Daijiro Yoshihara

2012 Formula Drift Crew Member of the Year – Mike Kojima

Mike Kojima has been partnered up with Falken Tire as a suspension engineer for a couple seasons now. He was on the team that brought Dai Yoshihara a 2011 championship and continues to work on improving setups for the team. Mike also works at MotoIQ, where we stole this photo, which he displays and shares tons of his sage wisdom about the automobile with the world. He proves to be an easy selection for this Formula Drift award.

2012 Formula Drift Round 7 – The Main Event [GALLERY]




 

One of the best drift events in history was put in the books this weekend as a huge turn of events put Daigo Saito in the books for a victory at Irwindale Speedway and a championship during his “rookie season.” The biggest story of the weekend was Matt Field who defeated Ken Gushi in the Greddy Scion FRS and took Daigo Saito to a judges call of OMT almost rewriting drift history in 2012. Justin Kaehler caught all the action as Vaughn Gittin Jr. missed a chance for his second championship and Rhys Millen crashed his way out of one against Daigo Saito.

Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=319

Top 32 Tandem Battles for 2012 Formula Drift Irwindale [MATCHUPS]

Here are the Top 32 tandem battles for this weekend. In theory we have a huge potential lineup of Rhys Millen and Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Top 8 which would end up being a battle for the championship realistically. If Vaughn goes out early we have a chance to see JTP, Fredric Aasbo, Daigo Saito, and Rhys Millen all in the final four fighting it out for a championship.

1 Rhys millen vs 32 Kenny Moen
16 Kyle Mohan vs 17 Dai Yoshihara
8 Chelsea DeNofa vs 25 Patrick Mordaunt
9 Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs 24 Nick D’alessio
4 Chris Forsberg vs 29 Conrad Grunewald
13 Daigo Saito vs 20 Taka Aono
5 Ken Gushi vs 28 Toshiki Yoshioka
12 Matt Field vs 21 Jeremy Lowe

2 Justin Pawlak vs 31 Walker Wilkerson
15 Alex Lee vs 18 Tony Angelo
7 Tyler Mcquarrie vs 26 Joon Maeng
10 Tony Brakiohapa vs 23 Michael Essa
3 Fredric Aasbo vs 30 Darren McNamara
14 Dave Briggs vs 19 Robbie ishida
6 Ryan Tuerck vs 27 Ryan Kado
11 Matt Powers vs 22 Luke Lonberger

2012 Formula Drift Irwindale Qualifying [RESULTS]

Rhys Mad Skills Millen Formula Drift Irwindale Top Qualifier

Rhys Millen takes the home the Top Qualifier position in the Final round of Formula Drift. The qualifying order is below.

1. R. Millen
2. J. Pawlak
3. F. Aasbo
4. C. Forsberg
5. K. Gushi
6. R. Tuerck
7. T. McQuarrie
8. C. DeNofa
9. V. Gittin
10. T. Brakohiapa
12. M. Field
11. M. Powers
13. D. Saito
14. D. Briggs
15. A. Lee
16. K. Mohan
17. D. Yoshihara
18. T. Angelo
19. R. Nishida
20. T. Aono
21. J. Lowe
22. L. Lonberger
23. M. Essa
24. N. D’Alessio
25. P. Mordaunt
26. J. Maeng
27. R. Kado
28. T. Yoshioka
29. C. Gruenwald
30. D. McNamara
31. W. Wilkerson
32. Kenny Moen

SPARCO x Dai Yoshihara T-Shirt for sale at Formula D Irwindale [BUY THIS]

A Dai Yoshihara SPARCO shirt is being released this weekend at Formula Drift Irwindale for sale in the SPARCO booth this weekend. The shirt shows off his S13 on the sleeve and features his logo and #9 branding on the front of the black t-shirt . All you Dai Yoshihara fans make sure to pick one up while supplies last.

What it takes to win: Dai Yoshihara

Part 3 in our series profiling the 2012 FD Championship contenders brings us to defending 2011 series champion Dai Yoshihara. Once again, Jacob Leveton did the difficult arithmetic for us.

Current standings:

1. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 473 Points
2. Daigo Saito 447.50 Points
3. Rhys Millen 428.25 Points
4. Justin Pawlak 403 Points
5. Dai Yoshihara 401.50 Points
6. Freddy Aasbo 395.50 Points
7. Ryan Tuerck 383.50 Points

Dai’s championship scenario’s are only marginally improved on Aasbo’s scenarios. A top 16 appearance by Gittin Jr still eliminates Dai (473 points + 54 tandem points = 527 points where Dai could only have a best of 513.5 with a win and a #1 qualifying effort), and a top 32 appearance by JR (497 points) still requires Dai to finish in 2nd place + 1st / 2nd / 3rd qualifier (401.5 points + 88 tandem points + 12 / 10 / 8 qualifying points = 501.5 / 499.5 / 497.5 points), or win the event (401.5 points + 100 tandem points = 501.5 points + qualifying) as well as JR to qualify much lower than he has been. In addition, Saito making top 16 gives him no less than 501.75 points, which means Dai can finish ahead of him only by winning the event and earning more qualifying points than Saito.

If JR doesn’t qualify and Saito also exits in top 32, Dai will need to earn more than 71.5 points overall to pass them both. A podium would earn him enough, while a fourth-place finish and a better-than 10th qualifying effort would also do the trick. A top-8 finish with a top qualifier award would get him there too, but anything less than that would not be enough to overcome JR. If Millen tandems into the top 16, his point total (428.25 + 54 tandem points + qualifying = 482.25 points) would then require a third-place finish and a high qualifying effort, or a second or first place finish to overcome his former boss. Dai has won at Irwindale in the past in 2006, but has only progressed past the top 16 once in the past four years.

Just one year removed from winning both the 2011 FD Championship and the Tires.com Triple Crown, Dai was easily a favorite entering the 2012 season in the same chassis with the same crew as 2011. A podium at Long Beach kept him as a front runner, but a top 32 exit in Atlanta left him with a long hill to climb. Podium results in West Palm Beach and New Jersey have helped his cause, but back-to-back championships look unlikely. Unless Dai were to pull off the win at Irwindale, this season would mark the first since 2009 for Dai without an event win. That season was the one that Dai started in the Discount Tire Lexus before it was totaled in Seattle, and Dai moved into the V8-powered S13 just 12 short days later.

Summary: Dai 2nd + Dai 1/2/3 qualifier + JR Top 32 + JR low qualify + Saito top 32 finish… or Dai Win + JR Top 32 + Saito Top 32… or Dai Podium + JR Not Qualify + Saito top 32 or not qualify + Rhys top 16 or worse

2012 Formula Drift Round 7 at Irwindale [DRIVERS LIST]

 

With the 2012 season coming to a wrap following the next round of competition at Irwindale Speedway, Vaughn Gittin Jr. leads in points, but the shot for the title is still very much open. Here’s the tentative list of who you can expect to see at the final round of the 2012 Formula Drift season at Irwindale.

Rank Name Car #
1 Gittin, Vaughn Jr. 25

2

Saito, Daigo

430

4

Pawlak, Justin

13

5

Yoshihara, Daijiro

9

7

Tuerck, Ryan

62

3

Millen, Rhys

67

6

Aasbo, Fredric

151

9

Forsberg, Chris

64

11

Powers, Matt

665

13

Bakchis, Odi

723

8

Gushi, Ken

21

10

Grunewald, Conrad

79

12

Essa, Mike

101

19

Moen, Kenneth

22

20

Kado, Ryan

614

14

Yoshioka, Toshiki

5

16

Denofa, Chelsea

88

17

McQuarrie, Tyler

17

18

Wilkerson, Walker

95

15

Nishida, Robbie

31

21

Field, Matt

777

25

McNamara, Darren

8

22

Mohan, Kyle

99

23

Angelo, Tony

96

24

Maeng, Joon

51

28

Lowe, Jeremy

138

27

Mertzanis, Dennis

323

29

Aono, Taka

86

30

Ovcharik, Miroslav

235

31

Mordaunt, Patrick

90

32

Castro, Jhonnattan

717

33

Brakohiapa, Tony

18

26

Lonberger, Luke

28

34

George, Danny

7

39

Hosford, Corey

232

35

Ward, Chris*

23

36

Goodin, Patrick

46

41

D’Alessio, Nick

84

42

Amandio, Emmanuel

30

39

Lee, Alex

81

45

Jones, Jeff

29

49

Martinez, Cyrus

951

49

Hajdu, Zoltan

32

49

Abbott, Jeff

518

45

Bell, Ryan

19

45

Briggs, Dave

24

49

Coomes, Andrew

12

43

Fournier, Ian

11

37

Gallagher, Roland

425

49

Mendoza Jr., Enrique

16

49

Ornelas Jr., Mauricio

27

49

Phillips, Mike

52

49

Skudlarek, Mike

20

49

Stone, Gabe

15

49

Thomas, Nick

310

2012 Prodrift Finals [RESULTS]

Brendan Stone took not only the event win but also the Prodrift Championship at Mondello today, taking out a star-studded lineup en route including his MG Crash Repairs teammate for the weekend Dai Yoshihara in the finals to cap off a run that started with Fredric Aasbo in the Top 16. Wes Keating took out 16-year-old Duane McKeever for the final podium position, Keating’s first podium of the season. James Deane had qualified first, but was eliminated by Dai Yoshihara (who qualified 16th) in the first round after a one-more-time. Darren McNamara unfortunately had mechanical issues and did not qualify for top 16, while Dean Kearney was eliminated by McKeever in the top 8.

1st – Brendan Stone – MG Crash Repairs S15
2nd – Dai Yoshihara – MG Crash Repairs / Falken Altezza
3rd – Wes Keating – WKD Imports S14
4th – Duane McKeever – S13

Dai Yoshihara to drive at the ProDrift Finals [BREAKING NEWS]

With an already star-studded lineup, ProDrift Ireland added another international star to the roster for the finals today. Dai Yoshihara announced on his Twitter that he would be returning to Ireland for the second consecutive year to drive the MG Crash Repairs / Falken Tire Altezza that he drove in the Prodrift Finale last season. If we had some spare airline miles, we would be hopping over to Kildare to check out the event!

2012 Formula Drift Round 6 Main Event [GALLERY]

Round 6 of Formula Drift had a lot of action and a alot of carnage. Our photographer, Ricky Cervantes caught all of the action and the carnage that came along with it .

Check out the full gallery : http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=312