Daigo Saito made up for a poor start to the Formula Drift season by winning the $25,000 Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge. He did it in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 10,000, which packed the grandstands in turns 9 through 11.
“Last weekend at Round 1 of Formula DRIFT was no good for me, but this week with a few modifications on the vehicle I was able to get the win,” said Daigo Saito. “I am happy with the win and look to continue the momentum into the next round.”
Saito literally smoked out his competition Kenny Moen who lost contact in the middle of Turn 10.
“I didn’t see anything in the smoke,” Moen said. “I was driving totally blind. I just missed.”
Saito, who qualified second for the event, defeated reigning Formula Drift series champion Michael Essa in the semifinals. Moen, who qualified fourth, advanced to the finals, defeating Charles Ng, Fredric Aasbo and top seed Forrest Wang along the way. Wang, by his top qualifying mark, was awarded third place.
Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT said “It is an honor to be able to bring drifting to the masses during the 40th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. To be able to showcase our sport for the second year in a row under the lights on the city streets is something special.”