The Formula Drift Asia has reached a thrilling conclusion in Kuala Lumpur when top Japanese drifter, Daigo Saito, won round 3 for the second year running in Malaysia. This prompts Daigo Saito as the official Formula Drift Asia 2011 champion, as his much superior sideway skills made him champion in all three rounds contested. His team SPARK Achilles team became the overall winner in the team championship.
In a mouthwatering finals, featuring two of Japan’s famous and most popular drifters was no doubt a clash of titans between Daigo Saito and the popular Manabu Orido. Many drift fans were hoping for these two big names to come out and compete with each other and their wish is granted, even better during the final round. Both qualified in the top 2 position and defeated their opponents with ease. Many predicted the final will be a very tight and close battle between the two Japanese in a extremely short but tricky track in Dataran Merdeka, with perhaps a few OMT (One more Time, or repeats) will be possibility drawn. Unfortunately, Orido made a rare error on the first run causing him to spin out, and Saito’s close tandem attack on Orido on second run means Saito wins the final race with ease.
The top 3 cars, and 2 are Toyotas rarely used in competitive drifting
The clash of the Japanese titans!
Third place was won by Kiki Sak Nana of Thailand, defeating his compatriot S Goodyear (Chanatpon Kerdpiam), showing that Thai drifters are top class in South East Asia region. However, the home side was not disappointed because as many as 10 drivers qualified for the top 32 and four made it into the top 16, which includes Mervyn Nakamura, Ser Ming Hui (Ah Fai), Tan Tat Wei and Zee King.
Only Ah Fai and Mervyn raises the Malaysia flag into the quarter final but fans favourites Ah Fai was brought down by Saito as the Japanese was too good for the Malaysian. Mervyn, who was competing in the Mazda RX7 for the first time, caused a big upset when he brought down favourites like Thailand’s champion Non but was defeated narrowly by S Goodyear after OMT was called. Nevertheless, Mervyn’s astonishing drive brought loud cheers to the local crowd and in fact this is his best performance ever in competitive drifting.
Ah Fai in his new Silvia. He was among the top Malaysian drivers
Meryvn Nakamura in his best performance yet!
Here’s a video featuring the 3rd-4th placing and the final shown as below.
As always, credits is given to our two resident photologs Eric Lim and Woay Chee. Their brilliant pictures can indeed rival those from our local magazines and media. More pictures of this event will be uploaded in our next post.
Yoong on his tandem attack
Orido, 1st runner up and a popular drifter among fans
Overall winner, Daigo Saito in his Alteeza
Until then, congratulations to Daigo Saito and a job well done to all Malaysian and Asian’s drifters. We hoped to see more high quality drifting action in Formula Drift in 2012!