Formula Drift Japan / MSC Round 1 – Tsukuba [RESULTS]


Although we didn’t see any sort of official press release, it looks like this year’s entire Drift Muscle / MSC series will be branded as Formula Drift Japan. The first event took place over the weekend at Tsukuba, and former FD USA driver Kuniaki Takahashi took the win in his big body Toyota Mark X. Round 2 will take place in July at Fuji and will count towards the Formula Drift World Championship.

1st – Kuniaki Takahashi
2nd – Kazuki Hayashi
3rd – Daigo Saito

Jacob Leveton

Freelance Drift Correspondent at JacobPhoto
Jacob Leveton has worked as a freelance journalist for 12 years, specializing in drifting since the first professional competition landed on US shores in 2003. Leveton has worked with more than twenty print and online media outlets to provide unique drifting content.


  1. Mike says:

    Anyone watch that final? Reminded me of Dean vs Dmac in Seattle last year.

  2. Jodin Lejeune says:

    Kunny needs to come back with a competitive car. Obviously he can pedal, that Apex SC is just a disaster.

  3. Doof says:

    I dodnt watch the final; from the looks of the stands during the live stream, nobody else did either lol

  4. D*WARRIORZ says:

    They should’ve used the traditional(OG) section of of the track. That layout was weak.

  5. DUBteez says:

    The whole big sweeper right after the starting line just allowed for huge gaps on initiation and instantly lost my attention for the rest of the run. something definitely should have been done about that

  6. Christofur says:

    Link to the stream please?

  7. Twitch_6 says:

    I had to work this weekend :(. Anyone know where I can watch this? I’ve sewrched YouTube and Google, checked on the FD homepage and Dailynotion…no luck.

  8. Dang says:

    MSC uploads the VoDs from their ustream to their youtube channel as well.

  9. Doof says:

    Why would anybody run the track that way? This isn’t Forza. If they’re going to run Tsukuba, they should just stick to the same way it was done in D1 for years.

    Same with Suzuka; that layout they do is awful. There’s a reason D1 started running it the opposite direction.

    Can I apply for a job within FD? I’d like to either work on the track layouts or fixing the live stream please. I’m willing to work weekends too.

  10. Drift bukake says:

    The course looked bush league. Only a cheap knock off organization like Fag D can take a awesome course and drivers and make them look like that

  11. Twitch_6 says:

    Thanks SANLIS and Dang!!

    Sooo, watched yhat, and….I’m kinda left scratching my head o.O

    The section was pretty terrible. Why they at least didn’t extend it to finish after the hairpin is beyond me. The start was pretty aweful. They introduce a start chicane in FD events everywhere…then go to Tsukuba, and give the lead driver the inside line around 180′ corner (inside has more grip from rubber being laid down on the racing line, and that particular corner has more camber closer to the inside)…IMO, lead driver should have been on the outside of that corner.

    I get that FD is trying to bring their style of drift (fast, big smoke, etc) to Japan…but doit try to reinvent the wheel ffs. If you have an event at a technical track, run a technical section. Don’t try to find the most parking lot-esque section you can. If you want to have a “World Championship”, hold events on a variety of tracks which reflect the global drift scene…not just one style of drift on one style of section.

    I agree with Doof that they should have stuck with the D1 section for this round. There’s nothing wrong with re-using a good section…watch FD go to Ebisu and try to reinvent the line there lol. As far as Suzuka goes though, I’m not much of a fan of the new D1 section (T1). The old downhill through the S-curves is legendary though!!

    I wish Fuji would get some better bleachers for the complex of corners climbing the hill. Either up or down that hill would make a way better section than the current FD section at Fuji.

  12. Kids Heart says:

    Waits for a FD rep to blame the course on MSC.

  13. Noiz says:

    Not much to say here, but forza is awesome doof.

  14. Matt says:

    Doof is 100% right though lol.

    How can anyone in chase position feel comfortable driving without the fear of being car gapped on the roll lol

  15. greddy2die says:

    Just watched about 1 minute maybe of the qualifying & I had to close it. Damn was that section awful!!

    Tsukuba Circuit is a great track with other layout options & they picked something bad. They might as well have used the front straight & set up clipping points & manji’d it. This is almost the equivalent.

  16. Doof says:

    @Twitch my bad, I actually meant Fuji. Not sure how I mixed the two up.

    I liked the old Suzuka layout, though the new one is pretty cool too; my only complaint with it is that it’s one corner.

    FD is the type of organization that would run Ebisu backwards and make the finish line the jump.

  17. Caleb says:

    I wonder if D1 doesn’t let them use the “D1 Section”

  18. Matt says:

    I don’t understand How that dude barely qualify in FD but go to Japan and win? His car couldn’t have been that bad.
    Agree they should have stuck with the d1 layout. Would have been much more appreciated by diehard drift fans that know the history of the sport.

  19. DUSTT31 says:

    They may own the rights to it or something. FD owned the rights to the layout at Palm Beach international raceway, until they stopped coming there.

  20. Twitch_6 says:

    @Caleb, @DUST31, I guess that’s a possibility. But at most, D1 could claim rights to a specific layout, ie, specific clips…I doubt they can claim rights to “drifting the S-curve and hairpin at Tsukuba” in general. I’m just guessing though.

    @greddy2die, I was thinking the same thing regarding the front straight lol. Drift the sweeper, Manji the straight, wall-ride the pitwall, then enter turn 1. Definitely better than the 1 1/2 corners they used lol.

  21. SANLIS says:

    The interesting thing is, D1 will also use this layout, which reverse the course and run the dunlop section.

  22. Twitch_6 says:

    Damn I didn’t realize D1 was going back to Tsukuba this year lol… It’ll be interesting to compare the two events. I’m guessing D1 will use the traditional section? I haven’t seen D1 at Tsukuba in a while, it’ll be cool to see these newest, much more powerful D1 cars take on the tight circuit….I’m just picturing Kunni’s or Diago’s runs down the straight to the final clip at Dunlop 😛

    If I compare the two events at Fuji last year, I’d say the FD event was better than the D1 event, but thats kind of by default due to the D1 event getting rained out. For Tsukuba, my money’s on D1, weather permitting.

  23. Blaze1 says:

    D1 DOESN’T USE OUTSIDE CLIPPING POINTS THOUGH!!!Let these guy’s attack each other without worrying about some stupid outer clip. I guarantee we will see better battles.

  24. Doof says:

    Blaze is dead on. FD used some pretty stupid ass lines. The only time outside lines are cool are when it’s right up against the wall.

    I was stoked to see them change the final corner at Texas last season to have an inner clip instead. They should do the same at the infield section of New Jersey after the cars come off the bank.

    It also makes shit more clear cut cause the judges don’t have to spend 20 minutes to determine if a car only dropped one or two tires in the dirt. Outside clipping points/zones should be done along walls; you’ll know if somebody hits… Trust me

  25. apieceobacon says:

    Holding the topic that was briefly touched by Doof above. It is very clearly stated that a zero will be issued if two tires are CLEARLY off course. If it takes more than one replay to determine then it is by default not clear because you have to specifically look for it. Clear in my mind means that it requires minimal effort to find.That hold up at Texas last year was so unnecessary.

  26. Kids Heart says:

    I’ve been saying for 10 years FD needs to drop those idiotic outside clips.

  27. DUSTT31 says:

    Reference to a goofy line: look up the oddball line at LB that Aasbo posted, the outside ‘touch and go’ into the last turn. Prime example, and guess what, it caused issue.

  28. Mike Peters says:

    It’s even harder to tell what’s going on with all these black wheels.

    #savedrifting #blackwheelsmatter

  29. apieceobacon says:

    Wasn’t there a proposed rule early last year that all drivers would either have to have a white spoke or tire stickers? Is that rule still being tossed around or was that idea thrown out?

  30. Adotstarzi says:

    I got about 4 min in saw 2 runs and can’t stand the amount of “hai” being said id love to know what the fuck it means cause it’s the most used word in that goddamn language. And agreed worst track layout I’ve ever seen.

  31. Scaifey86 says:

    Nobody going to rag on Kunnyz like they did Grunewald for only winning because everyone else crashed?

  32. Doof says:


    I don’t think anybody watched long enough to even see that happen. I watch 2 matchups and gave my computer the finger and turned it off.

    The event was a joke. Bland commentary, awful course layout, the cars spent 15 minutes resetting after every 15 second run. It was pathetic.

  33. apieceobacon says:

    When it takes almost four hours to get through top 32 on a course that is ridiculously bland for the tracks potential no one wants to watch much of it. If there is going to be a livestream of an internantional event, then it needs to be as good, if not better than the primary domestic rounds so that viewers and fans will be more on board with more international events.

    Hai is one of their ways of letting the speaker know that they are being understood. It’s like saying okay.

  34. Mike Peters says:

    This needs a TL;DR

    “Hi FD,

    Thanks for spending probably millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of hours making events happen. Despite those efforts I just wanted to critique you guys behind a keyboard with an anonymous screen name, letting you know how I could do better, even though I’m not doing it better, and I actually won’t. But I will critique you as long as this blog lets me to make sure you know of my adverse feelings.”

    – Wrecked Magazine Commenting Community

  35. Crispykrem3 says:

    TL;DR “People give insightful, knowledgeable, helpful criticisms (that unfortunately are usually littered with insults and bad wording/language) which reflect the thoughts of the viewers on a website where the people that put these events into action could see these criticisms and give the viewpoint of someone behind the scenes, and possibly make changes, while people that can’t accept that FD and other pro drifting organisations aren’t perfect shout “hurr durr armchair drifter” “keyboard warrior” etc. because lord knows the people that follow professional drifting for years must not know what they’re talking about.” – that’s more or less every Wrecked thread with 20+ comments.

    If no one ever criticized FD we wouldn’t have the start chicane, and I think everyone can agree that was an improvement. Everything needs criticism to progress, granted they have to be decently informed and fair criticisms, shit like “v8’s r dumb n american fd is gay as heck” isn’t helping anyone.

    Ranting aside, I heard the track layout was better to watch in person, but the delays were getting on everyone’s nerves, and most spectators left early.