When the Apex’i Lexus SC430 was first rumored to be built after the 2009 season, it was with Ryuji Miki behind the wheel. The car debuted in New Jersey the following season and Miki piloted the car to a top-8 finish in Sonoma, but did not return in 2011. After the car sat for a season, Patrick Mordaunt brought the car back out and has been driving the car ever since.
We just got word from a very good source that Ryuji Miki will be returning to the US to test drive the same SC430 he drove back in 2010 sometime in the next two weeks in Texas. We haven’t confirmed whether the test will be at Texas Motor Speedway or another location. There’s a possibility that Miki could be shaking down the course for Formula D officials to determine the layout ahead of the FD event, or it could just be a shakedown of the car in preparation for Mordaunt. An even more exciting possible outcome is that Miki could be testing in anticipation of a return, possibly in the same SC430 or a clone of the car as a two-car team for 2014.
Whatever the result, we know that this test is not expected to change the driver of the seat for the final two events of the 2013 season.
I know everyone is up in arms about the Michael Essa Vs. Corey Hosford tandem battle (we have a guest blogger coming to Wrecked for a post about it hopefully soon) and the Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Fredric Aasbo Monster Truck battle which Vaughn Gittin Jr. has guest blogged about on the site already. The tandem round that upset me the most by far over the weekend was the Vaughn Gittin Jr. versus Daigo Saito tandem run in the Final Four.
Sadly a video by video comparison is a little tricky since I cannot embed the single Final four tandem battle but bare with me a little. In case you need to relive the Daigo vs. Vaughn battle you can watch it here starting at 2 hour 18 minute mark for the first run and 2 hour 32 minutes for Run 2. (http://new.livestream.com/FormulaDrift/ATL/videos/18598397)
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Jim Guthrie (Wall 2011) – Run 1 (Vaughn Leads / Jim Guthrie Chase)
If you watched the video above basically you notice that Jim Guthrie is following Vaughn Gittin Jr. and spins out creating a score we can imagine of a 0.He manges to put some following together but just ends up getting phased and spinning in the Rx-7. Vaughn puts down a respectable qualifying lead run and winds up with an advantage.
Daigo Satio vs. Vaughn Gittin Jr. (Road Atlanta 2013) – Run 1 (Daigo Leads / Vaughn Chase)
Daigo Saito and Vaughn Gittin Jr. go into the first turn together and Vaughn after the hill miscalculates something and winds up spinning out trying to keep up with Daigo Saito. We can imagine that Vaughn Gittin Jr. has scored a 0 and given Daigo Saito an advantage for the second run.
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Jim Guthrie (Wall 2011) – Run 2 (Vaughn Follows / Jim Guthrie Leads)
Jim Guthrie while leading puts together a somewhat respectable run while we see Vaughn Gittin Jr. cupcake the crap out of the tandem battle by following at times over six car lengths behind Jim Guthrie. While we are sure everyone assumed Jim Guthrie was going to spin again he ended up making it through the whole course. Below I show you how each judge made the call but it ended up being a One More Time so we can assume they have issued Vaughn Gittin Jr. a 0 for “cup-caking” (not following agressive) putting the round at a draw.
Daigo Satio vs. Vaughn Gittin Jr. (Road Atlanta 2013) – Run 1 (Daigo Follows / Vaughn Leads)
Vaughn Gittin Jr. just straight up left Daigo Saito in the dust on this run. Lets face it, the Lexus SC430 with over 1000whp and nitrous isn’t getting “left” by anyone in this series when following in tandem. Somehow Daigo Saito didn’t manage to get docked quite as significant with a 0 allowing two judges to select him to move on. We basically negated Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s second lap performance and promoted the idea of not putting on a show for the fans.
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Jim Guthrie (Wall 2011) – How the Judges Voted
Andy Yen- One More Time
Ryan Lanteigne- One More Time
Tony Angelo – Vaughn Gittin Jr.
Daigo Satio vs. Vaughn Gittin Jr. (Road Atlanta 2013) – How the Judges Voted
Andy Yen- Daigo Saito
Ryan Lanteigne- Daigo Saito
Brian Eggert- One More Time
It just blew my mind that Ryan and Andy managed to do a complete flip in voting (Tony and Brian are different people so it makes a hard comparison). I have heard from several people in the paddock that Brian Eggert has been getting tons of “crap” about his call for One More Time but it seems to be far more consistant of a call than allowing Daigo to cruise into the finals. If you actually take the time to watch the videos the runs look very very similar I know you cannot exactly pull a screen grab and make some witty meme about this one but it is something to think about.
Patrick Mordaunt ended the season looking strong in the APEX’I Lexus SC430 after cranking up the power prior to FD Seattle last season, and it looks like he will be entering the new season with some additional support. Diamond Lighting, based just out of Seattle, WA, will be the title sponsor of the car this season, and just sent us this sneak peak at the new livery. Diamond Lighting was a sponsor last season, but has stepped up their support this year. It’s great to see the growth of companies in the series, and with Oracle Lighting recently being announced as the title sponsor for Dean Kearney, it seems like the lighting wars have started on the FD grid!
We may have more pics of this livery before FD Long Beach next week, so stay tuned!
The fans voted for Fredric Aasbo as the favorite driver in the 2012 series but Daigo Saito got fan favorite car of the year in his flat black Lexus SC430 with a 1,100+ whp 2JZ-GTE engine. With an assumed 15% drivetrain loss we can assume this engine is making 1,300hp. The car just looks like stickers got vomited everywhere all over it in my opinion but the fans seem to love it. With the help of Achilles the car makes big smoke and has a huge wing to boot.
The Chelsea DeNofa vs. Daigo Saito runs have been legendary this year but sadly for DeNofa most of them have ended with him wrecking his car. Luckily for him the car this time is the Bergenholtz Rx-8 and not his personal BMW but this thing had to of rocked him hard.
Patrick Mordaunt brought a new attitude and new chassis out to the Streets of Long Beach with his APEXi Lexus SC430. A great look at his performance in the new Lexus including some spot on interior shots in this SullyLife video. Rumor has it that Patrick Mordaunt might still be in the works on picking up a title sponsor for the 2012 season as well. Good luck to the team this year as they shoot for his best career finish.
PM Racing and driver Patrick Mordaunt are proud to announce their partnership with APEX Integration for the 2012 Formula Drift season (We called this move happening back on February 20th here). A’PEXi has always been a leader in high performance components for racers, driving enthusiasts, and has supported Patrick Mordaunt since the beginning of his career. “We are thrilled about this collaboration and opportunity to witness the potential of Patrick Mordaunt’s progression in his career,” said A’PEXi. Mordaunt will drive the recently upgraded A’PEXi Lexus SC430 that previously competed in the 2010 Formula Drift season. Mordaunt said, “I’m excited to partner with an experienced team like A’PEXi and am looking forward to driving their Lexus SC 430 for the 2012 Formula Drift season”.
In addition, to this exciting new partnership is the resurgence of Yokohama Tire back into the Formula Drift for 2012. The PM Racing / A’PEXi team has partnered with Yokohama Tire for the 2012 season and is excited to use high performance Yokohama tires with their proven track record for that elusive competitive edge.
Daigo Saito has recently been hard at working getting ready for the 2012 Formula Drift season. He’ll be competing in a rumored 1200hp Lexus SC430. The car should be completed soon and brought over from Japan shortly. Daigo should be able to keep up with all the V8′s this year with no problem. Hopefully the car is set to ship out stateside soon since Formula D Round 1 is right around the corner.
The rumormill in the drift industry is buzzing about Patrick Mordaunt stepping into the APEX’i Lexus SC430 for the 2012 season. Earlier this year some people mentioned hearing about Walker Wilkerson stepping into this ride for the season but nothing has surfaced recently about him hopping into the car.
Now in recent weeks several people have mentioned Patrick hopping into this car although he has a prepped S14 and 350z in his possession that could run the series. This build would bring the first opportunity to Patrick Mordaunt to drive a V8 in the Formula Drift series. How do you think he can handle his first go around with a V8 assuming the rumors are true?
This mystery tire company that is sponsoring Bridges Racing turns out to be Achilles Tire. The Bridges Racing program is jumping up into a three car program with Daigo Saito, Robbie Nishida, and Armando “Dio.” We have already reported that Robbie Nishida is building a Lexus SC300 and we have word that Daigo Saito is currently building a Lexus SC430 in Japan for his 2012 ride. This is a change from an earlier report that he was driving the APEX’i Lexus SC430. We imagine that Dio will be in the 2009 Championship Chassis Nissan 350z he ran for a few events last year.
A quick verification of the latest 2012 rulebook shows that the Achille ATR Sport and 123S tires are both approved tires under Appendix C in Section 2. It sounds like they will be the only three on this tire for 2012 but they are making quite a big push for the new season so no telling how things wind up!