Though he created a bit of hullabaloo going into the Formula Drift USA series as a rookie, Daigo Saito’s skills are definitely unquestionable. Despite his non-comprehension of the English language, Daigo is the one to fear in tandem battles with his competitors. The 2011 Formula Drift Asia champion clinched the Formula Drift USA 2012 title in the last round at Irwindale after a much closely-fought championship chase. In two weeks’ time he will be going to Indonesia to wrap up the Formula Drift Asia season, which he is confident of winning a second time.
Q: How did you feel going into the last round of the FD USA season?
A: I know it was going to be a tough one but it was the finals so I was looking forward to it.
Q: Were you nervous or confident, especially when there were so many drivers vying for the title?
A: Well there was a gap in points so I knew the championship was really up to how JR did. I wasn’t really nervous or confident, just going into the round as usual.
Q: How was the last round like? Was it very tense?
A: I wasn’t really nervous but I know there was a lot of tension among all the other drivers within the points chase.
Q: This is your debut season at FD USA, were you expecting to win?
A: I was gunning for the championship at first and also confident, then as the season goes on I started to notice that it was a lot harder than I thought. Towards the end I wasn’t as confident as the beginning of the year.
Q: Which was the toughest battle you had in the FD USA season?
A: I can’t pick one; I would say all of them since this was my first year competing in the States.
Q: How different is it competing in USA compared to Japan and Southeast Asia?
A: Everything, the course, the cars, drivers, judges.
Q: You have two more championships to wrap up – D1GP and FD Asia. How confident are you of clinching both and making this a perfect year?
A: D1 is going to be a hard one and it’s really gonna be up to how Kumakubo does. As for the FD Asia series, I am pretty confident.
Q: Are you aiming to win FD Indonesia? Home of your main sponsor Achilles?
A: Yes, of course. That would be the perfect ending for me and Achilles.
Q: What is the plan for next year? FD USA, FD Asia and D1GP again?
A: I will be competing all of the rounds just like this year.