And So It Begins

And So It Begins
Formula Drift Round 1, Streets of Long Beach

Photography by Joseph Ginzburg


Maybe I’m just crazy, but to me there is something magical about opening day of a new season of any motorsports series.  Formula Drift is no different. Since the close of 2011 I’ve been awaiting the 2012 season of FD; waiting to see the returning drivers, the new cars, and the buzz around the newest drivers; 19 new drivers (the largest rookie field in the series according to John Pangilinan). Everyone with the same hopes for series champion.


Stepping into that energy is just amazing; the excitement, unexplainable. There were some driver changes for this season, some surprising. The new cars and new livery show the always changing trends in our industry and of course there is the addictive smell of race fuel and burnt rubber.


And to show that nice guys do finish first, Justin Pawlak took the victory at the season opening event in his Falken Tire Ford Mustang.  Daijiro Yoshihara in the America’s Tire/Falken Nissan 240 took second place. Then there’s the new guy Diago Saito who placed third in his Achilles Tires/Bridges Racing Lexus SC430. Let me tell you, Diago’s SC430 is something of a masterpiece and I’m looking forward to seeing more of that car all season.

Formula DRIFT Professional Championship 2012 Point Standings After 1 Event
1. Pawlak, Justin Falken Tire Ford Mustang 106 Points
2. Yoshihara, Daijiro America’s Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 92 Points
3. Saito, Daigo Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 78.50 Points
4. Powers, Matt Need for Speed / Nitto Nissan S14 69.50 Points
5. Tuerck, Ryan Team Retaks Nissan 240SX 66 Points
6. McQuarrie, Tyler Mobil 1 Camaro 64 Points
6. Millen, Rhys Hankook / Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Genesis Coupe 64 Points
8. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z 63 Points
9. Gushi, Ken Scion Racing Scion FR-S 62 Points
10. Moen, Kenneth Lutz Performance Nissan 350Z 61.50 Points
11. Grunewald, Conrad Hankook Tire Chevy Camaro 57 Points
12. Aasbo, Fredric Need for Speed / Papadakis Racing Scion TC 57 Points
12. Kado, Ryan Ryan Kado Racing Nissan 350Z 56 Points
14. Mohan, Kyle Nexen Tire / Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8 55 Points
15. Bakchis, Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis Motorsports Nissan 240SX S14 54.25 Points
15. Yoshioka, Toshiki RS*R Nissan Silvia S15 54.25 Points
 Title Fight Event Results
1. Pawlak, Justin Falken Tire Ford Mustang Winner
2. Yoshihara, Daijiro America’s Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 Second Place
3. Saito, Daigo Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 Third Place

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