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Ride With Dai Delivers The Most Exhilarating Fan Experience at Formula DRIFT
BY Sam Du //
September 1, 2022
@duspeed
Photography: Brandon Cody
@bcody_formative
  • Dai Yoshihara competed in Formula DRIFT for 18 years, winning eight rounds and claiming the 2011 Championship.
  • While Dai retired from pro competition in 2021, he continues to stay in touch with drifting by offering ride-alongs to his fans via the Pit+Paddock “Ride with Dai” program.
  • With the help of Mishimoto, Dai brought out his 1,000hp Subaru BRZ to the 6th round of Formula D and gave 15 lucky fans the experience of a lifetime at Evergreen Speedway – one of the fastest tracks in the pro series.

RETIRES FROM COMPETITION

It’s hard to say goodbye to someone you loved and worked with after nearly two decades. This situation was the case with Dai Yoshihara and his long-standing relationship with Formula DRIFT. After 18 years of being a major player in the world’s most competitive drift series, it was time for Dai to call it quits. Dai retired, completing 128 events, on the podium for 28, winning 20 rounds, and claiming the 2011 Formula DRIFT Championship. He left behind a distinguished list of accomplishments; however, his career in motorsports and the automotive industry would be far from over.

JOINS PIT+PADDOCK

Earlier this year, Pit+Paddock announced our expansion from operating as a traditional online magazine to becoming a full-service creative marketing agency. This would entail taking on and hosting more events across the U.S. while adding athlete management to our repertoire, with Dai Yoshihara representing our first client. Our first order of business would be to groom him from being a dedicated drift driver to a multi-skilled personality, ultimately helping him connect more with his loyal fanbase of 930,000 followers.

RIDE WITH DAI LAUNCHES

The premise behind Pit+Paddock’s “Ride with Dai” experience is simple: convert Dai’s 1,000hp Subaru BRZ comp car into a demo vehicle which would be strictly used to give fans drift ride-alongs. Dai and his team at Eimer Engineering spent the offseason updating the LS-powered coupe with a tube frame front chassis, double A-arm suspension, and 2nd-gen BRZ facelift with Pandem widebody. And since it was our idea, you can guess what we did with the livery next…

The reveal of the new demo car was nothing short of epic as Dai circled the parking lot of Turn 14 Distribution Headquarters to an audience of northeast photographers and videographers. The following weekend, the inaugural round of Ride with Dai took place at Wicked Big Meet, where the first passengers experienced a pro-level drift, something that had never been done before at that Subaru event.

RETURN TO FORMULA DRIFT

The second round of Ride with Dai was a homecoming for Dai as we were fortunate to secure a partnership with Formula DRIFT and host the ride-along program at Round 6 in Seattle, WA. Evergreen Speedway is one of the fastest tracks in the series as drivers enter the back straight in a banked corner seeing triple-digit speeds. In 2011 (Dai’s championship year), he also won the entire event in Seattle piloting his Nissan 240SX S13. For us to be able to translate all the history, adrenaline, and excitement from a pro-level vantage point into an unforgettable experience for 15 lucky passengers is something we’re truly stoked about here and exactly what we set out to accomplish with Ride with Dai.

We want to thank Formula DRIFT and our presenting partner Mishimoto for allowing us the opportunity to host Ride with Dai at Evergreen Speedway. We look forward to bringing the program to another round of FD in 2023. What stop on the FD calendar, you might ask? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see!

WHAT’S NEXT

The next stop on the Ride with Dai 2022 tour will be Gridlife Alpine Horizon in Colorado Springs, CO, on September 9–10, followed by Subiefest in San Bernadino, CA, on September 18.



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