ATLANTA, GA – Team Falken continued its dominating stance in both the 2012 Formula Drift Championship and at the series event at Road Atlanta, where Justin Pawlak, winner of the first event of the year at last month’s Long Beach street course, took the victory over Fredric Aasbo. It was Falken’s third consecutive Formula D win at the Atlanta track.
Driving the 2013 Falken Tire Ford Mustang, Pawlak has now notched the first two wins and leads the Formula D championship rankings by commanding margin. The number of entrants competing in the popular drift series has grown significantly with 48 drivers fighting for a chance to compete in the top 32 tandem round. Falken teammate Vaughn Gittin, Jr., qualified second; Pawlak eighth; while the remaining Falken team members sat in 9th (Daijiro Yoshihara); 21st (Falken privateer Walker Wilkerson); and 31st (Darren McNamara, who debuted his new Falken Tire 350Z).
Pawlak, Gittin, Jr., and Wilkerson advanced to Top 16, where Gittin, Jr., was defeated. Pawlak and Wilkerson continued to advance until Justin beat the privateer in the Top 4. It was Wilkerson’s first fourth place finish in only his second season of drifting competition in the Formula D series.
“Falken and Justin are experiencing a strong start to the new season,” stated Jonathan Bradford, Team Falken’s Drift Supervisor. “His Mustang and our Azenis RT615K tire are a strong combination, and coupled with Justin’s superb driving talent, it’s no surprise he’s at the top of the leader board.” Pawlak led for much of the 2011 Formula D season as well.
“Road Atlanta is a fast track, and I wanted to do well after suffering a bad crash in Atlanta last year,” said Pawlak. “I’m excited to be where we are right now and while it’s never cool to beat another Falken entrant, it’s clear that any driver has the capacity to run to the top. Based on the number of entrants Atlanta attracted, this will continue to be a tough season and you’ve got to stay alert and ahead of the competition.”
“I would echo Justin’s statement about the importance of staying ahead,” added Nick Fousekis, Falken’s Director of Motorsports Marketing and Events, “and Falken will continue its aggressive testing and preparation program in order to do so. This is Falken’s second ‘command performance’ – finishing first three years in a row – and it truly invigorates our team and corporate efforts.”
From a marketing standpoint, Falken entertained 235 dealer guests in its hospitality center.
Round three – the “Invasion” – will be held June 1-2, at Palm Beach International Raceway.
Falken Tire Drivers’ Formula Drift Series Position Standings
1. Justin Pawlak
7. Daijiro Yoshihara
13. Vaughn Gittin Jr.
22. Walker Wilkerson
23. Darren McNamara