Catch the Formula DRIFT champ on KROQ’s Loveline tonight. If you’re in the Los Angeles area tune in to 106.7 FM.
Do you enjoy the challenge of Formula DRIFT? Yes, this year I'm the rookie. I was really excited to test my skills in Formula D and I'm having a lot of fun this year so far. What are your goals for Formula DRIFT 2008? Or the years to come? I believe first impressions are very important and this is my first year to make an impact in Formula D. Of course my main goal is and always will remain to become series champion. How do you enjoy the competition here in US as a Formula DRIFT driver vs competing in Japan? Winning is difficult, regardless of series. If I drive well, I feel I can be successful no matter where I am. Second place at Round 02 Atlanta, first time in Atlanta, how does it feel to join the podium after just the 2nd round? I was really happy to find success so quickly. After making it to the great 8, I was already satisfied...I believed the next round would be nothing but practice...but I took each of the next rounds one at a time and did my best. I was really surprised to make it that far that fast! What's your exercise regime over a race weekend? Does it vary according to the race location, demands of the circuit etc? Unfortunately I've got nothing impressive going on here. I smoke too much, drink beer every night, and in a place like Vegas, the only exercise I'm getting is pushing buttons on the slot machines. Do you have a lucky charm? I don't have a lucky charm but the larger and louder the crowd is, the more likely you are to see some amazing runs from me. What do you do to stay calm as you're sat on the grid awaiting the formation? At this point in my Formula D career I'm not worried about small details as much as I am about just driving. Because I can't speak English, usually the only thing going through my head is, "I wish I knew what all these people were saying to me!" On Round 03 (Englishtown Raceway) You went off track while tandem drifting behind Grunewald, can you tell us what went wrong? That V8 is fast!! Going into that run I was already down by 2 points so I knew I had to be right on him to tie or push it to a one more time. Conrad was only going to be caught on the corners and the straightway in front of the judges stand was what concerned me. I basically decided to go 150% and not even brake coming out of the first corner...unfortunately this was too much and the speed and angle took me for an off course rally. Can you tell us about your ride? ER34 Skyline specs? Approx. 600hp Tomei 2.8L RB Engine, OS Giken T88 Sequential Transmission, OS Giken Super Lock Rear Differential, Koyo Radiator, Koyo Intercooler, Kakimoto Titanium Muffler, Work S1 Meister Wheels, Toyo Proxy Tires Is there any track that you are looking forward to? Why? I've never driven any of the tracks other than Irwindale but I'm looking forward to driving all of them. I like challenging my skills on new tracks. Who do you think is your biggest competition in Formula D? (Drivers?) I don't try to make any assumptions about any drivers. Sometimes the least expected drivers come out an dominate. I think it's best to take the approach of one run at a time. Is there anything else you would like to add? I am going to do my best to show this series the extent of my talent and skills. Team Manager: Roo Arebalo Team Mechanic: Satoru Kawamura
Blake Fuller and Braille Battery has recently unveiled his new Infiniti G35 that will be ready for competition by the end of the season according to Fuller. An official press release will be sent out shortly by Fuller and will be posted on the Formula DRIFT website. Stay tuned for more.
Initial Car Renderings
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Formula DRIFT Round 4: High Stakes;
Toshiki Yoshioka Takes Win at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Long Beach, Calif. – July 15, 2008 – Formula DRIFT entered Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first time for Round 4: High Stakes and rookie Toshiki Yoshioka took home the victory. This event also marked the 2nd event of the Tires.com Triple Crown bonus prize with Rhys Millen holding the lead over teammate Daijiro Yoshihara.
Entering Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the first time the Formula DRIFT Championship came back to the West Coast. The course became the fastest on the circuit with multiple drivers topping the high 90 mph range with their initial drift through the challenging track. The competition was as tough as ever with many new faces and vehicles entering the competition.
The event showcased one of the most diverse fields in Formula DRIFT history with the world’s best drivers from around the world participating at the event. Drivers such as Toshiki Yoshioka from Japan, Christian Pickering from Australia, JT Wharerau from New Zealand, and world renowned Japanese champion Manabu Orido made his Formula DRIFT debut. Japan came out on top with both Daijiro Yoshihara in his Bridgestone / RMR Pontiac Solstice GXP and Toshiki Yoshioka in his ASpec / Works Bell Toyota Sprinter Trueno making it to the finals. After a hard fought battle, Formula DRIFT rookie, Toshiki Yoshioka took home top honors in only his 2nd Formula DRIFT appearance.
“The diversity of the series was proven with drivers coming from around the world to compete in Formula DRIFT competition,” said Jim Liaw, President and Co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “You never know who will come out on top as proven with 3 Toyota Corollas making it to the head to head round and upsetting some of the higher horsepower vehicles.”
At the halfway point of the season the competition for the Castrol SYNTEC Power Cup is as tight as ever with 2007 Formula DRIFT Champion Tanner Foust and his Rockstar / AEM Nissan 350Z leading the way and with less than 15 points separating Foust from 2-time Formula DRIFT champion Samuel Hubinette in his Nuformz Racing / Mopar Dodge Viper SRT10 in 2nd place and contender Daijiro Yoshihara in his Bridgestone / RMR Pontiac GTO following in 3rd, it will be a hard fought battle to the end. This event also marked the 2nd event for the Tires.com Triple Crown bonus prize and previous winner Rhys Millen leads the way by 4 points over teammate Daijiro Yoshihara. Formula DRIFT action continues on August 9 at the Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA.
Formula DRIFT Announces Red Bull Drifting World Championship;
World’s Best Drifters to Compete for Largest Drifting Prize Purse
LONG BEACH, Calif. – July 11, 2008 – Formula DRIFT, North America’s premier drifting Sanctioning Body, has partnered with Red Bull Energy Drink, the world’s leading energy drink, to create one of the world’s most anticipated drifting events ever – the Red Bull Drifting World Championship. The event, which will feature 32 of the world’s best drifters, will be held on the docks at the Port of Long Beach, Calif., on Saturday, November 15, 2008.
The Red Bull Drifting World Championship will bring the best drifting drivers in the world together to compete in a single historic event. Drivers from the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Europe and Canada will participate, but only one will claim the title of Red Bull Drifting World Champion. Current and past champions from the world’s top professional drifting series will receive an exclusive invitation to showcase their skills and compete for the largest drifting prize purse ever offered.
“Formula DRIFT has worked over the last five years to bring the drifting world closer together via our partnered events in Singapore and Mexico as well as our open door/open dialogue with the top professional drifting leagues from each corner of the world. We are excited to be able to team up with Red Bull to bring the world together and stage the toughest competition with the best drivers,” stated Jim Liaw, President/Co-Founder of Formula DRIFT.
The purpose-built course will include unprecedented features that will test the limits of the drivers and their cars such as a long straight to ensure triple-digit entry speeds, a big, sweeping first turn for high-speed drifting and multiple, technically challenging turns. Trackside viewing areas will allow spectators to get up close and personal with the competition.
“It is an exciting time for the sport of drifting. Red Bull is the leader for innovative sporting events worldwide and now drivers will be challenged like never before in a completely different environment than we’re used to,” said Rhys Millen, 2005 Formula DRIFT champion. “I’m proud to be flying the Red Bull colors heading into the Red Bull Drifting World Championship.”
Formula DRIFT, North America’s professional drifting championship series, will play the role of organizer, co-promoter, and sanctioning body for the World Championship event. Judging will be based on current Formula DRIFT rules and regulations with the possible addition of two international judges.
More information will be disclosed at a later date including brand and media partners and participating drivers.