Daigo Saito

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Daigo Saito
斎藤太吾
Nationality Japan
Born (1980-03-07) March 7, 1980 (age 42)
Saitama
D1 Grand Prix career
Debut season2004
Current teamFat Five Racing
Wins16
Best finish1st in 2008 2016
Previous series
2006D1 Street Legal

Daigo Saito (斎藤 太吾, Saitō Daigo, 7 March 1980, Saitama) is a Japanese professional drifting driver, currently competing in the D1 Grand Prix series for ATR Radial / Monster Energy / Sunoco and RDS GP for AIMOL Racing / Sailun Tires. Formerly competing in Formula DRIFT USA and World Championship series for Achilles Radial. He was the first driver to win the two drifting majors, D1GP in 2008 and Formula D in 2012.

Biography[edit]

From an early age, Siato gained an appreciation for motorborbikes, and motorbike racing, a hobby and sport his Father had exposed him to. Saito then gained his motorcycle license at the age of 16. One evening, when Saito was going for a ride on his motorbike with his friends, he stumbled upon a drift car meeting in the hills of Karuizawa. There he saw a white Mercedes-Benz saloon drifting. From then on he wanted to take part in drifting, and drift a saloon style car. Upon turning 18, he gained his drivers license, though his father did not want him to take part in drifting. His Father bought him a Mini Cooper as his first car, a vehicle which is generally not capable of performing the high speed maneuvers required for drifting. Saito attempted to drift the vehicle anyways, and ended up getting it written off in an accident. He then bought a Nissan Silvia S13 without asking for permission from his parents. Saito immediately began practicing. His first practice session lasted 36 straight hours, with Saito only stopping for food and fuel. Saito began to develop his skills in the vehicle, but crashed it only a few weeks later. In 2005, Saito won the title for privateers.

Saito started competing in the D1 Grand Prix in the third round of the 2004 season in his Toyota Mark II JZX90. Saito improved steadily, winning the championship in 2008. He then updated his car to Toyota Mark II JZX100 and he won the championship again in 2016.

In 2015, he worked on the first Drift specification Lamborghini Murcielago.

In 2018 he won the rear-wheel drive class at the Gymkhana Grid.[1]

Since 2019, he drives Toyota GR Supra in D1GP.

Formula Drift (America)[edit]

In 2012, Saito joined the Formula Drift series in the Achilles Radial Lexus SC430 powered by a Toyota 2JZ engine. He achieved his first podium finish in his first event of the series at Long Beach. He followed this win up with a 3rd-place finish in Round 2 at Atlanta, and then a 1st-place finish at Round 3 in Palm Beach and a 4th-place finish in Round 4 at Wall Speedway. He won the championship and was rookie of the year after winning 1st place at Irwindale, in Round 7.[2]

As part of the Achilles Radial Drift Team, his car is maintained and transported by Bridges Racing.

Saito finished in third place during his second season in Formula DRIFT USA. He won three rounds (Atlanta, New Jersey & Irwindale) and second place at West Palm Beach. A crash during practice at Seattle and vehicle issues in Texas effectively removed him from the chance of winning back-to-back championships.

Saito debuted a 1,200 hp Nissan GTR in April 2015 at the Formula DRIFT Streets of Long Beach event, and campaigned the car for the 2015 Formula DRIFT USA season.

Saito did not participate in Formula Drift 2016, concentrating (and winning) on D1 Grand Prix series instead. He did the same in 2017.

Complete drifting results[edit]

(key)

D1 Grand Prix[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Position Points
2004 Toyota Mark II JZX90 IRW
SGO
EBS
TAN
APS
TAN
ODB
DNQ
EBS
DNQ
TKB
16
- 0
2005 Toyota Mark II JZX90 IRW
ODB
DNQ
SGO
TAN
APS
DNQ
EBS
DNQ
FUJ
DNQ
TKB
16
32 1
2006 Toyota Mark II JZX90 IRW
SGO
5
FUJ
16
APS
16
EBS
16
SUZ
16
FUJ
TAN
14 24
Toyota Chaser JZX100 IRW
9
2007 Toyota Mark II JZX90 EBS
15
FUJ
7
SUZ
TAN
7 41
Toyota Mark II JZX100 SGO
TAN
EBS
6
APS
6
FUJ
6
2008 Team 22 Toyota Mark II JZX100 EBS
14
FUJ
2
SUZ
4
OKY
4
APS
1
EBS
7
FUJ
4
1 114
2009 週刊コミックバンチ DRIFTプロジェクト Toyota Mark II JZX100 EBS
3
APS
7
OKY
1
OKY
12
EBS
10
EBS
11
FUJ
15
FUJ
9
8 82
2010 フナッツ Toyota Mark II JZX100 ODB
TAN
APS
2
FUJ
7
OKY
TAN
EBS
4
EBS
7
FUJ
3
6 79
2011 プレミアムジャパン with ダイゴ Toyota Mark II JZX100 ODB
3
ODB
9
APS
2
SUZ
1
OKY
2
EBS
4
EBS
1
FUJ
6
2 207
2012 ダイゴ Toyota Mark II JZX100 ODB
1
SUZ
2
CEN
1
2019 FAT FIVE RACING Toyota GR Supra A90 TKB
TKB
TKC
TKC
EBS
EBS
APS
14 41
2020 FAT FIVE RACING Toyota GR Supra A90 16 EBS
2
EBS
13
APS
APS
EBS
13
TKB
TKB
9 64
2021 FAT FIVE RACING Toyota GR Supra A90 12 66

D1 Street Legal[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Position Points
2006 Toyota Chaser JZX100 SEK
EBS
TSU
SGO
8
FUJ
5
APS
6
EBS
TSU
SEK
10 31

Formula Drift[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Position Points
2012 Bridges Racing/Achilles Radial Lexus SC430 UCF30 FDLB
3
FDATL
3
FDPB
1
FDNJ
4
FDNW
Top 8
FDLV
Top 8
FDIRW
1
1 548.50
2013 Bridges Racing/Achilles Radial Lexus SC430 UCF30 FDLB
Top 16
FDATL
1
FDPB
2
FDNJ
1
FDNW
Top 32
FDTX
Top 32
FDIRW
1
3 510.50
2014 Bridges Racing/Achilles Radial Lexus SC430 UCF30 FDLB
Top 32
FDATL
Top 8
FDMIA
DNQ
FDNJ
Top 32
FDNW
DNQ
FDTX
Top 16
FDIRW
1
14 224.00

Russian Drift Series GP[edit]

Year Entrant Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Position Points
2018 Toyota Mark II JZX100 MRW
3
ATR
NRING
3
SOC
4
SOC
3
RRING
4
PRM
2
2 1021
2019 AIMOL RACING RUSSIA Toyota Altezza MRW
9
ATR
6
NRING
6
ADM
16
RRING
14
SOC
5

8 718
2021 AIMOL RACING RUSSIA Toyota GR Supra A90 MRW
27
NRING
DNQ
IGORA
ATR
RRING
ADM
SOC
41

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gymkhana GRiD 2018 smashes record as Saito and Kristoffersson win in South Africa - Wheels24, 7 December 2018
  2. ^ "Formula D Series 2012 Standings". Formulad.com. Archived from the original on 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2012-07-25.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]