We stumbled on this photo of Toshiki Yoshioka sitting in the Apex’i Lexus SC430 on social media (complete with his name on the door card and all), and have confirmed with the team that Yoshioka will be driving the car this weekend instead of Takahashi. Yoshioka has missed most of this season in his Subaru BR-Z after placing 24th overall last season, only driving in Texas but failing to qualify. Takahashi came into the season with a lot of hype, but did not live up to it as we noted after Long Beach. Takahashi currently sits in 41st place and will not qualify to compete in Pro 1 next season, being relegated to Pro 2.
In addition to the new livery, which shows off long time D1Gp team UP Garage as part of the livery, the Apex’i Lexus SC430 now sports a RHD conversion. Frank S., formerly of BOSO Garage, has been busy over the last week prepping the car along with the Apex’i crew. The above livery was posted this morning, and appears to be at Willow Springs raceway. We’ve confirmed that Kuniaki Takahashi will be piloting the car, which has long been the rumor around the pits. Of course you can also read about the previous setup of the Lexus SC430 in Issue 30 of our magazine.
Rumors have been flying around about a D1GP driver making his debut to Formula Drift this season. After some leaks this weekend from a new potential sponsor it appears that D1GP driver Kuniaki Takahashi will be driving Pat Mordaunt’s old Lexus SC430.
If you want to know more about the build we actually highlighted it in Issue 30 of Wrecked Magazine that came out this month with a full feature (direct link to feature here). Kuniaki Takahasi was spotted at various Formula Drift events in 2013 making the connection and probability even greater.
Kuniaki Takahasi ha been a “big body” drifter over the past few years as you can see above with his Toyota Mark X in D1GP. During an episode of Wrecked Weekly recently Patrick Mordaunt even picked him out as a driver he would want to see in the Lexus. Perhaps a genuine comment or some strategic foreshadowing from Pat.
Issue 30 of Wrecked Magazine is now available on the virtual newsstand! We updated our software finally so you can view this issue on iPad, iPhone, or any Android or other mobile device. The complete issue functions now in HTML5! We have five awesome features and a new project car to kick off our 30th issue! We also kicked off the new software with a new feature focused format.
The build features inside this magazine are a 2JZ powered R34 Nissan Sklyine from D1NZ, C’s Garage Silvia from D1NZ, Enjuku Racing’s LS1 swapped Hyundai Genesis, a 2JZ powered 1994 Mazda RX-7, and to finish it all up Patrick Mordaunt’s Lexus SC430 from Formula Drift. We even introduce a new project car with R/T Tuning.
While we don’t have many details at this time here is what we do know about a D1GP driver heading into Formula Drift for 2014. A source has told us that a new D1GP driver who has never been in Formula Drift in previous seasons is applying to run in Formula Drift via a petition. D1GP licenses are not recognized by Formula Drift or the FIA so the driver is forced to petition in to Formula Drift based on his merits and experience or face the Pro Am circuits. I can only assume if the rumors are true that Formula Drift will approve the petition.
To take the rumors one more step forward I think it is a good chance he will fill the shoes of the APEX’i Lexus SC430 that Patrick Mordaunt is leaving in 2014. Its an interesting connection someone made and APEX’i has had a history in supporting Japanese drivers. What do you think of the news? Who do you think the D1GP driver could be?
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.