Posts Tagged ‘Daijiro Yoshihara’

PERSPECTIVE> Ten Years Of Formula Drift Atlanta

This past weekend at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, the Formula Drift Championship celebrated its Ten Year Anniversary. It's hard to believe that the sport of professional drifting has already been in existence in the United States for ten whole years! Crazy - it certainly doesn't feel like it's been ten years.

Over the past decade, there have been a ton of new faces in the traveling Formula D circus - new drivers, new photographers, new teams and sponsors, new models, and new fans. When the very first Formula Drift event was held at Road Atlanta back in 2004, drifting was very much new to the United States. Most people didn't even know what it was. Most of the drivers and teams were very grassroots in appearance; we certainly didn't see the big corporate event activations and sponsor logos that you find at Formula Drift events nowadays.

Many of the original drivers, models, and teams from the inaugural Formula Drift event in 2004 have moved on to pursue other things. However, there are still a few OG Formula Drift heads (like me) still around. Man, we're getting old!   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> Dai Yoshihara Wins FD Long Beach

We asked our readers who they thought would win top honors at Formula Drift Long Beach, and they were right! Daijiro Yoshihara is really dialed in. He beat every single one of his opponents, including Vaughn Gittin Jr in the Monster Mustang in the final tandem battle.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula Drift Long Beach Qualifying

The Formula Drift 2013 season kicked off here in the streets of Long Beach! Every year as the roads in Long Beach get prepped for the Grand Prix, Formula Drift always has the honor of christening the pavement with tires and the air with tire smoke. With many new drivers debuting their car for the first time in pro leagues there are also a lot of returning veteran drivers on the lot. Every year having to outdo themselves a lot of drivers bring new cars and even more horsepower with them to the track. As we bring you live coverage of the weekends events follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, at @MOTORMAVENS and @86Fest, for updates and images of the First Formula Drift competition of the year.   Read more...

GALLERY> Formula Drift Finale at Irwindale

Even if they didn't attend the jam packed Formula Drift Finale at Irwindale Speedway, all drifting fans with an internet connection already know that Daigo Saito has been smashing the competition repeatedly all year, ascending the ranks of the Formula Drift Championship and ending his first year in Formula D in First Place as the Formula Drift Series Champion.

Here's a collection of some of our favorite images captured from the event!   Read more...

VIDEO> Formula D Irwindale 2011 = Best Thing Ever

Seriously though, this year’s Formula Drift Finale was one of the greatest weekends of my life. All the media, drivers, and industry people I’ve met over the last few years all in one place to be a part of arguably the greatest drifting spectacle in US history. I say “arguably,” but I will fight you. FD Irwindale 2011 was the best thing ever. Period. (more…)


COVERAGE> The 2011 Formula Drift Season Finale

It's hard to believe that the 2011 Formula Drift Championship season has already concluded for the year - the series went from start to finish in just six months! Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and the Drift Stream, everyone already knows that Discount Tire V8 S13 driver Daijiro Yoshihara was "Triple Crowned" as the 2011 Formula D Series Champion, marking the first time that a Japanese driver won a Formula D series championship. Even more relevant is the fact that this win marks the first time the popular Nissan S13 chassis has been used to win a Formula D championship season! S13 owners should rejoice - the iconic ichi-san is apparently still competitive against the newer technology drift cars.

For the season finale at Irwindale Speedway, Northern California based Tyler McQuarrie beat the competition to win First Place at the event in his Falken Tire V8 350Z, standing atop the podium with Rhys Millen (Second Place) and Chris Forsberg (Third place).   Read more...

VIDEO> Formula Drift Hits the Las Vegas Strip!

Now that you’ve heard the story behind and seen all the amazing photos from Formula Drift Las Vegas, courtesy of Oliver Petalver and Mike Kim, take a quick moment to wipe the drool from your keyboards and prepare yourselves for a short video from myself and Joe Ayala. (more…)


COVERAGE> Formula Drift: Vegas After Dark!

Round 6 of the Formula DRIFT series was held in the scorching heat of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway where locals went to witness Rhys Millen, in the Red Bull/Hankook Tire Hyundai Genesis, take first place in an already competitive season. Prior to Round 6, Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire/Falken Tire Nissan S13 was the leader in the Championship Point Standings with Justin "JTP" Pawlak (in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang) in second. Both failed to make it to the to the Final Four in Vegas, making the points spread even more slim.

In addition, this past event made people do a double take as FD Asia drivers Adwitya "Dio" Amandio & Saranon "Non" Pornpatanarak each made their U.S. debut. There was also a bit of controversy as Justin Pawlak switched seats with Tyler McQuarrie in the Falken Tire Nissan 350Z while McQuarrie piloted JTP's Falken Tire Nissan S15 instead.

All in all, with a nail biting points race, Rhys Millen back on the podium, new faces, and driver crossovers, you can see how someone might say that Vegas was the place to be this past weekend!   Read more...

COVERAGE> The 2011 Formula D Seattle Experience

Formula Drift in Seattle is definitely one of my favorite stops on the Formula D tour. It always happens in the middle of the summer, and summertime is the best time to visit Seattle anyway! The event planners at Formula Drift always seem to pick the FD Seattle weekend perfectly, when the rainy state of Washington is blessed with a little break from the gloomy rain, and the sun comes out to put everybody in a good mood!

Since most drift fans outside of Seattle were able to watch the event play-by-play on Justin.TV's Formula D Driftstream, Seattle-based MotorMavens sharpshooter Yoshi Shindo and I decided we'd post up photographic highlights from the event, based on our own experiences there!   Read more...

VIDEO> Formula Drift Palm Beach Brings Challenge

MotorMavens | TANDEM OF DIE | Formula Drift Palm Beach from MotorMavens Dotcom on Vimeo.

During Formula Drift‘s first Florida event last weekend, there were many bobbles, a few spins, and even a couple of wrecks. The new layout on Palm Beach International Raceway proved to be a challenge for drivers, event organizers, and media personnel alike. The slippery track was slightly technical, with a high speed and high angle entry, and rounded off with a smoky finish. (more…)


COVERAGE> Falken Tires Sweep Formula D Florida!

For the first time Formula DRIFT history, the war was brought to the battlegrounds in Florida at the Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR). Locals got to witness a "Battle of the Mustangs" as Justin "JTP" Pawlak took another victory this year in his Falken Tires Ford Mustang against last year's champion, Vaughn Gittin, Jr. and his Monster Energy/Falken Tires Ford Mustang. Darren McNamara (who qualified 2nd) and his Falken Tire Saturn Sky ended up in 3rd place after defeating number one qualifier Chris Forsberg and his NOS Energy Drink Nissan 370Z. Florida was very very good to Falken Tires! In fact, Florida was very good - period.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula D Long Beach Experience Pt.2

Okay... you've waited long enough! I've been sick the past few days so it's been rough, but I've finally managed to go through thousands of photos that we shot at Formula Drift's 2011 season opener on the Streets of Long Beach. I know everyone wants to see the photos, so without further delay, let's begin! Through the lenses of the MotorMavens sharpshooters, this is the Formula Drift Long Beach experience, Part Two!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula D Long Beach Experience Pt.1

Right now, I'm updating the website live from the Formula D Long Beach media center (aka: the parking garage on Linden Ave), and all the drivers are practicing, so the sounds of screeching tires and thundering V8 motors are loudly echoing off the concrete walls all around me.

If you live in Southern California, you need to drop everything you're doing and head down to Long Beach RIGHT NOW. The line at the gate is already huge, and everyone is amped up from all the excitement (or it could be from all the energy drink sponsors giving out free drinks at the track). This is what Formula Drift is all about! Let's go through some of the photos that the MotorMavens Crew has collected from Long Beach thus far!   Read more...

GALLERY> Ken Block Gymkhana Grid Invitational

Here are some more much overdue photos from Ken Block’s Gymkhana Grid Invitational. At first, “gymkhana” may sound like a martial arts discipline (to those unfamiliar with the automotive version) but it's actually a starting line and a finish line joined together by all sorts of interesting obstacles such as cones, tires, and barrels which, when arranged just so, require a driver to perform all sorts of interesting maneuvers such as reversals, 180 and 360 degree spins, and figure 8s - all while racing against the clock. The reason I stressed that this is the automotive version is because, you may be interested to know, there is an equestrian version as well. As you can imagine, there's a lot less smoke - unless they figured out how to get a horse to do a burnout when I wasn't looking.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula Drift Las Vegas Highlights

When it comes to Formula D Las Vegas, what can I say that hasn't been already mentioned? It was hot. Damn hot. Too hot to be outside without air conditioning. I don't understand how Las Vegas locals can handle the incredible heat over there, but they say they're just used to it now. Getting used to it is one thing... but I wonder if they like it though?

Just like the gypsy camps in the days of old, this year's Las Vegas round of Formula Drift brought thieves out of the woodwork. I was really surprised to find out that former Formula D judge (and current Tanaka Racing Corvette driver) Alex Pfeiffer's helmet was stolen. I suppose someone was a fan of Alex's Hawaiian print helmet, which had the traditional Hawaiian plumeria flowers painted on one side. The only question I have about that is... Okay, thieves. Now that you have Alex's helmet, what the hell are you going to do with it?   Read more...

OH SNAP> Tyler McQuarrie Wins Formula D Vegas!

Tyler McQuarrie Falken Z33 Nissan 350Z Formula Drift Las Vegas Motor Speedway roadster ASD GoPro Enkei Brian Crower

Wow. Formula Drift at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was sooooo HOT. Ridiculously hot. Intensely hot. We just got back to Los Angeles, after an eight hour excursion, creeping at around 10mph  in traffic-swamped freeway lanes all the way back to Southern California. This being said, we aren’t posting up our event story just yet… everyone in our group is about to pass out from the heat and exhaustion.

However, we just wanted to take a minute to congratulate Tyler McQuarrie on his First Place victory in Las Vegas! In case you weren’t following the Formula D Driftstream, Team Falken emerged victorious, with an all-Falken podium sweep once again, with Tyler McQuarrie bringing home First Place, Daijiro Yoshihara winning Second Place, and Vaughn Gittin Jr taking home Third Place.

We’d also like to welcome Las Vegas-based photographer Farrel Dee to the Motor Mavens Crew! We’ll let him write up a proper introduction later, but for now, we’d like to invite YOU to upload your Formula D Las Vegas and Vegas Pro Am photos to the MotorMavens Forums! We saw a lot of people shooting photos this weekend, and we’d love to see your photos with links to your website and/or Flickr pages! Post them up so everyone can see!

That’s it for now… sleep calls! However, don’t worry… we’ll be back very soon with our photos and observations from Formula D Las Vegas!

:: Antonio Alvendia

Upload your FD Las Vegas and Vegas Pro Am photos to the MotorMavens Forums by clicking here!


COVERAGE> Nisei Showoff Returns To Little Tokyo

I'm sure many will agree with me when I say that I'm glad that the City of Los Angeles didn't complete its bulldozing and reconstruction project surrounding Downtown LA's newly built Alameda Street train station... this allowed Ken Miyoshi and his Import Showoff crew to continue their tradition of throwing the Nisei Showoff in the heart of Little Tokyo. According to Ken, this year marked the 10 Year Anniversary of the Nisei Showoff, which always took place in conjunction with the historic Nisei Week Festival in Little Tokyo, celebrating the culture of second generation Japanese living in the United States.

This year, there were a ton of new cars that made their debut at the show, and several regulars that received makeovers. According to Ken Miyoshi, one of the things that has always separated Nisei Showoff from the other carshows is the face that Showoff has a really qualified panel of carshow judges who really have expertise in the automotive aftermarket. Nisei Showoff's judges include people who have a background of working with companies like HKS, Blitz, Toyota, and places like that. This may be a major differentiation factor to some people, but to me, it's completely different.

Nisei Showoff just has a particular vibe to it. It starts early in the morning, in the exciting hustle and bustle of the competitor load-in, as the cars form ridiculously long lines, jamming up the streets of Little Tokyo as they wait for the show staff to let them in the gate and park at their assigned spaces. It continues throughout the day, as the noontime sun heats up the entire place, and you get to bump into old friends and catch up on the things that are going on in everyone's busy lives. For me, the excitement continues on to the late afternoon too, as I complete my rounds through the show and stop by the cars that catch my eye, making new friends and checking out all the subtle things that everyone has done to their cars. Probably the most fun thing about Nisei Showoff (for me at least) is the fact that Ken Miyoshi has asked me to be the official emcee for the awards ceremony. I've been doing this for the past three (or four?) years now... and that part is really fun, because you get to see what the owners of the cars look like, as they come up and receive their trophy at the stage.   Read more...

NEWSWORTHY> Dai Wins FD Twice In A Row!

For those who were logged in to the Formula D Driftstream on Saturday, you mostly likely have already heard the news! Daijiro Yoshihara won 1st Place at Formula Drift again... taking home top honors TWICE IN A ROW! Driving his Discount Tire/America's Tire/Falken Tire S13 Silvia, Dai was able to beat all his competitors, thanks to his crew - Scott Dodgion from SPD Metalworks, Mike Kojima from MotoIQ, and Owen Orrego from Falken.

If you were unable to watch the climactic final battle that pitted Dai against his Falken teammate, Vaughn Gittin Jr, then make sure you scroll to the bottom of the page and watch the video of the tandem battle!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Daijiro Yoshihara’s Triumph in Atlanta

Most of our readers who have been following us on Facebook or Twitter know that the members of the MotorMavens Crew just got back from an exciting Formula Drift weekend at Road Atlanta; we're happy to have been receiving tweets and Facebook messages from everyone all weekend! We're also happy to hear that many of our friends who were unable to make it have been watching the event through our website's live stream. Since most hardcore Formula Drift fans already knew the podium results on the night that it happened, I thought it would be pointless for us to do the same type of play-by-play recap that most other websites will be publishing.

MotorMavens was never intended to be an online newspaper. Instead of focusing on the results, with Daijiro Yoshihara and the Discount Tire S13 taking the win; Vaughn Gittin Jr's Mustang coming in 2nd Place, and Chris Forsberg's NOS Energy 350Z finishing third; I thought I'd take a minute to focus on the importance of Daijiro Yoshihara's win.

Round Two of the Formula Drift Championship was important to Dai's sponsors, because it marked the first-ever win for his title sponsor, Discount Tire. Those who have been following Formula Drift since its beginning might also recall that it was Discount Tire's first podium since 2004, when Calvin Wan took 3rd Place in Sonoma with his Discount Tire RPS13 240SX. (There should be a party breaking out at Discount Tire's Phoenix, Arizona-based offices!)

Formula D Atlanta was also the second FD event in a row that resulted in a 1st Place finish on Falken Tires, which is huge for the massive teal and blue army! I know everyone involved in the Falken drift team is extremely proud of their drivers; winning both events back to back is no easy feat! On the corporate side, I'm sure these wins help justify the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Falken's been spending on drifting for the past few years!

While these milestones might be important to the corporate sponsorship side of Formula Drift, most fans don't care about that at all. What made Daijiro Yoshihara's First Place win significant to the fans is the fact that it proves that the popular, yet "old and outdated Nissan S13 240SX chassis" is able to remain competitive and WIN in professional level Formula D Competition!

Sponsorships aside, winning First Place at Road Atlanta was a huge win for Dai personally. According to Dai, winning in Atlanta "was huge for me. It was my fourth 1st Place win in Formula D, but actually... for me, [winning Formula D Atlanta] was even bigger than the very first time I got 1st place, at in Irwindale in 2006."   Read more...

COVERAGE> Insider’s Look at FD Long Beach

It's hard to believe that it has already been a week since Formula Drift took over the Streets of Long Beach. This weekend, the famous street course is still home to many a race fan. However this time, Long Beach has been taken over with open wheel racing fans that have been going to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach for years and years. Since we don't really cover open wheel racing on Motor Mavens, I thought it would be good to post up some more photos from our experiences at Long Beach last weekend. (I know, some of you are thinking, it's about damn time!)

The first photo in our series is from one of the practice sessions. I think the practice sessions were actually a lot cooler and funner to watch at times than some of the tandem bouts, because it felt like freestyle drifting chaos within the confines of the white cement barriers and tire stacks that lined the streets of the LBC.   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula D Fun at Long Beach

I know, everyone has been waiting to see our first installment of Formula D Long Beach pics. So have I! We just had to get some other deadlines out of the way before we could begin posting our images from this weekend's Formula Drift event on the Streets of Long Beach!

This past weekend was certainly an exciting one. I was excited to see all the new cars that were debuting at Long Beach, as well as seeing a lot of good friends from different parts of the world, even if it would be only for a brief moment. Unfortunately, when you're working at the event like I am, you're usually hustling about, going from one spot to the next, and you don't have as much time as you'd like to just chill and spend time with good friends. This event was definitely like that for me.

I was trying to juggle shooting photos for the website while overseeing the Motor Mavens Crew's event promotions efforts. Not an easy task! Also, on the Saturday of the event, I was asked to help out with the filming of The Grid, which is a UK-based motorsports television show that airs in 120 countries around the world! And... on top of all that, we debuted the new MotorMavens X DSTROYR "Follow The Leader" shirt at our booth, which was managed by super designer Jon Chase, the creative genius behind the brands DSTROYR and Famous Stars and Straps. I and the entire Motor Mavens Crew definitely had our hustle mode switched ON this weekend!   Read more...

COVERAGE> Formula D Tech Day at UTI

There sure were a lot of car events to hit up this weekend in Southern California, and the Formula D season hasn't even started yet. Man, it's going to be a super hectic year for sure. On Saturday morning, Formula Drift held their annual pre-season tech inspection at Universal Technical Institute in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. This tech inspection is open to the public, and it gives drifting fans an up close and personal glimpse at the cars that will be running in the series before the season starts.

For those who don't know, Universal Technical Institute is a mechanic's training school, located out in the IE (Inland Empire), right across the street from the old Falken Tire headquarters, and right next to Kumho on Sixth Street and Haven. I've had an increasingly extremely full personal calendar, filled with things I need to do and places I need to be... and this weekend was no different. As much as I wanted to, I couldn't even make it out to the tech day myself, so I am super appreciative that new MotorMavens contributors Horacio Flores and Mike Kim (no, not the Mike Kim from UrbanRacer) offered to go to UTI and see what was going on. Thanks a lot guys! Enough about these details though - let's have a look at the cars!   Read more...

VIDEO> Joshua Herron's FD Year In Review

Formula Drift 2009 from Joshua Herron on Vimeo.

While 2009 may have come and gone, Joshua Herron dug through hours upon hours of footage to give us one last glimpse at what the ’09 Formula Drift season held in store for us. This video is amazing on so many different levels. The cinematography is top-notch, it is jam-packed with unreleased footage, transitions through three songs – each with a unique vibe, and it does it all seamlessly. The last segment definitely feels like a throwback to the old skate videos I grew up with.

Amazing work on this video, Mr. Herron! I’m going to go watch it again (and again, and again)!!!

:: Andy Sapp


VIDEO> The Spirit of Irwindale Formula D


The+Spirit+of+Irwindale+Formula+D

There’s just something about Irwindale Speedway at the end of the season. After all the teams in the Formula Drift Championship have faced countless trials and tribulations, dealing with mechanical problems and financial stress of how to get their cars and teams from event to event as the series travels all over the country; the Formula D homecoming at Irwindale Speedway for the last event of the year has a different feeling to it than the other events in the series.

The drivers and teams in the points race are anxious, knowing that they must be on point and professional every step of the way, as even the smallest mechanical hiccup or driver error could take them out of the running and give the advantage to an opposing team.

At the same time, the fans are excited to see the cars and drivers return to the birthplace of American drifting after they have spent the whole year on tour, cutting their teeth and taking their epic fender-to-fender dogfights to race tracks across the nation in an attempt to attract more sponsors, build more publicity, and most importantly… attract new drifting fans.

I’ve been traveling with the Formula Drift series since the very first event; since the series started in 2004… and every year, as the season ends at Irwindale Speedway, there’s a shared feeling of excitement and pride of accomplishment running through the pits.

This video, by Motor Mavens shooter Travis Hodges, is our attempt to capture that feeling. And it was captured entirely with two cameras, the new Canon 7D digital HD SLR and the Twenty20 ContourHD.

We hope you enjoy the video, and CONGRATULATIONS to all the teams, drivers, umbrella girls, and FANS that make the Formula D series what it is. RESPECT!!!

:: Antonio Alvendia

More Spirit of Formula Drift videos on MotorMavens