I was fortunate enough recently to go to the first round of the 2012 Formula Drift season in Long Beach. And it was an exciting one! There were 19 rookies competing for a spot, 5 of whom made it into the Round of 32. Ken Gushi also debuted his Greddy Scion FR-S. And Dai Yoshihara, the defending champ returned.
The track takes place on turns 9, 10, and 11 of the Long Beach Grand Prix course. These turns might have a bit of a texture difference come next weeks race compared to the other turns.
Rubber was being shred at every opportunity. In the Round of 16, Rhys Millen messed up a drift and took out his anger on the rear tires of his Hyundai Genesis Coupe.
The battles were hard-fought and there were more than a few crashes throughout practice. However, when the dust and tire debris settled, the winner was crowned. In 3rd place was the rookie Daigo Saito in the Lexus SC430, 2nd place went to Dai Yoshihara in his Nissan 240SX, and the winner, Justin Pawlak in a Ford Mustang! We can’t wait to watch the next round and we will return to as many of these events as we can.
Special thanks to John Pangilinan. The rest of the photos are below.
Words and Photos by Trent Bray
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