The Formula Drift season finally got on it's way this past weekend in Long Beach and was one of the most exciting ones yet. With the largest car/driver pool in FD history and a sold out crowd at hand to witness the carnage, the drivers were ready to tare it up. There are also a record number of rookies this season. A total of 19. Including last year's D1 Japanese champ Daigo Siato in the Bridges Racing Lexus SC430. Here's a snap of him on his way to defeating Rhys Millen in theTop 8. Daigo was later knocked out by Dai Yoshihara in the Final 4 then claimed a third place finish beating Matt Powers. Daigo Saito now leads the new X-Mini Rookie Challenge and also puts him 3rd in points for the season (78.50 Points). The highly anticipated Scion FR-S driven by none other than Ken Gushi definitely lived up to the hype. The Gush put on a great show and made it to the Top 8 but was defeated by last year's Formula Drift champion Dai Yoshihara. The battle was close until Ken hit the wall on the first run, moments before this pic was taken, forcing him to follow Dai with a battered and wingless machine. Another highly anticipated machine was Tyler McQuarrie's Mobil 1 GoPro Camaro. The Camaro, formally owned by Gardella Racing and driven by Ryan Tuerck, is now owned and ran by Tyler's team. A bit of controversy surrounded Tyler's departure from Falken Tires last year so I was definitely excited to see how he performed in the new car. The Camaro is now running a 18 inch / 19 inch Enkei RPF1 setup wrapped with Yokohama tires. Check Enkei's video on his wheel and tire set up HERE. Tyler came out strong and also made it to the Top 8. The battle for first place was between Dai Yoshihara's S13 and Justin Pawlak's Falken Ford Mustang with Justin edging out a victory against his Falken teammate. This is Justin's second consecutive Round 1 first place finish so we're certain it was a sweet victory for him. Congratulations to Justin, Dai, and Daigo for their podium finishes. Also a big thank you to all the drivers and Formula Drift staff for showing us so much love in Long Beach! Thanks again and we'll see you fools in Atlanta May 11-12!! - Alex Photos by Jon Tran Standings: About Formula Drift: Entering its ninth season, Formula DRIFT is recognized as the North American professional drifting championship. Established on the streets of Japan, drifting has evolved into a worldwide competitive sport that challenges each driver's driving ability and vehicle control. Formula DRIFT provides a forum for professional drifters to compete in 7 events nationwide for the coveted Formula DRIFT Championship crown. As the first official series in North America, Formula DRIFT has taken competitive motorsports to the extreme, attracting fans and car enthusiasts from all walks of life and establishes itself as the world-wide leader for the Sport. For a competition schedule and ticket information, visit:www.formuladrift.com.
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