A few days before Daigo Saito left for Malaysia, the news hit the World Wide Web that Daigo will be competing in the 2012 Formula Drift USA Series with Bridges Racing. I think that’s fantastic news and I hope to get a chance to go to the States and see how this Japanese champion stacks up against the strong American drifters! [see official press release from Bridges Racing here]
The 2008 D1GP champion has taken Formula Drift Asia by storm – winning every Formula Drift Asia round that he has been to, from Malaysia 2010 to Singapore 2011 and Indonesia 2011. Daigo will be using a Lexus IS-C in Asia and a Lexus SC430 in the States for next year!
At the press conference, I got a quick word with him (with Robbie’s help to translate of course)…
Q: Daigo, you narrowly narrowly missed the 2011 D1GP championship title by that mere few points. How do you feel?
A: I didn’t have that in mind and wasn’t thinking about it, but you just had to bring it up! Well, I’m gonna try and not make the same mistakes this weekend so that I can take the 2011 Formula Drift Asia title smoothly.
Q: Congratulations on securing your Formula Drift USA 2012 drive! You must be over the top!
A: Yes, I’m really excited and happy about it. Robbie and I have been working to secure a deal for 2 years so that I can go to the States and compete. I’ve been flying up to the States for about 3 years now to watch and FINALLY, I get to compete. It’s been a lot of effort and time and it’s gonna be so worth it!
*Orido pokes his head in here, “I’m very happy for Daigo and I really want him to do well there!”
Q: Back to this weekend – your relationship with Orido goes back a long, long way when he first judged you in a competition to today when you are beating him!
A: Orido is very symbolic – he has created an icon for himself as a driver, as a person, with his lifestyle. Robbie thinks going up against Orido is just different from going up against other drivers – something about Orido makes you nervous. For me, I am looking forward to meeting Orido at the top of the bracket this weekend!
For more photos, view this album:
> Formula Drift Malaysia 2011 – Thursday
Related Formula Drift Malaysia stories:
> Preview - Can Daigo Saito win a fourth consecutive time?
> Preview - Max Orido is competing with Team RSR!