Dai Yoshihara Experiences Mixed Fortunes at 2020 Formula DRIFT Texas Rounds
The double-header format for 2020 Formula DRIFT weekends saw Round Five taking place on Saturday October 30 at Texas Motor Speedway, followed by Round Six on Sunday. And with a new, high-speed course layout to learn, there was again pressure on the teams and drivers to adapt quickly in order to be competitive.
In the Top 32 heats, the 2011 FD Champion Dai Yoshihara driving the Turn 14 Distribution / Falken Tire / ENEOS Oil Subaru BRZ would face Dan Burkett in his GearWrench / RAD Industries / Nexen Tire Toyota Supra.
Dai led the first run, driving with his trademark smooth style, Dai was able to create a good distance from Burkett from the start. On Dai’s chase run, he closely mimicked Burkett and kept good proximity throughout the course. With his superior performance, Dai moved on to the Top 16 to meet Ryan Tuerck in the Gumout / Nitto Tire / Mobil 1 Toyota Corolla.
Dai was in the chase position for the first run and made a small mistake, knocking down the cone on Inner Clip One. As a result, he lost some proximity before Outside Zone 3, but quickly closed up before they crossed the finish line.
Dai led run two, finding a fluid line from start to finish. However, Tuerck went off-line at Outside Zone 2 and had two-wheels off-course at Outside Zone 3, but was able to salvage the run. With both drivers making mistakes, the judges called for One More Time.
At the second attempt, Dai made slight contact with Tuerck during the transition after Outside Zone 1.Effectively preventing Tuerck from transitioning, Dai went off course and was unable to complete the run. With Dai deemed at fault for the contact, he set a good lead run but Tuerck only had to finish the run to take the win.
With Tuerck progressing to win Round Five, Dai placed 14th overall.
After making overnight repairs to the Turn 14 Distribution / Falken Tire / ENEOS Oil Subaru BRZ, Dai returned to competition the next day for Sunday’s Round Six where he met Wataru Masuyama in the Top 32 heats.
Dai led the first run and created a 3-4 car gap from Wataru’s Buy Now Japan Nissan Silvia throughout until Outsize Zone 3 where Wataru was finally able to gain proximity. With Wataru in the lead, he made a big correction at Outside Zone 3, which was a sufficient mistake to give Dai the win and allow him to proceed to the Top 16 to meet Taylor Hull.
With Hull enjoying a new level of competitiveness in 2020, Dai mirrored Hull throughout the course in the chase position, closing in from Outside Zone 3 through to the finish line. Dai then had a seamless lead run while Taylor had a shallower line at Outside Zone 2 and never quite gained any proximity Outside Zone 4. This was what Dai needed to advance to the Top 8 to face Chris Forsberg.
Unfortunately, the heat came down to a small mistake between the two former FD Champions. It was Dai who ran a shallow line through Outside Zone 1, which was picked up by the judges and meant Forsberg only had to mimic Dai on his chase run to take the win.
Forsberg would advance to win Round Six while Dai finished in eighth overall and sits ninth in the 2020 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship as the teams prepare for the Final two rounds at Irwindale Speedway on November 20-22.
Rounds Seven and Eight of the 2020 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship continue on November 20-22 at Irwindale Speedway in California. Visit formulad.com for 2020 event details and to watch the livestream.