The top 32 professional drivers completed the first Formula Drift (FD) event of the season in Atlanta, GA on May 7-8, 2021.
But a couple of days before was the annual Formula Drift Skills Battle.
With the 2021 Formula DRIFT season scheduled to commence at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta on May 7-8, the series organizers recruited nine drivers from its premier PRO Championship to join them for the second annual Skills Battle presented by Turn 14 Distribution.
Taking place at The House of Drift – Irwindale Speedway near Los Angeles – the challenge helps prepare teams, drivers and fans for the start of the new season, which is returning to its traditional eight-round national series format.
After an intense day of competition, 2011 FD Champion Daijiro Yoshihara was crowned the winner of the 2021 Formula DRIFT Skills Battle presented by Turn 14 Distribution. He narrowly beat last year’s winner, Odi Bakchis, with Michael Essa in third.
To those who are not familiar with FD, points are determined by execution and style, not time. Professional drivers battle two at a time by controlling their vehicles through sideways slides at high speeds on a closed course.
For each round, the lead car will follow the course while the second (chasing) vehicle remains close to the leading car as possible and do its best to replicate the same moves. Drivers switch places to complete one round. The one with the most points move onto the next round until a winner is chosen in the Final Battle.
ST Suspensions also made its debut of the year at FD Atlanta with a red 2017 Ford Mustang GT in its booth. ST suspensions was thrilled to talk about their ST Adjustable Lowering Spring systems for the current generation Ford Mustangs which further complement their full range of coilovers offerings!
Aside from the products we feature at FD Atlanta and our website, if you are interested in custom applications, our Competition Department can help you design the perfect setup for your needs.
Featured in this event are Jhonattan Castro, Ken Gushi, Yves “Capo” Meyer, Joshua Reynolds and Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara. What else do these professional drivers have in common? They all equipped with our hardware made by KW automotive in Germany.
Jhonattan Castro from Santo Domino, Republica Domincana is competing this season with his Toyota 86 (car number 17). He is a four-time Dominican Republic Drift Champion with over six years of drifting experience. He won the first battle against Joshua C. Reynolds but was eliminated by Adam LZ in the second round. Castro is currently ranked 12th with 52 points.
Ken Gushi started off the season with his Toyota Supra (car number 21). With over 16 years of racing, Gushi has several event wins under his belt, including Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Although he faced some mechanical issues during FD Atlanta, Gushi managed to place 19th with 35 points.
Yves “Capo” Meyer and Joshua Reynolds are both part of The Drift Force team based in Switzerland and drive a BMW F22 Eurofighter. In 2018, Meyer won the Vice-Champion IA Intercontinental Drifting Cup and Best Rookie for the 7th King of Europe Drift Pro Series. Reynolds is a rookie to Formula Drift but has been Round Course Racing for years. Meyer is currently fifth in the rankings with 67 points while Reynolds is ranked 26th with 33 points.
Dai Yoshihara is no stranger to Formula Drift. Back in 2011, he was crowned the FD Series Champion. He Yoshihara has over 10 years of experience drifting, racing and stunt driving.
This season, he is competing with his Subaru BRZ (car number 9). He finished FD Atlanta with a rank at 20 with 35 points.
FD Atlanta was a great start to the season, and we cannot wait to see what Team ST do throughout the year!
Photos Formula Drift/Larry Chen, Frank Vasquez, KW