Daigo Saito is Victorious at Round 3: Invasion at Palm Beach International Raceway

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Daigo Saito is Victorious at Round 3: Invasion at Palm Beach International Raceway;
Pawlak Remains in the Pro Championship Points Lead

Long Beach, Calif. – June 2, 2012 – Formula DRIFT returned to Round 3: Invasion at Palm Beach International Raceway for the second consecutive year. Rookie Daigo Saito in the Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 takes the victory and closes in on the points leader Justin Pawlak in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang.

Round 3: Invasion saw an increase in attendance in the second year of competition at Palm Beach International Raceway. The Driftstream saw over 200,000 viewers in a 24 hour period.

“We’re happy to be able to run the original track configuration due to the improvements by Palm Beach International Raceway which made for an improved event for the fans,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Additional grandstands were brought in to accommodate for the increase in fan attendance. The dedication and investment by the venue shows their support for our Series and look forward to returning next season.”

Points leader and winner of last year’s Palm Beach event, Justin Pawlak and the 2011 Formula DRIFT Champion, Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan 240SX faced off in a battle for third place. Yoshihara took the win after Pawlak spun out on his chase run and moves into third place overall. The final match of evening pitted Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z against Formula DRIFT rookie Daigo Saito. After a close battle Saito was crowned the winner and has now found the podium for the third consecutive event and increases his chances to win the coveted rookie of the year honors.

“This is the first time being in Formula DRIFT and I was able to take the victory and am extremely happy about that,” said Daigo Saito, winner of Round 3: Invasion. “I want to thank everyone and my sponsor Achilles Tire. All my runs weren’t perfect, but I am happy with the final outcome.”

The Formula DRIFT Pro Championship continues with Round 4: The Gauntlet on June 22-23, 2012 at Wall Speedway.

Formula DRIFT Announces New International Licensed Series, Drift Challenge

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Formula DRIFT Announces New International Licensed Series, Drift Challenge;
French 2012 Championship Series to Award Top 3 Drivers with Formula DRIFT Pro License

Long Beach, Calif. – May 29, 2012 – Formula DRIFT has announced a new Official International Licensing Series, Drift Challenge, of Sain Maur des fosses, France. The top three drivers from the 2012 Championship Series to receive 2012 Formula DRIFT pro license.

“I am very happy, excited and especially proud to say that Drift Challenge is officially a Formula DRIFT licensing series,” said Tony Jouin, president of Drift Challenge. “Formula DRIFT has done so much Internationally for the sport and it is truly an honor to be a part of the family. Often times, France is behind the curve when it comes to motorsports, but we can finally say that the French drifting community is working hand in hand with the best drifting series in the world. We realize we have a lot of catching up to do, but we believe that we have many talented drivers that are waiting for the right opportunity to prove themselves, and they now have the chance of a lifetime thanks to Jim Liaw & Ryan Sage of Formula DRIFT.”

The 2012 Drift Challenge season will begin on June 2 at Salbris. The six round Pro Championship will then travel to Pouilly en Auxiois, Muret and Albi. Rounds 5 and 6 will take place in the same weekend on November 3 & 4 with the top three overall drivers from the season to receive a Formula DRIFT Pro Championship license.

“Formula DRIFT’s international profile has grown tremendously in the last few years and as a result of that more and more international drivers are flocking to the US to compete in our premier championship,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Because of the increase in international drivers, we are working to expand our Licensing Series program beyond US borders. We are excited to be adding Drift Challenge to our line-up of affiliate licensing series and hope to see a French driver in a Formula DRIFT competition very soon.”

For more information visit: www.formulad.com and www.driftchallenge.fr.

Daigo ‘The Ninja’ Saito Defends Title at Achilles Formula DRIFT Malaysia 2012

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Daigo ‘The Ninja’ Saito defends title at Achilles Formula Drift Malaysia 2012, presented by Canon
Massive crowds braved rain to cheer on local hero Tengku Djan Ley, ‘The Prince of Drift,’ to third place

20 May 2012 (KUALA LUMPUR): Daigo ‘The Ninja’ Saito of Achilles Drift Team triumphantly beat drift legend Manabu ‘Max’ Orido for the second consecutive year to be crowned champion of Achilles Formula Drift Malaysia 2012, presented by Canon, while Malaysia’ Tengku Djan Ley of M7Bridgestone rounded up the podium in his comeback race in third place.

The day belonged to Daigo with his flawless and gutsy display of precision drifting at Speed City KL, kicking off the first leg of the series on a winning note. The all-Japanese finale was a rematch from last year that saw Daigo demonstrate his aggressive style. In the first run, Daigo blasted off to an insurmountable lead that forced Orido to play catch up. In the reverse run, Daigo repeatedly put pressure on his compatriot, chasing him and sliding close with only inches to spare – keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats with plenty of slick drifting.

Said Daigo: “I’m really excited about today’s victory and returning back to Malaysia as champion. I was competing with a brand new car and had concerns on how it will perform. I knew that my biggest challenge was against the local favourite in the semi-finals and I had to be aggressive, so I gave 120 per cent going against Djan.”

The race also saw the return of Djan after a one-year hiatus. He clinched his 3rd-place finish by knocking out Emmanuel ‘Dio’ Armandio of Indonesia, after losing to eventual champion Daigo in the semi-final where the 8000-strong crowd made themselves heard in the highly anticipated encounter.

Said Djan: “It feels really good to come back to the drift scene. Daigo was really fast – faster than I thought when I watched him on TV in last year’s event. We now have to go back to the drawing board to see how we can improve to make up the difference.”

This year’s event saw the drivers contend against the weather, in addition to each other in the tandem battles, with the rain adding an element of unpredictability that proved to be too much for some. It saw local ace Ser Ming Hui, aka ‘Ah Fai’, from Achilles Drift Team Malaysia crashing out in the round of 16 against Indonesia’s Dika CH, despite entering today’s competition as the second seed.

Djan, who led the Malaysian contingent by qualifying to the round of 32 with the highest score of 94 out of 100 in the first rounds, showed a clear indication of the quality of Malaysian drivers. Seven Malaysians made it to the round of 16, with the likes of Ivan Lau of Achilles Drift Team and Ee Yoong Chern of GT Radial joining Tengku Djan in the quarterfinals.

Today’s race marks the beginning of the Achilles Formula Drift Asia Series 2012. The next leg will be at Singapore on 30th June – 1st July 2012.

Justin Pawlak Takes the Victory at Round 2: Road to the Championship

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Justin Pawlak Takes the Victory at Round 2: Road to the Championship;
Pawlak Remains on Top of the Standings and Becomes the Tires.com Triple Crown Leader

Long Beach, Calif. – May 12, 2012 – Formula DRIFT returned to Road Atlanta for Round 2: Road to the Championship. Justin Pawlak takes the victory in the Falken Tire Mustang increasing his point lead in the Pro Championship Points Standings.

Round 2: Road to the Championship brought the Formula DRIFT Pro Championship back to the Series birthplace nine years ago. Fans came in droves seeing an increase in attendance at Road Atlanta. This marks another consecutive season of growth.

“It’s very satisfying that Road Atlanta and Formula DRIFT have formed a partnership nine years ago to help grow drifting in this region,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “We look forward to our ten year anniversary at this venue next season.”

Justin Pawlak takes his second consecutive victory to increase his points lead. Additionally, Pawlak is now the points leader in the Tires.com Triple Crown bonus prize. Pawlak faced Fredric Aasbo in the Need for Speed / Hankook Scion TC and edged out the 2010 Rookie of the Year to take the victory. Walker Wilkerson in the Falken / Fatlace / Garage Autohero Nissan 240SX battled Formula DRIFT rookie, Daigo Saito in the Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 in the consolation round. After a one more time battle Saito beat out Wilkerson to take his second third place finish of the season.

“The boys at ASD and Falken gave me what I need to help me get to that number 1 spot,” said Justin Pawlak, winner of Round 2: Road to the Championship. “Next round is West Palm Beach and with a great car and great team we were able to take the win there last year and plan to remain focused and keep this momentum going.”

The Formula DRIFT Pro Championship continues with Round 3: Invasion at West Palm Beach International Raceway on June 1-2, 2012.

Formula DRIFT Announces Second Season of Formula DRIFT Insider

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Long Beach, Calif. – May 1, 2012 – Formula DRIFT has announced today the continuation of the popular online program, “Formula DRIFT Insider.” The first episode will premiere on Thursday, May, 3 on Formula DRIFT’s social media outlets and website.

After a successful trial during the last 10 weeks of the 2011 Formula DRIFT Championship season, Formula DRIFT will launch the second season of “Formula DRIFT Insider,” this Thursday, May 3. Subsequent episodes will air every other Thursday until the conclusion of the season in October. Formula DRIFT Insider will cover much of the behind the scenes action of the world’s premier drifting organization and go on the road with teams, drivers and staff to show exclusive access never before seen to the public. The show will continue to be hosted by Formula DRIFT co-founder, Ryan Sage.

“We are really happy that Insider was received well by fans last year,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Now we have the chance to cover the entire season and it should make for some really exclusive and captivating content to share with our fans.”

The first episode of Formula DRIFT Insider will have an exclusive interview with 2011 Champion, Daijiro Yoshihara, an exclusive news release surrounding one of the top teams in the Series and finally a surprise surrounding the second round of competition at Road Atlanta, which takes place on May 11-12.