Driving the Discount Tire/Falken Tire Nissan S13 (240SX), Dai qualified 4th, while teammates Tyler McQuarrie and Justin Pawlak were 1st and 2nd, respectively, after Friday’s qualifying session. Defending Formula Drift Champion and Teammate Vaughn Gittin, Jr., qualified 12th, Darren McNamara in 19th and Falken privateer Ross Petty 25th.
Four of the five Team Falken drivers made it through the Top 32 round. Unfortunately, Justin Pawlak, who has been leading the Formula D standings virtually all season long, failed to move forward due to a mechanical failure, however, he remains second in the 2011 Championship, just 15 points behind Dai.
McQuarrie, Yoshihara and Gittin, Jr., advanced in the Top 16 round, but only Dai moved on to the Top 4, as the other team members succumbed to tough competition, with Dai defeating Gittin Jr., in the Top 8 round. Dai beat Fredric Aasbo in the Top 4 and went on to defeat the 2009 Formula D champ Chris Forsberg in the final.
“It feels great to be in the lead,” stated Yoshihara. “After the Top 32 when Justin was taken out of the competition, I believed I had a good chance to win, but I didn’t want to think about points and focused instead on winning one round at a time. With only two competitions left, all of Team Falken needs to focus on them before anyone can think too much about the championship.”
“Once again, Team Falken has achieved great momentum going into the last two events,” added Jonathan Bradford, Falken’s Drift Team Supervisor. “We have all five team drivers in the top 9 in standings, so anything can happen in these last rounds. Obviously, there is a lot at stake, and we’ll make sure the drivers, the cars and our Azenis RT615K tires are ready for the challenge.”