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.