The Realest Drift Ride-Along You’ll Ever Experience Kicks Off at Wicked Big Meet

Photography: Frank Thai

  • Following Pit+Paddock’s smoky reveal event with Vibrant Performance, Dai Yoshihara travels north to Connecticut for Wicked Big Meet and the first round of “Ride with Dai”.
  • “Ride with Dai” is a new program developed by Pit+Paddock that allows fans to ride shotgun with Dai in his 1,000+hp Subaru BRZ demo car.
  • With the support of MBRP, a select group of Wicked Big Meet spectators won a seat with Dai via a social media contest and in-person raffle.
  • The next stop for “Ride with Dai” will be Formula DRIFT Seattle, which takes place August 5-6 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington.

If you haven’t already checked out our feature video of Dai Yoshihara ripping around the office parking lot of Turn 14 Distribution headquarters, make sure and take a minute to watch as it’s one of the coolest things we’ve ever orchestrated here at Pit+Paddock! 100 invited guests and media were treated to a drift demo of Dai’s reborn 1,000hp Subaru BRZ, a car he used in Formula DRIFT competition for eight years. Now, it’s a purpose-built, right-hand-drive, sequential-shifting taxi that will make its way to events around the U.S., the first being the all-Subaru Wicked Big Meet at Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut.

It’s been several years since a staff member visited Wicked Big Meet (2015 coverage); however, after this past event, we can confirm the Subaru festival is very much alive and kicking! Organized by the folks at Subiefest, Wicked Big Meet is known as the “Largest Subaru Enthusiast Festival in America” in fact, it’s one of the few events in the country that has official backing from Subaru of America. As you’d imagine, there was no shortage of WRXs and STIs on-hand. However, Subaru enthusiasts were also celebrating the coming of the second-generation BRZ. Dai had just converted the 2013 BRZ with a 2022 facelifted exterior, so it only made sense to kick off our “Ride with Dai” series at this mega-Subaru event!

Wicked Big Meet hosted an autocross inside the oval track throughout the day, but it was during lunch hour when organizers granted us track access, and the real fun began. With the support of MBRP, we selected a group of winners via social media and a live in-person raffle. Once selected, the winners were walked to the center of the track, where they would wait their turn to get strapped into Dai’s passenger seat and go for a ride as Dai went full send along the banks of Stafford Motor Speedway. It was a beautiful sight as it was the first time anyone had seen Dai drift since his retirement; best of all, he shared the experience with his beloved fans.

Now the big question on everyone’s minds is, “how do I get a ride with Dai?!” You can’t buy or reserve a ride-along seat. That wouldn’t be any fun, right? So, what we’ve done at Pit+Paddock is opened this experience to anyone that attends each event where “Ride with Dai” is hosted via a contest on social media and also through an in-person raffle. To enter, all we ask is that you’re 18 years or older and meet the physical and safety requirements of the ride-along.

The next stop on the “Ride with Dai” tour is Formula DRIFT Seattle on August 5-6 at Evergreen Speedway. This will be one of the first ride-along programs offered at an FD event, and we’re extremely excited about this! So if you’re from the Pacific Northwest and interested in entering, make sure and keep up with us on Instagram, as we’ll be releasing information there on how to win a once-in-a-lifetime ride-along with Dai.