Formula DRIFT World Championship: Japan Round Results

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Formula DRIFT World Championship: Japan Round Results;
Masato Kawabata Wins at Fuji International Speedway


Long Beach, Calif. – July 13, 2015 – Formula DRIFT Japan presented by G-Shock entered Fuji International Speedway for the 5th Round of the inaugural Formula DRIFT World Championship. Masato Kawabata in the Team Toyo Tires Drift/Trust Racing Nissan 35RX GTR takes the event victory and Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis leads the Formula Drift World Championship with a second place finish.

Formula DRIFT Japan at Fuji Speedway was the first world championship round outside of the U.S. The break in the rainy weather treated fans to a great display of international drifting competition as 63 drivers from 8 nations battled to be at the top of the podium. Almost 300,000 Livestream viewers joined the action and tuned in from around the world.

“Last November we took a bold step to launch the Formula DRIFT World Championship and this round officially kicks off which drivers will be eligible,” says Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT. “Japan is the birthplace of drifting and it’s fitting to start the first international round where it all started.”

The event was challenging as many drivers who have never competed against each other matched up for the first time on this seemingly simple but very technical course. The semi-finals pitted Tadahiro Fukada in his RC-ART Dreamteam with Falken Toyota Mark II against Aurimas Bakchis in his ARK Performance / Feal Suspension / Nitto Tire Hyundai Genesis Coupe with Bakchis edging out Fukada to head into the finals. Number 1 qualifier Masato Kawabata in his Team Toyo Tire Drift / Trust Racing Nissan 35RX GTR defeated Masao Suenaga in his RE Amemiya Mazda RX-7 to face Bakchis in the finals. The final head-to-head battle between Bakchis and Kawabata came to an early end as Bakchis’s motor gave on the second run and was not able to maintain drift. This gave Kawabata his perfect weekend by qualifying 1st and winning the competition.

“It felt really good to compete and be successful against foreign drivers that I have never driven against before,” stated Masato Kawabata, winner for Formula DRIFT Japan. “I was provided with a great car that did not have any troubles all weekend and drove comfortably. I would love to compete more internationally. The world be ready, I am coming.”

The 2015 Formula DRIFT season will continue to Round 5: Throwdown on July 24-25, 2015 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. For more information visit: and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Tune into Formula DRIFT on CBS Sports and check your local listings for airtimes.


Formula DRIFT Japan: Fuji International Speedway Event Results

1. Kawabata, Masato Team Toyo Tires Drift / Trust Racing Nissan 35RX GTR Winner
2. Bakchis, Aurimas “Odi” ARK Performance / Feal Suspension / Nitto Tire Hyundai Genesis Coupe 2nd Place
3. Fukada, Tadahiro RC-ART Dreamteam with Falken Toyota Mark II 3rd Place

2015 Formula DRIFT World Championship Standings After One Round

1. Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis ARK Performance / Feal Suspension / Nitto Tire Hyundai Genesis Coup 358.00 Points
2. Aasbo, Fredric RS-R Japan / Toyota GT86 NZ6 320.00 Points
3. Field, Matt Drift Cave Motorsports / Toyota Chaser JZX100 210.00 Points
4. Yokoi, Masashi D-MAX Racing with Yokohama / Nissan Silvia S15 187.00 Points
5. Kearney, Dean Oracle Lighting / Achilles Motorsports / Nissan 180SX S13 153.00 Points
6. Saito, Daigo Fat Five Racing / Lexus SC430 139.00 Points
7. Nishida, Robbie Team FNATZ x LB Works with ATR Radial / Nissan Skyline GTR 125.00 Points
8. Ng, Charles SoGun Motorsports / Mitsubishi Evo 122.00 Points
9. Whiddett, Mike Team Magic / Mazda RX7 FD3S 72.00 Points

Official Statement Regarding Recent Street Drifting Accident

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Watch A Street Drifter In LA Hit A Spectator And Drive Off

In response to recent events [Watch A Street Drifter In LA Hit A Spectator And Drive Off], Formula DRIFT has issued this statement.

Formula DRIFT does not support or encourage the use of public streets for illegal street drifting or any form of illegal street racing.  These activities not only harm the drivers and the spectators but also damages the Sport’s standing.

Please keep the streets safe and drift in a controlled environment.  There are many alternatives to street drifting such as those provided by many of our ProAm affiliates (Lone Star Drift, Streetwise Drift, Just Drift, US Drift, Southwest Drift/Vegas Drift, Golden Gate Drift, Evergreen Drift and Midwest Drift Union).

For those in Southern California, Formula DRIFT holds monthly Thursday Night Drift events at the Irwindale Event Center, which provides a safe environment and instruction from some of the top drifters in the nation.


For more information visit:



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July 9th TND

Thursday night July 9,  Irwindale’s own Formula DRIFT open practice sessions will resume on the course that the entire civilized world now knows as the legendary “House of Drift” … aka: Irwindale Speedway right at the top of the 605 freeway.

2015’s action-packed Thursday night under-the-lights practices will be held monthly with events now set for:

  • July 9
  • August 13
  • September 10
  • October 1
  • November 12
  • December 10

Each of the Thursday night sessions will start with a (public invited) technical inspection for the competition vehicles at 4PM and drift practice will run flat out from 5 to 8PM. The fan gates open at 4PM and there’s plenty of close-free parking.

 Open to the public (fans can watch from the stands and visit the pits as well) admission is only $10 per person. These will be nights when fans can see some of the best of the best getting tuned-up for the 2015 season as well as catching the acts of some of new, upcoming Drift talent as they test their driving skills and machines against the established pros.

 Anyone can run their properly-equipped* car for $75 and they can register right at the track on Thursday night.

Thursday Night Drift Requirements

Continue reading THURSDAY NIGHTS GO “SLIDEWAYS” at IRWINDALE Speedway July 9, 2015