- Pro driver Dai Yoshihara retired from Formula DRIFT in 2021 after 18 years in the series.
- For 2022, Pit+Paddock created a program called “Ride with Dai” that offers ride-alongs to Dai Yoshihara’s fans in his former Subaru BRZ competition car.
- The 2013 BRZ underwent extensive modifications to be transformed into a demo car, including a 2nd-gen facelift, tube frame front chassis, and double A-arm suspension.
- To celebrate Dai’s new campaign, Pit+Paddock hosted a reveal event and live demo presented by Vibrant Performance for 100 guests at Turn 14 Distribution’s headquarters in Horsham, PA.
DAI’S NEXT CHAPTER
After 18 years of competing at the highest level of professional drifting, Dai Yoshihara hung up his visor as he retired from Formula DRIFT last year. It was an emotional moment for Dai, his family, friends, sponsors, and fans; however, we knew his appetite for drifting wouldn’t end there.
Earlier this year, Pit+Paddock announced that we would become Dai’s official athlete management team, which entailed helping him secure partnerships, supporting his ongoing programs in road racing, and creating new opportunities to further his career. His departure from Formula D left a void, which is where we stepped in and came up with the “Ride with Dai” experience for 2022.
The “Ride with Dai” program is exactly what it sounds like… go for a ride-along with Dai Yoshihara. We’ll admit that many experiences like this are offered at driving schools and racetracks worldwide, but how many of these programs can say they have a Formula DRIFT champion and use a 1,000+hp competition-spec vehicle?! None, which is why Dai and the team at Pit+Paddock are extremely excited for “Ride with Dai.”
After eight years of hard-fought tandem battles, Dai’s 2013 Subaru BRZ is still a stout competition-ready vehicle with the same turbocharged LS swapped in the engine bay since day one. Over the years, Dai has updated the car year after year, which included various-sized turbos, a sequential gearbox, and right-hand-drive conversion.
For the “Ride with Dai” program, Dai did not just want to bring back the same ol’ BRZ that people have seen for years, so he continued to evolve it with the help of Eimer Engineering. A full tube front chassis was added, allowing the entire powertrain to be moved back, improving the car’s balance and center of gravity. A double A-arm front suspension setup allows for greater control over camber and alignment.
Aesthetically, most folks might be fooled by the new lights and bumpers as it wears components from the 2nd generation 2022 facelifted model. It is still the same car, and after some careful fabrication work by Eimer, the parts fit into place. A Pandem widebody conversion from Kei Miura was thrown into the mix, including a GT-style wing — something Dai wasn’t allowed to run in Formula DRIFT series due to rule restrictions. The final piece of the makeover is the livery design, which ditches the blue Turn 14 Distribution design for an arrangement that echoes the colors of Pit+Paddock and main partners ENEOS and Yokohama Tire.
DONUT DAY DEMO
With so much to celebrate, from our new partnership with Dai to the “Ride with Dai” program and revamped BRZ, it only made sense to throw a big party. Thanks to the support of our presenting partner, Vibrant Performance, we invited 100 people, which included photographers, industry guests, and local enthusiasts, to be the first to check out Dai’s new BRZ at Turn 14 Distribution headquarters. The evening featured a live DJ, an open buffet, and beer and wine. After the covers were pulled and enough photos were taken inside T14’s main lobby, the grand finale was something not to be missed as Dai Yoshihara rolled his BRZ out and put on a candid smoke show. While no ride-alongs took place, the drift demo was a visual experience of epic proportions. Something we won’t easily forget and the perfect start to the “Ride with Dai” tour.