Long Beach, California – This year marks the 10th year anniversary for Formula Drift, and Daijiro Yoshihara could not have planned for a better start. Round 1 of the 2013 historic drift season kicked off on the streets of Long Beach where race fans witnessed the only drift competition course on actual city streets. Friday’s qualifying session set the tone for the quest at another championship; Dai qualified #1 overall amongst the field.
Saturday’s drastic change in weather did not alter the momentum Dai built from the previous day’s qualifying. Yoshihara’s win through the bracket of 32 would find himself facing a previous drift champion and also recent Falken Tires teammate who made the switch to a new team this year. Yoshihara’s determination and focus were not phased by the suspense and drama in the final match up. It only boosted his drive to win, which he did. “To win today is really special not only because I’ve never won here but also because I could not have won without the repairs and changes my team had to deal with just to give me the chance to compete. I’m so relieved and proud to have done this for my team and especially for all of my fans here in LA.”
In between breaks and racing, Yoshihara continued to raise awareness for his charity, www.RFJP.org, raising $428.00. Dai also met the first of many auction winners who bid on a VIP Formula Drift experience provided by Dai, FD and his race sponsors. This event’s winner won two FD VIP suite seats, access to the Falken Tires VIP hospitality tent, and cool merchandise and swag from the event. “The auction worked out great and I will continue to auction off this once in a lifetime experience at every round of the 2013 Formula Drift series,” explains Yoshihara, “and the proceeds will all be donated to charity.”
With six drift events left, Dai and the team will begin diligent preparations as they look forward to the race in Atlanta. Dai is off to a great season with one historic win behind him.
Keep up to date with Dai by visiting www.daiyoshihara.com. For contact, additional images or interviews, contact Gordon Ting.