How Jake “Driftsquid” Jones Turned a Vacation in Tokyo to a D1GP Ride with Team Orange

The Australian driver Jake Jones tells a story on his blog about how he was vacationing in Tokyo and while sitting at Yokohama got invited up to the Team Orange drift school which takes place at the famous Ebisu Drift Circuit.

Here are some highlights from the story,

“Soon after he returned to Australia he was offered a drive in the Team Orange Subaru WRX at Round 1 of the 2012 D1GP Japan event known as Tokyo Drift in Odaiba, Japan. So how the hell did this 22 year old from Adelaide score the drive?

So there I was, sitting in a meeting at the Design Centre in the headquarters of Yokohama Tyres Japan next to Kumakubo-San, the owner of Team Orange. I had no idea what they were all talking about. Then Kumakubo turns to me and says “You should come to Ebisu tomorrow.”

As the story goes on he talks about how at Ebisu Circuit it was the first time he had ever seen snow and drove this Team Orange S14 above all over the circuit in it. The 22 year old Australian cannot put together the funding to drive this ride himself at Round 1 in Odaiba but the local Yokohama FB page is offering a $1 donation to his program for a like. Follow the link below, read the full story, and maybe go Like the page at the bottom to help fund Jake Jones to live his dream.

Read the full story: http://www.advanwheels.com.au/news/details.aspx?id=63

Orido Shows Off his 2012 D1 Grand Prix Build – Toyota 86 with Lexus V8 [SNAPSHOT]

Another Toyota 86 is heading to the 2012 D1 Grand Prix season according to the Speedhunters Facebook page. This one will be driven by Manabu Orido but no Subaru engine inside this one! The Toyota 86 chassis is taking a Lexus IS-F V8 engine and should officially be the first V8 swap in a Toyota 86/Scion FR-S platform. It is a shame that D1 will have three of these in competition while we only will see one in Formula Drift for 2012.

Ken Gushi Driving Around Japan in a Scion FR-S [VIDEO]

We have been covering the Scion FR-S over and over again over the past few months but it really is the best new release of a drift ready chassis. Ken Gushi when he was in Japan made his own personal video of drifting around in the Scion FR-S. You cannot really hear the audio of him talking very well with his personal camera he mounted on the car. Ken does note that he was asked to not beat on the car very hard so he did take it a little easy. Check below for the 5 minute in car view of Ken Gushi drifting the Scion FR-S (with ease) around this track in Japan. Follow the link below to check out the video.

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The First Toyota 86 Drifting Tandem with 2012 D1GP Cars [VIDEO]

The two Toyota 86 (Scion FR-S in America) heading to the D1 Grand Prix series next year have already been seen doing tandem at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon. The car is gaining more and more hype by the minute and it might even convert into car sales. I just love this old school HKS look that NOB will be driving in 2012. The Hibino car also marks the return of Falken Tire to the D1GP series. Check the link below to watch the videos of these two Toyota 86 cars doing tandem!

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2012 Tokyo Auto Salon – HKS Toyota 86 for D1 Grand Prix Season

One of Patrick Mordaunt’s crew members John Jimison posted this up on Facebook this morning and we cannot manage to find this car anywhere else. From the best we can tell the car is for Nobuteru Taniguchi and the return of his awesome HKS style that we grew to love back in the days of D1GP. It looks like he will be joining Hibino in the 2012 D1GP season who was shown driving his Toyota 86 earlier this week.

Mad Mike Heads to 2012 D1 Grand Prix with Mazda Rx-7

Another car parked at the 2012 Tokyo Auto Salon this weekend is Mad Mike’s newest creation Drift-N-Ice which is a Redbull Energy Drink x Speedhunters FD Mazda Rx-7. Made Mike released this news on his website this morning and sadly he hasn’t been able to turn a wheel in the car yet! Here is what he has to say about the build and opportunity:

 “For me this is a dream come true, to be given this opportunity to compete in Japan and team alongside Kawato San again is an honor. We paired in 2010 for the Red Bull project ‘Drift-N-Ice’ using Kawato’s 13b turbo powered FD RX7 for the job and I was impressed with the performance and workmanship. For the past few months now we’ve been exchanging emails with the team at Magic Co, they’ve built an amazing car for me and I can’t wait to get some seat time.”

Tetsuya Hibino Stepping Into Up Garage Toyota 86 for 2012 D1 Grand Prix

While recently Tokyo Auto Salon has been somewhat of a snooze fest for drifting news in the Japanese world it looks like the 2012 show might have some hope. Already announced is Tesuya Hibino (legendary Toyota Corolla driver) will be driving a Toyota 86 this season in the D1 Grand Prix series. The video above shows him flinging it around in this lot. Hopefully some other big drifting news will come out from the Tokyo Auto Salon this year!

Source: http://speedhunters.com/

2012 D1 Grand Prix Race Season in Japan [SCHEDULE]

The D1 Grand Prix series has posted a new schedule for the 2012 drifting season. After reviewing this schedule they have two direct conflicts with Formula Drift in the United States with Round 3 at Autopolis which conflicts with the US event Evergreen Speedway. Round 4 of the D1GP season finds them at Ebisu Circuit while Formula D is at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. This means Daigo Saito splitting time to run both series is highly unlikely. Here is how the 7 round D1GP schedule stacks up for 2012 with a notable absence of Fuji Speedway:

Round 1 – April 14/15 Tokyo, Japan at Odaiba Circuit
Round 2- May 26/27 Suzuka Circuit
Round 3 – July 21/22 Autopolis
Round 4 – August 25 Ebisu Circuit
Round 5 – August 26 Ebisu Circuit
Round 6 – September 22/23 Chubu International Airport
Round 7 – November 3/4 TBD

Odi Bakchis Picks Up Sponsorship from D1GP Sponsor M7

M7 is making its first big step into Formula Drift next year with a sponsorship of Odi Bakchis. In Japan they support some huge drifters in D1GP with Imamura, Suenaga, and Orido. After talking to Odi he will be running M7 motor oil, M7 gear oil, M7 brake fluid, M7 Spark Plugs, M7 gauges, and a M7 Touch R.A.C.E ODB communicator. On top of all that he is even running a M7/Nobuteru Taniguchi Edition Bride racing seat for the 2012 season. All of this is mixed with the fact that M7 is hitting the US market through Promotion Distribution so you can get your hands on all of these parts for 2012.


Daigo Saito Is Coming to Formula Drift in 2012 [CONFIRMED FINALLY]

Formula Drift in 2012 will add another D1GP champion to the mix with Daigo Saito. He has been rumored for years to come join the fun in Formula Drift and now it is finally happening! The guys at Bridges Racing who campaigned Robbie Nishida with a yellow S15 in years past are taking the big step with Daigo Saito in 2012.

Daigo Saito will be an addition to the Bridges Racing team in 2012 making the Japanese drivers teammates in 2012. This has to the biggest news of the off-season to date! Daigo Saito almost won the 2011 D1GP Championship and has now added to a long list of international champions who have made the jump into Formula Drift. This has to put an even bigger hurt on the D1GP series in Japan but we will look more into that in a later post. Who is excited to see Daigo Saito stateside in 2012?