Photo by Adrian Wong for Driftpac
Clear favourite Daigo Saito once again did not disappoint with his brilliant performance at the recently-concluded Formula Drift Singapore, taking the top qualifying spot before gracing the top of the podium.
Marking his sixth consecutive Formula Drift Asia win, Daigo will be one unstoppable force, but the Singaporean contingent at the grounds of Changi Exhibition Centre last weekend have reasons to be proud of themselves too.
With nine drifters representing Singapore this time, it is the highest local participation ever in the five years of Formula Drift Asia history.
Jansen Tan, one of the pioneer drifters in Singapore, last competed in drifting in 2010 and is currently making good progress with his comeback.
He was the highest Singaporean qualifier and finisher, being the only local to make it to the top 16.
At the helm of his newly-built V8-powered Nissan Silvia S15, Tan is still working on getting the setup of the car right, but has seen a stark improvement from qualifying in 23rd place at Formula Drift Malaysia in May to qualifying 10th last Saturday.
“My car still had some overheating issues but it was manageable. I really enjoyed myself and I thought my performance over the weekend was a pretty good improvement from my last outing in Malaysia. I was aiming to get into the top 16 and then had hopes to go on further but I lost because of lack of tandem battle experience,” said Tan.
Losing to American-Japanese drift star Ken Gushi in the rounds of 16, Tan felt good going against Gushi as he “had nothing to lose and put up a good fight”.
Tan also represented Singapore in the Canon Nations Cup with Ivan Lim, coming in third behind Team USA and Team Japan.
The Nations Cup is a new segment introduced this year, where two drivers from each country perform two tandem runs together, with points awarded for teamwork and the most stylishly coordinated runs win.
The next highest local qualifier after Jansen was Lim in 14th, followed by rookie Alvin Tay in 22nd, Jason Tan in 24th, Felix Lim in 25th, rookie Geoveen Hi in 26th, Benjamin Chiam in 27th and Winston Ang in 29th.
Rookie Vincent Ng failed to make a score on both his qualifying runs when he spun out.
Last-minute entry Tay was pleased with his qualifying result on his debut. He said, “I thoroughly enjoyed myself this weekend but I’ll definitely be aiming higher at the next round! I was going in aiming for at least Top 16. I felt my debut was a bit rushed as I wasn’t able to do any testing with the car but am really pleased I managed to at least qualify. As for the following rounds in Indonesia and Thailand, I have not made any plans yet as I’ll be starting school next week.”
Despite being taken out of the competition by Japanese Robbie Nishida, Ang was grateful for the chance to compete at such international drifting levels.
“Formula Drift Singapore is definitely a great opportunity to show that motorsports in Singapore is well and alive. Despite the lack of facilities, it was evident that our passion continues to burn bright. Imagine how much better the sport can grow if sponsors and authorities come out to support us just that little bit more!”