The biggest news of the weekend is that Justin Pawlak’s win streak was finally put to an end by FD Asia/D1 Grand Prix champion Daigo Saito in his Achilles Tires Lexus SC430. Watching the runs you can see they had one intense battle which showed both drivers with a poor ability to follow the other in reality. The big issue was when Justin Pawlak was following he over cooked it big time and couldn’t get wrapped around (I think he should of just smashed into Daigo personally) but instead he drove back to the pits and stormed over to the Achilles Tire grid area.
The confrontation took place while Chris Forsberg and Daijiro Yoshihara did battle in the Final Four. Justin Pawlak accused Daigo of playing dirty and making a statement that he had never seen anyone drift like that before (referring to the tap of brakes at entry to add angle) and he probably even insulted Japan in the process. While no one from his own team at Falken Tire followed him to keep him in check or tell him to walk back to the pit area he finally managed to bring his unsportsmanlike conduct to a close with a pleasant ending exchange and stormed back off to his Falken pit area. I was pretty disappointed in the whole exchange and really hope one of the many media outlets videoing the exchange will post it unedited so we can share with everyone what the exchange was about. I guess we are going to have to wait at least a few more events for Formula Drift to have our Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough (link for reference).
After tuning into the video what does everyone think of the tandem rounds between these two guys? It really looks at this point the championship race is going to come down to a JTP or Daigo championship here in Formula Drift 2012. With four events left in the championship series these guys have a demanding stronghold at the top of the points structure and I don’t see many guys having a chance to catch them unless major car troubles are ahead.
A snapshot captured at the 2012 Formula Drift Asia event in Malaysia shows an unlatched trunk go flying into the air off of this four door Nissan Skyline. The Achilles Radial car is being driven by Armando kept in drift after losing his trunk in this tandem battle. We will have some more great photography and posts coming from the Malaysia event of Formula Drift Asia.
Another top 16 tandem battle we caught with some help from Brian Casse is the entry accident between Walker Wilkerson and Tony Angelo. Tony has managed to make two Top 16’s in his return to Formula Drift as a driver with the Scion Racing tC. He was lined up and following second year driver in his Fatlace / Falken Tire S13.4 for a Top 16 tandem battle. Walker came flying down the hill and Tony Angelo over entered right into him making Walker Wilkerson have a pass into the Top 8.
Here are some snapshots we captured of the tandem battle between these two guys. Click of any of the images to jump to the video.
One of the runs in Top 16 tons of people put focus on was the battle with Daigo Saito and Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Top 16. Daigo was coming off a podium in Long Beach and Vaughn Gittin Jr. a blown chance against Odi Bakchis in Top 32. These two put on quite possibly one of the best tandem battles of the weekend as one high horsepower turbo’d 2JZ-GTE engine lines up against a Ford Racing crate engine. With the help of Brian Casse we captured a great video of the two in tandem.
Darren McNamara apparently needs some new transportation for Formula Drift Round 2 after his big crash at Streets of Long Beach which you can watch again by viewing it in this post below. The 350z of controversy is back after a feather shaking Las Vegas last year with Justin Pawlak stepping into it while removing Tyler McQuarrie. Now in 2012 the 350z is collecting dust over at ASD and getting prepped for this debut at Road Atlanta. I am pretty sure this is the first time DMac will be driving LHD in competition. We hope that he will have some time at Lowes Motor Speedway to test before the big event at Road Atlanta in the car. Darren has stepped onto the podium many times in Atlanta so a new car and a huge lack of points in Long Beach really is going to put pressure on him to perform at this event trying to stay championship points relevant.
A great production from Streets of Long Beach highlighting how much fun the drift event was from the eyes of big drivers like Matt Powers, Daigo Saito, and Justin Pawlak. The three minute piece really highlights the quick paced action that went down over the weekend. It even looks like he lost a camera to the death of Joon Maeng’s wing on the back of his Mazda Rx-8.
The guys at Car@Nifty caught the Hibino crash on film which was spotted by one of our commenters in the photo thread (thanks Steffan) which shows the big run into the turn one wall by Hibino in his Toyota 86. The contact and crash from this video angle doesn’t really look all that bad but his entire rear suspension came off the car in the process so it must of been a bigger impact than it appeared to be.
The D1 Grand Prix driver Tetsuya Hibino already has given his Toyota 86 one huge love smack on the wall at Odaiba today. We don’t have any more details outside of what we found hunting around the Internet but I am sure video will pop up soon. It looks like Hibino is running Cusco arms on the car. We will provide more reports from the first round of the D1GP as they come out!
Justin Shreeve took on Long Beach with a video titled No Mercy which shows off tons of highlights from the weekends Round 1. A great compilation of tandem battles featuring the event winner Justin Pawlak and some rookies like George Marstanovic who was caught blowing Santa’s hat straight off his head with a wall tap. Justin produced another great video to kick off the 2012 season.
Just like the video we put up last night of Darren McNamara crashing in about the same fashion as Robbie Nishida did in his Achilles Tires S13.5 Silvia. While tandeming against Conrad Grunewald he went in too deep into the wall which kicked the car out and right into the tire barriers. Robbie was alright and the car suffered much less damage than Darren McNamara who managed to hit the unprotected k-rail first and then make contact with the tires.