Ryuji Miki

2010 Formula Drift Road Atlanta – Post Qualifying Pit Notes [PREDICTIONS]

This qualifying was pretty interesting with Rhys Millen, Conrad Grunewald, and Daijiro Yoshihara all scoring zeros on the first run. Joon Maeng actually double zeroed and failed to make the show the first time in years of his career in the Full Tilt Poker Mazda Rx-8. Ross Petty actually held top qualifier for quite some time and Falken qualified 2nd-6th this weekend showing the Falken Tire RT-615K is a seriously competitive tire at this track. Here is our prediction on how Top 32 will wind up tomorrow at Wall Speedway:

Ryan Tuerck Vs. Andrew Comrie-Picard
This should be an easy victory for Ryan Tuerck. Not only does he have home track advantage he is going to be pretty focused after that Top 32 loss to Joon Maeng last year which could be noted for blowing his championship. ACP doesn’t have the consistency or aggressive style into the Dodge Viper yet to really be a menace.

Darren McNamara Vs. Dennis Mertzanis
This is another tandem battle I don’t really see being very entertaining or exciting for the fans. Dennis is spot on consistent in tandem but just too slow to keep up with Darren McNamara. Generally Darren seems to do pretty well against slower cars and generally dominates here at Wall Speedway.

Daijiro Yoshihara Vs. Brian Wilkerson
This battle is going to Daijiro Yoshihara hands down. The 4 rotor Mazda Rx-8 sounds awesome but has proven it has serious reliability issues this season. Brian during practice would either look brilliant  or be shutting down with no in-between. Daijiro got a zero on his first qualifying run but I don’t think that should discredit his focus or determination in the championship race.

Justin Pawlak Vs. Michael Essa
Out of the first four runs I studied and looked over this is the first one I am truly excited to see tomorrow morning. Michael Essa will be tough to the end in a tandem battle and Justin Pawlak has been beating himself in the Ford Mustang more than losing a hard fought fight. Neither had a great Long Beach and have been trying to play catch up in the points.

Vaughn Gittin Jr. Vs. Robbie Nishida
I have been under estimating Vaughn’s capabilities this season and I won’t do it any longer! I pick Vaughn Gittin Jr. for the win with his 2011 Ford Mustang over the Nissan GT-R. Robbie blew a motor during Thursday practice and barely got back out for qualifying. I select Vaughn for a victory in the Mustang.

Ross Petty Vs. Ryuji Miki
Ryuji Miki is normally an amazing tandem driver despite his lack luster qualifying efforts but the new Lexus SC430 makes me nervous to pick him. Ross Petty while over aggressive really seems made for Wall Speedway in the S15 so I am going to select him for the victory.

Chris Forsberg Vs. Bill Sherman
This is a tough one since Chris Forsberg ended qualifying with a small into the bank wall. Bill Sherman never made a good consistent pass so I am quite stumped on selecting a winner. I have more faith in the CFR team than about anyone in the pits so I am going to give Chris the victory by a very slight margin.

Stephan Verdier Vs. Doug Van Den Brink
Stephan Verdier has looked great this year but I like Doug Van Den Brink for this victory. He is the steep underdog but I like him over Stephan in this tandem competition. Stephan hasn’t really smashed up the WRX this weekend and I just see it coming around the corner.

Tanner Foust Vs. Cyrus Martinez
Cyrus really got a tough draw in his Nexen Tire 240sx and I cannot really build a scenario where he beats Tanner Foust. Realistically Tanner has struggled here, like his failure to qualify Top 32 last season, but a tandem battle against Cyrus should be an easy one as long as he can follow the slower 240sx around the track.

Charles Ng Vs. Conrad Grunewald
Charles Ng really busted out an amazing qualifying run that had him drifting on a level I’ve never seen him perform yet. The big issue I find is that Charles cannot drive like a maniac on repeat so I am giving the victory to Conrad Grunewald.

Michihiro Takatori Vs. “Mad” Mike Whiddett
The Drift Emporium doesn’t seem to have the right recipe behind their program but Takatori makes up for it with raw driving talent. Mad Mike hasn’t done anything yet to overwhelm us upon his arrival to Formula Drift and I don’t think he can deliver here at Wall Speedway. Mad Mike’s car is just too low for the transition and bumps along the track in New Jersey mixed in with Takatori’s speed and solid line. I have to select Takatori for this round.

Tyler McQuarrie Vs. Tony Brakohiapa
Since Tyler McQuarrie hasn’t made it out of the Top 32 this season I have a hard time selecting him for a victory. Last year he performed amazing at Wall Speedway finishing on the podium but I just cannot give him a victory against Tony Brakohiapa. The winner goes to Tony and his crazy looking Ford Mustang.

Samuel Hubinette Vs. Rhys Millen
These guys got a real unfortunate draw for Top 32 but I do know they will bot be putting up a fight. They are both former champions and really have a talent level so close to each other anyone could pull out a victory. Judging by practice runs and things I was told from the track I have to pick Sam Hubinette for a victory.

Kyle Mohan Vs. Forrest Wang
Mohan really lacks some of the aggressive tandem style I think the judges want to see these days. Forrest Wang doesn’t lack these traits I feel and has been man handling that bright orange Infiniti G35. This one should be a close call but I have Forrest as a slight favorite to move into the top 16.

Ken Gushi Vs. Matt Waldin
Matt Waldin has looked over whelming all weekend at his home track while Ken Gushi didn’t really do anything this weekend that caught my eye. We know Ken has had some bad experience with that bank (remember back in the Mustang) which might be leaving him a tad timid in competition. I give a slight advantage to Matt Waldin for a win and movement into the Top 16.

Dean Kearney Vs. Matt Powers
The last draw of the day is a pretty balanced tandem toss up. Dean has pushed the Intec 240sx hard over the weekend but I don’t think he can match the performance of Matt Powers in the Need for Speed 240sx in a tandem battle. This one may even head to a OMT but the loser will be the first one to make a mistake between these two guys. I cannot find another scenario to play out for this battle but Matt Powers has had more experience in the hot seat so I am naturally gravitating towards him taking home a win.

Formula Drift Round 3 Wall Speedway – Qualifying Results

ryan-tuerck-wall-speedway

Here is how qualifying went at Formula Drift Round 3 Wall Speedway. Ross Petty held first place for a long time and wound up at 6th place overall. Here is how they finished up:

1. Ryan Tuerck
2. Darren McNamara
3. Daijiro Yoshihara
4. Justin Pawlak
5. Vaughn Gittin
6. Ross Petty
7. Chris Forsberg
8. Stephan Verdier
9. Tanner Foust
10. Charles Ng
11. Michihiro Takatori
12. Tyler McQuarrie
13. Samuel Hubinette
14. Kyle Mohan
15. Ken Gushi
16. Dean Kearney
17. Matt Powers
18. Matt Walden
19. Forrest Wang
20. Rhys MIllen
21. Tony Brakohiapa
22. “Mad” Mike Whiddet
23. Conrad Grunewald
24. Cyrus Martinez
25. Doug Van Den Brink
26. Bill Sherman
27. Ryuji Miki
28. Robbie Nishida
29. Michael Essa
30. Brian Wilkerson
31. Dennis Mertzanis
32. Andrew Picard

Hankook Tires Lexus SC430 – Ryuji Miki [IN THE PITS]

Ryuji Miki - Lexus SC430 - Formula D

Ryuji Miki - Lexus SC430 - Formula D

Ryuji Miki - Lexus SC430 - Formula D

Ryuji Miki - Lexus SC430 - Formula D

The last of the 2010 debut cars look like they have arrived at Formula Drift Round 3. We leaked renders, build shots, and video screen grabs of this car during the off season and last few months which resulted in legal fees, lawyers, and other nonsense but that is for another day.

The car looks to be running a factory V8 engine with the following sponsors: Hankook Tires, V-LEDS, Lexus, Seibon, Sparco, Bride, V12, Kaaz, Bride, ClutchMasters, WedsSport, NGK Spark Plugs, and Gruppe-S. The car has quite a hefty list of sponsors and all eyes will be on Ryuji Miki and his performance at Wall Speedway. I have noted that the car is Left Hand Drive which possibly poses and interesting adjustment issue for Japanese (RHD) driver Ryuji Miki.

Ryuji Miki currently has 9 Fantasy Drift points for the season putting him 8th in points scoring overall for the 2010 season. He could pay off great in the new platform or possibly fail to qualify so watch out for him closely over the weekend if he is on our Fantasy Team. New platforms always seem to be a wild card on performance and proper preparation. Judging by the fact this car was delayed until Round 3, we have a feeling it won’t have many of the issues new cars at Long Beach always seem get. What do you think about the new Lexus SC430 they are debuting this weekend?

Formula Drift Round 3 – Wall Speedway – Thursday Practice [GALLERY]


We already have Formula Drift Round 3 Thursday Practice coverage up on the website. Dan Jenkins shot over 300+ photos of the practice event which has Patrick Mordaunt’s Nissan 350z and Ryuji Miki’s Lexus SC430 in the pits. Notably the Falken Tires team appeared to not run in practice but they did have a private practice day on Wednesday.

Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=173

Ryuji Miki’s Lexus SC430 in the pits.

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Luke Longberger spoted Ryuji’s new ride in the pits in New Jersey.  Its good to see Ryuji’s new car done, its looks amazing. It’ll be interesting to see if he uses this or his Mazda RX7 for this round and just does some shake down runs in the Lexus. I dont see this car being competitive right from the start since the car was recently completed.

Source: facebook.com/

Two Cars Make Deubt at Formula Drift Round 3 – Wall Speedway

Ryuji Miki - Lexus SC430

Patrick Mordaunt - Nissan 350z

Normally the East Coat leg of Formula Drift rarely gets to see the debut of a new drift car due to it’s distance from Los Angeles, California. The way the series has been ordered with Atlanta then New Jersey it’s practically unthinkable you would see a car switch within the east coast leg of Formula Drift.

This year according to the GruppeS twitter account Ryuji Miki will be debuting the Lexus SC430 which we unveiled a few days ago on the blog. I also spoke to Patrick Mordaunt quickly last night who is in route to New Jersey with his Nissan 350z picture above. It will be interesting to see if he can maintain his Top 10 rank after switching chassis mid season. Wall Speedway will be in for a treat with the premiere of these two new Formula D cars.

Ryuji Miki’s New Lexus SC430 [SPYSHOTS]

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Robbie Nishida headed over to Apexi and snapped some photos of Ryuji’s new SC430. Hopefully the car will be at the next round. I don’t think he’ll be using it until round four since he hasn’t even been out testing. The car looks like it should be in D1GP with that mean looking front end. I cant wait to see this thing run.

Source: http://ameblo.jp/robbie31/

Formula Drift Round 3 – Wall Speedway [DRIVERS LIST]

Here is a tentative list of drivers for Wall Speedway at Formula Drift Round 3:

1. Vaughn Gittin Jr.
2. Dai Yoshihara
3. Rhys Millen
4. Tanner Foust
5. Chris Forsberg
6. Ryan Tuerck
7. Darren McNamara
8. Samuel Hubinette
9. Patrick Mordaunt
10. Conrad Grunewald
11. Ken Gushi
12. Ryuji Miki
13. Justin Pawlak
14. Joon Maeng
15. Ross Petty
16. Stephan Verdier
17. Forrest Wang
18. Michihiro Takatori
19. Michael Essa
20. Robbie Nishida
21. Tyler McQuarrie
22. Tony Brakohiapa
23. Taka Aono
24. Kyle Mohan
25. Charles Ng
26. Dean Kearney
27. Matt Powers
28. Dennis Mertzanis
29. Doug VanDenBrink
30. Mike Whiddet
31. Cyrus Martinez
32. Jodin LeJeune
33. Matt Waldin
34. Andrew Comrie-Picard
35. Bill Sherman
36. Ron Ewerth
37. Russell Walker
38. Eric O’Sullivan
39. Jeff Jones
40. Kelvin Arreola
41. James Robinson
42. Brian Wilkerson

2010 Formula Drift Championship Standings After Round 2 Road Atlanta

Vaughn Gittin Jr. is the only driver to finish on the podium at the first two rounds so he has a commanding lead going into Wall Speedway Round 3. In fact, he was on the podium last season at New Jersey so we could see him go three events in a row. Here is how the Top 16 in championship points stacks up showing once again that consistent performance is key.

Formula DRIFT Professional Championship 2010 Point Standings
1. Gittin, Vaughn Monster Energy / Falken Tire Ford Mustang 199 Points
2. Yoshihara, Daijiro Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 162 Points
3. Millen, Rhys RMR / Red Bull Hyundai Genesis Coupe 158 Points
4. Foust, Tanner Rockstar Energy Scion TC 148 Points
5. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / CFR Nissan 350Z 137 Points
6. Tuerck, Ryan Mobil 1 / Maxxis Tire / Gardella Racing Pontiac Solstice 136 Points
7. McNamara, Darren Falken Tire Saturn Sky 123 Points
8. Hubinette, Samuel SHR-Dodge / BF Goodrich Dodge Challenger 120 Points
9. Mordaunt, Patrick Brian Crower / PM Racing Nissan 350Z 117 Points
10. Grunewald, Conrad Hankook Tire / GM Performance Chevrolet Camaro 93.50 Points
11. Gushi, Ken Scion Racing / RS*R Scion TC 86.50 Points
12. Miki, Ryuji APEXi / Hankook Tire Mazda RX-7 81 Points
13. Pawlak, Justin Ford Racing / Falken Tire Ford Mustang 80.50 Points
14. Maeng, Joon Full Tilt Poker / Mazda / Nitto Mazda RX-8 80.25 Points
15. Petty, Ross Falken Tire / Garage Boso Nissan S15 79 Points
16. Verdier, Stephan Royal Purple / Crawford Performance / Cooper Subaru STI 78.75 Points
16. Wang, Forest BF Goodrich / Drift Emporium Infiniti G35 78.75 Points

2010 Formula Drift Road Atlanta – Post Qualifying Pit Notes [PREDICTIONS]

Tanner Foust at Road Atlanta
You saw our pre event Pit Notes that we posted yesterday which you can find here if you want to look back at what we said before the event started. If I would of known earlier Patrick Mordaunt was in his S14 he would of ranked probably on the top of my Hot Property List. Here is a breakdown of the Top 32 battles and what I feel about the drivers and possibly the tandem battle for today’s main event. Here is a breakdown of these Top 32 tandem battles in the driver in them.

Tanner Foust Vs. Matt Waldin
This is technically a battle of North American Drifting champions since Matt Waldin has won DMCC and Tanner is a two time Formula Drift champion. I don’t think Matt Waldin’s Nissan 350z is really a match for the NASCAR V8 but greater upsets have happened in time. Fantasy wise if you have Matt Waldin then a One More Time is probably going to be your best bet to score some points. My prediction is that Tanner Foust advances.

Ryan Tuerck Vs. Dennis Mertzanis
I told the world on the Live Drift Stream that Dennis would take out Vaughn in the Top 32 at Long Beach which didn’t happen and I really don’t think he stands a chance against Ryan Tuerck. Ryan has more control against slower drivers and is a tandem machine. Maxxis Tires always seem to thrive here as history tells us as well. My prediction is that Ryan Tuerck advances.

Conrad Grunewald Vs. Forrest Wang
Even though these guys qualified so far from each other I don’t want to declare a winner in this match. Conrad was eliminated early at Long Beach and the car just doesn’t seem to tandem as well as he can qualify. Forrest Wang has great talent but his Infiniti G35 seems to be a handicap. The car doesn’t seem to work 100% and there is no telling what he will get when the event starts. This is a Fantasy Drift wild card which you don’t want to miss on the live steam or in person.

Daijiro Yoshihara at Road Atlanta

Daijiro Yoshihara Vs. “Mad Mike” Whidett
Mad Mike qualified in his first Formula Drift event but I don’t think he is any match for Daijiro Yoshihara. If you watched him drive that S13 he was looking like the Daijiro Yoshihara of old and not the one we saw drive in 2009. This leads me to believe he could go far this weekend. He has also made podium in Atlanta before. My prediction is that Daijiro Yoshihara advances.

Rhys Millen Vs. Cody Parkhouse
Rhys Millen has been on fire this year so I think Cody Parkhouse is going to have a big problem on his hand. It’s hard to keep up with Rhys on this track as well with his shallow angle style he runs here that caused much controversy when he beat Bill Sherman a few years back. My prediction is that Rhys Millen advances.

Michael Essa Vs. Stephan Verdier
I love Michael Essa’s huge insane entry as he came down the hill but I question the cars ability to tandem. The car still appears to have a lack of grip and we haven’t seen this BMW 350R compete in tandem competition yet. While Essa is on my Fantasy Team I just think Stephan Verdier has the upper hand. For crying out loud Iron Man 2 came out yesterday so we have to get Stephan some secret forces behind him. My prediction is that Stephan Verdier advances.

Monster Energy Drink Ford Mustang at Road Atlanta
Vaughn Gittin Jr. Vs. Michihiro Takatori
Takatori didn’t look all that overwhelming during qualifying or practice and Vaughn Gittin Jr. just seems to be unstoppable after Streets of Long Beach. My prediction is that Vaughn Gittin Jr. advances.

Chris Forsberg Vs. Cyrus Martinez
I don’t want to discredit the rookie Cyrus Martinez here like most of you have already done but Forsberg is going to win this round. Cyrus looks great and if he drew anyone else other than a the only two time winner here I would give him a chance but I just don’t see this one happening. My prediction is that Chris Forsberg advances.

Doug Van Den Brink Vs. Sam Hubinette
Sam Hubinette just seems to have his hands full with the Dodge Challenger this weekend. Right before I wrote this he got towed back to the pits when it looked like the car just did a simple wheel drop. I am going to take a huge risk here with seeing that and predict the southeastern local Doug Van Den Brink takes home the win. A huge statement but mine as well make a bold statement in here, I feel like a ton of these predictions are a tad vanilla. My prediction is that Doug Van Den Brink advances.

Dean Kearney at Road Atlanta
Joon Maeng Vs. Dean Kearney
Neither of these guys have done fantastic lately but I am going to favor Joon Maeng in the Full Tilt Poker Mazda Rx-8. Dean Kearney is in a great S14 no question but it just seems suffer constant mechanical issues which means you cannot count on that. Joon has done well here before and could use this event to booster him for the rest of the season. My prediction is that Joon Maeng advances.

Robbie Nishida Vs. Matt Powers
This is another tough one based on car reliability issues. I would of picked Matt Powers before his accident at night practice but now he has me a little nervous in selecting him. Robbie Nishida has a fantastic machine but no seat time in it. He already put it in the pea gravel and had a wreck tow off with it this weekend as well. This is going to be a survival of the fittest more than a tandem battle I predict.

Darren McNamara Vs. Taka Aono
This is quite a matchup since Taka has had some legendary battles in his Corolla here before. Remember the tandem battles between Taka Aono and Sam Hubinette that brought in the One More Time Rule to the sport? Yea, pretty epic but I have Darren McNamara going all the way this weekend to finally win here so sorry Taka. My prediction is that Darren McNamara goes all the way.

Taka Aono at Road Atlanta
Tyler McQuarrie Vs. Patrick Mordaunt

I picked both of these guys in my pre event notes to do really well but with Patrick showing up in his S14 I give him a slight advantage. Something about Patrick in this track that I just don’t see him being able to lose to Tyler. I know Tyler was already mad at me for saying he would lose to Darren McNamara before these were fixed but he is just caught up in a tough part of the grid. Patrick is just focused and Road Atlanta seems to be his home away from home.

Justin Pawlak Vs. Ryuji Miki
The RTR Ford Mustang seems to be giving Justin Pawlak some troubles so I am nervous to select him as a winner. Ryuji Miki historically isn’t great at qualifying and can just set the world on fire when it comes to tandem drifting. I am going for the underdog here with Ryuji Miki.

Kyle Mohan Vs. Ross Petty
Another tough choice is with these guys against each other plus the genuine unpredictable nature of Ross Petty in tandem. For some reason I feel like Kyle Mohan is focused and on fire right now so I am going to give him the advance.

Charles Ng Vs. Ken Gushi
Charles Ng has put some impressive runs down and is seemingly hungry just to get professional level seat time. He was even running at Formula Drift Singapore last month in a borrowed car to get out there in the industry more. Even with that said Ken Gushi is just under rated in the public eye for some reason these days. The Scion Racing team seems to have things figured out in 2010 so my prediction is that Ken Gushi advances.

***5/8/2010 at 12:11pm EDIT: Tyler McQuarrie and Taka Aono had the same score in qualifying along with Doug Van Den Brink and Cyrus Martinez. We just updated our qualifying list to represent Tyler McQuarrie in 20th and Taka Aono in 21st. They also did the same thing with 24th Dough Van Den Brink and Cyrus Martinez in 25th. Our list came from the live feed which was unofficial and it appears Tyler moved in front. This changes those tandem battles which we are editing now and updating before Top 32. Sorry for the confusion and delay on figuring this out.