rookie Nikolay Konstantinov.
With the title battle over the matter of who would take the top spot at Irwindale became the new story. Justin Pawlak was on point all day as was Darren McNamara. Then there was new champion Vaughn Gittin and Tires.com Triple crown hopeful Tanner Foust to think about as well. In the end it came down to Tanner Foust vs Vaughn Gittin for first place. Not only was an Irwindale victory on the line but also the Tires.com Triple Crown. Vaughn was looking to nail the trifecta (Championship, Round 7 win, and Triple Crown) while Tanner wanted his first win of the season and was also hunting the $10k Triple Crown check himself.
Both drivers wanted it bad as the judges were forced to make them run one more time. However, the second time around Tanner Foust took it to the new champion to take the win and the crown.
Congrats to Vaughn Gittin on his 2010 title and to Tanner Foust on his Irwindale win and Triple Crown win. Also a big thanks to all that make up Formula Drift, the drivers, the teams, the staff, and the fans for making 2010 one of the most exciting years for Drifting ever.
P.S. stay tuned to SEMA for some big announcements regarding Formula Drift and a few drivers/teams. To see pics of the Formula Drift round 7 weekend check out our Facebook gallery.
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Tags: · 2011 mustang drift car, Dai Yoshihara, Drift, Drifting, Events, falken tire, Formula D, formula d irwindale, Formula Drift, formula drift irwindale, House of Drift, michihiro takatori, Monster Energy Drink, Mustang RTR, News, Rockstar Energy Drink, Tanner Foust, team falken, vaughn gittin jr, vaughn gittin jr champion
Vaughn Gittin Jr. extended his points lead over Dai Yoshihara over the weekend by earing a “W” in Sonoma. He had to battle his Drift Alliance brother Ryan Tuerck for the victory (Tuerck defeated Dai Yoshihara in the Great 8). Tanner Foust rounded out the podium with a third place victory. Next up is the very last round at “The House of Drift” Irwindale Speedway in California. Something catastrophic needs to happen in order for Dai to pass Vaughn and take the title, but with the unpredictability of drifting I wouldn’t rule that out!
At the relatively cool (95 degrees at midnight) Las Vegas Motorspeedway Formula Drift was burning up tires left and right as a full field of drivers were battling for a round 5 win in sin city. However it was Team Falken Tire that burned more rubber than anyone by sending three drivers to the final four, then dominating the podium with Vaughn Gittin Jr. taking third place and Dai Yoshihara taking second place after having mechanical problems before his battle with Tyler McQuarrie who took the top spot overall. This is the second time that Falken has had a podium sweep and with their roster of talent I doubt it will be the last time.
They’re also enjoying championship battle success as only 22 points separate points leader Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Dai Yoshihara in the standings. With only two rounds left (Sonoma and Irwindale) it is hardly a done deal. Just because both drivers are on the same team, don’t expect them to go easy on each other!
Tags: · Dai Yoshihara, Drift, Drifting, falken tire, Formula D, formula d vegas 2010, Formula Drift, formula drift series, formula drift vegas 2010, News, team falken, Tyler McQUarrie, vaughn gittin jr
I am happy to say that our buddy Dai Yoshihara took the victory at Formula Drift Round 2 “Road To The Championship” over the weekend! This is Dai’s 4th victory since entering Formula Drift and it is his first victory since joining Team Falken Tire. Congrats Dai!!
The 2010 Formula Drift season officially kicked off over the weekend with Round 1 taking place on the streets of Long Beach. All the pre-season hype was over and it was time for all the teams with new cars to put their money where their mouths were. Questions were answered and more were asked but when all the tire smoke cleared it was Vaughn Gittin Jr on top of the podium thanks to his new Falken Tire/Monster Energy Drink 2011 Ford Mustang. Taking 2nd place was Rhys Millen in his Red Bull Hyundai Genesis Coupe and coming in 3rd was Tanner Foust in his Rockstar Energy Drink Scion tC thus creating an all energy drink podium.
So what were some of the highlights from the weekend? Well Long Beach was to be the debut for several new cars such as Sam Hubinette’s Dodge Challenger, and Conrad Grunewald’s 2010 Chevy Camaro. However not all the new cars made it to the grid. Noticably absent was the Hankook Tire GT-R built by Gruppe-S/Dynamic Autosport for Robbie Nishida as well as the Hankook Tire Subaru WRX for Irish driver Eric O’Sullivan. Both cars failed to pass a last minute tech inspection and were not allowed to run. You can follow up on that drama on WreckedMagazine.com.
I am happy to say that the other highlight wasn’t controversial but a shocker nonetheless. Nordic driver Fredric Aasbo was extremely impressive in his Toyota Supra and shocked the crowed when he took down 2009 Formula D Champion Chris Forsberg in the top 16! Aasbo made it all the way to the final four where he lost to Vaughn Gittin Jr. in what some would call a questionable call by Formula D judges. Aasbo then had to take on Tanner Foust but it appeared as if his confidence was shaken since Tanner made quick work of Aasbo who seemed hesitant to stick close to Tanner during the battle. Vaughn used the momentum from his earlier win over Aasbo to take on Rhys Millen in a heated battle. But when Rhys spun and crashed into the tire barrier on his second run he handed the victory to Gittin thus securing the all energy drink podium.
With Long Beach wrapped up it is on to Road Atlanta where hopefully some of the cars who had trouble in Long Beach will be all sorted. WIll Vaughn be able to repeat down south? WIll the new Hankook Tire cars be ready for the next round? We’ll do our best to keep you posted!
In the mean time you can check out our 2 day gallery on our Facebook page or you can check out UrbanRacer.com’s gallery full of yummy action shots.
Tags: · 2010, 2011 ford mustang drift car, carbon fiber 2011 ford mustang, Drift, Drifting, falken tire, Formula D, formula d long beach, Formula Drift, formula drift long beach, Hyundai, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, Hyundai Genesis Coupe Drift Car, Long Beach Grand Prix, Monster Energy Drink, NASCAR engine scion tc, Red Bull, Rhys Millen, rhys millen hyundai genesis coupe, Rockstar Energy Drink, Scion tC Drift Car, Tanner Foust, vaughn gittin jr
Last night I got to visit Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory and hang out with the who’s who of the drifting community and the actions sports set to whitness the official debut of Vaughn Gittin Jr’s new Falken Tire/Monster Energy Drink 2011 Ford Mustang drift car. There was free alcohol, fish tacos, and lots of green light! However I don’t drink so I was only able to enjoy the latter of the three. It was pretty cool walking around the same place I watch Rob Dyrdek “do work” on MTV. Even the mini Subaru from Gymkahna 2.1 was on display! Check out some pics below and even more in our StreetFire photo gallery.
Tags: · 2011, 2011 ford mustang drift car, carbon fiber 2011 ford mustang drift car, Drift, drift alliance, drift car, Drifting, Events, falken tire, Fantasy Factory, Formula D, Formula Drift, Monster Energy Drink, rob and big, Rob Dyrdek, rob dyrdek's fantasy factory, vaughn gittin jr, wild grinders