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‘the Ninja’ Daigo Saito Claimed Both The Formula Drift Malaysia 2012 And 36bol Nations Cup

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 02:01 AM


    5th Gear

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‘The Ninja’ Daigo Saito claimed both The Formula Drift Malaysia 2012 and 36BOL Nations Cup
Local hero Tengku Djan, ‘The Prince of Drift,’ came to the third place

‘The Ninja’ Daigo Saito of Formula Drift Team proudly beat legend Manabu ‘Max’ Orido for the second consecutive year to hold the trophy of Achilles Formula Drift Malaysia 2012, presented by Canon, while Malaysia’ Tengku Djan of M7Bridgestone rounded up the podium in his comeback race in third place.

‘The Ninja’ come with his flawless and gutsy display of accuracy drifting at Speed City KL, kicking off the first leg of the series on a winning note. The all-Japanese finale was a rematch from last year that saw Daigo rally his aggressive style. In the first run, Daigo blasted off to an insurmountable lead that forced Orido to play catch up. In the reverse run, Daigo repeatedly keep pressure on his rival, chasing him and sliding close with only inches to spare – keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats with plenty of slick drifting.

Daigo has not only claimed the Formula Drift Malaysia, he run as a team Japan with Orido showing the most stylish drifting and won the 1st ever 36BOL Nations Cup.
Said Daigo: “I’m really excited about today’s victory and returning back to Malaysia as champion. I was competing with a brand new car and had concerns on how it will perform. I knew that my biggest challenge was against the local favorite in the semi-finals and I had to be aggressive, so I gave 120 per cent going against Djan.”

Having said so, he continued with the impressive of the team Japan run the most stylish with Orido.
Said Orido, “We’re happy of winning the first ever 36BOL Nations Cup. Driving in-sync is challenging, although not as hard as driving against each other. This new category did bring a different dynamic to tandem drifting, and it was good to see the spectators getting behind the local drivers.”

By the way, the return of Djan after a one-year hiatus. He clinched his 3rd-place finish by knocking out Emmanuel ‘Dio’ Armandio of Indonesia, after losing to eventual champion Daigo in the semi-final where the 8000-strong crowd made they heard in the highly anticipated encounter.

Said Djan: “It feels really good to come back to the drift scene. Daigo was really fast - faster than I thought when I watched him on TV in last year’s event. We now have to go back to the drawing board to see how we can improve to make up the difference.”

This year’s event saw the drifters contend against the weather, in addition to each other in the tandem battles, with the heavy rain adding an element of unpredictability that proved to be too much for some. It saw local ace Ser Ming Hui, aka ‘Ah Fai’, from Achilles Drift Team Malaysia crashing out in the round of 16 against Indonesia’s Dika CH, despite entering today’s competition as the second seed.

Djan, who led the Malaysian contingent by qualifying to the round of 32 with the highest score of 94 out of 100 in the first rounds, showed a clear indication of the quality of Malaysian drivers. Seven Malaysians made it to the round of 16, with the likes of Ivan Lau of Achilles Drift Team and Ee Yoong Chern of GT Radial joining Tengku Djan in the quarterfinals.

The day of the final this year marks the beginning of the Achilles Formula Drift Asia Series 2012. The next leg will be at Singapore on 30th June – 1st July 2012.

Hopefully, we could see many proud sponsor for the next year such 36BOL in Malaysia again.