Daijiro Yoshihara Makes Drastic Career Move To Mixed Martial Arts

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Press Release

Los Angeles – April 1, 2013

2011 Formula Drift champion Daijiro Yoshihara shocks the world to become the first champion professional drift driver to make a career move to mixed martial arts (MMA).  The Japanese native Yoshihara has been training with former MMA champion Josh Barnett for some time now.  Daijiro has competed in Formula Drift since 2004 and became the series champion in 2011.  He was turned onto MMA when he met Barnett who is an avid drifting fan.  “I was totally hooked.  Drifting is exciting and where my roots are but I think MMA is where my future is.” Yoshihara states.

After several months of training Daijiro finally made the decision to dedicate his professional career to MMA and retire from drifting.  Josh Barnett has been by his side all through the transition and he calls Daijiro “a natural”.  Daijiro also got an opportunity to spar with one of the Gracies in a jiu-jitsu match and he completely overwhelmed his opponent.  “I’ve always respected Gracie jiu-jitsu but they were no match for the speed and balance I’ve achieved through professional driving. My left foot clutch kick is pretty gnarly.” claims Daijiro.

The award winning Behind the Smoke webseries on GTChannel has followed Daijiro’s drifting career for the past 2 seasons but will continue to cover Daijiro even though GTChannel is an automotive channel on Youtube.  GTChannel’s Executive Producer Taro Koki says, “No matter where Dai goes his fans will follow him so Behind the Smoke will continue to capture Dai on and off the mat from now on.” A new episode of Behind the Smoke is scheduled to be released every Monday.

Although no opponent has been announced yet.  Yoshihara looks to train hard and dedicate himself to fighting for hereon.


Formula DRIFT Announces Partnership with Dailymotion to create web series, Battle Tested

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For Immediate Release 

March 29th, 2013 

Formula DRIFT Announces Partnership with Dailymotion to create web series, Battle Tested

Long Beach, Calif. – March 29th, 2013 – Formula DRIFT has announced a new partnership with Dailymotion via the creation of a web series called, Battle Tested. The series will highlight the search for a Formula DRIFT championship through the eyes of each rounds winner and showcase behind the scenes exclusive footage that has not been seen before.

“This is going to be a very cool project. Along with Dailymotion’s continued support with broadcasting our live stream, we have now added this web series as an additional part of the story for race to the Championship in 2013,” says Ryan Sage, Co-Founder of Formula DRIFT.

“Dailymotion is very excited to be partnering with Formula DRIFT. Between live streaming the events and co-producing the exclusive behind-the-scenes series, Battle Tested, we feel Dailymotion can be an integral component in helping to grow the popularity of this thrilling new sport,” says Anthony Layser, Senior Editor of Dailymotion.

Battle Tested will debut on Dailymotion the week leading up to the first event in Long Beach, April 12-13th and will feature 2011 series Champion, Daijiro Yoshihara.

For more information on Formula DRIFT, visit: www.formulad.com.

Formula DRIFT Asia – Round 3: Indonesia

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The fifth Formula Drift Asia season is set for a showdown finale this weekend at Formula Drift Indonesia, the third leg of the series to be held on November 17 and 18 at the West Parking Area of Jakarta International Expo (JI Expo) in Kemayoran, Jakarta. At the end of the competition on Sunday, we will witness the crowning of the Formula Drift Asia 2012 champion. Current championship leader Daigo Saito of the Achilles Drift Team, who has won the previous two rounds in Singapore and Malaysia, is confident of defending his title.

Daigo, the recently-crowned Formula Drift USA 2012 champion and reigning Formula Drift Asia champion said, “I am pretty confident about winning the Formula Drift Asia series. It would be a perfect ending for me and my sponsor Achilles to wrap up the season with a win at Jakarta and the overall title.”

Standing in second and third place of the championship are Tengku Djan Ley, Malaysia’s Prince of Drift, and Rio Saputro of Indonesia who will be eager to perform well on homeground. Toughening up the competition will be Formula Drift USA regulars Kenshiro Gushi and Robbie Nishida, as well as Indonesians drifting stars Emmanuel Amandio and Rulli Armando who finished second at last year’s Indonesian leg.

Making his Formula Drift Asia debut with the RS-R team is Fredric Aasbo, the Norwegian drifter who made a mark in the North American drift scene when he clinched the Rookie of the Year award at the 2010 Formula Drift USA series.

Commenting on his first time in the Southeast Asian premier drifting series, he said, “I am absolutely honoured to get to drive the RS-R Toyota Supra, which has previously been driven by my Scion Racing team mate Ken Gushi and the original drifting guru Max Orido. I have a lot of faith in the RS-R crew as they know the Formula Drift Asia scene and competition format very well. I am very excited to get to work with them for this round. This is a learning experience for me, but – as always – we will be taking on the competition to the best of our ability.”

In addition to the main event, the new competition segment introduced this year will not be missed in Jakarta. Called the 36BOL Asia Drift, selected drivers will be paired up to represent their sponsors and perform two tandem runs where points are awarded for teamwork and coordination. The team with the most stylish and best executed runs wins.

Giving more recognition to the drivers and the crew, new subsidiary awards have also been added for this year. Besides the typical overall driver and team championship awards, there will be:

Pioneer of Drift award – Recognizes the driver involved who has significantly contributed to the scene in Asia since the inaugural Formula Drift Asia event.

Spirit of Drifting award – Recognizes the efforts of the driver who believes in the sport and keeps on trying at every single round regardless

Best Drift Style award

Team Manager of the Year award

Crew of the Year award

With the fans at heart, exciting limited edition memorabilia will be launched at Formula Drift Indonesia. A second limited edition Formula Drift Casio G-Shock watch will be released with Kenshiro Gushi as the ambassador again; this time the watch will be sporting a locally inspired theme. The first Formula Drift G-Shock was launched at the Singapore leg.

A collaboration with Sparco Singapore also sees two exclusive t-shirt designs – a classic “I Love FD” tinged with gold foil and a “Drift or DAI Trying” edition endorsed by Formula Drift USA 2011 champion and Formula Drift Asia judge Daijiro Yoshihara.

Last year, Formula Drift Asia made history with its first ever ‘live’ broadcast at its Indonesian leg. Since then, there has been a ‘live’ broadcast of the Top 16 battles at every round. This weekend, Formula Drift Indonesia 2012 will be broadcasted ‘live’ on STAR Sports on Sunday, November 18, from 3.30pm to 5.30pm (Jakarta time).

[VIDEO] Behind the Smoke 2 – Ep 23 Irwindale Formula D

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Formula D champion Dai Yoshihara seeks to improve his standings by finishing the season with a bang at the Irwindale finals. The Discount Tire/Falken Tire S13 is set up and ready to perform to its full potential. Now it’s up to Dai to redeem his showing at Irwindale since he has been knocked out at in early rounds for the past two years at this final event. GTChannel sat down with the team at SPD Metalworks before Irwindale to hear their thoughts.

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