Dai Yoshihara completes his 2020 Formula DRIFT season at Irwindale Speedway
2020 was a tough year for everybody, especially the drift community. Looking back at what has taken place, Dai reflected that his biggest lesson from this year is to appreciate what we have. And one of the things he appreciates most is the support from his fans and sponsors, who have stuck with him through all the victories and losses, “I’m grateful you’ve been there to back me,” he said. Looking forward to a stronger 2021, let’s review how Dai fared at the final Formula DRIFT PRO rounds at Irwindale Speedway.
In the Top 32 heats, the 2011 FD Champion Dai Yoshihara driving the Turn 14 Distribution / Falken Tire / ENEOS Oil Subaru BRZ would battle another ENEOS-supported driver, Faruk Kugay in the SGK Performance / Nuke / Eneos Oil / Nexen Tire Nissan S14 Razetil. Unfortunately, it was a brief contest, with Faruk colliding with the wall in Outer Zone 1 shortly after initiation. Faruk was unable to repair the damage for the second run and Dai advanced to the Top 16.
Matched in the Top 16 against Taylor Hull in the Comp Cams / Achilles Radial / YellowSpeed Racing Cadillac ATS-V, Dai led the first run. Taylor followed on a shallower line through the banking and Dai created a gap into Outer Zone 2, finishing his lead run smoothly.
On Dai’s chase run, he surged from initiation into Outer Zone 1 to gain proximity. However, Taylor unexpectedly dropped down quickly at the end of Outer Zone 1, causing Dai to back off the throttle, which created a gap as they transitioned into Outer Zone 2. Dai regained proximity in Outer Zone 2 and kept it for the duration of the run. Unfortunately, Taylor received the majority vote from the judges and moved into the Top 8 while Dai finished the round in 11th place.
For the start of the competition heats, Dai was paired with fellow FD OG, Ken Gushi driving the KGMS / Toyota / Gazoo Racing / Achilles Tire GR Supra. Again, Dai led the first run and was able to keep a gap for much of the course. There was slight contact at Inside Clip 2 as Ken tried to close the gap, but Dai kept his line and both drivers continued to the finish.
On Dai’s chase run, he lost turbo boost pressure at the end of Outer Zone 1, caused by to a broken map sensor. This forced him to make several corrections through the run and was unable to keep proximity with Ken.
With Ken moving on, Dai finished Round Eight in 18th.
Dai finished the 2020 FD PRO Championship season in 13th place overall but determined to attack 2021 at full speed.
Formula DRIFT is currently finalizing the 2021 calendar and we’ll bring it to you as soon as it’s published.