Round 8 of the 2017 Formula Drift Championship series brought the finale to non other than the House of Drift at Irwindale Speedway.
This year’s finale event at Irwindale is expected to be the last one ever. Given that the first ever drift event was introduced to the U.S. over 14 years ago at the House of Drift, the significance of the series ending here was a special one felt by all in attendance.
Irwindale Speedway is unlike any other course with the high speed entry and the steep bank. That wouldn’t stop Dai and he would continue the momentum from the last round and qualify 4th overall with a score of 94. The strong qualifying would pay off immediately with not only points but also a first round of 32 bye run.
TOP 16: Yoshihara vs. Castro
After some unexpected but major repairs during the half time break, Dai would encounter a fellow BRZ/GT86 chassis in the round of 16. Jhonnaton Castro has been making major improvements this season beating several past champions at previous rounds but this would not one of those times. Dai would lay down text book lead and follow runs without error winning his first match-up.
TOP 8: Yoshihara vs. Heilbrunn
Dai’s match up with Alex Heilbrunn would result much the same. Dai would have a solid lead run with Alex have a shakey follow. During Alex’s lead run he would create small gap but nothing significant enough couldn’t cause Dai to error. Dai advances.
TOP 4: Yoshihara vs. Gitten JR.
This match up isn’t new for either side as both drivers are not only past Formula Drift Champions but also former Falken Tire teammates. While JR moved on to another tire brand, the rivalry was still very familiar. Dai would lead first and JR would follow with error. During the switch, Dai would follow very much the same forcing a one more time.
Dai would lead again and create some gap after the transition from the bank. JR would react leading him to hit the wall at the inner bank. After a 5 min call, JR and his crew were able to get his car back to the line for their lead run. Dai would follow without any issues allowing him to advance and a chance to win the event.
FINALS MATCH: Yoshihara vs. Piotr
Its was clear how strong Piotr was running all weekend. He was by far one of the if not the fastest on the track and his lead run show just how quick he was. Dai still followed close and kept the gap at a minimum. During the switch, Dai would put down what would be his best lead run of the entire event but that still wouldn’t be enough to create even the smallest gap from Piotr.
Dai would lose the round but secure a 2nd place finish at the House of Drift and ending the season 6th overall.
[recent_works picture_size=”fixed” layout=”carousel” boxed_text=”boxed” filters=”yes” columns=”1″ cat_slug=”fd-irwindale-2017″ exclude_cats=”” number_posts=”25″ excerpt_length=”35″ animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””][/recent_works]
|Mar 31 – Apr 1||Streets of Long Beach
|Long Beach, CA||NC|
|Apr 28 – 29||Uncharted Territory
|May 12 – 13||Road to the Championship
|Jun 2 – 3||The Gauntlet
|Jul 14 – 15||True North
|Montreal, Quebec, Canada||16th|
|Aug 4 – 5||Throwndown
|Sep 8 – 9||Showdown
|Texas Motor Speedway||6th|
|Oct 13 – 14||Title Fight||Irwindale, CA||2nd|
TV coverage: All Formula DRIFT rounds can be streamed live from formulad.com/live or watched on delay on CBS Sports www.cbssports.com (see listings for details)