2011 Falken Formula Drift Test

Coming off a dominating 2010 season in which Team Falken driver Vaughn Gittin, Jr.ΒΈ competing in the Monster Energy/Falken Tire 2011 Ford Mustang, became the Formula Drift Champion, the high performance tire manufacturer will be gunning for a repeat performance of last year. Falken's ultimate goal is to have one of its five factory drivers again claiming the top rung of the Formula D ladder, and each team member will have the horsepower to do it. All drivers plan on fielding a new or improved vehicle with more power, which the sport has demanded. The cars will be unveiled this weekend on the streets of Long Beach for the opening event of the 2011 Formula Drift season. Gittin, Jr., will be aboard a Ford Mustang 5.4-liter, its motor built by Ford Racing and Huffaker Engineering, while Daijiro ("Dai") Yoshihara, who placed fourth in the standings last year, returns in his re-engineered Nissan 240SX (Silvia S13). Finishing fifth in 2010, Darren McNamara also returns this year, running a new Saturn Sky built by Autosport Dynamics in Charlotte, NC, losing the convertible for a hardtop which adds an aggressive stance to the car. Tyler McQuarrie also recognized the value of a fully enclosed coupe, choosing a new hardtop Nissan 350Z, which allows for a significant change in weight distribution, making the Z a far more competitive vehicle. Finally, Justin Pawlak, returning for his second year with Falken, will again field a Ford Mustang, with an engine built by Ford Racing/Roush-Yates of NASCAR fame. "Our team has worked hard to develop their new cars and we're pumped and ready," declared Jonathan Bradford, Team Falken's Formula Drift manager. All members of Team Falken will be using the company's Azenis RT615K, which is DOT-approved and designed with the track competitor in mind. The RT615K is a tire with maximum grip and concentrated contact patch, which increases the driver's ability to fully exploit the capabilities of the engine, brakes and suspension, precisely what each drift competitor needs. Naturally, the RT615K performs equally well on the street during everyday driving. "Each year, Formula Drift gets bigger, with more participants and more companies who want to be a part of this vital motorsports effort," stated Nick Fousekis, Director of Motorsports and Consumer Marketing for Falken. "We know what it takes to be competitive in this race series and we realize all the other teams will be aiming for us, but we have every intention of repeating our dominance, and continue running at the top. It's great to be back!" To kick off Falken's comprehensive Formula Drift marketing program, special prizes will be given away at the team's display and activation area inside the paddock. Additional promotional items will be handed out by Falken's new group of Spokesmodels who will be in attendance throughout the two-day event. Guests of Falken will also enjoy the company's highly anticipated hospitality area. The full complement of Team Falken, including its five factory drivers, along with Falken's display, hospitality rig and the company's factory support, will travel to all seven rounds of the 2010 Formula D Pro Championship.

More Videos...

Falken Tire: Ultimate Dark Night RC Drifting
Falken Tire, HPI Racing, My Trick RC and Super G Drift Arena teamed up to create an epic 1:10 scale, four car tandem RC Drift video. Driving by: Akihito Watamase, Katsumi Kuwakino, Gavin Roberts and Ko Aihara. Car details: AE 86 HPI Toyota Trueno AE86 Body (#17209) HPI Stage-D/Run Free AE86 Body Kit (#7129) HPI GT Wing Set, Type E (#30093) HPI Body Tuner Kit, Type A (#85613) HPI Work XSA 02C Wheels - Chrome/Gold, 6mm offset (#3298) HPI Work XSA 02C Wheels - Chrome/Gold, 9mm offset (#3299) HPI Falken Tire Azenis RT615K T-Drift Tires 26mm (#4425) FD RX-7 HPI Mazda RX-7 FD3S Body (#7482) HPI Stage-D Mazda RX-7 FD3S Aero Body Kit (#7128) HPI GT Wing Set, Type E (#30093) HPI Dai Yoshihara Champion Wheels - Silver, 6mm offset ((111276) HPI Falken Tire Azenis RT615K T-Drift Tires 26mm (#4425) Silvia S15 HPI Nissan Silvia S15 Body (#17530) HPI GT Wing Set, Type C (#85612) HPI Body Tuner Kit, Type A (#85613) HPI Work XSA 02C Wheels - Chrome/Black, 6mm offset (#3287) HPI Work XSA 02C Wheels - Chrome/Black, 9mm offset (#3288) HPI Falken Tire Azenis RT615K T-Drift Tires 26mm (#4425) JZX100 Mark 2 HPI WELD JZX100 Toyota Body (#30727) HPI GT Wing Set, Type E (#30093) HPI Body Tuner Kit, Type A (#85613) HPI Volk TE37 Wheels - Bronze 3mm offset (#3843) HPI Volk TE37 Wheels - Bronze 6mm offset (#3848) HPI Falken Tire Azenis RT615K T-Drift Tires 26mm (#4425)

Round 1 Formula Drift Streets of Long Beach
Justin Pawlak in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang earns the victory at the first event of the 2012 Formula DRIFT season. Daijiro Yoshihara in the America's Tire / Falken Nissan 240SX takes second place while Formula DRIFT rookie Daigo Saito, in the Achilles Tires / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 rounds out the podium.

Falken's First 2011 ALMS Porsche Win
Team Falken Tire survived the storm that hit Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 30 minutes before the finish and took top honors in GT class for the first time in the performance tire manufacturer's three-year ALMS career. Derrick Walker, Falken's ALMS Team Manager, made the comment after previously expressing confidence in Falken's capability at Mid-Ohio, a track he knows very well from years of competing as a manager and owner of IndyCar teams. Credit also went to Falken's two team drivers, Porsche works driver Wolf Henzler, and his partner, Bryan Sellers, who persevered through the race on a track notoriously tough on tires. Sellers qualified 9th and expressed disappointment with the position, considering Falken has finished in fifth place the last two races. However, Sellers started the race and started moving forward until he was hit from behind by the #04 Ford GT, which dropped the Porsche to 12th. The veteran driver fought hard and turned the car over to his teammate in 10th. Henzler entered the race and gradually moved to 7th place in GT, remaining there for a good portion of the race.

Falken takes on the 2011 Long Beach Grand Prix
Finishing just one place out of a podium spot in the hotly contested GT Class, Team Falken's Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, piloted by Porsche Works and team driver Wolf Henzler, and his partner, team driver Bryan Sellers, ran strong all afternoon on the challenging streets of Long Beach, and ended up 4th out of 14 GT entrants during the annual visit by the American LeMans Series to the Long Beach Grand Prix, one of the most prestigious street races in the world, now in its 37th year.