Team Falken Supports A Strong Formula Drift Entry
Falken Tire, a two-time manufacturer’s champion in Formula Drift, has announced its team of drivers whom the tire brand will support throughout the 2016 Formula D season.
Returning to the Falken brand this year will be former Formula D Champion Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara, who will continue to campaign his Subaru BRZ, though upgraded this year to be even more competitive. He will be joined once again by Justin Pawlak, who will debut a 2016 Roush Performance Ford Mustang at the season opener in Long Beach. Pawlak finished 7th overall in 2015 and is determined to improve his standing this year with a strong push toward the championship.
Tyler McQuarrie also returns in his Mobil 1 Chevrolet Camaro, and rounding out the quartet of Falken veterans is Pat Goodin, ranked one of the consistently improving drivers in the series last year. Goodin will again campaign his venerable – and extremely capable – Nissan 240SX.
Joining the team this year are two Formula Drift veterans who have placed well in previous seasons, but with Falken, are looking to improve their odds. Odi Bakchis finished in 5th in 2015, with highlights including a first in Atlanta and second in Long Beach. The CEO of Feal Suspension is looking forward to joining the Falken team for this year’s competitive run:
“I am excited about my opportunity this season to represent one of the most iconic drifting brands out there – Falken Tire,” Bakchis said. “Falken has proven to be a successful tire with multiple championships and I am eager to demonstrate what I can add to their roster. I am confident in this next step in my drifting career and can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store.”
In addition, Matt Field becomes a part of the Falken team this season. The strong competitor, who has been enormously influential in Northern California’s grassroots drifting scene, finished in 9th place in 2015, and vows to improve this year through his partnership with Falken. The owner of Drift Cave Motorsports also runs a highly modified Nissan 240SX.
“Falken remains committed to continually advance the durability and grip of its AZENIS line of tires,” said Jonathan Bradford, Falken’s Manager of Motorsports and Events. “We’ve had a long, successful relationship with Formula Drift, and intend on maintaining our presence in this important sport, as we now support six drivers.”
Owing to the growing popularity of Formula Drift, the series has expanded to eight events this year, adding Montreal, Canada, July 15-16. As always, the season will start at Long Beach, April 8-9, 2016, and continue on to conclude at Irwindale Speedway, October 7-8.