Posts Tagged "Masashi Yokoi"

FIA International Drifting Cup roster is released

fia-drifting-cup-roster

FIA World Drifting Cup released their roster of 26 drivers today. From the list, seven drivers have Formula Drift ties. Current Formula Drift competitors Michael Essa, Matt Field, and Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis will be competing at the first event, scheduled to happen on September 30th and October 1st in Japan. Past competitors Charles Ng, Daigo Saito, and Masashi Yokoi are also scheduled to compete. 2009 and 2010 Formula Drift Asia champion Tengku Djan Ley will also be returning to competition for this event. Djan Ley has been away from drifting for a few years, but will be returning to compete in this monumental event. Also of note, Steve “Baggsy” Biagioni will also be competing. Biagioni was awarded a Formula Drift license for the 2017 season, but ended up not competing. He later put out a pretty impressive viral video dubbed “Monster Drift 2” with Daigo Saito earlier this year.

Who are you most excited to watch in this event?

2017 Formula Drift Japan Round 1: Suzuka [RESULTS]

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Formula Drift kicked off their Japan series over the weekend at Suzuka circuit with a field of thirty drivers. In the end, Koichi Yamashita took home the event win over Shinji Minowa, while Takahshi was awarded third place over Sheng Nian due to qualifying higher. Recapping some former Formula Drift USA drivers, Masashi Yokoi qualified 2nd and lost in the top 8 to Shinji Minowa, Andy Gray qualified 3rd and lost in the top 16 to Ikuo Saito, while “Mad” Mike Whiddett qualified 10th and was also taken out by Minowa in the top 16.

Round 2 will take place on June 10th & 11th at Ebisu Circuit.

Here’s a look at the final results from Round 1:

1st – Koichi Yamashita
2nd – Shinji Minowa
3rd – Kazumi Takahashi

2016 Formula Drift Japan Round 3: Okayama [RESULTS]

AndyGray-Okayama-Winner

Formula Drift Japan Round 3 not only counts as the third round of the Formula Drift series but also counts as the eighth round of the Formula Drift World Championship competition. Chris Forsberg, Andy Gray, and “Mad” Mike Whiddett were the only drivers from the Formula D USA series to drive at this event. Andy Gray would have the most success at the event, winning the round by defeating Kazuki Hayashi in the final round. Forsberg and Whiddett would both lose in the top 16, with Forsberg losing to Hayashi and Whiddett losing to Ikuo Saito.

Here’s how the final results played out at Okayama:

1st – Andy Gray
2nd – Kazuki Hayashi
3rd – Masaki Kasahara
4th – Masashi Yokoi

According to our calculations, here is how the Formula D World Championship standings sit after 8 of 10 rounds. In order to be eligible for the World Championships, drivers must have participated in one of the two rounds in Japan:

1st – Chris Forsberg – 454 Points
2nd – “Mad” Mike Whiddett – 264 Points
3rd – Matt Field – 260 points
4th – Andy Gray – 197 points

 

2016 Formula Drift Japan Round 2: Ebisu [RESULTS]

FDJapan-MadMikeWhiddett

The third round of the Formula Drift World Championship and second round of Formula Drift Japan took place this weekend at the famed Ebisu circuit. “Mad” Mike Whiddett, Andy Gray, and Matt Field were the only three drivers from the current Formula D Pro class who traveled to Japan for the round. Whiddett took the event win, while Andy Gray went out in the top 8 and Matt Field lost in the top 32.

Here’s how the final results shook out:

1st – “Mad” Mike Whiddett – Total Car Produce Mazda RX7
2nd – Masashi Yokoi – MCR Factory Nissan S15
3rd – Kazuki Hayashi – DMax Nissan S15
4th – Seimi Tanaka – Parts Shop Taka / DMax S15

2016 Formula Drift Japan Round 1: Suzuka [RESULTS]

AndyGray-FDJapanSuzuka-Podium

For the second consecutive year, Andrew Gray took home the win at the Suzuka round of Formula Drift Japan. Despite having 32 entrants, only 29 drivers could muster a qualifying score, landing the top three drivers in qualifying a first round bye. Andrew Gray defeated defending Pro 2 champion Alex Heilbrunn in the top 32 round, a rivalry that should heat up as both drivers kick off the Formula Drift Pro season in just four weeks. Gray defeated top qualifier Seimi Tanaka in the semifinal, the second consecutive year he faced Tanaka towards the end of the competition. Daichi Oshiro snuck into the podium after taking out defending Formula Drift Rookie of the Year Masashi Yokoi in the top 16.

Here’s a look at the final podium:

1. Andrew Gray
2. Daichi Oshiro
3. Seimi Tanaka

Source: Hanny_Jey

Yokoi Not Returning for 2016 Formula Drift Season

YokoiS15Silvia

Masashi Yokoi is slated to not return for the 2016 Formula Drift season. Our speculation is that Yokohama Tire leaving has triggered Yokoi not coming back for the new year since he carries a long term relationship with Yokohama. His style will be greatly missed in America this season but it does sound like he will campaign and drive in Japan for 2016. Thanks Jeffrey!

Yokohama Tire Set to Leave Formula Drift Again

YokoiS15Silvia

Various people are confirming with us that the rumor of Yokohama Tire not returning to Formula Drift in 2016 are true. The brand always seems to be one foot in and one foot out even when they are active in the series. The big performing sponsorship of 2015 they had was Yokoi who came over from Japan and really brought some Japanese style into his drifting. After a slow start in Long Beach he found his own and put on some great battles including Road Atlanta versus Odi Bakchis. No word on if Yokoi will continue with a new sponsor or what the plan for other Yokohama drivers are in 2016 just yet.

What it takes to win in 2015: Fredric Aasbo

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Current Formula D Championship Standings (after 6 rounds):

1. Fredric Aasbo 428 Points
2. Ken Gushi 348 Points
3. Ryan Tuerck 332 Points
4. Chris Forsberg 331 Points

For Fredric Aasbo, the formula is simple – qualify on Friday, and win a tandem battle on Saturday. With all the potential situations that involve others winning the championship, all of them depend on Aasbo to exit early in the competition. Aasbo does have a single top 32 exit earlier this season in Orlando, but his three event wins combined five total top-3 qualifying efforts are more than any of the three other contenders.  Daigo Saito, Geoff Stoneback, and Masashi Yokoi are the only three drivers who have defeated Aasbo in Formula Drift competition, and amazingly enough, Aasbo has also defeated each of them as well. In fact, Aasbo doesn’t hold a losing record on the season against any driver in FD USA competition, having defeated 16 different drivers at least once in tandem this season. Although there’s never a ‘sure thing’ when it comes to drifting, Aasbo taking the championship seems nearly automatic given the information at hand.

There was a lot of talk last season about how Aasbo’s final standings have continually improved. Since taking the Rookie of the Year title in 2010 as the 13th ranked driver, Aasbo has finished in 12th, 6th, 4th, and 2nd overall progressively. It seems as though the toughest thing for Aasbo to think about for next season is how he backs up such an amazing run.

Current Formula D World Championship Standings (after 8 rounds):

1. Fredric Aasbo 587 Points
2. Odi Bakchis 432 Points
3. Matt Field 331 Points
4. Masashi Yokoi 309 Points

With the Formula Drift World Championship being shortened from 10 events to 9 due to the China season finale being cancelled, Aasbo also has the opportunity to wrap up the World Championship simultaneously. Since Irwindale will count for double points, Odi Bakchis will need to make up 155 championship points, which can only be done if Bakchis makes an appearance in the final round. Matt Field is statistically eliminated, as even with a top qualifier / first place sweep, he would only make up 214 of the 256 points he would need to overtake Aasbo.

Should Aasbo make the top 16, the minimum of 34 points he would earn for Irwindale (possibly more pending his qualifying standing) would count as 68 towards the world championship. With first place earning at least 68 points more than a top 16 appearance, Bakchis would not be able to overcome Aasbo. Therefore, the only chance Bakchis has to earn the World Championship requires Aasbo to either not qualify on Friday, or lose in the top 32 on Saturday. In the scenario that Aasbo doesn’t qualify, a final round appearance by Bakchis would be enough to overtake Aasbo. However, should Aasbo qualify on Friday and lose in the top 32 on Saturday, Bakchis would need to win the event to earn the championship.

Overall, the World Championship was a bit of a disappointment, with only 13 drivers  participating in the championship, including only 4 of the current top 10 drivers. In order to qualify for the championship, drivers had to participate in one of the international rounds, one of which was simply a hop across the 49th parallel and didn’t require putting a race car on a boat or a plane. We hope to see an increase in participation next season.

Formula Drift World Championship contenders will grow – FD Canada Drivers List

FredricAasbo

Prior to this weekend’s Formula Drift Canada round, only nine drivers had qualified for the World Championship by driving in the Formula Drift Japan round. In order to be in contention for the World Championship title, drivers must drive in one of the three international rounds (Japan, Canada, and the yet TBD China round). However, the China round is invite-only, so drivers really only had two options. After the Texas round, here’s the current standings in the World Championship among the 9 drivers who are in contention:

Fredric Aasbo – 480 Points
Odi Bakchis – 396 Points
Masashi Yokoi – 309 Points
Matt Field – 263Points
Daigo Saito – 257 Points
Dean Kearney – 205 Points
Charles Ng – 175 Points
Robbie Nishida – 144 Points
“Mad” Mike Whiddett – 141 Points

The drivers list for this weekend’s round contains an additional four names that will be added to this list.

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10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Round 4 New Jersey

DeanKearney

10. Dean Kearney – Irish Future with an American V10
In my opinion, if you could throw Dean Kearney in one of these Top 10 Formula Drift builds he could make a run at the championship. He has a car I would argue probably struggles to fall in the Top 20 Formula Drift builds. Now that Darren McNamara has exited stage right it feels Dean Kearney has taken the torch as the top Irish drifter in America. He fell just short of a victory which I feel the weather played a big impact. Since the runs went out of order, he did his Top 4 run in the dry where Aasbo got to run his Top 4 battle in the rain in addition to the Finals. Looking forward, Dean Kearney is in 11th place but is headed to Seattle where he got his first podium in the past.

VaughnGittinJr.StreetDrivenTour
9. Vaughn Gittin Jr. Needs to Give Up on Season and Debut 2015 Mustang RTR
Vaughn Gittin Jr. hasn’t had a stellar season by his standards at all. While he is only 117 points behind Ryan Tuerck in the lead, I find that with three rounds left he isn’t going to make up the gap at 39 points an event on Tuerck or Bakchis. With that said, I would rather him just retire the old S197 Mustang chassis and debut his S550 (2015 Mustang RTR). I got to see the car drift in person at Street Driven Tour VIR and the car looks and sounds way better than his old chassis. Let’s get the new 2015 on the track competing in Formula Drift!

JoonMaeng
8. Joon Maeng is the Only Driver to Not Qualify Under New Structure
Joon Maeng had an up and down 2014 season but nothing has prepared him for the disaster that is 2015 with his BMW Z4. With a 39 driver grid this season he is the only driver left to not qualify for an event yet. One good event could bring him safely into the Top 32 since he is only 51 points behind 32nd place as we stand so he still has some hope. He needs to invest in some serious testing time before these next rounds and start getting some points on the board. I would suggest diving in Pro 2 for the next three rounds to try and either defend his Pro position or at least snag some extra practice laps.

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