SEMA News: Team Falken’s ‘Dai’ Yoshihara Crowned 2011 Formula Drift Champion

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Team Falken’s ‘Dai’ Yoshihara Crowned 2011 Formula Drift Champion
At the final event of the Formula Drift season, Team Falken veteran Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara, driving the Discount Tire/Falken Tire Nissan 240SX, took his first championship in the Formula Drift series, completing a year which saw either his name or that of his teammate, Justin Pawlak, consistently atop the leader board. Pawlak took second in the championship.
Falken’s Tyler McQuarrie successfully attacked the competition at the “Title Fight” and earned the final win of the season, the fifth victory out of seven for Team Falken in 2011. As a result, McQuarrie moved up to finish sixth in the standings. Teammates Darren McNamara took fourth overall, while defending Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. placed 11th.

The final round of the series concluded the most successful season in Formula Drift history. The sold-out crowd eclipsed attendance records for Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, known as “the House of Drift,” and is now the largest event in the history of this sport.

 While Falken held onto the top two spots in the championship, a small gap in points separated the top five competitors. The 2011 season turned out to be the closest and most competitive chase for the championship in the history of Formula Drift. In addition to winning the title, Yoshihara also won the Triple Crown, marking the first time in the series that a Discount Tire driver took home this award.

On hand to witness this event within Falken’s hospitality were 465 dealers and retailers, including special guests from Ford Racing, Discount Tire, Monster Energy and Sears Auto Center. In addition, Falken hosted a limited-edition T-shirt giveaway promotion through Facebook.


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 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 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.

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