- GReddy coverage from FD Japan, with Ken Gushi and Masato Kawabata.
Kawabata gets a Top4 Finish!
Not ready to end our 2014 Formula Drift season, the GReddy Team decided to ship our GReddy Performance x Hankook Tire x Scion Racing FR-S
to Okayama Japan for Ken Gushi
to compete in the 2nd Japanese round of the Formula Drift Asia
Joining the USA team to compete in FD Japan was none other then 2x D1GP Champion, Masato Kawabata.
And in his debut FD event, Kawabata achieves a 4th place finish
with the Team Toyo Tires Drift x TRUST Racing 35RX Dspec GT-R!
The overseas trip saw the GReddy FR-S land at our TRUST/GReddy HQ in Chiba just days before the event. From there the GReddy Team transported the two race cars 10hrs south-west to a very cold Okayama International Circuit for the Formula Drift Japan / Motor Games event.
The Okayama course was a long challenging high speed course with many crucial turns. But it was the 1st sweeper that would prove to the key point in the track in tandem battles with the unpredictable cold weather conditions.
had Gushi and Kawabata in 22nd
respectively. Ken performed well under pressure in his Q2 run, after an over aggressive bobble in his first qualifying pass. Kawabata was still feeling out the Judging requirements for his first Formula Drift event.
Saturday, Ken Gushi's Top32
was with Japan's Tomokazu Hirota's JDM 4door. Although Ken had a dominate lead run, it was not enough to overcome the off line bobble from getting too close to Hirota in the first sweeper of his chase run. For Top32
(0:38.00) Masato Kawabata received a bye run against Tetsuya Hibino to move on. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ciari_formula-drift-japan-okayama-top-32_auto
The next round for the GReddy Team was a battle of the 2013 and 2014 D1GP Champions. Sweet16
- Masato Kawabata vs. Kuniaki "Kuni" Takahashi This was a great pair of battles, but it was Kawabata that was able to gain better proximity in the chase position for the clear win.
In the FD Japan Great8
, Kawabata went up against the event's #1 Qualifier, Tstomu Fujio in a R34 Skyline. Again Kawabata showed great skill following behind Fujio, eventually forcing some errors and moving the GReddy Team onto the next bracket.
In his first Formula Drift event, Masato Kawabata drives the Team Toyo Tires Drift x TRUST Racing 35RX GT-R into the Final4
against another FD/D1 Champion, Diago Saito. Race scouting showed Saito's new JZX100 Chaser to be one of the fastest cars of the event. This motivates Kawabata to go for more speed. In the end he pushes a little too hard in the crucial first sweeper and moves Saito into the Finals. All in all it was a very challenging and exciting event for both GReddy Teams... we look forward to what the 2015 race season brings.
Congratulations to the FD Japan Okayama Event finalist:
1st - Masashi Yokoi
2nd - Daigo Saito,
3rd - Fredric Aasbo (& new FD Asia Champion)
4th - Masato Kawabata