Dai Yoshihara Falls Short at 2021 Formula DRIFT Orlando
2021 has seen a tough start to the year for the 2011 Formula DRIFT Champion, Dai Yoshihara driving the Turn 14 Distribution / Falken Tire / ENEOS Oil Subaru BRZ. After being knocked out of the opening round at Road Atlanta two weeks earlier, the misery continued in Orlando, FL as the FD teams arrived for Round Two of the PRO Championship.
Things started badly during Friday qualifying, when a mistake put him in the Bottom 8, which allowed Dai to take a second qualifying run to cement his position. With a solid run, the best he could do was 25th of the 32 entrants.
The result of his low qualifying position meant Dai would meet three-time FD Champion, Chris Forsberg, who had qualified eighth, in the first round of competition heats.
As expected, it was an epic battle between two former champions. Dai was in the chase position for the first run and mirrored Chris’s angle perfectly. Chris ran a great line, but Dai was able to keep proximity throughout the run.
On Dai’s lead run, he set off fast and created a gap to Forsberg, which was maintained for most of the run. With both drivers setting good lead runs, two judges voted for One More Time, while the third voted in favor of Dai.
During the repeated OMT runs, Dai gave chase and maintained even better proximity. However, he was too close coming off the bank and had to lift off to avoid contact, causing him to lose proximity through to the end of the run
On Dai’s lead run, he initiated aggressively but tapped the wall, losing some angle but recovered to complete the run. With a good chase by Forsberg, it was enough to end Dai’s day as he was knocked out of Top 32.
Sitting in 26th position in the 2021 FD PRO Championship, Dai needs to turn around his season. He’ll get the chance at the brand new drift arena at Englishtown Speedway in New Jersey on June 18-19.