Following announcements from Nexen and Achilles, Falken has shown its hand for the 2018 Formula DRIFT championship, naming eight hot shoes who will lead the charge for the tire company. The unit features two past series champions, including the Irishman who dominated the 2017 title chase.
James Deane, driver of the Worthouse Drift Nissan S15 Silvia, slid to a record-tying four event wins among six podium finishes total last season on the way to claiming his first FD driver’s championship by a wide margin. This after being away from Formula D for some seven years; when he last ran in the series, he earned 2010 Rookie of the Year honors before returning to Ireland. Deane is back in the Falken stable for ‘18, with Worthouse teammate and 2017 ROTY Piotr Wiecek by his side in his own 2JZ S15.
Also on the squad is 2011 FD champ Dai Yoshihara and his Subaru BRZ, as well as Odi Bakchis in his S14 240SX and Matt Field in his new-for-’18 Chevy C6 Corvette, both Odi and Matt running the iconic teal and blue Falken livery on their vehicles like last season. New to the ‘18 Falken crew is veteran Ken Gushi in his Toyota 86, and he’s joined by fellow seasoned drivers and returning Falken lead-foots Justin Pawlak in his Ford Mustang GT and Jeff Jones, who trades in his 240SX this year for a 370Z.
Like last season, all Team Falken drivers will be running AZENIS RT615K+ tires, which helped the brand nab its third Formula DRIFT Tire Manufacturer Cup. FD’s 15th season gets underway on the Streets of Long Beach, on April 6th and 7th.