Daigo Saito emerges champion as the cream rises to the top

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Daigo Saito emerges champion as the cream rises to the top
Team Spark Motorsports wins first Team Championship trophy at VIP Formula Drift Singapore 2011 Presented by Achilles Radial

Singapore, 12 June 2011 – Daigo Saito of Team Spark Motorsports joined the pantheon of champions, becoming only the third driver to take the much-coveted crown of the fourth edition of VIP Formula Drift Singapore 2011 Presented by Achilles Radial at the F1 Pit Building today.

It was a double victory for the team, with the Japanese champion and third-place winner Ken Gushi (USA) propelling Team Spark Motorsports’s charge to take home the inaugural Team Championship trophy with 183 points. Singapore is the first formula drift championship in the world to introduce the award for the best team performance.

Following two days of intense competition and volatile weather, Daigo showed consistency and the highest level of precision and car control, conquering the challenging track. Going neck-to-neck with Thai Saranon Pornpatanarak of Team M150 in the final face-off, the Japanese set the tone in the first tandem battle, chasing Saranon and staying mere inches from the Thai – drawing a huge round of applause from the crowd. In the second run, Daigo sped ahead to create an impossible gap for Saranon to match his competitor’s move, securing his first victory in Singapore with aplomb.

Recounting the competition, Daigo said, “Happy for the win as it is the first leg of the series, and I am happy to have gotten off to such a great start. It is amazing to be racing on an F1 circuit and the crowd really got behind Formula Drift. It was an encouraging victory, considering that none of them have competed in Singapore before. I am planning on keeping up my performance for the whole series this year with the Spark Motorsport team.”

The Thai ace driver will be hoping to carry this form into the remaining rounds of the Formula Drift Asia Championship, which will continue on to Indonesia, Thailand and finishing the year off in Malaysia. Saranon rued his chance missing out on the top prize, and said, “I came here expecting to be on the podium and am happy with my position in the race. To lose to someone like Daigo who is usually racing in D1 and competing against the best in the world is not so bad.”

Gushi won the final place on the podium with a dominating performance over Malaysian Ivan Lau from LTM Bridgestone. Said Gushi, “Formula Drift Asia is a phenomenal series, with highly skilled and competitive drivers, I hope to get more chances to compete against them and raise my own game in the car.”

Said Lau, “Ken had a slow start, and I came in too hot in the straight. I slowed down on the first clipping and missed a gear. I had to then upshift to fourth – that mistake cost me the third place today.”

Bright sunshine made for a welcome change from yesterday’s thunderstorms, as fans were once again treated to a world-class display of drifting prowess. With engines revving high and tyres burning furiously, the crowd had lots to cheer about as the tandem battles began in the morning. Unlike qualifying yesterday, which was based on the driver’s individual runs on track, today’s format was the tandem drift battles where drivers do two laps in tandem, each taking a turn to lead and fighting for the best score across two runs. The drivers were judged on their speed, style, and ability to maintain their drift angle for as long as possible. Battles are always tight and nail-biting, with chasing drivers pushing the limits and trying to better the lead driver.

Organised by ESPN STAR Sports Event Management Group, the Singapore event is the first of a four-leg series for Achilles Asian Drift Series which will be followed by events in Indonesia in October, Thailand in November and the year-end Grand Finale this December in Malaysia.

Please visit www.formuladriftasia.com for more details about the event.

Formula DRIFT Round 3: Invasion Results

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Formula DRIFT Round 3: Invasion Results;
Justin Pawlak Takes the Victory and the Lead in the Standings

Long Beach, Calif. – June 6, 2011 – Formula DRIFT entered Florida for the first time for Round 3: Invasion at Palm Beach International Raceway. Justin Pawlak takes the victory in the Falken Tires Ford Mustang and regains the lead in the Pro Championship standings.

Round 3: Invasion brought the Formula DRIFT Pro Championship to Florida for the first time in the eight seasons of competition. The action packed weekend showcased the best drifters in the world at a new venue. The new course was technical and fast giving the drivers a challenge to adjust to.

“The demand to bring Formula DRIFT from drifting fans to the state of Florida were heard loud and clear,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “We are confident that Formula DRIFT exceeded all expectations by showcasing the level of professional drifting competition never seen in the region before and hope we can make this a regular championship stop.”

The action on track saw the top 4 qualifiers make it into the Final 4 of the competition. Number one qualifier Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink Nissan 370Z battled number 2 qualifier Darren McNamara in the Falken Tire Saturn Sky in the consolation round. McNamara beat Forsberg to take third place in the event and also solidify a team Falken Tire sweep on the podium. The final battle was a battle of the Mustang with Falken Tire teammates Justin Pawlak in the Falken Ford Mustang and Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in the Monster Energy / Falken Ford Mustang. Pawlak edged out his teammate for his second victory of the season regaining the lead in the pro championship point standings.

“It feels unreal,” exclaimed Justin Pawak, winner of Round 3. “I knew I had a good chance to win despite a tough ladder of competition, but we brought it home and we are back on top!”

The Formula DRIFT Championship continues later this month for Round 4: The Gauntlet at Wall Speedway in New Jersey on June 17-18. Tickets are available to purchase online.

More Racing and Rocking Beats Expected at VIP Formula Drift Singapore 2011 Presented by Achilles Radial

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May 19, 2011 – Singapore – For the first time, motorsport fans in Singapore can look forward to a thrilling combination of howling engines, screaming tyres, and an electrifying line-up of party beats and entertainment acts as the fourth edition of the VIP Formula Drift Singapore Presented by Achilles Radial returns on 11 and 12 June 2011 at the iconic F1 Pit Building.

In addition to showcasing the region’s top drivers, this year’s event aims to elevate the spectators’ experience with an exciting mix of the best drifting action and entertainment. Organised by ESPN STAR Sports Events Management (ESS) with the support of Title Sponsor VIP Luxury, Formula Drift fans can expect more than just a motoring spectacle with an exciting line-up of musical artistes, promising to keep everyone’s engines revving late into the night.

This is the first time that VIP Luxury is involved with a sporting event, and is looking to make an impact with the drifting event, which has already established a strong following in Singapore. VIP Luxury will be going all out to make sure that guests are entertained throughout the evening, with VIP Rock the Rabbit Festival, pulling out all the stops by bringing down the world famous Playboy Playmate DJs, DJ Roxanne Dawn and DJ Diamond to keep fans entertained for the entire night.

Nick Leese, Chairman of VIP Luxury said, “We are all extremely excited about our new partnership as it combines the energy, attitude and atmosphere that we aim to achieve at all of our VIP Luxury parties. The audience will not be disappointed with what we have lined up for them, and it will definitely set the bar in the sporting scene!”

The Playboy-themed festival will also kick off with a casting call for all prospective Playboy Bunnies, as well as a VIP fashion show and Playboy Art Gallery. The festival will also include a special art gallery dedicated to the legendary Playboy Magazine Covers, as well as interviews with celebrities. VIP guests will have access to the Mansion Hospitality Suites, getting the full Playboy treatment.

“All of us at ESS are eagerly looking forward to this year’s VIP Formula Drift Singapore 2011 Presented by Achilles Radial and feel it will be the best one yet with this elite group of world-class drift drivers,” said Mr. Harvey Davis, Vice-President, ESS Events Management Group. “At the same time, we have seen how well entertainment and motorsport have gelled together and we hope that our partnership with VIP Luxury will make for a unique spectator experience that will elicit a greater sense of excitement and energy next month, and elevate the Singapore leg into a prominent event in South East Asia..”

VIP Formula Drift Singapore 2011 Presented by Achilles Radial has established itself on the region’s sporting calendar, attracting top drifting talents and interest from all across Asia. This year’s event continues its strong global flair with more than 45 drivers coming from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, China, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. With top international drivers such as Japan’s Robbie Nishida, Australia’s Joshua Boettcher and last year’s Formula Drift Asian Champion Tengku Djan Ley, the ‘Prince of Drift’, from Malaysia, this year should be one of the most competitive in the event’s history.

The Singapore event is the first of a four-leg series for Achilles Asian Drift Series which will be followed by events in Indonesia in October, Thailand in November and the year-end Grand Finale this December in Malaysia.

For more information please visit http://www.formuladriftasia.com/

Formula DRIFT Brings “No Limits” Style of Driving to Texas Motor Speedway for Firestone Twin 275s Pre-Race Show

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For Immediate Release

May 10, 2011

Formula DRIFT Brings ‘No Limits’ Style of Driving to Texas Motor Speedway for Firestone Twin 275s Pre-Race Show

Long Beach, Calif. – May 10, 2011 – Formula DRIFT has announced a non-championship point competition at the Texas Motor Speedway, “Ultimate Drifting,” presented by Scion and Motegi Racing. The drifting competition will proceed the high-speed action of the historic Firestone Twin 275s on Saturday, June 11, that also includes the IZOD IndyCar Series race.

Texas Motor Speedway’s pit lane and frontstretch will transform into a winding course for eight Formula DRIFT drivers as they race in a non-points competition spectacle free to Firestone Twin 275s ticket holders. The drivers include: Fredric Aasbo, the 2010 Formula DRIFT Rookie of the Year, Michael Essa, Kyle Mohan, Joon Maeng, Tony Brakohiapa, Patrick Mordaunt, Jeff Abbott, and a final driver to be named for a competition in the traditional bracket elimination format. The competition will begin at 6 p.m. CT.

“No pre-race show defines ‘No Limits’ better than our Ultimate Drifting presented by Scion and Motegi Racing,” Texas Motor Speedway Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Events Kenton Nelson said. “These are some of the most skilled drivers pushing their car to the limit to provide some intense racing, which sets the perfect stage for the excitement that will unfold during INDYCAR’s first twin races at Texas Motor Speedway.”

Ultimate Drifting sponsors Scion and Motegi Racing have continued to play a major role in Formula DRIFT and one of Texas’ largest single-day sporting events provided the ideal avenue to continue the growth of the sport.

“The opportunity to sponsor the Ultimate Drifting pre-race show was a natural fit for Scion,” Scion Marketing Manager for Gulf States Toyota Frank Bianchi said. “We are entering our third year as the title sponsor of Scion Drag-n-Brag at Texas Motor Speedway and have been a long-time sponsor in Formula DRIFT. Our current stable of drivers in Formula DRIFT includes Ken Gushi and reigning Rookie of the Year, Fredric Aasbo. This event gives us the unique opportunity to cross-promote those programs to a new fan base at one event.”

“Motegi Racing Wheels is excited to be part of another historic night at Texas Motor Speedway,” Motegi Racing Wheels President Jody Groce said. “The Firestone Twin 275s and Formula DRIFT on the same night is another example of the fresh and unique events that Eddie Gossage and his team continue to give the fans. The opportunity to leverage relationships with Fredric Aasbo of Formula DRIFT and Paul Tracy in IndyCar in front of 100,000 fans is huge for the Motegi Racing Wheels brand and our customers.”

Coupled with Ultimate Drifting presented by Scion and Motegi Racing, TRAFFIK, one of the largest touring car shows in the world, will provide a wide array of unique rides during its car show that will be held from 1-6 p.m. outside Gates 1 through 3.

Tickets, which begin as low as $31, for the historic Firestone Twin 275s and Ultimate Drifting, presented by Scion and Motegi Racing are available by visiting www.texasmotorspeedway.com, or by calling the Texas Motor Speedway ticket office at (817) 215-8500.

For more information visit: www.formulad.com.

For media inquiries about Formula DRIFT: John Pangilinan
The ID Agency
213.802.0863
[email protected]

Formula DRIFT Round 2: Road to the Championship Results

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Formula DRIFT Round 2: Road to the Championship;
Daijiro Yoshihara Takes the Victory and Lead in the Point Standings

Long Beach, Calif. – May 9, 2011 – Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 takes the victory and leads the points standings in the Pro Championship and Tires.com Triple Crown. Darren McNamara in the Falken Tire Saturn Sky places second and Toshiki Yoshioka rounds out the podium in third in the Retaks Nissan S13.

Round 2: Road to the Championship brought fans from all across the South East region together to watch an exciting round of competition. Road Atlanta hosted the event for the 8th consecutive year of Formula DRIFT.

“The championship chase heats up at Road Atlanta,” says Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Over the past 8 seasons the crowd has grown each year and because of that we are proud to announce a 3-year extension at this venue. We started here 8 years ago and look forward to continuing through 2013 where we will celebrate our 10th season.”

Toshiki Yoshioka found the podium again after a one year hiatus and placed in 3rd beating John Russakoff in the consolation round. The finals pitted Falken Tire teammates Daijiro Yoshihara and Darren McNamara. With consistent driving Yoshihara again found the podium this season and won his second consecutive victory at Road Atlanta. With this victory Yoshihara moves into 1st place overall in the Pro Championship standings and takes the lead in the chase for the Tires.com Triple Crown.

“The crowd was so crazy. I love this place,” said Daijiro Yoshihara, winner of Round 2: Road to the Championship. “I’m so happy to win at one of my favorite tracks in front of such a great crowd.”

The 2011 Pro Championship season continues for the first time in Florida for Round 3: Invasion at Palm Beach International Raceway on June 3-4. Tickets are available to purchase online now.

For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com