Justin Pawlak Wins the Season Opener for the Second Consecutive Season
Long Beach, Calif. – April 7, 2012 – Justin Pawlak in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang earns the victory at the first event of the 2012 Formula DRIFT season. Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire / Falken Nissan 240SX takes second place while Formula DRIFT rookie Daigo Saito, in the Achilles Tires / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 rounds out the podium.
Round 1: Streets of Long Beach kicked off the 2012 season to a sold out audience. The largest driver pool participated in the two-day event with the largest rookie field of any season with 19 rookies.
“Starting the season to a sold out crowd is a great feeling,” says Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “The drivers stepped up and provided a highly competitive event that sets the tone for the rest of the year. We’re looking forward to how the season will unfold.””
Justin Pawlak found the top of the podium for the second consecutive season in Long Beach taking the lead to start the 2012 Pro Championship season. Pawlak battled the 2011 Formula DRIFT champion, Daijiro Yoshihara, in a hard fought battle to win the event. Yoshihara defeated Formula DRIFT Asia champion and rookie Daigo Saito in the Top 4 to move on to Finals eventually taking second place. Saito defeated Matt Powers, who finished in third place in 2011, in the consolation round to find the podium in his very first Formula DRIFT Pro Championship event. Saito is now leads the new X-Mini Rookie Challenge.
“Its just amazing to come back to Long Beach and put down another win 2 years in a row,” said Justin Pawlak, winner of Round 1: Streets of Long Beach. “This is a great way to start the season and go for the championship.”
The 2012 Pro Championship season continues for Round 2: Road to the Championship at Road Atlanta on May 11-12. Tickets are available to purchase online now.
For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com
Formula DRIFT Professional Championship 2012 Point Standings After 1 Event
1. Pawlak, Justin Falken Tire Ford Mustang 106 Points
2. Yoshihara, Daijiro Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 92 Points
3. Saito, Daigo Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 78.50 Points
4. Powers, Matt Need for Speed / Nitto Nissan S14 69.50 Points
5. Tuerck, Ryan Team Retaks Nissan 240SX 66 Points
6. McQuarrie, Tyler Mobil 1 Camaro 64 Points
6. Millen, Rhys Hankook / Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Genesis Coupe 64 Points
8. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z 63 Points
9. Gushi, Ken Scion Racing Scion FR-S 62 Points
10. Moen, Kenneth Lutz Performance Nissan 350Z 61.50 Points
11. Grunewald, Conrad Hankook Tire Chevy Camaro 57 Points
12. Aasbo, Fredric Need for Speed / Papadakis Racing Scion TC 57 Points
12. Kado, Ryan Ryan Kado Racing Nissan 350Z 56 Points
14. Mohan, Kyle Nexen Tire / Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8 55 Points
15. Bakchis, Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis Motorsports Nissan 240SX S14 54.25 Points
15. Yoshioka, Toshiki RS*R Nissan Silvia S15 54.25 Points
Round 1: Streets of Long Beach Event Results
1. Pawlak, Justin Falken Tire Ford Mustang Winner
2. Yoshihara, Daijiro America’s Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 Second Place
3. Saito, Daigo Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 Third Place