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For immediate release – The 2012 Formula Drift pro championship kicked off at Round 1 in Long Beach, California on April 6 and April 7 and proved to be a success for driver Aurimas Bakchis (Odi) and the Team M7 Japan Nexen Tire Nissan S14. Bakchis placed 15th in Round 1, further demonstrating that his 2011 “Rookie of the Year” title was well deserved.
Entering the season as the driver for Team M7 Japan, Bakchis debuted a new motor for his Nissan 240SX S14 chassis, upgraded suspension, and a new look. With a field of 60 drivers qualification scores were tight; Bakchis ranked 30th after Friday’s qualifying round and was paired with Vaughn Gittin Jr. for the Top 32 tandem competition.
Gittin straightened during the first run of the Top 32 tandem round and Bakchis then led a strong, aggressive run that moved Bakchis on to the Top 16 main event. Bakchis was paired with Ken Gushi for the Top 16 tandem competition. Gushi led the first run and then failed to follow Bakchis on the second run in what was determined to be a false start by Bakchis. After an exciting lead run by Bakchis, Gushi moved on to the next round and Bakchis finished the event tied for 15th place with Toshiki Yoshioka.
Round 1 was both exciting and successful for Bakchis, providing a strong start to the 2012 season. The season promises to be exciting for Bakchis and his team as they prepare to head to the east coast for the next three rounds of Formula Drift. Bakchis will be completing the season with the help of sponsors including M7 Japan, Nexen Tires, Feal Suspension, 702 Graphics, Clutch Masters, Torco, Drive M7 Energy Drink, Dstroyr, Battle Version, Swift Springs, EBC Brakes, Top Line, XXR Wheels, Sikky Manufacturing, and CBM Motorsports.
February 23, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. – February 23, 2012 – Formula DRIFT is proud to re-sign Nitto Tires as a Major Sponsor for the 2012 Pro Championship Series.
Nitto Tire will be on-site at each event as a sponsor of the Series as well as competing with their drift team. The Nitto team will compete on the NT05 tire.
“Nitto Tire is proud to continue its support for Formula DRIFT for the seventh season,” said Harry Kong, Marketing and Events Specialist for Nitto Tire. “This motorsport combines competiveness with excitement for both automotive enthusiasts and the general public. For 2012, Nitto will continue to use the Nitto NT05 as the tire of choice for the drift due to its predictability and durability under drifting environments. As a major sponsor, Nitto Tire will be integrated into 14 episodes of the Formula DRIFT TV broadcast on NBC Sports as well as a contributor to Formula DRIFT’s successful live-stream coverage. As the popularity of this motorsport grows, our fan base grows with it. Currently with over 1.2 million fans on the Nitto Tire Facebook page, we have a large outreach to help bring the excitement of drifting to our fans.”
For 2012, Nitto will be sponsoring Joon Maeng with the Nitto Tire / Mazda RX-8, Matt Powers with Need for Speed / Nitto Tire S14, Michael Essa with the GSR Autosport / Nitto Tire Z4, and lastly a new addition to the Nitto Tire team, Toshiki Yoshioka with the RS-R / Nitto Tire S15.