Formula Drift M’sia 2011: Preview – Can Daigo Saito win a fourth consecutive time?

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

This man has been unbeatable so far – winning at every single Formula Drift Asia round that he has been to: from Malaysia last year to Singapore in June and then Indonesia in October. 

 

Daigo Saito will be competing at Formula Drift Malaysia later this month and will he make it a four-time win? 

 

Here’s a recap of his Formula Drift Asia journey thus far:

 

Formula Drift Malaysia 2010, December 2010 – Daigo’s debut in Formula Drift

(read related blog entry here and my first interview with Daigo here)

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Formula Drift Singapore 2011, June 2011

(read related blog entry here)

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Formula Drift Indonesia 2011, December 2011

(read related blog entry here)

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So how is Daigo feeling about the 2011 Formula Drift Asia finale?

 

Q: Daigo, how different is the Malaysia event compared to the other Asian rounds?

A: The food! I always look forward to the food in Malaysia! Ok kidding aside, let’s get serious… the set-up for the Malaysia event is really unique. It is in the middle of downtown and the road surface actually changes throughout the course from tarmac to bricks and so on, making things even more complicated. The course is really narrow, so one mistake (even a minor one) means that the driver is going to put the car into the concrete barricades. But frankly, I really enjoy the course – I think it really separates the men from the boys.

 

Q: You had a pretty successful year in Formula Drift Asia in 2011, winning the last 2 rounds in Singapore and Indonesia. Tell me more about it.

A: Last year at Formula Drift Malaysia, I managed to win the event as well, but not without a lot of tight competition from many of the ASEAN drivers. It made me realise that the level of driving here in ASEAN is now pretty high and if I want to retain my champion status for 2011, I had to really upgrade my equipment. 

 

So during the off-season, I put a lot of effort into building up a top-end vehicle for this year. I always say that a pro-driver is only as good as his equipment. From the results this year, I believe that the efforts have paid off. It also helps that I was fortunate enough to get new sponsors in Asia like Spark Motorsports and Achilles Radial to support me and my crew.

 

For Malaysia, my goal is obvious – to stand on top of the podium. That is always my goal at each and every round. I am not sure, but I also heard that they are pulling the start line further back which means an even higher entry speed as compared to last year, so it is going to be fun. I really enjoy it when the track is fast and tight!

 

Good luck Daigo-san – from all your drifting fans in Singapore and Malaysia!

 

Formula Drift Malaysia 2011 is coming up on 17 and 18 December at Dataran Merdeka from 10am to 6pm. Get your tickets at www.ticketpro.com.my!

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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