The Achilles Formula DRIFT (FD) Malaysia 2012 kicked off in KL last weekend and as expected, it was a blast to all drifting fans despite the heat and rain in Speed City KL.

Daigo Saito drifts like a Ninja, true story bro

36Bol’s Nation Cup series
New to the FD Asia series is the 36Bol’s Nation Cup series, in which two cars from the same nation will go tandem and drift side by side as closest as possible against other nations, and the team with the most stylish drift run by pair wins. Five teams were formed, with team Japan which seemed to have the “dream team” when top drifting talents Daigo “The Ninja” Saito and Manadu “Max” Orido were paired to represent the land of the rising sun.

The Malaysian team in Nation Cup series, Djan and Ivan

Malaysia meanwhile was represented by Tengku Djan and Ivan Lim, who were former team mates for team Bridgestone, followed by teams from Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore. Last minute technical problem from Singaporean participant Janson Tan has caused Joss Boettcher from Australia to assist team Singapore, hence forming an anglo Singaporean-Australian team in the end.

Team Malaysia provided massive cheers to the local crowd when they scored a great 28/30 points from the judges. But in the end, the Japanese was a level above them when the combination of Saito and Orido has bought team Japan with a perfect score of 30/30 from the judges, prompting them as the winner for the inaugural Nation’s cup. Third place was won by team Thailand, followed by team Indonesia and team Singapore-Australia.

The Japanese nailed it in perfection

There were a few surprises in qualifying as top seeds Orido and Saito were not in the top three, with Saito qualified for forth while Orido disappointingly ended in seventh. The local crowd were delighted when favourites Tengku Djan and his main rival, Ser Ming Hui, finished in first and second respectably. Amazingly a total of five Malaysian drivers qualified in the top ten. There were 26 participants only for this round, a smaller pool perhaps it was a little too soon for Malaysia after the last round was held 5 months ago.

Engine problems robbed Mervyn Nakamura this round

Orido was out of the top five but inside top ten in qualifying

Tandem Battles
Unexpectedly, the rain hit Speed City KL during in the battle towards the quarter finals, with heart breaking moments to the local crowd as favorite Ser Ming Hui crashed out in his battle with Indonesian drifter Dika CH. The rain did however allow some spectacular drift stunts from the drifters to the 8,000 strong crowd on the final day.

Towards the final four into the semi final, the local crowd were delighted by Tengku Djan, who was spearheading as the only Malaysian challenger. Other favorites including Saito and Orido, despite their less than stellar performance on qualifying, managed to beat their opponents with ease. The Malaysian challenge however ended when Djan was defeated by the more superior’s Saito, as Djan’s 180SX was proven no match to Saito’s 1000hp Lexus. Orido meanwhile moved into the finals after edging the up and coming drifter from Indonesia, Emmanuel ‘Dio’ Armandio. This leaves yet another repeat of the final in FD Asia in Malaysia 2011, while Djan will have a uphill task with the challenge from Dio.

Thankfully to the local crowd, Djan’s vast experience in competitive drifting has parred him well as he managed to win against the young and highly potential Dio in the battle for third. In the final, Orido would have easily taken his chance to revenge his defeat by Saito but it was indeed another repeat of last year’s final. In the first run, Saito sped off to an incredible lead that forced the Toyota Supra to play catch up. In the second and reverse run, Saito repeatedly put pressure on Orido, chasing him and sliding close with only inches to spare. This prompts Saito to get the nods from the judges hence crowding him as the winner of round 1, while Orido settled for second in Malaysia, yet again.

Clash of the Japanese titans, part two!

Saito wins, while Orido second and Djan third

The next round of FD will be in Singapore by end of June 2012. Before we end, here’s an interesting fact about Daigo Saito. Previously in Japan, while competing in D1 series, unlike other Japanese drivers who works professionally in drifting or any automotive related areas, he lived and worked on a nursery taking care of the animals. He also drives the bus ferrying children visiting the nursery. Whether if he drifts the bus in Japan is up to your imagination.

Special thanks to our photographers Woay Chee and Eric Lim for their blood, sweat and tears covering this event!

Congratulations Daigo Saito!

Meanwhile, here’s the video for the 3rd-4th placing and the final battle from Achilles Formula DRIFT Malaysia 2012.

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