Daijiro Yoshihara and the Driftworks S15 @ Drift Allstars Wembley 2011

The plan was pretty simple – finish the work on the Driftworks R32 and invite current Formula D championship leader Daijiro Yoshihara over to drive it at Drift Allstars Wembley alongside Phil in the Driftworks S15. Things were looking good and everyone thought the R32 would be running better than ever right up until the car was being mapped and the Borg Warner S300 turbo died. The turbo was not to blame, but a faulty oil feed had caused its premature death.

So what happened next? Well obviously we had to make sure that Dai didn’t go home disappointed, so Phil set about making adjustments to the S15s drivers seat to accommodate Dai more comfortably. Yup, the S15 was going to be driven competitively for the 1st time without Phil behind the wheel. The steering wheel was also spaced back to suit Dai’s preferred driving position and apart from that, the S15 was ready to run.

Phil, Jay & Dan headed down to Wembley on Friday morning to meet up with Dai, and it wasn’t long before he was fully settled into the car during the practise sessions. Being the mega-professional that he is, it only took Dai a couple of runs to get a feel for the car and start to lay down some mighty competitive runs.

Come Friday afternoon and Drift Allstars qualifying had begun, and seemed to run well until Phil (watching from the sidelines) noticed the S15 popping flames (see the low res video that the screen shot below was taken from here) which never happens on the S15 so some investigation was needed. The results? Dai qualified in a very respectable 6th place but the cause of the flames was pinned on a failing alternator causing the car to run slightly lean. Matt from TJZ Engineering was kind enough to drive down from the Midlands and deliver a replacement alternator, and the ever helpful Julian from Garage-D brought a spare with him on Saturday morning in case there were any further issues.

The alternator was swapped and full fuel pressure restored so the 2JZ was happy again!

Saturday morning arrived and it looked like it would be a sunny day in North London… For a while at least!

After the practise runs Dai commented that he felt vibrations coming from the rear of the car under acceleration so the car was jacked up to find a cracked diff backplate. The crew set about changing the backplate and as the work began, the heavens opened! Needless to say the Driftworks gazebo filled with tons of people looking to escape the downpours… The backplate was changed and Dai headed out for the finals.

Photo courtesy of Dan Patch.

The battles were where he really seemed to shine, Dai entered closer than anyone else, and shadowed peoples lines perfectly eliminating Tom Yates in the top 32, and Walton Smith in the top 16 to get through to the top 8.
Rain had left Wembley with horrible wet and dry patches, and in his top 8 run Dai was deemed to have straightened slightly in the transition when following and was knocked out. He was really gutted about it, as in his leading run he had dominated. But we were very happy with a top 8 finish in such a competitive field of drivers at Drift Allstars, especially considering how little time Dai had had in the car. So I’d just like to say a huge thanks to Dai Yoshihara for driving the Driftworks S15 so superbly, and any time you come back to the UK we’ll hand over the keys again!

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