Sneak Peek: Daigo Saito's Achilles Tire SC430
By Mike Kojima
After two years of rumors and plenty of gossip, it finally happened, Daigo Saito, reportedly the best drift driver in the world arrived on our shores with not just a splash but a bang. Daigo, 2008 D1GP champ and 2011 Formula D Asia Champ came out of the gates hard at the Long Beach season opener with a third place. Daigo has fought hard on foreign soil maintaining a solid second place in Formula D standings for much of the year.
There are many rumors surrounding Daigo's car which has been reported as having as much as 1300 hp. The fact that Daigo and his crew don't speak English and that they are somewhat secretive about their car, has kept many fans wondering about what makes it tick. We don't directly know all of the car's specs either, but we have photos and I will attempt to give you a technical tour around the car. It is an interesting blend of both Japanese and American Technology.
Daigo took the old guard of US drifting by storm with surprisingly strong performances.
Daigo sometimes runs the SC430 with the hard top on if it is raining or to shield him from smoke.
Perhaps the best follow driver in the world, Daigo's aggressive, super close proximity, in your face driving style has angered some drivers like Luke Lonberger and Justin Pawlak. A lot of Daigo's controversial driving tricks are probably due to the differences between what is acceptable in D1 vs FD in part and the fact that he is a rookie and just getting to learn some of the courses that many other drivers have been driving for years.
2011 FD champ Dai Yoshihara has been able to defeat Daigo with each encounter in the 2012 season so far.
|Conrad Grunewald has had more battles with Daigo than any other driver, fighting numerous one more time bouts from road Atlanta to New Jersey. The battles have been controversial and have resulted in some motions by FD to more clearly define scoring and DQ criteria for the season.|