Daigo Saito continues his winning streak at Formula Drift Asia

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay News | Latest Industry News

Daigo ‘The Ninja’ Saito defends title at Achilles Formula Drift Malaysia 2012, presented by Canon

Massive crowds braved rain to cheer on local hero Tengku Djan Ley, ‘The Prince of Drift,’ to third place

 

20 May 2012 (KUALA LUMPUR): Daigo ‘The Ninja’ Saito of Achilles Drift Team triumphantly beat drift legend Manabu ‘Max’ Orido for the second consecutive year to be crowned champion of Achilles Formula Drift Malaysia 2012, presented by Canon, while Malaysia’ Tengku Djan Ley of M7Bridgestone rounded up the podium in his comeback race in third place.

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The day belonged to Daigo with his flawless and gutsy display of precision drifting at Speed City KL, kicking off the first leg of the series on a winning note. The all-Japanese finale was a rematch from last year that saw Daigo demonstrate his aggressive style. In the first run, Daigo blasted off to an insurmountable lead that forced Orido to play catch up. In the reverse run, Daigo repeatedly put pressure on his compatriot, chasing him and sliding close with only inches to spare – keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats with plenty of slick drifting.

 

Said Daigo: “I’m really excited about today’s victory and returning back to Malaysia as champion. I was competing with a brand new car and had concerns on how it will perform. I knew that my biggest challenge was against the local favourite in the semi-finals and I had to be aggressive, so I gave 120 per cent going against Djan.”

546653_415298775171032_131620790205500_88767703_378138406_nThe race also saw the return of Djan after a one-year hiatus. He clinched his 3rd-place finish by knocking out Emmanuel ‘Dio’ Armandio of Indonesia, after losing to eventual champion Daigo in the semi-final where the 8000-strong crowd made themselves heard in the highly anticipated encounter.

317915_415298661837710_131620790205500_88767701_1467389632_nSaid Djan: “It feels really good to come back to the drift scene. Daigo was really fast – faster than I thought when I watched him on TV in last year’s event. We now have to go back to the drawing board to see how we can improve to make up the difference.”

 

This year’s event saw the drivers contend against the weather, in addition to each other in the tandem battles, with the rain adding an element of unpredictability that proved to be too much for some. It saw local ace Ser Ming Hui, aka ‘Ah Fai’, from Achilles Drift Team Malaysia crashing out in the round of 16 against Indonesia’s Dika CH, despite entering today’s competition as the second seed.

 

Djan, who led the Malaysian contingent by qualifying to the round of 32 with the highest score of 94 out of 100 in the first rounds, showed a clear indication of the quality of Malaysian drivers. Seven Malaysians made it to the round of 16, with the likes of Ivan Lau of Achilles Drift Team and Ee Yoong Chern of GT Radial joining Tengku Djan in the quarter finals.

 

Today’s race marks the beginning of the Achilles Formula Drift Asia Series 2012. The next leg will be at Singapore on 30th June – 1st July 2012.

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Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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