Round 5: Throwdown at Evergreen Speedway Results; Chris Forsberg Takes the Victory

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Long Beach, Calif. – July 21, 2013 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro returned to the Pacific Northwest to a sold out crowd. Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z takes the victory and the championship points lead.

The fans came out in droves for Round 5: Throwdown at Evergreen Speedway and for the second year in a row the event was held in front of a sell-out crowd.

“Each year we look forward to the action and excitement at Evergreen Speedway and this year did not disappoint. The championship chase is heating up with only two events left in the season,” stated Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “The chase is as close as it has ever been and we look forward to returning to Texas for the next round of competition and then the Finals in Irwindale.”

Heading into the event, returning champion Daigo Saito had a commanding points lead, but with an early exit in the Top 32, an opening for the other drivers became present. In the consolation round, Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis in the Nexen Tire Nissan 240SX battled Fredric Aasbo in the Hankook Tire / Scion Racing tC. Wheel and tire problems helped give Aasbo the win and the third place finish. The final battle pitted Michael Essa in the GSR Autosport / Yokohama BMW M3 against Chris Forsberg. After a close battle, Forsberg edged out Essa to take the victory and the lead in the 2013 Pro Championship points standings. Essa also moves into second place overall.

“Hats off to my crew for giving me a perfect running car this weekend as they were hustling really hard since Thursday’s practice to get the car dialed in for today,” said Chris Forsberg, winner of Round 5: Throwdown. “It is a testament from last year’s season to this year just how much you can improve with a hard working crew and the support of great sponsors. I’m excited for the win and the lead and can’t wait for the next event.”

With only 2 events remaining the championship is up for grabs with less than 35 points separating the top five drivers from the title. Formula DRIFT continues to Round 6: Showdown at Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas on September 13-14, 2013.

Round 4: The Gauntlet at Wall Speedway Results

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Daigo Saito Takes the Victory

Long Beach, Calif. – June 22, 2013 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro returned to Wall Speedway in New Jersey for Round 4: The Gauntlet. Daigo Saito the driver of the Achilles / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 increases his Championship point lead with his second victory of the season.

For the second year in a row, Round 4: The Gauntlet showcased action in front of a sold out crowd in New Jersey. This event marks the half-way mark for the season with the championship in the sights of a few of the top drivers.

“We are happy to return to New Jersey for the ninth time,” stated Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “After Hurricane Sandy devastated the area last year, we are proud to be able to contribute and bring some economic stimulus to the region with our Series. On top of that we were treated to world class action in front of a capacity crowd.”

The new course configuration at Wall Speedway proved to be challenging and exciting for the drivers. A few of the top teams were taken out early in the competition opening the door for others to move ahead in the event. In the consolation round with Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z against Darren McNamara in the Falken Tire Nissan 240SX the action heated up when McNamara had a mistake that gave Forsberg the third place finish. The final battle pitted the number one qualifier Justin Pawlak in the Falken Ford Mustang against champion Daigo Saito. Pawlak on his chase run went a little too hard and spun out giving the victory and increasing the Championship point lead to Daigo Saito.

“I’m very happy to have this win and remain in 1st place,” said Daigo Saito, winner of Round 4: The Gauntlet. “It feels like I won a championship tonight going against some of the top competition in the Series with Vaughn, Fredric, Darren and Justin and I look forward to the next event.”

Formula DRIFT continues to Round 5: Throwdown at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA on July 19-20, 2013.

Round 2: Road to the Championship Results

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May 11, 2013

Round 2: Road to the Championship Results;
Daigo Saito Takes the Victory

Long Beach, Calif. – May 11, 2013 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro continued to Round 2: Road to the Championship at Road Atlanta. Defending 2012 champion, Daigo Saito in the Achilles / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 takes the victory.

Round 2: Road to the Championship returned for the tenth consecutive season to the home of the inaugural Formula DRIFT competition at Road Atlanta. This is the only course on the circuit that has paved a custom section of the track specifically for drifting. Despite the intermittent rain, the fans in Atlanta came out in force and stayed through to the end of the event. Road Atlanta has the largest attendance for the Series outside of California.

“Drifting is chaotic and unpredictable,” stated Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Today showed the ability of the Formula DRIFT drivers to adapt to the changing conditions while still performing.”

The rain slicked track proved to be a challenge as the event entered into the Top 16 portion of the competition. Heading into the competition, Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan 240SX held the points lead, but surprisingly failed to make it into the Top 16, opening the opportunity for other drivers in the point standings. Michael Essa in the GSR Autosport / Yokohama Tire BMW M3 faced Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in the Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR in the consolation round. Gittin won third place and takes the lead in the 2013 Pro Championship point standings. The final round pitted Darren McNamara in the Falken Tire Nissan 240SX against returning champion Daigo Saito. McNamara on the first run misjudged the speed of Saito and ran into his car causing damage and giving up the advantage, which his team was not able to overcome. Saito earned his first victory of the season and moves into second place overall.

“This almost feels like revenge from Long Beach since I was only able to make it into the Top 16 at Round 1,” said Daigo Saito, winner of Round 2: Road to the Championship. “The track conditions were horrible and it could have been anyone that won, but I am happy that I was able to pull off the victory. Thanks to the team and Achilles for helping make this all possible.”

For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com

Formula DRIFT Professional Championship Presented by GoPro 2013 Standings After Two Rounds
1. Gittin Jr., Vaughn Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR 172 Points
2. Saito, Daigo Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 161 Points
3. McNamara, Darren Falken Tire Nissan S14 156 Points
4. Essa, Michael GSR Autosport / Yokohama BMW M3 141 Points
5. Yoshihara, Daijiro Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 137 Points
6. Aasbo, Fredric Hankook Tire Scion Racing tC 136 Points
7. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z 135 Points
8. Tuerck, Ryan Team Retaks / Maxxis Scion Racing FR-S 125.50 Points
9. Moen, Kenneth Lutz Performance / Falken Tire Nissan 350Z 120 Points
10. Powers, Matt Nitto Tire / Fatlace Nissan S14 119 Points
11. Pawlak, Justin Falken Tire Ford Mustang 116.50 Points
12. Bakchis, Aurimas Nexen Tire Nissan S14 112 Points
13. DeNofa, Chelsea BC Racing BMW 3 Series 105 Points
14. Mohan, Kyle Nexen Tire / Mazdatrix RX-8 86 Points
15. Wang, Forrest Get Nuts Labs Nissan 240SX 82 Points
16. Field, Matt CX Racing / Blacktrax Nissan 240SX 81.50 Points

Round 2: Road to the Championship Event Results
1. Saito, Daigo Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 Winner
2. McNamara, Darren Falken Tire Nissan S14 Second Place
3. Gittin Jr., Vaughn Monster Energy / Nitto Ford Mustang RTR Third Place

Manufacturers Championship Standings After Two Rounds
1. Ford 288.50 Points
2. Scion 261.50 Points
3. Nissan 248 Points
4. BMW 246 Points
5. Lexus 239.75 Points

Tire Championship Standings After Two Rounds
1. Falken 330 Points
2. Nitto 311 Points
3. Hankook 270 Points
4. Achilles 243 Points
5. Nexen 228.50 Points

Daigo Saito is Victorious at Round 7: Title Fight and is Crowned the 2012 Formula DRIFT Champion

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Long Beach, Calif. – October 13, 2012 – Formula DRIFT returned to Irwindale Speedway for the 2012 season finale. Daigo Saito in the Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 takes the event victory and wins the 2012 Formula DRIFT Championship.

Round 7: Title Fight at Irwindale Speedway showcased drifting in its finest form. For the first time in Formula DRIFT and Irwindale Speedway history the event sold out before the gates opened to the public.

“Last year was so amazing we didn’t think we could do it again, not like this“ said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “This is why we love drifting. We are so energized for season 10 starting April 12-13, 2013.”

The competition was intense as the championship was up for grabs. Entering the event, seven drivers had a chance for the title. This soon changed as top drivers in the chase were taken out early including points leader Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in the Monster Energy / Falken Ford Mustang, defending champion Daijiro Yoshihara, in the America’s Tire / Falken Tire Nissan 240 and the 2009 champion, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy / Hankook Nissan 370Z. This opened the door for both Daigo Saito and Rhys Millen in the RMR / Hankook Hyundai Genesis Coupe who met in the Final Four. Millen, the number one qualifier took himself out as he went hard into the wall giving the win to Saito. The wall took a number of victims through the competition including Justin Pawlak in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang when he battled Saito in the Finals, giving Saito the event victory. Saito in his rookie year in the Series becomes the first Series rookie to also be crowned Formula DRIFT champion. Saito a seasoned veteran drifter is arguably considered the best drifter in the world winning the Formula DRIFT Asia championship, D1 championship and now Formula DRIFT Pro Championship.

“Luck was with me tonight. I’m very happy to be able to compete in Formula DRIFT this year. I’ve wanted to compete in the Series for so long,” said Daigo Saito, winner of Round 7: Title Fight and 2012 Formula DRIFT champion. “Thank you to Formula DRIFT and Achilles Tires. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the help of everyone that helped me get to this point.”

Formula DRIFT enters its tenth season of competition in 2013. Tickets are on-sale currently and can be purchased through the Formula DRIFT website and Ticketmaster. Round 1: Streets of Long Beach will be held on April 12-13, 2013.

Vaughn Gittin Takes the Victory at Round 4: The Gauntlet at Wall Speedway

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Vaughn Gittin Takes the Victory at Round 4: The Gauntlet at Wall Speedway;
Yoshihara and Forsberg Round out the Podium

Long Beach, Calif. – June 23, 2012 – Formula DRIFT returned to Wall Speedway for Round 4: The Gauntlet. Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in the Monster Energy / Falken Tire Ford Mustang takes the victory.

Round 4: The Gauntlet at Wall Speedway saw a sold out crowd continuing the successful season. The Driftstream saw over 200,000 total views in a 24-hour period.

“The drift fans from all over the North East are die hard and came to watch the action until the very end,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “With many of the top drivers hailing from the area, the North East fans saw two local drivers with Vaughn Gittin, Jr. and Chris Forsberg on the podium.

The competition was fierce at the half-way point of the season. Finding the podium was the past three season champions. Top 4 competition saw a repeat of the final round from Round 3, with the 2009 champion, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z battling against Formula DRIFT rookie Daigo Saito, in the Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430, who currently sits in second place in the overall standings. Forsberg got his revenge and was able to defeat the rookie ending up in third place and moving him up to fifth place overall. The final battle pitted the current 2011 Formula DRIFT champion, Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan 240SX against the 2010 Formula DRIFT champion, Vaughn Gittin, Jr. Yoshihara had a major correction on his chase run which gave the win to Gittin, for his first podium of the season and improving to fourth place overall. Yoshihara found the podium for his second consecutive event and remains in third place in the standings.

“It took me a little longer than expected to harness this brand new 2013 Monster Energy / Falken Ford Mustang,” said Vaughn Gittin, Jr., winner of Round 4: The Gauntlet. “My team and I worked extremely hard and overcame the challenges and got back on the podium and it feels amazing!”

The competition increases with only a few points separating the competition on their way to becoming the next champion. The Formula DRIFT Pro Championship continues with Round 5: Throwdown on July 20-21, 2012 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA.