Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. announces that the newly structured Team Toyo Tires Drift racing team will participate in the 2014 D1 Grand Prix Series (“D1GP”) (sponsored by D1 Corporation), which kicks off on March 29. The season-opening race will be held at Fuji Speedway. The team will compete in six events at five venues throughout Japan, and will aim for a second consecutive series championship.
The newly formed Team Toyo Tires Drift adds the support of Trust Corporation, and joining top driver and last year's season champion Masato Kawabata, who will race behind the wheel of the NISSAN GT-R, will be Michie Mimoto, the team's first female driver and the 2013 D1 Ladies League Series Champion. Rounding out the team of six racers are fast-rising stars Sakuma, Utsumi, Tadokoro and Tanaka. The team is revved up to establish the dominating force of Toyo Tires throughout the racing season.
A Toyo Tires booth will be set up at each racing venue, which will host talk shows featuring the racers and sell newly designed 2014 team merchandise, and also promote interaction and communication with fans via Web reports by the Toyo Girls and other exciting projects.
■Team Toyo Tires Drift 2014 Team Drivers
Masato Kawabata 2013 Series champion
Tatsuya Sakuma 2013 Series ranking 3rd place
Akinori Utsumi 2013 Series ranking 5th place
Yoshifumi Tadokoro 2013 Series ranking 18th place
Seimi Tanaka 2013 Series ranking 22nd place
Michie Mimoto 2013 D1 Ladies League champion
For further information, please visit
Team Toyo Tires Drift Official site: http://toyotires-drift.net
D1GP 2014 Official site : http://www.d1gp.co.jp
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.