- The second season of the Pit+Paddock x PowerStop Ride with Dai comes to a successful finish at Formula DRIFT Irwindale with presenting partner Radium Engineering.
- Irwindale Speedway is known as the “House of Drift” having been the birthplace of U.S. professional drifting hosting Japan’s D1 Grand Prix in 2003 and Formula DRIFT in 2004.
- FD Irwindale was the third stop of the Ride with Dai drift ride-along program, and Dai Yoshihara’s first return to Irwindale Speedway after he retired from professional drifting in 2021.
- Drift fans over the age of 18 had an opportunity to win a free ride-along through a social media giveaway and live raffle, which collected more than 1,000 entries.
- Eight drift ride-alongs were given in Dai’s 1,000hp competition-spec Subaru BRZ to lucky contest winners and media influencers which included Hana Burton and OMGBuilds.
- In addition to Ride with Dai, Pit+Paddock hosted its Performance Car Invitational show and a special thank-you reception for Formula DRIFT drivers, crew, and staff to celebrate the series’ 20th anniversary.
DRIFTING AIN’T EASY
Put me out on an open track day with my GR Supra and I can tell you that I’ll likely be somewhere in the middle or back of the pack. I don’t consider myself of super-fast driver; however, I do know the fundamentals of driving a road course and enjoy pushing my limits to about 80-90%. Just enough so I’ll never find myself out in the dirt. When it comes to drifting though, I found it much more difficult to pick up and learn. I’ve attended a few clinics in the past and can honestly say, that drifting just isn’t for me. I can’t get the steering and throttle inputs right no matter how hard I try, which is why I’ve gained so much admiration and respect for those who have been able to master this craft. They possess so much control while their cars are in full slide at high speeds. Through my personal experiences and hearing from enthusiasts, we all think drifting is badass, but we’ll never have the time, resources, or dedication to be able to do it ourselves. That’s a big reason why Pit+Paddock created the “Ride with Dai” program. It exposes drift fans to the incredible thrill and ultimate skill of the sport at the highest level with a former champion behind the wheel of a competition-spec vehicle.
Throw in the most iconic drift track in the U.S., and you have what was our final round of the Pit+Paddock x PowerStop Ride with Dai at Formula DRIFT Irwindale presented by Radium Engineering.
RIDE OF A LIFETIME
Going for a ride-along with Dai Yoshihara at Irwindale Speedway is a one-in-a-billion, bucket list opportunity. Think of it like riding shotgun with Michael Schumacher at F1 Monaco. It’s that level of crazy to have the 2013 drift champion Dai Yoshihara sliding the bank of Irwindale Speedway in his 1,000hp, right-hand-drive Subaru BRZ. We were extremely blessed to be able to share this experience with fans this past weekend.
FOR THE FANS
The beauty of Ride with Dai is that it’s legitimately open to all drift fans thanks to our amazing partners PowerStop, Radium Engineering, ENEOS, and Turn 14 Distribution. The ride-alongs are something we’re not trying to sell or make money from. It’s a fan experience we want to share with everyone, so we host two forms of giveaways through our social media contest and a live raffle. In the end and after 1,000 entries, we were able to offer eight ride-alongs spread across both days of Formula DRIFT Finals.
“Overall, Ride with Dai went super well, and it was really cool to see people smiling and their reactions after the ride-along. This round is very different because they are getting a ride in a comp-level build and on a Formula DRIFT track. Irwindale is my favorite drift track of all-time, not just because of the layout, but because it’s where I started my professional drift career in 2003. It’s also where I won my first event in 2006, and where I totaled for the first time in 2004. There’s a special feeling about this track and it was special to be able to give ride-alongs here, because not many people will ever get to experience it.”
RIDE WITH DAI RECAP
After two seasons, Pit+Paddock’s Ride with Dai has given out nearly 90 ride-alongs. We’re extremely appreciative of our partners who made this possible, and we look forward to continue sharing the thrill and skill of pro-drifting, and creating memories for fans that they surely will never forget!