Track: Streets of Long Beach, CA
Qualifying position: 18th
Finishing position: DNF
Notes of interest:
- Power steering failure puts Dai Yoshihara out of contention
- Car shows tremendous promise, despite technical problem
- Technical solution should ensure competitive return at Round 2 in Orlando
The opening round of Formula DRIFT on the Streets of Long Beach, CA, brought disappointment for ENEOS-sponsored driver, Daijiro Yoshihara.
After off-season development and pre-season testing, Dai and the team were expecting a good result at the opening round of the 2017 FD season. In fact, the car was working extremely well in the 3-hour Friday practice sessions. However, the 960hp Chevy LSX motor threw off its steering belt in the first qualifying round the same day.
FD rules permit time for repairs between runs, so the team was able to replace the steering belt before his second run. But with only one run to qualify, Dai drove conservatively to ensure finishing and placed 18th of 32 qualifiers.
Saturday brings the knock-out competition, where the top 32 drivers are initially whittled down to the Top 16 in the morning. Drivers compete in pairs, with two runs per round to score points to progress to the next round. Unfortunately, the power steering belt decided to make a bid for freedom on Dai’s first run, causing him to abort the run. The crew again worked fast to replace the belt but since progress to the next round relies on combined points from both rounds, Dai was unable to go any further.
“We are incredibly frustrated. We had similar power steering problems last year, and because everything on the car is custom, we engineered a totally new system. It didn’t fail throughout testing or practice but let us down at the crucial moment. fortunately, it should be a relatively simple fix and we’ll be back for Round Two. Without scoring points, it makes the season difficult from the start, but that’s racing!”
Next race: Orlando, FL, April 28/29
|Mar 31 – Apr 1||Streets of Long Beach||Long Beach, CA||NC|
|Apr 28 – 29||Uncharted Territory||Orlando, FL|
|May 12 – 13||Road to the Championship||Atlanta, GA|
|Jun 2 – 3||The Gauntlet||Wall, NJ|
|Jul 14 – 15||True North||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Aug 4 – 5||Throwndown||Monroe, WA|
|Sep 8 – 9||Showdown||Texas Motor Speedway|
|Oct 13 – 14||Title Fight||Irwindale, CA|