Dai Yoshihara drifts legally on public roads in his PRO-spec Subaru BRZ, Drift Appalachia 2024

Dai Yoshihara Goes Legal Street Drifting at Drift Appalachia 2024

Team ENEOS has been busy hitting grassroots drifting events around the East Coast, giving drivers Dai Yoshihara and Rich Whiteman a fun break from the professional norm. You saw Rich’s recap video recently, and now we get to see Drift Appalachia 2024 from Dai’s POV.

To refresh your memory, Drift Appalachia is a relatively new touge series that invites America’s best drivers to legally drift on the public backroads of the Appalachian mountains, right by Beckley, West Virginia on a two-mile stretch of a tight, twisty highway.

Unloading the drift BRZ, fresh Yokohama tires ready to shred, Drift Appalachia 2024
Dai Yoshihara pulling up to the Drift Appalachia fan meet and greet, Drift Appalachia 2024

With support from ENEOS, Pit+Paddock and Yokohama Tire, Yoshihara brought his 1,000hp PRO competition-spec Subaru BRZ from the West Coast to get down with several current and retired Formula DRIFT drivers, including Whiteman.

Having done the “Ride With Dai” ride-along experience the past couple years, it was time to give the BRZ a well-deserved break and allow Dai the opportunity to experience new driving events, including Drift Appalachia. Even getting the car to the event was no easy task: Dai trailered the BRZ himself cross-country 2,500-miles, which continues to prove how passionate he remains about drifting, even though he retired professionally from FD three years ago.

Local fans checking out Dai's BRZ at the Drift Appalachia meet and greet event, Drift Appalachia 2024
Wild to drift the Appalachians, Drift Appalachia 2024

Driving a FD PRO-spec BRZ was more challenging than expected, and Dai struggled to find his rhythm early on day one, spinning out as he tried to become more comfortable with the twists and turns of the Appalachians. “Every run felt like qualifying at FD, really high stress!” he said. “I wanted to do better, but these roads are very dangerous, with no room for error.

But Dai worked with his crew chief Chris Eimer to find the proper spec for day two, adjusting gearing, suspension settings and tire pressures, and you could finally sense more comfort as he became more acclimated to the touge.

Drifting the tight turns of the Appalachia touge, Drift Appalachia 2024
Team ENEOS teammate Rich Whiteman, Drift Appalachia 2024

I’d come back in a heartbeat,” Yoshihara explained. “But next time I’m bringing a more suitable car to handle the tight quarters of these roads. Maybe my Honda-powered AE86?!

Photos: courtesy of Pit+Paddock