February 6, 2023

Formula Drift 2012: Round 1

Lexus SC430 Drift car

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.
Lexus SC430 drift

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.

Rhys Millen Hyundai Genesis drift

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.

Long Beach Formula Drift 2012
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.

Justin Pawlak Formula Drift Long Beach winner

Special thanks to John Pangilinan. The rest of the photos are below.

Fredric Asabo Scion TC Formula D
Nissan 350Z drift smoke cloud
Dai Yoshihara Nissan 240
BMW Z4 drift car
FC RX7 and Scion FR-S Tandem drift
Long Beach Formula D
Mazda RX-8 drift car
Nissan 350Z drifting
Michael Essa
Formula Drift 2012
Ken Gushi Scion FR-S drifter
Toyota Corolla AE86 drift
Chevy Camaro drift
Nissan 240SX Silvia sliding
Joon Maeng
Nissan 240SX Silvia sideways
SC430 and 350Z tandem drift
Toshiki Yoshioka Nissan Silvia
Matt Powers Nissan 240 Drifter
Daigo Saito drifting
drift crash
S15 Silvia drift
Wrecked drift car
Camaro and 240 crash at Formula Drift
Nissan 350Z Formula Drift
Ken Gushi tandem drift
Rhys Millen at Formula D
Kyle Mohan RX-8
Chris Forsberg Formula D 370Z

Words and Photos by Trent Bray

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