Team Nitto driver Odi Bakchis takes the top spot at Formula DRIFT Atlanta
Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc., a leading manufacturer of off-road and street performance tires, is proud to support one of the most eclectic groups of drivers in the racing world.
From drag to drift to off-road, these drivers each bring a unique skill, personality, and style to their respective sports and give Nitto valuable feedback on its entire product line. This past weekend, Team Nitto drivers in two different series wowed the crowds and earned top honors at their events using the same high performance passenger car and light truck tires that are available to the public.
“Nitto Tire is constantly working to make sure that our tires offer the best combination of durability and driver control, and there is no better way to put them to the test than through racing,” said Harry Kong, Nitto Tire U.S.A.’s Brand Publishing Strategist. “Having our off the shelf tires perform so well under the harsh conditions that they are subjected to during racing really validates all of the work that we have put into their development.”
Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis first appeared on the Formula DRIFT scene in 2011, just two years after he started driving, where he quickly earned the “Rookie of the Year” title. Just a few short years later, Odi had become a fan favorite and was quickly moving up the ranks with consistent Top 10 finishes. In 2014, Odi joined Team Nitto and had his best season to date with multiple podium finishes that earned him a solid fourth place in the season points race. This past weekend at the Formula DRIFT race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Odi earned his first professional drifting win following his second place finish at the season opener in Long Beach last month.
“I can’t even describe the feeling,” said Bakchis about his first career victory. “Thank you to my family and amazing crew. It has been a wild ride and it wouldn’t be possible without support from all of the great companies that support me. My Nitto tires gave me the confidence I needed to push my car to its limit in a tough battle with Ken Gushi in the finals.”
While Odi was busy battling on the pavement, in Sacramento, California, Team Nitto Drivers were the dominant forces in the Metalcloak Stampede Ultra4 race. 2014 King of the Hammers winner and Ultra4 series champion Loren Healy once again proved that he is the one to beat in this series, finishing first in the 4400 Main Event. Right on his heels were Nitto Tire teammates Shannon and Wayland Campbell – a father and son racing team considered by many to be the “First Family” of rocksports. This is the Campbell’s first year competing with Nitto tire and only Wayland’s fifth year in competition and they have already made it to the podium together. Team Nitto driver Derek West rounded out the Top 4, finishing just behind Wayland, giving Nitto a “1-2-3-4” finish.
“It feels great to start the season off on such a positive note,” said Loren Healy. “This was a demanding race and my Nitto Tire teammates really put the pressure on. With so many good drivers all running the awesome Trail Grappler tires this year, I am going to have to work even harder to stay on top.” When asked about what it was like to take the podium alongside his son, Shannon Campbell said, “There’s nothing that makes me prouder as a father than to be able share the podium with one of my kids. They have been dedicated to this sport for their whole lives and have really started coming into their own.”
For more information about Formula DRIFT, visit www.formulad.com and for more information about Ultra4 Racing, visit www.ultra4racing.com. Learn more about Nitto-sponsored drivers at www.nittoracing.com and complete details on Nitto tires can be found at www.nittotire.com.