Ride-Alongs With Dai Yoshihara At GRIDLIFE Add Tandem Battles And Night Drifting

Photography: Brandon Cody

  • Ride with Dai is a new ride-along experience campaigned by Pit+Paddock that gives drift fans the thrill of riding shotgun with pro driver Dai Yoshihara in his 1,000hp Subaru BRZ.
  • The first two stops of Ride with Dai took place at Wicked Big Meet in Connecticut and Formula DRIFT Seattle at Evergreen Speedway.
  • With the support of presenting partner MBRP, the third installment of Ride with Dai takes place at the GRIDLIFE Alpine Horizon motorsports/music festival in Colorado.
  • More than ten winners were awarded ride-along seats with Dai Yoshihara at GRIDLIFE, which included night drifting and friendly tandem battles.
  • Famed photographer Larry Chen collaborated with Pit+Paddock and Dai Yoshihara to capture epic media content using his Toyota GR Supra equipped with a camera rig.


By now, you’ve caught wind of our Ride with Dai series. But if you haven’t, here’s a quick backstory:

Dai Yoshihara retired from Formula DRIFT competition at the end of 2021 after 18 long, hard-fought years and one championship title in 2011. His passion for drifting was far from over, though, and with Pit+Paddock emerging as his professional management and creative team, we came up with the idea of Ride with Dai, a drift ride-along experience that we’d campaign across America. Ride With Dai would be a unique experimental program that would bring the power, speed, and thrill of pro drifting to all enthusiasts. Ride-along passengers are selected based on social media and live raffles making the experience accessible to everyone. As for the vehicle in question, it would be none other than Dai’s 1,000hp Subaru BRZ that he used in battle hundreds of times against the world’s best drivers.

The campaign kicked off with a demo reveal of Dai’s revamped BRZ at the Turn 14 Distribution headquarters in Pennsylvania. The first stop of Ride with Dai followed at Wicked Big Meet, giving Subaru owners a taste of what rear-wheel-drive mayhem is like. Second on the calendar was Formula DRIFT Seattle at Evergreen Speedway, Dai’s first return to FD since retiring. Next, the Pit+Paddock team made our way to Colorado for our first collaboration with GRIDLIFE.


You might think you’ve been to most car and track events, but if you haven’t been to a GRIDLIFE Motorsports Festival, you haven’t seen anything. Now eight years strong, the GRIDLIFE brand produces its flagship festival events, a far cry from your run-of-the-mill track meets. Organizers have accomplished the daunting task of bridging performance car culture with music lifestyle for a jam-packed weekend experience that lasts three days and two nights. Top-tier music acts have included Lupe Fiasco, Ludacris, Kaskade, Flosstradamus, and Waka Flocka Flame. In the motorsport department, GRIDLIFE’s TrackBattle series consists of HPDE, time attack, and a wheel-to-wheel touring cup. There’s also, of course, drift which puts pros, grassroots drivers, and skilled influencers on the same battlefield. We were excited to add Ride with Dai into GRIDLIFE’s drift programming at its widely-attended Alpine Horizon event at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado this past summer.


GRIDLIFE Alpine Horizon draws 13,000 spectators and more than 200 drivers. Launched in 2019, it’s one of GRIDLIFE’s younger events but also one of their most successful, as its Rocky Mountain location draws diehard fans from coast-to-coast.

With the help of presenting partner MBRP and supporting partners Turn 14 Distribution, ENEOS, and Yokohama Tire, we strapped in almost 20 passengers at GRIDLIFE for what was easily our most ambitious Ride With Dai stop to date. The former Formula DRIFT Champion gave passengers up to four hot laps, including triple-digit slides and tandem battles. This event was Dai’s first time tandem drifting since he retired. So, it wasn’t surprising that he picked current FD competitor Michael Essa as his tandem partner. Though, as Dai got comfortable, he paired up against anyone in the whopping 90-driver field. It was honestly a bittersweet sight to see Dai going door-to-door with other cars at GRIDLIFE. When the sun set, Dai continued to offer night ride-alongs capping off another successful Ride With Dai program.

Words can only tell so much, so we collaborated with Larry Chen at GRIDLIFE to provide us with amazing car-to-car media content filmed from his GR Supra chase car. Enjoy and stay tuned for details on Ride with Dai 2023!