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). 


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:


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!


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%



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).



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



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)



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



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



Here are the full Top 32 qualifying results:

(I apologise for the poor quality of the picture)



… and here’s the Top 32 battle bracket:

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



I made some new friends at the track and here’s June from


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:


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


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!


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!!! ;)


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


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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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