Formula Drift Long Beach 2012: Day 1

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

The 2012 Formula Drift season officially starts today with 60 drivers competing in Round 1: Streets of Long Beach (#FDLB). 

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Here are some significances of Formula Drift 2012:

  • Formula Drift 2011 champion Daijiro Yoshihara is competing again to defend his crown
  • Formula Drift Asia 2011 champion Daigo Saito embarks on his debut Formula Drift USA season
  • New technical manager Kevin Wells for Formula Drift
  • New judge Brian Eggbert for Formula Drift who replaces Tony Angelo (who went back to drifting)
  • This year is the largest ever rookie batch with 19 of them
  • For the first time in FD history, Formula Drift has sold out all of the seated tickets in downtown Long Beach

 

Driver Entry List for Long Beach:

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I was covered in head to toe, hair to nail in tyre dust. This was what I found within my bag flap – my bag was on the floor behind the wall. I do not want to think about the amount of tyre dust in my hair!

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I caught a cold and was sniffling as I struggled to hold the leaking nose between shots, but here are some highlights from today’s qualifying session:

 

Formula Drift 2011 champion Dai Yoshihara qualified 6th with 90.5%

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Formula Drift Asia 2011 champion Daigo Saito officially makes his Formula Drift USA debut with his new drift car (the Lexus SC430), qualifying in 18th with 78% on his first run (he messed up the second run).

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Ryan Tuerck sets the pace for Long Beach – he qualified 1st with 97%!

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Emmanuel Amandio does Asia proud with a qualifying score of 92% in 6th place

with a rebuilt 350Z (the winning car of Formula Drift 2009 champion Chris Forsberg)

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Ken Gushi takes the Scion FR-S sideways in its official Formula Drift debut to 14th in qualifying

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Can Justin Pawlak (JTP) win tomorrow just like he won last year at Long Beach?

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Here are the full Top 32 qualifying results:

(I apologise for the poor quality of the picture)

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… and here’s the Top 32 battle bracket:

(again, I apologise for the poor quality of the picture)

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I made some new friends at the track and here’s June from MotoIQ.com:

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My nose is so red! Catching a cold within the first hour of arriving in Los Angeles is not funny, not funny at all. 

 

Anyway, there was a driver’s autograph session today as well and this fan actually lugged a FALKEN tyre around the autograph tables and got the drivers to sign it:

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By the way, just to digress a little, did you know Dai Yoshihara started his own line of DY wheels?

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No, he was not signing and giving out these wheels at the autograph session unfortunately. Daigo Saito however, was giving out these really cute EAT, SLEEP, DRIFT car fresheners!

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My day then ended with this Hankook race queen saying to me, “Hey! Are you Cheryl Tay? I follow you on Facebook!” How cool is that!!! ;)

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Next up, may the battles of Long Beach begin!!

 

Catch Formula Drift ‘live’ at www.formulad.com/live.

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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