VIDEO: DAI YOSHIHARA WINS FORMULA DRIFT SKILLS BATTLE
With the start of the 2021 Formula DRIFT season just one week away, the series organizers has released the video and results from its second annual Skills Battle presented by Turn 14 Distribution.
The event is used as a warm up for teams and fans, getting us ready for the tire shredding action that returns on May 7-8 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
With nine FD PRO drivers invited to compete, the best news is that Dai Yoshihara took first place at the event, which took place at Irwindale Speedway near Los Angeles – The House of Drift.
- Aurimas Bakchis (Lithuania) – Falken Tire / Feal Suspension Nissan S15
- Trenton Beechum (USA) – Clonex Racing / Nexen Tire Ford Mustang
- Dan Burkett (USA) – RAD Industries / GearWrench / GT Radial Toyota Supra
- Rome Charpentier (USA) – Garagistic / Federal Tire BMW E36
- Michael Essa (USA) – FCP Euro / Liqui Moly / GT Radial BMW M3
- Dylan Hughes (USA) – Royal Purple / GT Radial BMW E46
- Jeff Jones (USA) – Jeff Jones Racing / GT Radial Nissan 370Z
- Kyle Mohan (USA) – KMR / Renewable Lubricants / Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8
- Daijiro Yoshihara (Japan) – Turn 14 Distribution / Falken Tire / ENEOS Oil Subaru BRZ
Biggest Backie. As the name suggests, drivers in the Skills Battle presented by Turn 14 Distribution were first judged on their degree of backward angle and speed of rotation through a turn. This challenge produced some spectacular slides for the judges, who awarded points for speed and execution.
Driftcross. This involved an autocross-style course, where the winner would be the fastest timed over two laps, with each cone collision adding a 0.2sec penalty. Driftcross was surprisingly difficult for the drivers, despite many of them having road course experience, because their engines produce close to 1000hp and the chassis set-up favors oversteer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, with all Dai’s circuit experience, he scored maximum points.
Drag Race. Sponsored by NGK Spark Plugs, the third challenge took place on the 1/8th-mile Irwindale drag strip. Again, the massive power and suspension geometry of the cars meant the cars were difficult to launch and, after a long day of competition, mechanical reliability would also be an important factor in crowning the 2021 FD SB Champion.
After an intense day of competition, Dai Yoshihara (the 2011 FD Champion) was crowned the winner of the 2021 Formula DRIFT Skills Battle presented by Turn 14 Distribution. He narrowly beat last year’s winner, Odi Bakchis, but three points. 2013 FD Champion Michael Essa finished third in a very close competition.
RESULTS: 2021 FD SKILLS BATTLE PRESENTED BY TURN 14 DISTRIBUTION
After the event, Dai told us: “It was really good to win this event against a competitive field of fellow FD PRO drivers. This was a great way to kick off the 2021 season, and I hope to be winning more events as the season unfolds.”
You can view the 2021 Formula Drift Skills Battle presented by TURN 14 Distribution here: youtube.com/watch?v=TLpb6mCm-6Y
2021 FORMULA DRIFT SEASON
The 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship kicks off on May 7-8 at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Please visit formulad.com for the 2021 schedule, event details, ticket purchases, driver profiles and livestream information.