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.

Long Beach Local Kyle Mohan and Rookie of the Year Aurimas Bakchis Take Team DRIFT Victory

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Long Beach, Calif. – April 15, 2012 – Formula DRIFT’s Team DRIFT competition during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach concluded today with a victory from the team consisting of Long Beach native Kyle Mohan and the 2011 Rookie of the Year, Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis.

14 drivers paired up over the weekend to compete in front of thousands of spectators during the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Judged on tandem execution and style the teams put on a show through the entire street course. Guest judges Andy Yen (Formula DRIFT lead judge), 2011 Formula DRIFT champion, Daijiro Yoshihara and 2-time champion Tanner Foust awarded the win to Mohan and Bakchis. Coming in second place was the team of Taka Aono and Cyrus Martinez. Rounding out the podium with a third place team finish was the pairing of Walker Wilkerson and Dennis Mertzanis.

The Formula DRIFT Pro Championship continues with Round 2: Road to the Championship at Road Atlanta on May 11,12, 2012.

Replay XD To Sponsor Formula DRIFT Team DRIFT Competition during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach

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Long Beach, Calif. – April 12, 2012 – Formula DRIFT announced today that Replay XD will sponsor and support this weekend’s Team DRIFT competition at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach from April 13-15.

Replay XD and Formula DRIFT have teamed up to undertake a huge video production by mounting multiple Replay XD camera’s to all 14 of the Team DRIFT vehicles and film all the action on and off the track for an online video release to come after the event. Replay XD will become the exclusive POV camera for the Team DRIFT event and also be branded on each vehicle.

“We are excited that Replay XD has seen the opportunity to partner with us on the Team DRIFT event,” said Ryan Sage, vice president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “This event is always a fun weekend for Formula DRIFT and the participating drivers, but now this partnership will allow fans to see how amazing 14 drift cars unleashed on the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Street Course can be. Fans will be able to see every initiation and all door to door drifting from every single driver’s point of view.”

“We’re all racers and enthusiasts here at Replay XD, and drifting has really pushed the envelope of what is possible in a car. We’ve been long time supporters of grassroots drifting, and are excited to take the next step by working with Formula DRIFT,” said Replay XD President, John Spar. “Having a chance to use our XD1080 to bring a first-hand, HD experience of team drifting on the streets of Long Beach to Formula DRIFT fans and drifting fans everywhere is quite an honor.”

The Formula DRIFT Team DRIFT Challenge will take place on Friday, April 13 at 9:35 AM, Saturday, April 14 at 8:55 AM and the main competition will be held on Sunday, April 15 at 3:40 PM during the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach event.