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2009 Formula D Round 1 - Long Beach
Beyond Paranoia by Jon Dal
LONG BEACH, CA The inaugural event in the 2009 Formula Drift season began
on the famed street course of Long Beach where Team Falken faced a very
competitive field of works drivers and privateers and successfully
qualified eight cars in the top 32 tandem competition, a new component to
Formula D this season.
This is the 4th year Formula Drift has competed on the tough track that was
previously the domain of open wheel racing. However, the increasing
popularity of drifting, especially in Southern California, has prompted its
addition to the track for a dedicated weekend. It also was the perfect
location for Team Falken to debut its new team which consists of veteran
member Vaughn Gittin, Jr., driving his brand new 2010 Ford Mustang; Daijiro Yoshihara in his
Discount Tire Lexus IS350; Tyler McQuarrie with his Nissan 350Z
Convertible; Calvin Wan, competing in a Nissan S15 Silvia; and Darren
McNamara, returning in his Sears Auto Center Saturn Sky.
Considering four out of our five team vehicles are completely new builds to
our team, we had a very successful first showing, declared Nick Fousekis,
Senior Consumer Marketing Manager, Falken Tire. This accomplishment truly
is a testament to our drivers skill, our vehicle builders capabilities, the
Azenis RT615s performance and Falkens dedication to the sport of drifting.
After the final session, overall standings had Gittin, Jr., tied for 6th;
McNamara stood in 10th; Yoshihara finished at 18th; and McQuarrie tied with
his Falken teammate Wan in 19th. All Team Falken drivers used the
lightweight and high-gripping Azenis RT615 line.
This was a great start for our expanded program as we launched our new
consumer activation area and our VIP hospitality tent, stated Andrew Hoit,
Director of Marketing, Falken Tire. We rolled out our new display, which
was the largest in the pit area, underscoring our commitment to Formula
Drift. And while we would have liked to have taken the top rungs of the
Long Beach competition, we are confident we will in the very near future.
Additionally, results of privateers competing on Falken Tires included Taka
Aono, Toyota Corolla; 5th; and Ross Petty, Nissan S15 Silvia, who also tied
for 19th, along with John Russakoff, in a Toyota Corolla.
Among the action over the two days, McNamara lost a hard fought top 16
battle to Tony Brakohiapa, and Gittin, Jr., endured a tough tandem match
against eventual second-place finisher Samuel Hubinette in the Great 8
To kick off Falkens comprehensive marketing program tied to its expanded
motorsports efforts, Dai Yoshihara helped give away a special
Falken-Americas Tire guitar to James Warner, a member of the U.S. Coast
Guard stationed in San Diego. Additional promotional items were handed out
by Falkens new group of Spokesmodels who attracted a large crowd throughout
the two-day event. Guests of Falken were treated to the companys new
The full complement of activation area, hospitality rig and factory support
will travel to all seven rounds this year. Team Falken will next compete in
Formula D on the proving ground at Road Atlanta, May 8-9. Prior to Round 2,
rigorous vehicle testing will take place for all Team Falken drivers.
2010 Formula Drift Round 1 - Falken Tire Takes Long Beach
LONG BEACH, CA The inaugural event in the 2010 Formula Drift season began
with a big win for Team Falken where factory driver Vaughn Gittin, Jr.,
debuting his new 2011 Monster Energy Falken Tire 2011 Ford Mustang on the famed street course of
Long Beach. Gittin, Jr., and Team Falken faced a very competitive field of
entrants, totaling 53, one of the highest entry counts in the history of
Team Falken had a full complement of drivers at the popular track, the
fifth year Formula D has visited Long Beach. In addition to Vaughn,
rounding out the companys paddock and marketing activation areas were
returning team members Daijiro Yoshihara in his rebuilt Discount Tire
Nissan 240SX (S13); Tyler McQuarrie with his Nissan 350Z Convertible; and
Darren McNamara, with his Saturn Sky in new Falken livery. Adding to the
excitement of the weekend was the addition of several new faces to Falken
including Justin Pawlak in his 2010 Ford Mustang and Formula D rookie James
Deane who shocked the crowd with his aggressive driving in Falken's Nissan
S15. Independent drivers on Falken Tires included Ross Petty, John
Russakoff, Dean Kearney and Fredric Aasbo.
2010 will certainly be a busy year for Team Falken. Next stop, Road
2009 Formula D Round 6 - Locked and Loaded with Falken Tires
No Stars Left in New Jersey by The Stand-ins
A cooler climate than expected greeted the competitors at Round 6 of the
Formula Drift Championship, held as part of the Indy Grand Prix at Infineon
Raceway, but the reception from the crowd was as strong as ever. Team
Falken brought all five factory entrants, intent on taking the win, as well
as reaching true enthusiasts and motorsports fans at this important
While all Falken members Darren McNamara, Daijiro Yoshihara, Tyler
McQuarrie, Calvin Wan and Vaughn Gittin, Jr. successfully qualified on
their Falken Azenis RT615 tires, competition proved tough, and the teams
best result was Gittins 7th place overall finish in the ASD built 2010
Falken Tire Ford Mustang GT
ultimately being defeated by the events overall winner, Stephan Verdier.
Other major Team Falken news of the weekend was the incredible effort put
forth on behalf of Yoshihara. Dai qualified 9th in a car that had only two
hours of practice time on it, having been built in just nine days after his
original Lexus was heavily damaged at the previous event in Seattle. Most
competitors were amazed at the speed in which the car was built, thanks in
part to SPD Metal Works based in Placentia, CA.
Sonoma, famous for its many vineyards, is also notorious for its changing
weather conditions, as Fridays Top 32 competition was at least 20-degrees
warmer than Saturday. Tyler McQuarrie and his Nissan 350Z felt the heat and
ultimately faced start-up difficulties as a result of high ambient temps
and a sensor issue. Wan also had a challenging event following a light
collision with competitor Chris Forsberg, who eventually advanced.
While results were disappointing, spirits remained high, as Team Falken
continues to record two drivers in the top five in the championship, with
Gittin in third and McQuarrie in fifth.
All teams get a breather as the final round, Judgment Day, is set for
October 16-17 at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, CA where Team Falken will be
fully prepared and ready to conquer the famous House of Drift.
JDM Allstars - HD Drifting film
Filmed & Edited by Al Clark - www.trackdayfilms.com
FIRST SONG NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD!
Al Clark Drift intro (soundcloud.com/al_clark/on-slide-row)
Lee Major & A Clay - DJ Means Dangerous Jag
Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers (Doorly Remix)
Chic - Goodtimes (Jaguar Skills Rusko Refix)
Lethel Bizzle - Pow TC - Where's My Money (Caspa Remix) High Rankin - No
Money For Guns (Jaguar Skills VIP)
Al Clark 'Piano Song' (not available).
The biggest, loudest closest drift event in Europe returns on exceptional
form with one of the best show-drift tracks designed. With 70mph entries,
huge sweeping corners, jumps (yes - jumps), and walls to scrape - this was
always going to be a lot of fun.
In the end, it turned into one of the best top 32's ever seen, and the
standard of driving was gobsmacking. The event was comparable in atmosphere
and skill to the RedBull world championship finals with Formula D last year
- a testament to how hard JDM have worked on this event, and also how much
the skill level has improved yet again within Europe.
Thanks to everyone for the really kind comments!
Mad Mike - Formula Drift Championship - Thailand
Mad Mike, Red Bull pro Drifter from New Zealand ships has shipped his 26B 4
Rotor RX7 to Bangkok, Thailand thanks to Good Year & Red Bull. Mikey has
been invited to drift in the Formula Drift Championship on the 7th and 8th
November 2009. The location is at Wonder World Fun Park Bangkok. Be