Sunday, April 8, 2012

2012 Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach, CA

Long Beach, CA – April 7, 2012 - Another great season has begun for Formula Drift and a lot of new things has evolved, from the much anticipated debut of the Scion FR-S to the emergence of new rising stars. It was a sold out crowd and the drivers definitely did put up a good show to the fans who came to the event.
Justin Pawlak in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang earns the victory at the first event of the 2012 Formula DRIFT season.
Final Four Recap
The battle between Justin Pawlak and Matt Powers
Justin Pawlak prevailed and moved on to battle for 1st place while Matt Powers on the Nissan S14 will go against Daigo Saito for the consolation.
Japan's pride Daigo Saito on the Lexus SC430  vs Daijiro Yoshihara on the 570hp Nissan 240SX

"1200hp" Lexus SC430 shipped from Japan
Daigo Saito is considered a rookie at Formula Drift but he is actually 2011 Formula Drift Asia champion and well known in  the D1 Grand Prix since 2004 and won the championship in 2008.
Daijiro Yoshihara will face Justin Pawlak as he has in my opinion the advantage over Daigo Saito based on acquired experience drifting the streets of Long Beach in the past.
The duel for 3rd place between Daigo Saito and Matt Powers
A very close match between the crowd favorite Matt Powers and the aggressive Daigo Saito which should have resulted in a "one more time battle" but it was Saito who got a spot in the podium.

The Final Battle between Daijiro and Justin
Daijiro Yoshihara fought hard trying to take 1st place against Justin Pawlak for the top spot for the  season opening of Formula Drift but Justin Pawlak prevailed.
Congratulations to Justin Pawlak for taking 1st Place and for winning the second consecutive time in Long Beach.

Earlier that day...

Drivers briefing before the competition started on what judges expect to see.
Daijiro Yoshihara and Vaughn Gittin Jr Monster Energy Falken Tire Ford Mustang
Ross Petty S15 and Chris Forsberg NOS Energy Drink Nissan 370Z
Darren McNamara Team Falken

Toshiki Yoshioka
Rookie Nick D' Alessio going hard but unfortunately the barrier won. 

Hankook Camaro SS defying gravity

Ken Gushi with the debut of the Scion FR-S going against Daijiro Yoshihara