|Team Falken veteran Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara, driving the Discount Tire/Falken Tire Nissan 240SX, took his first championship in the Formula Drift series.|
Team Falken's 'Dai' Yoshihara Crowned 2011 Formula Drift Champion
At the final event of the Formula Drift season, Team Falken veteran Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara, driving the Discount Tire/Falken Tire Nissan 240SX, took his first championship in the Formula Drift series, completing a year which saw either his name or that of his teammate, Justin Pawlak, consistently atop the leader board. Pawlak took second in the championship. Falken’s Tyler McQuarrie successfully attacked the competition at the “Title Fight” and earned the final win of the season, the fifth victory out of seven for Team Falken in 2011. As a result, McQuarrie moved up to finish sixth in the standings. Teammates Darren McNamara took fourth overall, while defending Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. placed 11th.
The final round of the series concluded the most successful season in Formula Drift history. The sold-out crowd eclipsed attendance records for Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, known as “the House of Drift,” and is now the largest event in the history of this sport. While Falken held onto the top two spots in the championship, a small gap in points separated the top five competitors. The 2011 season turned out to be the closest and most competitive chase for the championship in the history of Formula Drift. In addition to winning the title, Yoshihara also won the Tires.com Triple Crown, marking the first time in the series that a Discount Tire driver took home this award.
On hand to witness this event within Falken’s hospitality were 465 dealers and retailers, including special guests from Ford Racing, Discount Tire, Monster Energy and Sears Auto Center. In addition, Falken hosted a limited-edition T-shirt giveaway promotion through Facebook.
| Joe Osborne and Mark Patterson will compete at Circuit Park Zandvoort this weekend, aiming to improve on personal bests of 12th
(qualifying) and ninth (race) in their #22 Draper Tools—Audi R8 LMS.
United Autosports Looks to Close Out FIA GT3 Season on a High
Almost two months since the last races in Slovakia, the FIA GT3 European Championship reconvenes at Circuit Park Zandvoort (NED) this weekend (October 15–16) with United Autosports aiming to finish the 12-race series on a high. The two, one-hour races mark the first time the series has visited the coastal track in its short six-year history, which sees the Anglo-American team targeting top-10 results in bothevents.
The team’s second FIA GT3 European Championship campaign has been a largely frustrating affair with the balance of performance seeming to favor the opposition while the Dunlop tire, utilized this season by United Autosports until the Slovakia races, was typically not a match for the Michelin rubber.
A BMW Z4 has been on the top-three rostrum 10 times, Ferrari 458 and Mercedes SLS both five times apiece and the Audi R8 LMS just four times. Unperturbed, Joe Osborne (GB) and Mark Patterson (USA) compete on the 2.68-mile track in the sand dunes close to the North Sea and located 15 miles from Amsterdam, aiming to improve on personal bests of 12th (qualifying) and ninth (race) in their #22 Draper Tools—Audi R8 LMS.
Meanwhile, the #23 Legends of Motorsport R8 LMS pilots, Matt Bell (GB) and Zak Brown (USA), also have something to prove having a 15th (qualifying) and a best 10th race finish to show for their efforts.
Since the Slovakian races, Brown and Patterson, together with Stefan Johansson, who has finished fourth and sixth in class for United Autosports in the Total 24 Hours of Spa over the past two years, joined forces to achieve an impressive second place in the LMP2 category of the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans (USA) earlier this month (October 1).
The Dutch circuit has hosted a World Formula One Championship race 30 times, the last being in 1985, and gained popularity because of its fast, sweeping corners, such as Scheivlak, as well as the "Tarzanbocht" (Tarzan corner) hairpin at the end of the start/finish straight.