The season finale of Formula Drift ended as many had predicted. Daigo Saito in the Seibon Carbon equipped Lexus SC430 took the 2012 Formula DRIFT Championship. Round 7 was filled with smoke, controversy, and cars hitting the wall. It was an all or nothing type of round.
[Official Formula Drift Press Release]
The competition was intense as the championship was up for grabs. Entering the event, seven drivers had a chance for the title. This soon changed as top drivers in the chase were taken out early including points leader Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in the Monster Energy / Falken Ford Mustang, defending champion Daijiro Yoshihara, in the America’s Tire / Falken Tire Nissan 240 and the 2009 champion, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy / Hankook Nissan 370Z. This opened the door for both Daigo Saito and Rhys Millen in the RMR / Hankook Hyundai Genesis Coupe who met in the Final Four. Millen, the number one qualifier took himself out as he went hard into the wall giving the win to Saito. The wall took a number of victims through the competition including Justin Pawlak in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang when he battled Saito in the Finals, giving Saito the event victory.
Saito in his rookie year in the Series becomes the first Series rookie to also be crowned Formula DRIFT champion. Saito a seasoned veteran drifter is arguably considered the best drifter in the world winning the Formula DRIFT Asia championship, D1 championship and now Formula DRIFT Pro Championship.
“Luck was with me tonight. I’m very happy to be able to compete in Formula DRIFT this year. I’ve wanted to compete in the Series for so long,” said Daigo Saito, winner of Round 7: Title Fight and 2012 Formula DRIFT champion. “Thank you to Formula DRIFT and Achilles Tires. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the help of everyone that helped me get to this point.”
Formula DRIFT Professional Championship 2012 Final Point Standings
1. Saito, Daigo Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 548.50 Points
2. Gittin Jr., Vaughn Monster Energy / Falken Ford Mustang 529 Points
3. Millen, Rhys Hankook / Rhys Millen Racing Hyundai Genesis Coupe 509.25 Points
4. Pawlak, Justin Falken Tire Ford Mustang 501 Points
5. Tuerck, Ryan Team Retaks Nissan 240SX 465.50 Points
6. Aasbo, Fredric Need for Speed / Papadakis Racing Scion tC 457.50 Points
7. Yoshihara, Daijiro America’s Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 426 Points
8. Gushi, Ken Greddy / Hankook Scion FR-S 379.50 Points
9. Grunewald, Conrad Hankook Chevrolet Camaro 359.75 Points
10. Powers, Matt Need for Speed / Nitto Nissan S14 358.50 Points
11. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z 347.25 Points
12. Essa, Michael GSR Autosport / Nitto BMW ZR4 321.50 Points
13. Nishida, Robbie Bridges Racing / Achilles Tire Lexus SC300 320.75 Points
14. McQuarrie, Tyler Mobil 1 Chevrolet Camaro 321.50 Points
15. Yoshioka, Toshiki RS*R Nissan S15 320.75 Points
16. Bakchis, Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis Motorsports Nissan 240SX S14 309 Points
Round 7: Title Fight Event Results
1. Saito, Daigo Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 Winner
2. Pawlak, Justin Falken Tire Ford Mustang Second Place
3. Tuerck, Ryan Team Retaks Nissan 240SX Third Place
*Seibon Carbon drivers.
For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com
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