Falken Tire successfully defended its Long Beach Formula Drift title for the fourth consecutive year when team veteran Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara took the win over former teammate Vaughn Gittin, Jr. Driving the Discount Tire/Falken Tire Nissan 240SX, Yoshihara was in total control of the streets of Long Beach as he qualified first among 61 competitors. His teammate Darren McNamara, who debuted his own Falken Tire Nissan 240SX, qualified second. Dai’s second teammate, Justin Pawlak, driving his 2013 Ford Mustang, was 23rd.
All three drivers won in the Top 32 Round, but only Dai, the 2011 Formula D champion, went further, scoring the first win of what fans and competitors are calling the most competitive season in Formula D.
“It’s a great way to start the year and I have my team and Falken to thank for it,” exclaimed Yoshihara, on top of the victory stand. “The Falken Azenis RT615K tire was absolutely perfect on the tough streets of Long Beach.”
“We’re all incredibly proud of Dai’s win here on what we consider our home track,” said Jonathan Bradford, Falken Tire’s Formula Drift supervisor. “We entertained more than 300 dealers at our Long Beach hospitality, and they were treated to a truly dominating performance by Dai.”
“Capacity crowd, cool weather, first place. What else could you ask for?” stated Nick Fousekis, Falken Director of Motorsports and Consumer Events. “This was a great event for those reasons alone, but it also proves the continuing strength of drifting here in Southern California, our home base, and the source of many auto trends that have spread across the country. Matte finishes caught on early here in LA, which is why we felt it important to launch our new paint scheme here. This is a great win for Falken and we look forward to a strong season for all our drivers.”
Next up for Team Falken is a return to the streets of Long Beach this coming weekend for the American Le Mans Series, where Falken will field its Porsche 911 RSR GT3 in the GT class with drivers Wolf Henzler and Bryan Sellers. The team finished third in the first ALMS race of the season, last month at Sebring.
Round 2 of the 2013 Formula Drift Championship will take place May 10-11 on the popular Road Atlanta circuit in Braselton, GA. Road Atlanta served as the inaugural site for the Formula Drift series when it began in 2004.