Daijiro Yoshihara

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Daijiro Yoshihara
Born (1978-12-24) December 24, 1978 (age 40)
Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan
Other namesDai Yoshihara
OccupationProfessional drifter

Daijiro Yoshihara (吉原 大二郎, Yoshihara Daijiro), more commonly known as Dai Yoshihara, (born December 24, 1978) is a Japanese drifter and often regarded as one of the world's best.

Background[edit]

Yoshihara always loved drifting, but saw no real economic opportunity in the sport. Yoshihara instead worked in more stable, long term jobs, taking on jobs at various companies including a car dealership, a telephone company, and a trucking service. However, in 2003, Yoshihara was offered a chance to compete in the 2003 D1 Grand Prix in it’s inaugural season in the United States, and accepted the offer, although he had never been prior or even competed in a drift competition. Yoshihara entered the D1 driving for Pacific Rim Motorsport in a Nissan Silvia (S13). Having never competed, Yoshihara was a rookie with no competition experience but qualified and finished in the top half out of 32 competitors. Yoshihara then competed in the Drift Showoff in Irwindale, California and took a podium spot to finish 2nd overall.

Yoshihara ended his maiden season of 2003 with multiple wins. As a result, he was entered in to the 2004 Formula Drift Championship Series the following season. Yoshihara finished in the top 8 at two rounds and placed 2nd at two of the rounds placing him 2nd overall in the championship run. Yoshihara earned the accolade of being the driver with the fastest entry speed every time he raced in the 2004 Formula Drift season. In 2005 and 2006 Yoshihara earned even more success in the Formula Drift series with multiple podium finishes, and in 2007 finished 3rd overall. In 2008, Yoshihara entered with a factory backed Pontiac GTO for RMR Racing, along with teammate Rhys Millen. Yoshihara ended the 2008 season with a podium finish and placed 2nd overall during the Red Bull Drifting World Championship.[1] Throughout the 2008 season, Yoshihara took podium twice and eventually finished 4th overall in the Formula D series.[2]

The 2009 season saw Yoshihara signed to Falken Tire, driving a V8 powered Lexus IS350.[3] Throughout the 2009 season, Yoshihara and his new team experienced developmental problems with the Lexus, eventually crashing and retiring it. Yoshihara finished off the season driving a team built Nissan 240SX. Yoshihara finished in 11th place for overall championship points.

In 2010, Yoshihara signed on for another season with Falken, continuing with the 2009 season’s Nissan 240SX, which was now further modified, receiving a motor transplant and major suspension tuning. Yoshiharaended the 2010 drift season in 4th place in overall championship points.

Yoshihara continued to drive for Falken for 2011, with the same Nissan 240SX as he did in the 2009 and 2010 seasons; however, with more changes to the car, Yoshihara finished the 2011 season as Formula DRIFT champion and also won the Triple Crown award.

Yoshihara drove the Nissan 240SX through 2012 and 2013 where he finished 7th and 11th respectively. For the 2014 Formula Drift season, he switched to a 2014 Subaru BRZ.

Achievements[edit]

DRIFTING

Formula DRIFT Championship Series – 2004 to Present

- Drift Competitor

- 2004 Championship Points, 2nd Place Overall

- 2005 Championship Points, 5th Place Overall

- 2006 Championship Points, 5th Place Overall

- 2007 Championship Points, 3rd Place Overall

- 2008 Championship Points, 4th Place Overall

- 2009 Championship Points, 11th Place Overall

- 2010 Championship Points, 4th Place Overall

- 2011 Championship Points, 1st Overall

- 2011 Tires.com Triple Crown, 1st Overall

- 2012 Championship Points, 7th Overall

- 2013 Championship Points, 11th Overall

- 2014 Championship Points, 18th Overall

Pro Drift Ireland - 2012

- 2nd Place, Round 5

D1 Grand Prix All Star Exhibition at Irwindale Speedway – 2005 & 2006

- Drift Competitor

- Best 16

D1 Grand Prix – 2004

- Drift Competitor

- Best 16

D1 Grand Prix Driver Search - 2003

- Drift Competitor

- U.S. Qualifier

D1 Grand Prix – 2003

- Drift Competitor

- Best 16

Drift Showoff at Irwindale Speedway – 2003

- Drift Competitor

- Podium, 2nd place

DRIFTING JUDGE

Professional Asia Drift Series Judge – 2009 to Present

- Formula DRIFT Asia: Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand

- Good Year International Drift Series: Thailand

- Red Bull Car Park Drift 2014: Dubai, UAE

DRIFTING INSTRUCTOR

International Drifting Academy – 2011

- Drift Driving Instructor

TIME ATTACK / ROAD RACE

25 Hours of Thunderhill - 2013

- 3rd Place, E3 Class

MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championship – 2011

- Competitor

- Podium, 1st Place, 2011

Super Lap Battle – 2006 & 2010

- Competitor

- Podium, 1st Place, 2006

- Podium, 1st Place, 2010

GYMKHANA

Gymkhana Grid – 2010

- Competitor

- Podium, 1st Place, 2010

Magazine, Commercial & TV Stunt

Mini/BMW USA, “Mini Commercial” – 2014

- Stunt driver for television commercial

Falken Tire Corporation, “Azenis Commercial” – 2013

- Stunt driver for television commercial

Nissan North America, “Juke Commercial” – 2011

- Stunt driver for television commercial

Falken Tire Corporation, “Azenis Commercial” – 2011

- Stunt driver for television commercial

Mini/BMW USA, “Mini Commercial” – 2011

- Stunt driver for television commercial

Road & Track Magazine – 2010

- Vehicle Test Driver

Mitsubishi Motors "Mitsubishi Lancer Evo SE" - 2010 Viral video

- Stunt Driver

Falken Tire Corporation – 2009

- Tire Test Driver

Spike TV, “1000 Ways To Die” – 2009

- Stunt driver for television series

EA Games, “Need For Speed” – 2007

- Stunt driver for video game commercial

TV career[edit]

Yoshihara has starred as himself in the reality/documentary web series Behind the Smoke, along with Yoshihara's crew members Scott Dodgion of SPD Metal Works, Mike Kojima of MotoIQ and Chris Marion of KW Suspension. Behind the Smoke is produced by GTChannel in association with Discount Tire, first released in April 2011. The show follows Yoshihara throughout his championship winning 2011 Formula D season both on and off the track. The first season of BTS documented his 2011 Formula D championship season. In 2012, the show won a Bronze Telly Award for Online Video Reality Show. Behind the Smoke is produced and directed by Taro Koki of GTChannel which also represents Best Motoring and Hot Version internationally.

References[edit]

External links[edit]