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FIA International Drifting Cup roster is released

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FIA World Drifting Cup released their roster of 26 drivers today. From the list, seven drivers have Formula Drift ties. Current Formula Drift competitors Michael Essa, Matt Field, and Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis will be competing at the first event, scheduled to happen on September 30th and October 1st in Japan. Past competitors Charles Ng, Daigo Saito, and Masashi Yokoi are also scheduled to compete. 2009 and 2010 Formula Drift Asia champion Tengku Djan Ley will also be returning to competition for this event. Djan Ley has been away from drifting for a few years, but will be returning to compete in this monumental event. Also of note, Steve “Baggsy” Biagioni will also be competing. Biagioni was awarded a Formula Drift license for the 2017 season, but ended up not competing. He later put out a pretty impressive viral video dubbed “Monster Drift 2” with Daigo Saito earlier this year.

Who are you most excited to watch in this event?

D1GP Round 3/4 at Tsukuba Circuit [RESULTS]

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Daigo Saito is finding it much easier to pursue world domination back home in Japan this season or maybe it is just those Wanli Tires!? Daigo Saito took home his third victory in a row at Tsukuba Circuit Course to kick off the D1GP season. Daigo managed to beat Teruyoshi Iwai (Mazda Miata) in the final battle to secure an amazing third victory in a row.

1. Daigo Saito
2. Teruyoshi Iwai
3. Masato Kawabata

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The weekend was a double event weekend so soon after his victory Daigo was back at it again to try and win four rounds of D1GP in a row. Daigo wound up falling just short after winning 14 tandem battles in a row he finally earned a loss in the final four to Hokuto Matsuyama after Daigo couldn’t drift any longer due to a steering issue. He was very close to winning a fourth event in a row!

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Here is how Round 4 finished:
1. Tomohiro Murayama
2. Hokuto Matsuyama
3. Daigo Saito

Daigo Saito Wins D1 Grand Prix Round 1

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Daigo Saito walked away from Formula Drift in 2016 to focus on the D1 Grand Prix series and it looks like that extra focus has worked. Daigo Saito defeated Kawabata in a great final battle to win the first round of the 2016 D1GP series. I guess his new tire sponsor Wanli has built a solid product and is helping him back on the road to a championship. The D1 and Formula Drift series have some schedule conflicts this season so running both seasons in full was going to be impossible for Daigo Saito.

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One of our awesome readers Sanlis, put together an interesting chart on Daigo Saito’s D1GP finishes over the past five seasons and show he has been just a step off the championship.

2011- 2nd Place
2012 – 2nd Place
2013 – 4th Place
2014 – 15th Place
2015 – 2nd Place

Cleary he has been right there as far as a D1 championship in the last 5 years, but retiring from Formula Drift for the season might give him a chance to break that second place streak. Daigo Saito will be able to return to Formula Drift at anytime due to the former champions clause preventing him from being relegated to Pro 2 for next season. Here is how D1GP finished Round 1-

1st – Daigo Saito
2nd – Masato Kawabata
3rd – ideyuki Fujino
4th – Yusuke Kusaba

Back 2 Basics at Ebisu Circuit Japan with BC Racing [VIDEO]

An awesome and unique look at Ebisu Circuit done by BC Racing with some quality interviews with Chris DeJager and Andrew Gray about drifting in Japan. They also swing by Fat Five Racing and look at some of Daigo Saito’s cars sitting around the shop. Sit back and enjoy some great cinematography and drifting out of Japan.

2016 Formula Drift Japan Round 1: Suzuka [RESULTS]

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For the second consecutive year, Andrew Gray took home the win at the Suzuka round of Formula Drift Japan. Despite having 32 entrants, only 29 drivers could muster a qualifying score, landing the top three drivers in qualifying a first round bye. Andrew Gray defeated defending Pro 2 champion Alex Heilbrunn in the top 32 round, a rivalry that should heat up as both drivers kick off the Formula Drift Pro season in just four weeks. Gray defeated top qualifier Seimi Tanaka in the semifinal, the second consecutive year he faced Tanaka towards the end of the competition. Daichi Oshiro snuck into the podium after taking out defending Formula Drift Rookie of the Year Masashi Yokoi in the top 16.

Here’s a look at the final podium:

1. Andrew Gray
2. Daichi Oshiro
3. Seimi Tanaka

Source: Hanny_Jey

TXSL Offers the Best Prize in American Drift History

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If you are drifting for the grand prize in a series you probably quit 15 years ago. The events are really based upon glory hunting, the thrill of victory, and feeling good about winning a competition. Some of the local and Am series offer great free products that help younger drivers and teams along in their career path. Holley’s LS Fest offers a huge prize for winning it’s Chevy V8 only Top 16 in Kentucky which I consider one of the best events in America.

However, Aaron Losey’s TX Street Legal series has offered the best prize in American drifting history. The fact that Formula Drift offers an embarrassing low payout compared against what running an event cost and the money they also rack up in driver fees. In fact, they did offer free transport to the World Championship round in China but it was canceled before a container left port. I am mostly excited for drivers about this deal because I know that Aaron and his organization will see it out and make this pie in the sky prize a reality for someone. For someone to replicate this package – I would imagine they are looking at $25,000 easy.

So for the winner of the 2016 TXSL series, they will get to make a choice when they win the series. Read More…

Yokoi Not Returning for 2016 Formula Drift Season

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Masashi Yokoi is slated to not return for the 2016 Formula Drift season. Our speculation is that Yokohama Tire leaving has triggered Yokoi not coming back for the new year since he carries a long term relationship with Yokohama. His style will be greatly missed in America this season but it does sound like he will campaign and drive in Japan for 2016. Thanks Jeffrey!

2016 D1 Grand Prix Tokyo Auto Salon Kickoff [VIDEO]

The 2016 D1 Grand Prix season fired off its Exhibition round at Tokyo Auto Salon this week. Here is a video showing off some new liveries for D1. I still haven’t gotten use to see a Lexus LFA drifting….

Battle Drift is Here [VIDEO]

Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Daigo Saito tear up an abandoned Russian village in Japan for your viewing pleasure. Daigo Saito is in his Lamborghini and Vaughn Gittin Jr. is in Mustang RTR. Enjoy!

Vaughn Gittin Jr. is D1 Grand Prix Bound

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It was almost 10 years ago when Vaughn Gittin Jr. defeated all the D1GP comers in the D1 Vs. the World event at Irwindale Speedway back in 2005. Vaughn was kind enough to upload his road to victory on YouTube (you can watch below if you can stomach 10 year old crappy drifting).

This sheds quite a bit of light on his announcement where he hints he will be missing Irwindale Speedway which we broke earlier this week. The backup car he would normally use to replace his 2014 Formula Drift competition car is on its way to Japan for D1GP! He will be attending the final round in Tokyo on October 24th/25th. Here are the details from his PR –

“Since winning the D1GP USA vs. Japan in 2005, I have wanted to take my Ford Mustang RTR and my team to compete in Japan where drifting started,” says Champion drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. “I am pumped that ten years later, the dream has become reality and I will be joining the Monster Energy Japan crew in downtown Tokyo for the final round October 24-25th. I am very excited to meet a lot of my Japanese fans for the first time, and I look forward to some epic battles with the great drivers in Japan’s D1GP series.”

Ten years ago at Irwindale Speedway, Vaughn battled the best-of-the-best Japanese drivers in order to win the D1GP USA vs. Japan event, becoming not only the first American to win a D1GP event, but by piloting his Ford Mustang, this was the first time in the series that an American car dominated against drifting’s traditional Japanese vehicles. This monumental win of Vaughn’s was heard around the world and undoubtedly put American drifting on the map, in a Japanese-originated and dominated sport. Here is a VIDEO summary of Vaughn’s 2005 D1GP win.

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