Dai Yoshihara Returns to the East Coast for a Homecoming Dance to Remember

Photography: Brandon Cody

  • One year ago, pro driver and Formula DRIFT champion, Dai Yoshihara signed with Pit+Paddock under its athlete management program.
  • To celebrate the anniversary, Pit+Paddock along with presenting partner Vibrant Performance, hosted a homecoming party for local media and enthusiasts to attend.
  • Headlining the event was the East Coast debut of Dai Yoshihara’s 750hp R33 Nissan Skyline GT-R which was built in conjunction with GReddy Performance Products, Toprank Importers, and Turn 14 Distribution for the 2022 SEMA Show.
  • The fan favorite “Ride with Dai” 1,000hp Subaru BRZ also made a return home, which kicked off its second season of drift ride-alongs at Wicked Big Meet in Stafford, CT after this event.

One year ago, we started a brand-new endeavor with pro driver Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara. The retired Formula DRIFT champion pivoted his career to further his development in road racing while also strengthening his influence and fanbase in the performance car community. Under the Pit+Paddock athlete management program, we would be the catalyst toward helping him achieve his goals. This included securing partnerships with ENEOS and Yokohama Tire, helping manage three newsworthy SEMA builds, creating a drift ride-along program for fans, and most recently, kicking off a new campaign in the world of professional road racing in the TC America touring car series. We’ve had one helluva busy, but successful first year, so we thought, why not do a little something special to commemorate our first anniversary with an event that we like to call, “Dai Homecoming”.

Hosted at Turn 14 Distribution headquarters with the help of Vibrant Performance, we invited 150 friends and family to welcome home Dai to Pennsylvania. Complimentary local barbecue was served up as locals got to meet and greet Dai and check out his R33 Skyline GT-R build for the first time following its debut at the 2022 SEMA Show. Built-in conjunction with GReddy Performance Products, Toprank Importers, and 20 other partners, the 750hp Skyline was a hit with photographers and JDM fans as there haven’t been many R33 builds of this caliber on display at local events in PA. 

In addition to the R33, Dai also transported his 1,000hp Subaru BRZ drift car, which was getting ready for the second season of Pit+Paddock’s Ride with Dai program. Last year, the Ride with Dai program received more than 2,000 hopeful entries and Dai was able to give 50 ride-alongs in his BRZ — which undeniably is the fastest drift ride-along offered in the world. How many people can say they’ve sat shotgun with a former drift champ in a current-spec pro drift car?! The first round of this year’s Ride with Dai program just finished at Wicked Big Meet in Connecticut, then will head west for two Formula DRIFT rounds: Utah on September 15-16 and Irwindale on October 13-14.

Both the “DAI33” GT-R and “Ride with Dai” BRZ fit perfectly together inside the Turn 14 Distribution lobby — the first time we hosted two cars at once. The Friday evening homecoming event was more laidback than some of our usual events, but we let photographers do the talking while two of Dai’s biggest accomplishments lay peacefully in the lobby. 

With only year one in the books, both we and Dai know we’re far from crossing the finish line. We are ready for new opportunities and challenges to push Dai to become a better driver and a more influential figure in the automotive industry. Year two, here we come.

We’d like to thank Deryck Griffith, Donovan Griffith, and Edward Furlani of Vibrant Performance for making the special trip down from Toronto to join us at Dai Homecoming.