REPLAY VIDEO: Formula Drift Asia Series Comes To Australia

MyDrive | Formula Drift Series in Australia -
Written by Adam Tonkin | | Images by Rhys Vandersyde

The Australian motorsport scene made history by hosting the very first Achilles Formula Drift Asia Series, here in Australia.

The event played out in front of a packed crowd at Calder Park Raceway, located in Melbourne’s outer North West.

Andrew Hawkins, the event organiser and Director of the Australian Drifting Grand Prix, promised spectators an action packed weekend that would change the Australian drifting landscape forever and introduce an event never before seen here locally. The continuous roar of the crowd suggested he delivered on that promise.

MyDrive | Formula Drift Asia Series

MyDrive | Formula Drift Asia Series

Formula Drift President and Vice President, Jim Liew and Ryan Sage respectively – both track side throughout the weekend – were no doubt casting their eyes over their Australian investment ensuring it had the right focus.

With world renowned drivers such as Daijiro Yoshihara, Daigo Saito, Fredric Aabso and Robbie Nishida roaming the paddock and driving the Calder Park layout, the scene was set for an action packed weekend.

MyDrive | Formula Drift Management with Larry from Speedhunters

MyDrive | Formula Drift Management Jim liew and Ryan Sage with Larry Chen from Speedhunters

The entire battle session on Sunday was covered and broadcast LIVE around the globe by Fox Sports thus ensuring the Formula Drift worldwide fan base wouldn’t miss a minute of the on track action.   Also on hand to cover the event was a good contingent of international media, which included the long lenses of the Speedhunters team, Larry Chen and Dino Dalle Cabonare.

“I’m expecting our Australian and international drivers to put on a drift display like we have never seen before and I’m excited to see how the drivers take on the challenge of competing on a course they haven’t driven on, let alone seen” Andrew Hawkins said.

Andrew was 100% correct because what made the Australian round of the Formula Drift Asia series even more impressive was how the drivers handled the 24 degree banked slope of the ex AUSCAR/NASCAR track including the different track layouts that were used on Saturday and Sunday.

MyDrive | Formula Drift Australia Crowd

MyDrive | Formula Drift Australia Crowd

The track layout especially on Sunday gave the Formula Drift Asia drivers a set of unique challenges that provided the drivers with a handful of left and right turns before crossing the finish line in front of an impressed and excited crowd.

MyDrive | Formula Drift Australia Top 16 Bracket

The level of competition was so high and intense that it left drivers that didn’t make the cut in a plume of tyre smoke.  A number of top international drivers including “Mad Mike” Mike Whiddett unfortunately bowed out early due to engine problems and mechanical failure.

MyDrive | Fredric Aasbo showing his skillset.

MyDrive | Fredric Aasbo showing his skillset.

This, however, provided the right setting for Australian drivers Tom Mockhouse and Josh Boettcher to take aim and win their semi-final rounds and go through to the finals providing great entertainment for the large crowd.

The final battle starred the relatively unknown Tom Mockhouse from Adelaide who threw down an epic challenge to Japanese power-house and Formula Drift Asia 2012 Champion, Daigo Saito. With the sun fast setting in the west, Mockhouse and Saito entered the final battle to see who would make history as the first to ever win the Australian round of the Formula Drift Asia series.

MyDrive | Saito Vs Mockhouse in the final battle

MyDrive | Saito Vs Mockhouse in the final battle

The battle was close with Mockhouse giving it his all in the last two corners and putting immense pressure on Saito right to the finish line.  With the fall of the chequered flag, the final battle and event win went to an ecstatic yet exhausted Daigo Saito who drove faultlessly all weekend.

 

MyDrive | Formula Drift Australia Top 16 Bracket

MyDrive | Formula Drift Australia Top 16 Bracket

During post event proceedings Formula Drift Jarod DeAnda congratulated Daigo Saito on his event win, the other participating drivers and series sponsors for an entertaining and successful weekend.

MyDrive | 1st Daigo Saito -  2nd Tom Mockhouse - 3rd Josh Boettcher

MyDrive | 1st Daigo Saito – 2nd Tom Mockhouse – 3rd Josh Boettcher

“I’m looking forward to returning to Australia to defend my title next year and I hope to compete this time without a damaged car so I can show you all what I can really do” said Daigo Saito speaking  through a translator and fellow competitor Robbie Nishida. Daigo Saito’s car suffered front and side damage earlier in the event which had his pit crew working overtime to have his car ready for the battle on Sunday afternoon.

MyDrive | Winners are griners - Daigo Saito

MyDrive | Winners are griners – Daigo Saito

Tom Mockhouse and Josh Boettcher both surprised the international driver line up and cheering crowd by finishing the event in second and third place respectively.  On the podium they both sprayed champagne on each other and the crowd while continuing to look stunned and completely overwhelmed by their performance against the star studded lined up.

“Three days ago I didn’t know if I would be entering [the event] but a friend from Adelaide at the last minute gave me his car to enter and here I am in second place” Tom Mockhouse commented, then finished by stating, “It just hasn’t quite sunk in yet but it was an honour to race against Daigo and I’m still surprised at just how close I was to him in our final battle”.

MyDrive | Tom Mockhouse talks to Jarod DeAnda about his performance.

MyDrive | 2nd place Tom Mockhouse talks to Jarod DeAnda about his performance.

Third place Australian driver Josh Boettcher was just as emotional and went on to thank his family, friends, team and sponsors that had stuck by him during his motorsport career.

 

When asked if the Australian drivers would look at competing in the Formula Drift Asia series in Thailand and Malaysia in the coming months, Tom Mockhouse stated, “Sure I’d love to, now does anyone have a car I can borrow?” .  The air filled with laughter until Robbie Nishida leant towards Tom Mockhouse and stated in a serious tone “leave it to me, I know some people that can help you…”

MyDrive | Fredric Aasbo and Robbie Nishida at the final press conference

MyDrive | Fredric Aasbo and Robbie Nishida at the final press conference

Regardless if his tone was serious or not, the international drivers now know that the Australian drivers are here to stay and they play to win.  This has been a fantastic showcase for a sport with a bright Australian and international future.

MyDrive | Formula Drift Asia Podium

MyDrive | Formula Drift Asia Podium

The second round of the Formula Drift Asia series goes to Kuala Lumper in Malaysia on the 29th of June, 2013.

For more information on the next round and Formula Drift Asia make sure to check out their website,

click > www.formuladriftasia.com

For details on all Formula D international drivers and current standings,

click > www.formulad.com

Should you have any questions for me on the event, please leave a response in the comment field below, email or Twitter.
Thanks Adam.

Contact Adam directly via Email and Twitter.

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