Formula DRIFT started the season in the Streets of Long Beach, CA where a sold-out crowd witnessed 2011 Formula DRIFT season champion Daijiro Yoshihara take first place in the Falken Tire / Discount Tire Nissan S14 after defeating 2010 Formula DRIFT season champion Vaughn Gittin Jr in the Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang. Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z took third place after a close battle with Chelsea DeNofa piloting the BC Racing BMW E36 M3.
Yoshihara couldn’t have had a better start this season after winning the event and qualifying first. Yoshihara said, “This was my first time to win in Long Beach. I’ve been on the podium a few times, but winning here was one of my goals and I was able to achieve that today.”
Now in its 10th season, Formula DRIFT looked stronger than ever selling-out again. Formula DRIFT brought the smoke and burning rubber to turns 9, 10, and 11 of the Long Beach Grand Prix course where fans witnessed an action-packed event that included crashes and drivers debuting their new cars and sponsors. One of the biggest off-season news was Vaughn Gittin Jr teaming up with Nitto Tires after previously being sponsored by Falken Tires. In addition, Formula DRIFT partnered with GoPro to bring the fans another action-packed event.
Round 2 of the Formula DRIFT season will continue at Road Atlanta on May 10-11, 2013.