April 9th kicked off the 8th season of Formula DRIFT in Long Beach, CA with thousands of spectators showing up to watch the first round of drifting in the 2011 season. Driving for the third consecutive year for Discount Tire / Falken Tire, Dai Yoshihara came out pumped and with a cause. For the 2011 season, Dai decided to stay in his tried and true Nissan Silvia S13, but that was the only thing that stayed the same. The car took on a revised reversed color scheme livery from last year’s theme, received new suspension and motor modifications to conform to Formula DRIFT’s new technical specifications, and a set of prototype wheels from Dai’s own possible wheel line.
In Friday’s qualifying session, Dai displayed a great deal of confidence as he clocked in the fastest entry speed and took the second qualifying spot just a hair under first. Throughout Saturday’s competition, Dai drove with precision as he advanced himself into the finals. Dai eventually finished the day in third place after defeating 2009 Formula D champion, Chris Forsberg. “It was a crazy weekend,” explains Dai. “This first event was my revenge event since I didn’t do too well in the final round in Irwindale last year. Of course I wanted to win, but I am still happy with the outcome.”
In addition to the event, in the effort to help support Japan after last month’s tragic earthquake and tsunami’s, Dai went around the pits raising donation money during his free time between competition. With the help of his fans and Formula D teams and drivers, in only a few hours, Dai was able to raise over $1,400. Money raised from this event will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross. “Today’s third place win was for the people of Japan; because of them, I had the strength to drive as hard as I could. I really appreciate everyone’s support today and I’m truly thankful,” describes Dai. To continue the efforts in supporting Japan, Dai has developed a new website for donation which can be viewed at www.rfjp.org.
For more information about Dai Yoshihara, please visit www.daiyoshihara.com