Daigo Saito Earns His First Formula D Win

Daigo Saito has just taken first place at Formula Drift round three, Palm Beach International Raceway; a victory that was really only a matter of time. On paper, he may a rookie to American competition, but in reality, he’s a well-seasoned multiple drift champion. From D1GP to the Asian FD Series, he knows how to win, and today he did it with great style.

It was definitely a hard fought battle to say the least. Conrad and Daigo had two ‘One More Times’ in the top 32 bracket.

One by one he knocked his opponents, all the way up through the competition tables.

In the finals, he went up against FD champ Chris ‘the force’ Forsberg. Both ran very aggressively and put on an amazing show for the packed stands.

In the end, Daigo would just barely edge Chris out of first place. Third went to Daijiro Yoshihara after a tough battle with Falken tire teammate Justin Pawlak.

It was one of the most beautiful opening ceremonies I’ve ever seen. The sunset was just right and the cars looked amazing.

One of the highlights for me was seeing the twin Falken Tire Mustangs battle it out in the top eight bracket. Vaughn Gittin Jr and Justin Pawlak are Drift Alliance teammates but nether one backed down when it came to this tandem fight.

In fact, they were so incredibly closely matched that they had to go one more time. Justin moved on after Vaughn spun out on his second follow run.

Dai looked like he was going to go all the way, but an incident with the wall nearly disabled his car during the fight with Ryan Tuerck. That forced him to call 5 minutes to fix his wheels and suspension bits. In spite of this set back, Dai would move on to the top 4 bracket.

Justin Pawlak ended up in 4th place but he still leads in the championship by 19.5 points.

This is Chris’ first time on the podium this year and the way he was driving makes me think it won’t be his only one.

Stay tuned as I sat down with Daijiro Yoshihara for an in-depth interview as well as behind the scenes coverage of Formula Drift Round 3.

Larry Chen

1st. Daigo Saito

2nd. Chris Forsberg

3rd. Daijiro Yoshihara

4th. Justin Pawlak

More stories from Formula Drift on Speedhunters

More stories from Larry Chen on Speedhunters

ADVERTISEMENT

Comments

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry, you must be logged in to post a comment.

71 comments

by Oldest
by Best by Newest by Oldest
1

"The Ninja" is certainly creeping on JTP for that title... I hope he does.

2

DAMN IIIIIIITTTTT!!!!!, was going to watch this!!!!!!!!

3

 @Baljit Singh No way, Dai all the way!!!!!

4

 @Baljit Singh Dai and Aasbø! :D

5

 @AlexanderEvensen  @Baljit Singh Only one winner, has to be Dai!! haha
 

6

Keep going DAI =)

7

DAIGO SAITO RULZ! good job keep it sidewayssss!

8

Daigo Saito finally got a girl of his own this time ;D

14

Not happy with the way Diago was playing games with entry speeds, that wasn't right.

15

Not happy with the way Diago was playing games with entry speeds, that wasn't right.

16

Not happy with the way Diago was playing games with entry speeds, that wasn't right.

17

Not happy with the way Diago was playing games with entry speeds, that wasn't right.

18

Not happy with the way Diago was playing games with entry speeds, that wasn't right.

19
hashtagfatlaceillestlifestyleryO

God the same damn drivers getting interviewed after every round, talk about boring.

20
hashtagfatlaceillestlifestyleryO

God the same damn drivers getting interviewed after every round, talk about boring.

21
hashtagfatlaceillestlifestyleryO

God the same damn drivers getting interviewed after every round, talk about boring.

22
hashtagfatlaceillestlifestyleryO

God the same damn drivers getting interviewed after every round, talk about boring.

23
hashtagfatlaceillestlifestyleryO

God the same damn drivers getting interviewed after every round, talk about boring.

24

I really want to see an in depth interview with Diago.  I would really like to hear his thoughts on the series (pros and cons), his reasoning for joining FD USA, his thoughts on all the buzz regarding him, his early dominance in a new series in a new platform, etc etc etc.  

25

I really want to see an in depth interview with Diago.  I would really like to hear his thoughts on the series (pros and cons), his reasoning for joining FD USA, his thoughts on all the buzz regarding him, his early dominance in a new series in a new platform, etc etc etc.  

26

I really want to see an in depth interview with Diago.  I would really like to hear his thoughts on the series (pros and cons), his reasoning for joining FD USA, his thoughts on all the buzz regarding him, his early dominance in a new series in a new platform, etc etc etc.  

27

I really want to see an in depth interview with Diago.  I would really like to hear his thoughts on the series (pros and cons), his reasoning for joining FD USA, his thoughts on all the buzz regarding him, his early dominance in a new series in a new platform, etc etc etc.  

28

I really want to see an in depth interview with Diago.  I would really like to hear his thoughts on the series (pros and cons), his reasoning for joining FD USA, his thoughts on all the buzz regarding him, his early dominance in a new series in a new platform, etc etc etc.  

29

I really want to see an in depth interview with Diago.  I would really like to hear his thoughts on the series (pros and cons), his reasoning for joining FD USA, his thoughts on all the buzz regarding him, his early dominance in a new series in a new platform, etc etc etc.  

30

 @LeDerp we haven't interviewed Dai previously m8.

31

 @byron h we will make this happen!

32

 @ElliottSkeer It's called strategy.

33

 @ElliottSkeer They all do.  watch JTP vs JR

34

Post more coverage on Time Attack events. Drifting is boring.

35

 @ElliottSkeer But to the extent he was? Yea I know its called strategy, but he pushed it right to the limit.

36
Franky_Marrero

WHOOOOOO! im a fan of Daigo Saito nd of his car so im REALLY happpy.... over all this was a great event :)

37

 @Dekro Time to get this man an energy drink
 

38

7th photo desktop please!

39

now that is what i been waiting for...!!!!! Good job saito..!!!

40

Hey you guys get pictures of the media guy walking around with the mask saying "don't eat my face!" i would love to see pictures of my self haha!!!

41

100% not a rookie.....love it knew it would happen sooner or later

Author44

 @KodyAhart Don't worry. I got plenty.

Author45

I will post up desktops next week. Keep an eye out for them!

46

Just like I said, this man is not a rookie! This win was only a matter of time really, we all knew it was going to happen... Well done Dai!!

47

 @ElliottSkeer He had too, look at the battles with Grunewald, in my mind he beat him 3 times but fast entrys crearly was not what the judges wanted, hence 2 OMT. Third time around he changed it up with slower entry and bigger flick and that got him the win, so thats what he kept using.

48

Thanks for the coverage Larry!

Author49

 @Dekro Just one though. Chris had four.

50

 @Dekro He gets one for every win ;)

51

The track was amazing this year! These were the most intense tandem battles I've ever seen!

52

HA! Now they have one Achilles tire girl for Daigo.

53

I guess FD has to issue wins based on talent not favorites from now on.

54

Who said you needed a v8 to be competitive? Nice to see a 15+ year old straight six, kicking v8 ass...

55

Amazing Daigo... triple wiinner, 3 weeks through, 3 different competition, 3 different car, 1 kind of engine 2JZ....19-20 May 2012 : 1st place at Formula Drift Asia round 1 - Malaysia - Lexus IS-250C26-27 May 2012 : 2nd place at D1GP round 2 - Suzuka (might be 1st place if he doesn't spun at chasing run) - Toyota JZX-100
1-2 June 2012    : 1st place at Formula Drift round 3 - Palm Beach - Lexus SC-430

56

Amazing Daigo... triple wiinner, 3 weeks back to back, 3 different competition, 3 different car, but 1 kind of engine: 2JZ....
19-20 May 2012 : 1st place at Formula Drift Asia round 1 - Malaysia - Lexus IS-250C
26-27 May 2012 : 2nd place at D1GP round 2 - Suzuka (might be 1st place if he doesn't spun at chasing run) - Toyota JZX-100
1-2 June 2012    : 1st place at Formula Drift round 3 - Palm Beach - Lexus SC-430

57

Go Daigo your one of the worlds best drifters no doubt! The greatest engine ever made is the 2JZ, forget Chevy V8 crap! Anyone who knows anything about drifting knows the japanese are the best drifters in the world!
 

58
MA70slideORdie

JoaoOliveira 
 
You act as if the Chevy V8's like what Dai used to win the championship last year aren't over 40 year old technology. No one has ever said you NEED a V8 to win. The only reason Daigo has so much horsepower is because his team has no idea how to build an engine for torque. Honestly, people act like V8's are a crime. We use them because of the availability and easy power, same reason a Japanese driver would/will use a 2JZ. You can walk into any autoparts store in the US and pickup a performance part for an LS series engine. You can't do the same with a 2JZ here. In Japan it's vice versa. You get the picture?
I love V8's and 2JZ's. STOP THE HATE.

59

Finally Achilles got a girl to go on the stage with Daigo. xD
Japanese are the best!

60

 @ElliottSkeer Just like Haraguchi, he limped his entries in on Tanner during the finals at Long Beach in 2006?2007? That "strategy" led to mandatory front brake LEDs.
 
I'm quite amused at the V8 hate still but nobody bats an eye at a 1000+HP2JZ? Much worse of a bastardization in my eyes

61

 @sxe10 wipe your lips bro ya still got some on there

62

 @D1RGE EXE are you american?
 

63

 @D1RGE EXE are you american?
 

64

 @D1RGE EXE I bet your a hillbilly who loves V8's and all that bullshit, wake up man japanese drivers and engines rule, get over it!!
 

65

Was so psyched watching him take it! And even more psyched to see some soarers in Formula Drift! Keep it up Daigo!!!

66

Was so psyched watching him take it! And even more psyched to see some soarers in Formula Drift! Keep it up Daigo!!!

67

Was so psyched watching him take it! And even more psyched to see some soarers in Formula Drift! Keep it up Daigo!!!

68

Was so psyched watching him take it! And even more psyched to see some soarers in Formula Drift! Keep it up Daigo!!!

69

Was so psyched watching him take it! And even more psyched to see some soarers in Formula Drift! Keep it up Daigo!!!

70

@sxe10 @D1RGE EXE I never understood why people like to talk smack over the INTERNET! We are a community of enthusiast....why are we disrespecting one another? Trash talkers like "d1rge exe" need to go! Understand it's only hurting our community.

71

@MA70slideORdie I agree with you but the v8s do dominate and that's what I think Joao is getting at. Almost all the pro drift cars either have a LS or 2J. it's all a Matter of preference and like you said...availability. and yes, please, STOP THE HATE! Too much trash talking on the Internet.

OFFICIAL SPEEDHUNTERS SUPPLIERS