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Reigning champion Daigo Saito claims the trophy again at Formula Drift Singapore

By PetrolHead on 02 Jul 2012

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Fans of drifting had an awesome weekend thanks to the Formula Drift Asia event that took place the past weekend.

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The stands were filled to witness some thrilling drift action, and the drivers did not disappoint the visitors as each driver outdid the others to the limits for the rounds of 32 on the new course at the Changi Exhibition Centre.

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Daigo Saito, who finished at the top of the qualifying rounds with a score of 92 points on Saturday, dispatched Malaysia's Muhammad Zaiham Hamdan in his 2001 Nissan Silvia in rounds of 16. He followed up with convincing wins against Emmanuel Adwitya Amandio from Indonesia in the quarter-finals and Robbie Nishida in the semi-finals.

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Indonesia's Rio Saputro Budihardjo driving his Nissan Cefiro A31 who gave notice to the competition as the second seed going into the Round of 32. Budihardjo continued his superb form, storming into the Finals after taking out Malaysia's Ser Ming Hui and crowd favourite Ken Gushi from the USA in the Round of 16 and top eight respectively.

With a crowd of 9000 attending the event, Saito and Budihardjo revved their engines for the Finals. In the first run, the Indonesian spun out putting the reigning champion in the lead. However, in the reverse run, Saito was penalized for straightening out at the final clipping point, allowing the finalists for another run.

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In the second run, Saito jumped out to take an early lead ahead of Rio. With the pressure on the rookie, Rio spun out and the Japanese claimed his second Achilles Formula Drift Singapore title after his success last year.

A humble Saito said: "I am pleased to win the Achilles Formula Drift Singapore for a second time and it was a tough final against Budihardjo. He has been in great form all weekend and I had to focus and give it my best shot to retain the title. I have always enjoyed the event here in Singapore as the crowd is always cheering us on and I will definitely be back for more."

Budihardjo commented "Of course I am very happy and thrilled to have made it all the way to the Finals. I have always looked up at Saito as a role model and he is one of the strongest competitors in the world. I had to push my car to the limit just to match him and as a result, I spun out. But the result is still a great one for me and my team."

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Malaysia's Hanizam Bin Hamzah finished on the podium after beating Robbie Nishida of the USA in a tight battle for third place.

Among the local drivers, Singapore's Jansen Tan advanced to the Round of 16 after beating Malaysia's Rocker Loh Swee Hwa. However, he had to go against event favourite Ken Gushi in the Round of 16 where the American star flexed his muscles to seal his spot in the top eight.

Speaking after his run, Tan said: "I am definitely happy to have made it to the Top 16. At the first leg held in Malaysia, I had a lot of problems with my car. So having managed to address these issues and do well on my own home ground, it was a great result. The home crowd was absolutely fantastic and I am thankful to hear their applause and support throughout my runs."

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The Achilles Formula Drift Singapore 2012 also saw Team USA comprising Ken Gushi and Robbie Nishida winning the first ever Canon Nations Cup in Singapore ahead of Daigo Saito and Manabu Orido from Team Japan. Singapore's duo of Jansen Tan and Ivan Lim finished in third place to close out a very successful second leg of the Asian Drift Series 2012.

The Achilles Formula Drift Series will now move to its third leg in Bangkok, Thailand with the final leg set to take place in Jakarta, Indonesia where stars like Saito, Orido and Nishida are set to thrill the drifting fans once again with some pulsating drift action.

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PetrolHead
Written by PetrolHead
A passionate motoring enthusiast since little, Akram's articles gives alternative insights on the latest motoring news.



 
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