2015 Formula Drift Japan Drivers List


Formula Drift Japan is coming up this weekend and is an official Formula Drift World Championship round. Mad Mike Whiddett is listed to be driving a Mazda RX7, Matt Field is listed in a S14, and a ton of Japanese drivers are throw in the mix. Here is the full drivers list –

1. Yuji Saito
2. Mitsuru Yoshioka
3. Hokuto Matsuyama
4. Chiam Benjamin
5. Kenji Takayama
6. Yoshichika Tamagawa
7. Shinichirou Saito
8. Masataka Hawashima
9. Shunnosuke Mito
10. Daisuke Nakamura
11. Masayoshi Tokita
12. Shinji Minowa
13. Tetsuya Hibino
14. Kawabata Masato
15. Tomokazu Hirota
16. Masao Suenaga
17. Takahiro Imamura
18. Toshiharu Kazama
19. Hirohide Tanaka
20. Tsutomu Fujio
21. Tetsuya Iha
22. Inafuku Ryo
23. Yoshinori Shinozaki
24. Shigehisa Sasayama
25. Yuki Inaoka
26. Keiichirou Kadekaru
27. Noritsugu Totani
28. Tadahiro Fukada
29. Yuji Tanaka
30. Kazumi Takahashi
31. Daichi Oshiro
32. Sheng Nian Ng
33. Kazuya Iizuka
34. Michihiro Takator
35. Kiyotaka Yamazaki
36. Toshimitsu Masuda
37. Atsushi Taniguchi
38. Yoshitatsu Kaneda
39. Koji Yamaguchi
40. Yusuke Kusaba
41. Daisuke Hasegawa
42. Tomohiro Nakamura
43. Kenji Yaminaka
44. Kazaya Taguchi
45. Andrew Gray
46. Manabu Fujinaka
47. Kazuki Hayashi
48. Kuniaki Takahashi
49. Charles Ng
50. Daigo Saito
51. Dean Kearney
52. Mad Mike Whiddett
53. Robbie Nishida
54. Masashi Yokoi
55. Matt Field
56. Fredric Aasbo
57. Odi Bakchis


  1. Paul says:

    Wow… 57 drivers. That’s a lot of people going home after qualifying.

  2. Paul says:


    Robbie Nishida is listed as driving an R34(Thought this was an R35 GTR)
    Odi says S14 (thought it was the ARK genesis)

    Hope you guys post the live stream schedule if it will be streamed.

  3. Twitch_6 says:

    So excited for this!! Driver line-up looks great. Very pleasently surprised to see Matt Field on the list. Salut to Matt and Odi for doing what it takes to get over there!!

  4. Rotarypower says:

    Suenaga,Rotary power for the win!!!


    fucking all star line up. this will be an amazing bout

  6. Crispykrem3 says:

    Surprised that Ken Gushi isn’t going, he made it to an FD japan round last year, and you’d think with his recent success in the US he’d want to go to the world rounds as well.

  7. Calsonic says:

    I can’t seem to find any live stream schedule for this event.

  8. Brian says:

    Dean Kearney on the list, he kept that quiet.

  9. Doof says:

    ^Cause he’s a douche nozzle.

    Wonder how many drivers he’ll try and run off the track at this event

  10. Twitch_6 says:

    I used to not really be a Kearny fan…I was impartial to him. But after watching his driving in a borrowed car at the last round of IDC, I have a new respect for him.

    I hope he either ditches the Viper, or really figures out a way to get it to drift smoothly. It looks uncomfortable in drift unless it is at full throttle. Dean was smooth in that S15, in the dry and wet. I think the car is his biggest likiter right

  11. Twitch_6 says:

    Limiter right now*. Stupid phone

  12. Blaze1 says:

    How is the car a limiter when he just got on the podium with it? But anyways, shout out to Matt Field for being the only American with a pair to show up. He’s gonna have his work cut out for him, so many Japanese legends on the list.

    I hope Hibino kills it!

  13. Kids Heart says:

    I am no longer a fan of many American drivers for not showing. Sushi gets a pass because he was there last year but all of the others, shame.

  14. Twitch_6 says:

    I guess I mean that I think he could be doing even better if he was in a more conventional car instead of the viper.

  15. Chris Beasley says:

    according to ig.

    july 10th 8:10pm PST
    july 11th 5:50pm PST

    the only times ive come across for the live stream.

    im surprised more American drivers didn’t make the trip. Forsberg, gushi, tuerck, gitten.

  16. Twitch, I think you’re actually right on the money. Dean and I actually had that conversation this morning. If he could do better in a cookie cutter car. Like an S15 with a 2J quick change and proper gear box. There’s no doubt the viper is not the easiest car to drive. Robbie and Daigo have driven it and can attest to that. Actually shows how good of a driver Sam is, he drove a viper with less power and angle. The problem professional motorsports is a mix of results and marketing. So while drift fans would love a S15 or a Chaser those cars don’t always translate well to corporate America. Most Americans don’t know what those cars even are. Dean loves the Viper and we think we could make it super competitive with enough budget, but he is defiantly curious how well he could do in a RHD car that is prototypical of drifting like a S15 or Chaser.
    Side note the s15 he was driving in IDC had fueling issues and would basically shut off in some transitions, so that made things a little more difficult than they had to be.

    When has Dean run anyone off track? If you’re referring to Seattle last year, there is more to the story than you know. Besides Dean had entered the same way the entire weekend. It’s not like he did anything differently to gain an advantage or be a douche.

  17. Samurai Sam says:

    Only 4 of the top 10 and 5 of the top 15 drivers will be there, with 1 of them being based in Japan… Perhaps jumping to this “World Championship” was a bit pre-mature.

  18. Chris says:

    So Matt field will be renting one of Daigo’s JXZ100. Hats off to Daigo for the loaner and cant wait to see Field shred.

    Secondly, @BridgesRacing – Has there been talks with Daigo about staying with you guys and Achilles after this season? Is the GTR still the car for next season or will we see something that is a little more comfortable for Daigo? He just doesnt seem himself when driving. I think Orlando and Jersey was the first time there has been any life out of him. Just curious as there is only a few more rounds left for the US.

  19. Chris,

    We haven’t discussed any future plans yet. As of now we are focusing on this season one race at a time. We are making some small changes in preparation for Seattle. Admittedly the GTR has been a bit of a challenge in some ways for Daigo. But we have some great support. Companies like Voodoo13, SPEC clutch, Sikky and Drive Shaft Shop have really stepped up and made some custom parts for us in a short amount of time. So the car is coming around and Daigo is getting more comfortable. Hopefully he can finish the season strong along with the rest of our boys.

  20. Chris Beasley says:

    Prediction: daigo will get it together in time for irwindale, and continue his undefeated run there.

  21. Twitch_6 says:

    @Chris Beasly, fuck ya that would be epic!! Fingers crossed…

  22. Chris says:

    @Bridges Racing – thanks for the reply. I actually spent some time talking with you at Jersey. You run a good team sir. Glad to hear that Daigo is getting more comfortable and personally I think these last 3 U.S. rounds he will dominate.

    Moving on really stoked for Fugi this weekend!

  23. Twitch_6 says:

    It’s such a shame that none of the “best drifters in the world” won’t be there to defend their status.

    I like FD, I like the idea of a world championship….but I really think FD fucked up here. They allowed their series to progress at an unpresidented rate, which In turn pushed costs through the roof. Now, they introduce a world championship that all of 6 guys can afford to be a part of (fingers crossed some of the JPN guys head to Canada and America to show the FD pros what’s what)

    Hindsight is always 20/20 I know, but I really think FD should have put more regulation on car development before introducing a world championship, or done more to work out financial support for the top drivers to compete against each other.

  24. Kids Heart says:

    Gushi not Sushi. Sorry.

    The rest of you drivers not showing, shame. Tuerck I’m looking at you. I’ve always supported you but shame! Forsberg I feel you have been boring in the 370Z but I’ve alway been a fan, shame! JTP, VGJ, Conrad, Essa, shame shame shame shame!

  25. Paul says:

    @Kids Heart… You’re really shaming people on the internet? lol. The drivers of FD are older than 12, therefore in America, shaming people doesn’t work, or make any sense. You would get further with a simple “Fuck You”.

    But why do you feel that these drivers should show up? Why would JR, JTP, or Essa ship a car to japan? To spend a fortune on a less than 50/50 shot to qualify for an event, which even if they won, the winnings wouldn’t even pay for the airline tickets. Then say they fail to qualify, and all that does is solidify their loss in the championship? (no offense) Essa hasn’t been able to beat 6 drivers needed to qualify in the U.S. How could he beat 30+ Japanese drivers on their home turf. Odi, Field, and Aasbo want it, and those are the three that are making it happen. At least some teams aren’t ignoring how much money is on the line.

  26. Twitch_6 says:

    It’s a shame because these guys allow themselves to be labelled as “the best drifters in the world”, and make absoluty no attempted at denouncing those kind of outlandish statements….and at the same time, never compete outside the U.S.

    You hit the nail on the head, possibly accidently. Guys like Forsberg, VGJ, JTP etc, shouldn’t use balancing their bank accounts as motivation to get over there. They shouldn’t be scared of borrowing a car.

    As the faces of FD, they should be there for the growth of the sport, and because it’s what the fans want to see.

  27. Twitch_6 says:

    Just a thought, how much money was spent on that fuckin stupid F150 that VGJ has (anyone catch that abomination of a run at OSW?)?

    Vaughn had a choice. Get Ford to pay for that truck, or get Ford to ship a car to Japan. One path leads to easy as fuck parking lot demo rides with bimbos, while the other path leads to a massive challenge which has the potential to humiliate his reputation in the drifting world, or potentially elevate him even higher.

    Some people take on those challenges, others run from them.

  28. Crispykrem3 says:

    Vaughn not going doesn’t make any sense, because he’s been to all of the WDS China events and has a separate mustang drift car specifically for overseas competition, but decided Japan wasn’t worth it? Fuck that. Big props to Matt Field for going over with no big sponsors and driving a borrowed car that couldn’t be more different from his FD car.

  29. Blaze1 says:

    WDC pays drivers like JR just to show up. Guys who used to max out credit cards just to drive 5 rounds in FD don’t even want to sacrifice a bit of time and money to represent their country and compete against their nemesis. 10 years since JR won at D1 and we are still waiting for him to compete in Japan as promised. If it looks like duck… ya know the rest.

  30. Chris says:

    Anybody know if Daigo is running his jzx100 or the sc430?

  31. y0 says:

    @Chris – Looks like its gonna be his SC430.

    I got my money on Kawabata for this round. He has that R35 on opoint,

  32. NUTTERBUTTER says:


  33. Samurai Sam says:

    vaughn almost has a car on every continent at this point…. I think he has a euro car, china car, saudi arabia / middle east car (that might be the same as the euro car)… it’s not for lack of cars.

    If Ford or Monster wanted JR at the event, he would be there.

  34. Kids Heart says:

    Ok, replace the Sh with L.

  35. Twitch_6 says:

    Isn’t VGJ currently the only drifter with direct factory support? I know Aasbo has some Toyota connection, but I was under the impression that was more through Toyota of Norway than directly from the head office.

    Is there a chance that Fors deliberately doesn’t want VGJ drifting in Japan in the old Mustang? I know I’ve read, in a few places, that Ford has ambishon to market the new Mustang globally, as opposed to the traditional North American market only.

    So, maybe Ford said they would ship a new RTR to Japan, but since VGJ said he won’t drive it?? I’m kind of going back to the bullshit he fed us last year about “not wanting to compete unless he can give himself the best chance to win” or whatever. ie, he knows (until very recently) that his car setup has been largely responsible for his success, as opposed to raw skill (which, when we look at other drivers, easily translates from one car to the next…Odi and Diago for example)

  36. Super says:

    If you watch videos in car of VGJ he looks so uncomfortable steering the wheel, and sits so damn close to the steering wheel. I get that some like to be very close but it looks like he is so close his arms stay bent at a very awkward angle, or it is at least awkward for me to watch him drift.

  37. Twitch_6 says:

    T-Rex style….RAAARW!!!

  38. Twitch_6 says:

    The more I think about it, Vaugn not being there probably has something to do with some fuckery in his contract with Ford. Something to do with the new Mustang and it’s introduction to the global market, along with Ford not allowing Vaugn to drive anything but a Ford (hence why he can’t borrow a car in Japan).

    If that truely is the case, then fuck Ford right in the goat ass. Take your corporate money grubbing lawyer bullshit and shove it up your ass. These are the kind of people who haven’t got the slightest fucking clue what drifting is, yet will deny fans what they want to see, and still try to make a buck off of us. Fuck you Ford 🙂

  39. Vindetta says:

    I think twitch is a chevy guy