Formula Drift: Dai Yoshihara Wins Round 5 “Throwdown” Takes Championship Points Lead

If you did not get a chance to tune in to the livestream of Formula Drift over the weekend you missed Falken Tire driver Dai Yoshihara earning a victory, taking the Formula Drift championship points lead, and making history as the first Falken Tire driver to win at Evergreen Speedway.  You also missed Fredric Aasbo earning his first podium in the Need For Speed Scion tC.  Wow, you really missed a lot didn’t you?!  Next time you should really make sure you watch our livestream post!  The next few rounds should be pretty interesting with Dai Yoshihara taking back the lead from Justin Pawlak who had an early exit in round 5 by losing to Dennis Mertzanis in the Top 32.  While that sounds like a major setback for JTP, Dai’s lead is only a measely 15 points (Dai 412, JTP 397) and with two rounds left (Las Vegas and Irwindale) JTP is still very much in the title fight.  Not to mention that Chris Forsberg, Darren McNamara, and Matt Powers are all still viable theats for the title should something drastic happen to Dai or JTP during the final rounds.  We can’t wait for the next round! Stay tuned to for the Las Vegas Round 6 livestream post.

Press Release:

Formula DRIFT Round 5: Throwdown Results;
Daijiro Yoshihara Takes the Victory and the Lead in the Standings

Long Beach, Calif. – July 23, 2011 – Formula DRIFT returned to Evergreen Speedway for Round 5: Throwdown. Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire / Falken Nissan S13 takes the victory and the lead in the overall Pro Championship points standings. Attendance records were broken as the event reached capacity for the venue.

Round 5: Throwdown reached capacity as fans came in droves to Evergreen Speedway. Attendance was up over 10% from last season continuing the increase in numbers for the Series. Fans were treated to an exciting round of action from the top drivers in the sport.

“The Pacific Northwest has an amazing fan base, which was proven today,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “We are excited to see the growth of the sport and the Series this season with a continued increase in attendance at each event.”

The competition heated up with the final four drivers aiming to move closer in their chase for the championship. Fredric Aasbo in the Need For Speed / Scion Racing TC went head to head with Rhys Millen in the Red Bull / Hankook Hyundai Genesis Coupe and edged out the former champion earning third place. The Finals matched up the 2009 champion, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z with Daijiro Yoshihara. Yoshihara took the victory and gained the lead in the Pro Championship point standings and remains the leader with a commanding lead in the Triple Crown bonus.

“It feels great to be in the lead,” stated Daijiro Yoshihara, winner of Round 5: Throwdown. “After the Top 32 when Justin Pawlak was taken out of the competition I knew I had a good chance to win, but I didn’t want to think about points and focused on winning one round at a time, which worked! We have 2 competitions left so I need to focus on them still before I can think too much about the championship.”

The Formula DRIFT Championship continues for Round 6: After Dark at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on August 26 – 27. Tickets are available to purchase online.

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Formula DRIFT Professional Championship 2011 Point Standings after 5 Rounds
1. Yoshihara, Daijiro Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 412 Points
2. Pawlak, Justin Falken Tire Ford Mustang 397 Points
3. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z 369 Points
4. McNamara, Darren Falken Tire Pontiac Saturn Sky 345.50 Points
5. Powers, Matt Need for Speed Nissan S14 328.50 Points
6. McQuarrie, Tyler Falken Tire Nissan 350Z 317 Points
7. Tuerck, Ryan Gardella Racing / Mobil 1 Chevrolet Camaro 308 Points
8. Grunewald, Conrad Hankook Tire Chevy Camaro 300 Points
9. Gittin, Vaughn Monster Energy / Falken Ford Mustang 291 Points
10.. Mohan, Kyle Nexen Tire / Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8 266 Points
11. Aasbo, Fredric Need for Speed / Hankook Scion TC 250 Points
12. Yoshioka, Toshiki Retaks Nissan S13 238.25 Points
16. Millen, Rhys Red Bull / Hankook Hyundai Genesis Coupe 207 Points
14. Gushi, Ken RS*R / Hankook / Scion Racing TC 188.75 Points
15. Bakchis, Aurimas Bakchis Racing / Forged Racing Nissan 240SX 185.50 Points
16. Wilkerson, Walker Fatlace / Intec Racing Nissan 240 185 Points
Round 5: Throwdown Event Results
1. Yoshihara, Daijiro Falken Tire / Discount Tire Nissan 240SX Winner
2. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z Second Place
3. Aasbo, Fredric Need for Speed / Hankook Scion TC Third Place Triple Crown (after 2 of 3 events)
1. Yoshihara, Daijiro Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 212 Points
2. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z 153 Points
3. McNamara, Darren Falken Tire Pontiac Saturn Sky 144.50 Points
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