Daijiro Yoshihara, 2011 Formula DRIFT champion, is pleased to announce the launch of his new motorsport website, www.daiyoshihara.com and his new merchandise website, www.daiyoshiharastore.com. Daijiro is taking it to the next level and looking forward to engaging more with his fans in the upcoming year.
The newly vamped motor sports website, www.daiyoshihara.com, will provide fans with up-to-the-minute news and updates, allowing fans to remain up close and personal with Daijiro’s career as a professional drifter and motorsports competitor. Fresh with new design elements and high quality photography, the new website is a clear display of just that—freshness and quality. With an updated Media section, fans can now view more drifting and motorsport videos as well as click through an updated photo gallery of past and present motorsport events. Additionally, a complete new layout of the News page will help keep fans up-to-date on Daijiro related news throughout the year.
The launch of Daijiro's new merchandise website, www.daiyoshiharastore.com, offers a range of products from t-shirts, visors and other accessories, with more to come. All products sold on the site are "Daijiro Yoshihara" branded items as well as items designed in collaboration with some of his sponsors. The secure e-commerce website is fresh and clean, and easy to navigate. Daijiro is enthusiastic for the launch of his online store since it will allow fans all over the world, who cannot attend Formula DRIFT events, an opportunity to easily purchase "Daijiro Yoshihara" products.
This past weekend was the final event of the Formula DRIFT Championship Series; held at what is commonly known as the "House of Drift," Irwindale Speedway. Dubbed the "Title Fight," round 7 was a make it or break event for Daijiro Yoshihara in the chase for a second championship title.
Looking strong throughout practice, Yoshihara was poised and ready to take action for his upcoming competition rounds. Yoshihara qualified 17th in overall qualifying order which paired him up with Kyle Mohan and his 2010 Nexen Tire Mazda RX-8 in the Top 32 round of competition. In the leading lap, Yoshihara chased Mohan around the unforgiving Irwindale track layout. Yoshihara gave Mohan minimal amounts of breathing room, as he stayed close in proximity throughout the entire run. During the second lap, Yoshihara charged out of the starting gate and aggressively drifted around the first bank. As Yoshihara neared the inner wall area of the track, Yoshihara came in too hot which led him to tap his rear bumper on the wall, which caused his car to straighten out. This minor error caused more damage than not and eventually knocked Yoshihara out of competition ending his season prematurely.
Yoshihara finished the 2012 season in a respectable 7th place in overall championship points. "I didn't want to end the season like this," explains Yoshihara. "I wanted to end strong, but sometimes it doesn’t work out in your favor. However, my crew and I had a very strong season so I am thankful for that. We'll be back next year stronger and more focused; looking for another title."
The last event of the season provided Yoshihara one last opportunity to meet with his fans and supporters. He was able to collect more donations for his charity; RFJP.org, raising $400 over the event weekend. "Thanks again to all my fans and supporters that showed their support throughout the season," an ecstatic Yoshihara states.
October 11, 2012
Final Race of the Season Approaches; Dai Introduces Drifting Inspired Wheel Line - Yoshihara Design
After a year in the making, 2011 Formula DRIFT champion, Daijiro Yoshihara and his team of wheel experts have officially released a collection of wheels that caters to not only his fans, but also to fellow enthusiasts. Drawing from the past, present, and future influences of wheel styling along with specific attributes for the intended use of the wheel, each design was personally selected by Dai and engineered by his team to be the perfect blend of form and function.
The initial launch of Yoshihara Design will consist of 4 different styles, all with individual unique features. Each wheel is manufactured with precision technology, so that drivers can expect maximum performance, stylish designs, and affordability. Wheel sizes will vary from 18" to 20" applications and will be available in multiple platforms for Japanese, European, and U.S. vehicles.
The Yoshihara Design Champion wheel was derived from the exact wheel that Dai used on his competition vehicle when he won the Formula DRIFT championship title in the 2011 season. Much like his competition wheels, the Champion wheel was developed to be light weight for maximum performance while maintaining the structural rigidity needed for performance driving on the streets. The Champion wheel is available in 18" sizes covering widths from 8" - 10" and offsets in the +15 to +40 range.
DY-37C draws from inspirations from the past and adapts new innovation in current wheel manufacturing techniques. Featuring a unique chrome step lip to provide optimal contrast. Step lip sizes from 2.5 on 18 x 8 applications and 3 inch for 18 x 9 and 18 x 10 applications. Perfect for aggressive fitments for max lip and effect.
DY-77C is a concave fin design to compliment VIP style sedans and sport coupes. Featuring concave design, edged CNC details, and a chrome lip, the DY-77C adds grace and style to any vehicle.
DY-12C is a lightweight cast wheel that achieves an impressive light weight of 19lb for 18 x 8. As light weight is important, emphasis was also placed to allow for ease of replacement. By marrying lightweight and reasonable cost, the DY-12C is the perfect wheel for the novice motorsport enthusiast.
For the second year in a row, Daijiro Yoshihara travelled overseas to compete in Europe’s premier drifting competition series, Prodrift. This event was the final round of the Prodrift Series of 2012 and it was only fitting to have competition held at one of the fastest racetracks in Europe, Mondello International Racing Circuit in Kildare, Ireland.
Yoshihara piloted the MG Crash Repairs Toyota Altezza over the competition weekend and in championship style, Yoshihara showed Europe why he was one of the best Drift competitors in the world. Qualifying for the main event, Yoshihara was paired up against James Deane, a former Falken Tire Formula DRIFT teammate. Both drivers drove aggressively; however, Yoshihara had a slight advantage and moved on to the great 8 when Deane straightened out his vehicle in the second round.
In the great 8 competition, Yoshihara was paired up against Wesley Keating who was having a strong showing over the weekend. Keating was awarded the advantage after the first round as Yoshihara straightened in one of the corners. However, during the second round, Keating came in too hot tapping Yoshihara from behind forcing Yoshihara to spin, which automatically sent Yoshihara to the finals.
Yoshihara was paired up against Brendon Stone, former Prodrift champion. The first two rounds of the finals was definitely a display of championship driving as both drivers fought hard to knock one another out. The judges deemed the competition too close to call and had to resort to a One More Time. The One More Time round was not any easier to figure who would take home the win; however, the judges awarded Stone the win and Yoshihara took home second place.
"This weekend was awesome and I had so much fun here," explains Yoshihara. "Every time I compete here, I always have fun and I am always impressed with everyone’s driving styles."
Among all the competition, Yoshihara was still able to spend some time with his fans in effort to help his charity, Relief For Japan (rfjp.org). He was able to raise over 300 Euros over the weekend. "I am really grateful that I can meet people all over the world that continue to show their support for the relief efforts. Thank you to everyone in Europe that showed their support."
August 28, 2012
Yoshihara Slides Into Sin City
Round 6 of the Formula DRIFT Championship Series was in Las Vegas, NV this past weekend, and was held at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In lieu of Sin City's famous nightlife, this event was dubbed "After Dark" as competition went well into the midnight hours. Having a solid year thus far, Daijiro Yoshihara competed last weekend in hopes to be back on podium and to be closer to winning another championship title.
Friday night's qualifying session was not as strong has Yoshihara and his crew had expected. Yoshihara's first qualifying run was conservative and the judges awarded him 77 points. Bettering his first run, Yoshihara drove more aggressively in his second qualifying run that earned him 80 points, which landed Yoshihara the 17th spot in overall qualifying order.
Prior to the main event on Saturday night, a sudden rainstorm passed through the speedway dousing the track with water. Drivers and crews were all in a scramble setting cars up for wet track conditions. Although the rain had stopped, the track was wet for the first several battles, which was a test of driver skill.
Yoshihara was paired up against Kyle Mohan in the Top 32 battle. Both cars drove aggressively in the first run; however, advantage was given to Yoshihara as he maintained close proximity to Mohan. Yoshihara led the second run and ran an aggressive lap as Mohan tried to gain ground. On the second to the last turn, Mohan came in a little too hot and hit Yoshihara from behind, which ultimately gave Yoshihara the victory to move on to the Top 16 main event.
In the Top 16 battle, Yoshihara was paired up against Fredric Aasbo and his Need For Speed Scion TC. Having qualified higher, Aasbo lead the first run as Yoshihara chased closely behind. Both drivers drove aggressively, nearly mirror images of each other as they blazed through the course. Leading the second battle, Yoshihara drove a near perfect run; however, Aasbo’s chase was no match for Yoshihara and became the ultimate victor knocking out Yoshihara out of competition.
"Top 16 battle was really close," explains Yoshihara. "It's unfortunate that I was knocked out but Aasbo is a great driver and competing with him is always fun."
Continuing to help his fellow countrymen, Yoshihara collected $300 for his relief foundation, RFJP.org.
With the loss last weekend, Yoshihara is now in 5th in overall championship points. The next event; which is the championship event, will be held in Irwindale, CA at the Irwindale Speedway on October 12th.
July 25, 2012
Yoshihara Takes On Evergreen Speedway
Daijiro Yoshihara returns to Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA for Round 5 of the Formula DRIFT Championship Series this past weekend in the hopes of repeating his first place finish in 2011. Coming off of 3 podium finishes in the last 4 events, Yoshihara was ready to capture a fourth.
During qualifying, Yoshihara received a zero on his first run for dropping 2 wheels outside the track boundaries and would have to make it up on his second run to make the cut for the big show. Yoshihara’s second run was good enough to land him the 12th spot in overall qualifying order and pairing him up against Dennis Mertzanis in the Top 32 round of competition.
Having a higher qualifying position, Yoshihara lead the first run against Mertzanis. Yoshihara proved to be a championship driver as his first run was near flawless giving him the advantage. During the second run, Yoshihara chased Mertzanis aggressively and eventually advancing to the Top 16 when Mertzanis hit the inner walls.
Yoshihara went up against former teammate and team owner, Rhys Millen, for the Top 16 competition. Yoshihara's lead run was clean and aggressive; however, Millen in his Hyundai Genesis followed closely applying slight pressure on Yoshihara. During the second round, Yoshihara started aggressively as he followed close behind Millen. Coming out of the bank into the first turn into the inner portion of the course, Yoshihara came in a little too hot and dropped 2 wheels outside of the track boundaries. Due to this mistake, Yoshihara was knocked out, which ended his competition weekend prematurely.
"I was so pumped for this event," explains Yoshihara. "Unfortunately, I made a few mistakes and was knocked out early. Congrats to my teammate, Vaughn Gittinn, for winning again, he's really been on fire." Yoshihara now sits in fourth in overall championship points. Round 6 will be held in Las Vegas on August 24th where Yoshihara will continue to strive for that second championship title.
Although Yoshihara did not have a winning weekend, he still remains a winner as he continued to work hard to help the relief efforts in Japan via his charity, Relief For Japan (www.RFJP.org). Over the weekend, Yoshihara was able to raise $500 from his fans in Washington. "Thank you to the people of Washington that showed their support for Japan," an appreciative Yoshihara states.
June 25, 2012
Yoshihara Remains On Podium, Number Three For the Season
With the 2012 season coming to its halfway mark, Daijiro Yoshihara and his Falken Tire/Discount Tire crew were in Wall New Jersey this past weekend for Round 4 of the Formula DRIFT Championship Series. In the chase for a second championship, sitting in 3rd position in overall championship points coming into this event, Yoshihara was poised and ready to be back on top.
Having great qualifying runs, Yoshihara qualified 4th overall that positioned him for another chance at the podium. During his Top 32 run, Yoshihara was matched up against Taka Aono. Due to a miss shift, Aono lost drift allowing Yoshihara to pass and easily moving on to the Top 16.
Yoshihara was paired up with Rhys Millen in the Top 16 battle where both cars exploded out of the starting gate. Yoshihara lead the first round with plenty of power and clean lines; while Millen drove a little too aggressive as he made contact with Yoshihara twice during the first run. The second run was just as powerful and aggressive from both drivers; however, the judges deemed Yoshihara winner advancing him to the Great 8.
Great 8 competition was against old teammate, Tyler McQuarrie. Yoshihara lead the first run out and both cars had awesome entries initiating drift simultaneously. Yoshihara was able to create a good size gap giving him an advantage over McQuarrie. During Yoshihara’s chase run, both drivers had clean lines; however, Yoshihara was close in proximity and matched McQuarrie's angles through each corner. A unanimous decision advanced Yoshihara into the Final 4 facing Daigo Saito.
Up against fellow Japanese driver, Daigo Saito, Yoshihara came out extremely aggressive as he rode the initial bank up high on the rails continuing through the course hitting each clipping zone. Saito followed in close proximity but Yoshihara had a slight advantage as Saito made contact from behind. Throughout the chase run, Yoshihara stayed close to Saito trying to oust his competitor; however, the judges felt the battle was too close to call so a “One More Time” was the outcome. The second round of battle was even a tighter battle; however, Yoshihara came out as victor as his lead and chase runs were cleaner and more precise.
In the final battle of the weekend, Yoshihara was up against 2010 Formula DRIFT Champion and teammate, Vaughn Gittin, Jr. Each round of battle from each driver was aggressive; however, Yoshihara straightened out on the last turn during his chase run that gave Gittin the advantage and the eventual win. Yoshihara obtained the 2nd place spot on the podium this past weekend alongside Gittin (1st place) and Forsberg (3rd place). Yoshihara remains in third place in overall championship points but closes the gap to first place by only 51 points. “I had an awesome time this weekend,” explains Yoshihara. “All my competitions this weekend was exciting and I'm happy that I'm on the podium again. Congrats to my teammate, Vaughn Gittin, Jr., for the win!”
In the continued effort by Yoshihara to help with the relief project in Japan, he was able to meet with fans and supporters and collect donations for his very own charity, Relief For Japan (www.rfjp.org). Yoshihara was able to collect a total of $300 over the weekend.
Round 5 of the Formula DRIFT Championship series will be at the Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA on July 20-21. Please visit www.daiyoshihara.com for more information.
June 6, 2012
Back In Contention For the Championship!
Round 3 of the Formula DRIFT Championship Series was held in Palm Beach Florida for the second consecutive year. Daijiro Yoshihara not having a good showing last year, Yoshihara definitely was seeking redemption in this year's competition. Yoshihara began his weekend a little shaky only qualifying 14th overall after having to deal with some rain during his second qualifying run. This qualifying position paired him up with Chris Ward for Top 32 competition.
Yoshihara's Top 32 battle with Ward was nearly cut short as Ward hit Yoshihara from behind in their first run out. Due to the hit, all Yoshihara had to do was have a clean chase run to advance to the next round and he did just that beating Ward to move to the Top 16 to compete against fellow Japanese driver, Robbie Nishida. The battle between Yoshihara and Nishida was clean and tight as both drivers drove aggressively trying to oust the other. Having a slight advantage during his chase run, Yoshihara eventually won to move on to the Great 8.
Yoshihara went up against Ryan Tuerck for the Great 8 round of battle where both drivers drove aggressively not letting each other a lot of room for any mistakes. The first round of battle was deemed too close so the judges asked for a "One More Time" to determine an ultimate winner. Again, both drivers drove clean lines and aggressively; however, Yoshihara had a slightly better chase run which ultimately won him the battle advancing him to the Final 4.
Yoshihara was paired with Chris Forsberg and his V8 powered Nissan 370Z for the Final 4. Although both cars ran well, Yoshihara hit Forsberg from behind forcing him to lose drift and eventually losing. Although Yoshihara lost, he still had a chance to be on podium for 3rd place.
Yoshihara went up against fellow teammate Justin Pawlak to fight for the third spot on the podium. Yoshihara's chase run was slightly off which gave Pawlak the advantage. However, Yoshihara's lead run proved to be stronger as Pawlak spun his Ford Mustang in the last turn of the course, which placed Yoshihara on the third spot of the podium.
Having fought all weekend, Yoshihara finished in 3rd place, which advances him to 3rd place in overall championship points. "I didn't do well last year," explains Yoshihara. "So this year, I wanted to fight to do better. This weekend was pretty tough but I'm glad I was able to get on the podium and to stay close in championship points. Thanks to my crew for their hard work this weekend, and as always to all my fans for all the continued support!"
In the midst of all the competition, Yoshihara managed to meet with his fans and collect donations for RFJP. Due to the delayed schedule, Yoshihara was not able to meet his fans for as long as he would like, but he was still able to collect $300 for the relief efforts in Japan. Yoshihara always showing his gratitude to his supporters, "I wish I had more time to hang out with my fans, but again, for those who did show their support, thank you!"
For more information about Daijiro Yoshihara, please visit www.daiyoshihara.com. And to learn more about Daijiro Yoshihara's charity for the relief efforts in Japan, please visit RFJP.org.
May 14, 2012
Yoshihara Competes At Road Atlanta For 9th Season In A Row
Round 2 of the Formula DRIFT Championship Series held at Road Atlanta for the 9th season is one of the largest events of the season. Having won the last two years at this event (2011 and 2010), Daijiro Yoshihara was looking for a three peat. Coming off a second place podium victory in Long Beach, Yoshihara was poised and ready for another win.
The weekend started off with qualifying on the new track layout. Due to a broken suspension component, Yoshihara's first run was far from being perfect only scoring him a 67.5. However, his second qualifying run was stronger with clean lines that scored a sold 94 points putting Yoshihara in the 9th overall qualifying position.
Yoshihara was paired up with Ryan Tuerck and his V8 powered Nissan S13 in the Top 32 round of competition. Yoshihara blazed through the new track layout during his lead run having the advantage over Tuerck. During the second run, Yoshihara was definitively the aggressor staying tight with Tuerck. However, the judges deemed Tuerck as the winner to move on to the Top 16 competition knocking Yoshihara out for the weekend.
"I have always done well at this track and having it end so quickly was definitely a shock," explains Yoshihara. "My run with Ryan was really close and it could have gone either way; it was a good competition. Thank you to all my supporters, we'll be back on top!"
Although Yoshihara's competition weekend was not up to par, his continued effort in the relief for Japan via RFJP.org exceeded expectations. Yoshihara was able to raise $500 throughout the Formula DRIFT weekend and an additional $700 at KMS Drift, a local grassroots drifting event. "Again, I am shocked that so many people continue to support RFJP and Japan," commenting on the donations. "I didn't win this weekend but being able to meet so many supporters for the relief efforts in Japan definitely is winning to me."
Yoshihara now sits in 7th position in overall championship points. Round 3 of Formula DRIFT will be at Palm Beach International Raceway in Florida on June 1 where Yoshihara will continue to fight for another championship.
For more information about Daijiro Yoshihara, please visit www.daiyoshihara.com. And to learn more about Daijiro Yoshihara's charity for the relief efforts in Japan, please visit RFJP.org.
April 7, 2012
Formula Drift Champion Dai Yoshihara With Second Place Finish At Round 1: Streets of Long Beach
APRIL 7, 2012 (LONG BEACH, CA) Defending Formula DRIFT Champion Daijiro
Yoshihara starts the 2012 season in familiar fashion, by taking his
Discount Tire/ Falken Tire 240SX to a spot on the podium. Yoshihara took
second place in front of the sold out audience at Round 1: Streets of Long Beach.
"It's a great way to start the 2012 Series", said Yoshihara.
"There are so many new drivers and a lot of these guys are ready right now.
Formula DRIFT is the most competitive it's ever been, so I'm very excited to
come away with a second place finish in Long Beach."
Yoshihara advanced past Matt Field in the Top 32 elimination round,
and headed to opening ceremonies and a showdown with Fredric Aasbo. Yoshihara then
moved on with an impressive lead run, setting up a battle in the Great 8 with Formula
D veteran Ken Gushi. Gushi hit the wall trying to keep pace and the 2011 Champion
advanced to set up the highly anticipated battle with Formula DRIFT Asia Champion
Daigo Saito. It was a very tight battle, as Yoshihara's runs proved to be cleaner
and he defeated the Formula DRIFT rookie and advanced to the Finals against Justin
Pawlak. The extremely close final battle was determined by Pawlak's fast and technical
lead run, which lead to his second consecutive season opener victory in Long Beach.
"I'm feeling very confident after today," said the 2011 Series Champion.
"I can't thank Discount Tire and Falken Tire enough. The crew has worked so hard and we're
all feeling very good about chasing down another Championship this season. That was a
challenging run to the Finals," explained Yoshihara. "Facing guys like Ken Gushi and
Daigo Saito, I just tried to be consistent and stay focused on what I had to do. JTP
and I have had some close battles. I know we'll have a few more this season. Overall
it was an amazing start in front of a sold out crowd. I hope I can carry the momentum
Daijiro Yoshihara will continue his defense of the Series Championship
at Round 2: Road To The Championship in Atlanta, GA. Yoshihara is backed by Discount
Tire, Falken Tire, KW Suspension, and illest. He most recently partnered with DRIVE M7
DRIVE M7 Energy Drink is a leading brand in performance energy with
strong roots in the motorsports world. Yoshihara will lead the brands strategic media
outreach and be featured in national and local initiatives. The energetic DRIVE M7
logo will be showcased on Yoshihara's custom racing suit and helmet throughout the
2012 Formula DRIFT Series.