It’s just one more day to the weekend for the finale of the 2011 Formula Drift Asia season held in Dataran Merdeka for a second time. Tomorrow the drivers and cars will start coming to the track to move in and set up, but before that, there was a press conference held at DoubleTree by Hilton today.
The VIP panel for the press conference included Encik Zulkifli Bin Ibrahim, Deputy Director General of Planning for Kuala Lumpur City Hall (Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur is the local authority charged with the administration of Kuala Lumpur); Mr Edward Mamahit, Head of Global Marketing & Business Development, PT Multistrada Arah Sarana Tbk (Achilles); Mr Harvey Davis, Vice President (Event Management Group), ESPN STAR Sports; and Mr Marcus Lim, Co-Founder of Formula Drift Asia and Driftpac.
Joining the panel on stage were drivers Daigo Saito, Robbie Nishida, Kiki Sak Nana, Josh Boettcher, Muhammad Rulli Armando, Manabu Orido, Ariff Johanis, Lim Zee King, Tan Tat Wei and Ivan Lau.
Just like in Formula Drift Indonesia, the Top 16 battles onwards for Formula Drift Malaysia will be broadcast ‘live’ on ESPN!
There will be slight changes to the track, like pulling the start line further back to allow for higher entry speed, but the track will remain tight and narrow, especially with its hazardous crazy U-turn hairpin.
These are some of the driver quotes:
Daigo Saito, Japan, SPARK Achilles Drift Team:
“My debut in Formula Drift (Asia) was in Malaysia last year, which I won. Since then I’ve been champion at every round and I would like to defend that.”
Manabu Orido, Japan, Team RSR:
“Hello everyone, I’m Max Orido from Japan. I really like Malaysia and I’ve been racing here many times before, for Super GT at Sepang. Whether it’s Asia, Japan or the States, I hope to become more popular and make motorsports more popular.”
Ivan Lau, Malaysian, Team LTM Bridgestone:
“I was so close to the podium in Singapore when I finished 4th earlier this year. It seems close but it’s actually very far away! I really wish to feel how it’d be like on the podium so this weekend I will be trying very hard!”
Kiki Sak Nana, Thailand, Red Bull Drift Team Thailand:
“I didn’t compete in Formula Drift Malaysia last year so the track will be new to me. I heard it’s a good track though really narrow; I am looking forward to it very much!”
Ariff Johanis, Malaysia, Team Kumho Sync Optima:
” It is easier to drift on a course that’s round but this track is elongated with a lot of angles. It is great to be able to drift downtown in KL at a place so iconic and I’m proud to be Malaysian and very honoured to drift there looking at the clock tower. With 30 million people watching, I am proud to be part of this show!”
Tan Tat Wei, Malaysia, Team Goodyear Malaysia:
“It is my homeground and there is a little pressure but I will do my best and get on the podium again.”
Here are random photos of the three Japanese drivers and Daigo looks like he has some nasty itch there for a while..
For more photos, view this album:
> Formula Drift Malaysia 2011 – Thursday
> Preview - Can Daigo Saito win a fourth consecutive time?
> Preview - Max Orido is competing with Team RSR!