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


Posted on

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 at SEMA


Posted on

Here is a list of drivers/cars at the SEMA convention if you’re planning on attending.



Vaughn Gittin Jr. 2011 Ford Mustang GT Falken Tire # 41009
Joon Maeng 2010 Mazda RX8 R3 CSF Racing & High Performance # 24981 Thursday 9:00am – 11:00am & 2:00pm – 5:00pm Friday 10:00am – 12:00pm
Tanner Foust Scion Tc AEM # 23551
Samuel Hubinette 2010 Dodge Challenger Magnaflow Booth Mopar Parts #43129 – Tuesday 11:00am – 12:00pm Eibach Springs #23343 – Wednesday 11:00am – 12:00pm Weld Racing #24318 – Wednesday 1:00pm – 2:00pm
Dennis Mertzanis 1995 Nissan 240sx Kenda Tires # 40013
Kyle Mohan 2009 Mazda RX8 Nexen Tire # 41103 Thursday 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Patrick Mordaunt 2003 Nissan 350Z Axis Wheels #47175 Tuesday 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Ryuji Miki 2009 Lexus SC430 Torco Oil #24127
Brian Wilkerson Mazda RX-8 Odyssey Batteries
Taka Aono Toyota Corolla AE86 Megan Racing #21652
Chris Forsberg Nissan 350Z Seibon Booth

Patrick Mordaunt teams up with Axis Wheels


Posted on

Redondo Beach, CA-based PM Racing and driver Patrick Mordaunt are proud to announce their partnership with Axis Wheels for the 2011 Formula Drift season. Axis Wheels has always been a forward thinking wheel manufacturer and this philosophy continues with the introduction of its 2011 wheel line at the 2010 SEMA show (booth #47175). PM Racing’s 350Z will be one of the featured vehicles in the Axis Wheels booth displaying the new model line. After finishing the 2010 Formula Drift season in the top 25, PM Racing is looking to make advances in the overall chassis setup of the 350Z for the 2011 season. Mordaunt said, “I’m excited to have Axis Wheels as a new sponsor to our drift program. The new Axis wheels will give us a new visual presence and performance advantage over our previous wheels”.

Come see us at SEMA in the Wheel and Tire area of the South Hall at booth 47175 where Patrick Mordaunt will be having a signing session from 1pm-3pm on Tuesday, November 2.

Hankook, Conrad Grunewald Launch 2010 Camaro for FD


Posted on

2009 SEMA: Hankook, Conrad Grunewald Launch 2010 Camaro for Formula Drift
From Motor Trend


Let’s face it: The 2010 Chevrolet Camaro is a hit with show car builders here at SEMA, the land of trends and all things cool when it comes to cars. So it’s only fitting that one of Formula Drift’s veterans, Conrad Grunewald, along with Hankook Tire and BR Racing, will be fielding a newly completed drift-spec Camaro for 2010.

Grunewald is accustomed to American Muscle. For the past few seasons, he’s been drifting in a bright red C5 Corvette. As he explained to us, after finishing the 2009 season, he expressed his desire to his sponsors of wanting to have a bigger role in team management. Unwilling to find a middle ground, Grunewald went his own way and landed a Camaro with Hankook Tire.

Finding a home under the carbon fiber hood is a fully modified GM Performance LSA crate engine. It’s supercharged to make in the range of 600 hp. Having enough grunt to kill tires, of course, is only half the equation when it comes to drifting. That’s where AEM and Eibach stepped in with their respective engine management and suspension setup.

Jump inside and BR Racing’s craftsmanship continues. The usual Sparco bucket seats and steering wheel dominate the driver’s side, while a bevy of gauges and switches on the dash allow Grunewald to better setup the car on the fly.

Preseason testing is planned for immediately after the SEMA Show. Expect big things to come from Hankook and Grunewald, so stay tuned to this channel for more.

Read more:

Autoweek Article on Formula DRIFT from SEMA


Posted on

SEMA Show: Formula Drift stays course
by Mark Vaughn

Like many enterprises, making a living sliding cars sideways around racetracks was not easy in 2009. But . . .

“We survived,” said Formula Drift president and cofounder Jim Liaw, speaking at SEMA of his series’ 2009 season. “Sponsorship amounts were down, but we had an increase in ticket sales and an increase in fan support.”

For next year, Formula Drift will return to the same seven tracks it ran in 2009, and there will be a separate Asian series. There also will be 32-car brackets, which Liaw says will be exciting for fans and challenging for teams, “pushing the limits of car reliabiltiy and driver stamina.”

Some new cars will be on the grid, including a BMW M3, at least one new Camaro and the Dynamic Autosports Team Skyline GT-R R35.

Liaw also is looking at online branding and TV exposure.

“It helps us analyze what we’re doing and where we’re going,” he said. “Our Twitter, MySpace and Facebook pages are constantly being updated. Our fans are young, motivated and have disposable income. And we use different products and methods to create new series value and exposure.”

For instance, last year, there were 2.5 billion impressions, or instances where a fan saw a Formula D car or driver in the media.

Liaw said that “2.5 billion impressions for a little series like ours is pretty good. That trickles down to everybody, especially the teams.”

Formula Drift will continue to be shown on the Versus network, the same channel that carries NHL and college football games and the IndyCar series, not to mention the pro bull-riding tour.

“Drifting is a viable sport and a viable investment,” said Liaw. “Maybe Formula Drift is the best bang for the buck in sports.”

For more information, see

Read more: