The 2014 Formula Drift season starts April 4-5 in Long Beach, California, and Yokohama Tire Corporation (YTC) is ready to defend its title with reigning champion Michael Essa. YTC and Essa captured the 2013 Formula D crown on ADVAN Neova AD08 R tires.
Essa will be piloting the Essa Autosport BMW E46 M3 on a segment of the Long Beach Grand Prix street course. YTC is also partnering with D1 veteran Kuniaki Takahashi in his A’PEXi Lexus SC430, as well as up-and-coming Ryan Kado in his Gryphon AutoLab Nissan 350Z.
“We have an extremely talented line-up this season,” said Matt Johnson, YTC performance marketing supervisor. “Essa is looking to repeat, Takahashi brings a wealth of drifting experience to the Yokohama team and Kado is a definite name to watch.”
n addition, all three YTC-sponsored teams are scheduled to participate in the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge during the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend, April 10-11. The cars will compete under the lights on Friday and Saturday evening and be on display throughout the weekend.
“Formula Drift is a very competitive series and the capabilities of the AD08 R tires are a key component for success,” said Johnson. “It’s a world-class extreme performance summer tire and utilizes our breakthrough orange oil compound, found both in our ADVAN ENV-R2 race slick and consumer tire products.”