Formula D – Title Fight – Irwindale 2012

Title FIght is Formula Drift’s last round of the year. Typically it boils down to a few drivers fighting for the title and this year was no different. With seven drivers in the battle (mathematically) it put a lot of pressure on the field. Amongst the seven were Frederic Aasbo, Justin Pawlak, rookie – Daigo Saito, Rhys Millen, Ryan Tuerck, Daijiro Yoshihara, and Vaughn Gittin Jr; but realistically, the battle was between the top three: Vaughn, Daigo, and Rhys. As motorsports go, you never know what will happen till the end.

In between runs and rounds, there are many many vendors and Fatlace’s Slammed Society to pass time.

Marissa Hiroko was on deck with Fontana Nissan as well as Maurico’s S14 while Ashley Clark was chilling with the guys at Whiteline.

We also spotted Autofashion and HPI Racing with Falken

Kevin from Autofashion can be seen here with his FR-S cleaning up HRE’s newest flow mold wheels.

In stylish fashion Scion Racing had their interactive display out

And special thanks to WIlwood for letting us use their trailer to house our equipment.

To keep the spectators amused there were some fresh cars on display at the Slammed Society

the Low N Slow Crew

Royal Orgin made it out.

I love this Miata

Super cherry RHD CRX

That was just a glimpse of the paddock and Slammed Society. Here is Tony Brakohiapa’s Vortech Supercharged Mustang.

We have more pictures on our Facebook.

Mid-afternoon was time for a little practice.

You can see Aasbo and Daigo lining up.

Here is 18 year old Pat with his APEXi SC430

eBay Motors, Vortech Supercharged Mustang driven by Tony Brakohiapa

Rhys Millen and his Hankook Hyundai.

Always a crowd favorite is Justin Pawlak

And Falken Tire teammate Darren McNamara

Ken Gushi and his GReddy Sponsored Scion FR-S

Gushi’s Scion Racing teammate Tony Angelo rocking Gushi’s previous tC.

Completing the Scion Racing Trio is Fredric Aasbo from Need for Speed.

Discount Tire / Falken driver Daijiro Yoshihara

Here is a close flight between Dai and Vaughn.

Here is a battle between Forsberg and Diago during practice.

This This was a tight battle between Gushi and RS*R Toshiki Yoshioka, Ken eventually would edge out Toshiki to advance to Top 16.

The House of Drift brought many crashes, here was Forsberg and Grunewald duking it out when Forsberg tapped the wall ending his day. Grunewald would advance to Top 16.

The top 32 battle with Aasbo and McNamara. Aasbo would advance to face Robbie Nishida.

Night quicky fell and there was a nice break between the rounds, but top 16 was heating up!

Here comes the Top 16!

Nexen – Kyle Mohan

Achilles Tire – Daigo Saito

GReddy Racing / Scion Racing / Hankook Tire – Ken Gushi

Need For Speed / Nitto Tire – Matt Powers

Need For Speed / Scion Racing / Hankook Tire – Fredric Aasbo

CX Racing / Maxxis Tire – Matt Field

Red Bull / Hyundai / Hankook – Rhys Millen

eBay Motors / Yokohama – Tony Brakohipa

APEXi / Yokohama – Pat Mordaunt

And his umbrella dude?

Retakes / Maxxis – Ryan Tuerck

Mobil 1 / Yokohama – Tyler McQuarrie

Falken Tire / Monster Energy Drinks – Vaughn Gittin Jr.

Scion Racing / Hankook – Tony Angelo

Falken Tire – Justin Pawlak

Hankook – Conrad Grunewald

And, somehow I missed Robbie Nishida

The Top 16 rolls out!

Right off the bat, 18 year old Pat Mordaunt edged out Gittin and knocked him out early in the top 16 when Gittin spun out on his chase run.

Here is Matt Field chasing the Gush

Matt Field getting a big jump on Gushi –  Matt Fields would bump Gushi out of the top 16 and advances to the top 8

Tony was no match for the concrete walls at House of Drift as it took another victim. Justin Pawlak would advance to the top 8 with Tony’s crash.

I wasn’t joking when I said House of Drift took a lot of victims…

Tony Brakohiapa hits it hard.

Aasbo and Nishida took center stage when Aasbo’s chase run ended his season by this spinout, almost identical to what happend to Gittin.

During the top 8, the biggest battle of the evening was between Matt Field and Daigo Saito, with one-more-times on cue, they had the tightest battle on the track. Daigo eventually took the win and advance to the top 4 to face Rhys Millen – but without controversy.

Perhaps the biggest turning point of the evening was when Rhys Millen and his turbo-charged V6 tapped the wall and ended his 2012 season, thus handing the 2012 championship to rookie Daigo Saito.

Here was Gitten congratulating Saito-san.

With the result of Rhys crash Ryan Tureck went on to take 3rd in Irwindale.

 In the final, it was Justin Pawlak and Daigo Saito and with the battle well into the night; Pawlak tapped the wall and ended his season with a wrecked car and a 2nd place, giving rookie Daigo Saito the win in Irwindale and the 2012 Formula D Championship.

What an exciting night at the House of Drift and a great season. Thanks FD for the hospitality and can’t wait to see what 2013 brings. If you want any gear visit,

Good bye.

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