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World Exhibition Match Results Featured

World Exhibition Match Results

Event Details:

  • Date: - -
  • Venue:Japan, TBA
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Nikko, Japan 30th of March 2015

    For 11 years King of Europe has made its way throughout the European continent, appealing to millions of drift fans in dozens of countries, and even further extending to a global level thanks to the wide reach of the TV Channels that broadcast the series events each year.  For 11 years King of Europe has continued to improve, to grow and to attract Europe's finest drivers and most enthusiastic fans and future fans but time has come to reach a new continent : Asia.  Time has come to create a new challenge : King of Asia.

    2015 Inaugural event took place last week-end at Nikko race track, 140 kilometers north of Tokyo in Japan.  This World Exhibition Match was the first event of the 2015 Federal Tyres King of Asia “exhibition tour”.  Drivers started pulling in as early as friday morning, and they were assuming positions in the large paddock of the Nikko track. Some pre-registered drivers wouldn't eventually make it to the race, due to last moment mechanical failures, but still, the paddock was pretty crowded as it was.  A total of 35 drivers made their way to Nikko, mainly coming from Japan but also from countries like: Italy, France, United Kingdom, Poland, Australia, USA, Brazil, Singapore and Malaysia.  French champion Nicolas Delorme was the only one with his own car, other foreigners went for the local rental option.

    Promoted in partnership with Keiichi Tsuchiya, this event drew a lot of attention and enthusiasm from the Japanese drifting community and it all started on friday morning with a sunshine as Nikko circuit was blessed with good weather.  After technical inspection all drivers ran for the first time on this famous drift course.  Keiichi Tsuchiya was clear at the morning briefing, he want to see real skills only on this track!  The race day went flawlessly, thanks to experienced King of Europe crew managing the track operations.

    Even if nights were short and days long, foreigner drivers and King of Europe crew were very early on saturday at the track for another practice day to be concluded by the qualification session.        For this special event, the layout designed by Mike Procureur is longer than the one generally used by Keiichi Tsuchiya and as drivers getting used to this extended Nikko layout, you can visually see average speed rising!  

    Mid afternoon, time came to line up, all cars went on the start line for three qualifying laps.  Less than 2 hours was needed to get a poleman : Daigo Saito and his outrageous Toyota Chaser, followed closely by a surprising Benjamin Chiam from Singapore and  the last place of the qualification podium was for the other top favorite of the week-end : Naoki Nakamura and his Nissan PS13.  But the day was not yet off, a very friendly "European welcome drink" was offered by the French drift team to the Japanese drivers!   And the same gift has been returned on sunday night by the Japanese drivers, this is the real spirit, King of Asia, a lot more than just drifting!

    Finally, sunday the D day was here, a relaxing day for the King of Europe crew after a perfect planning but a real stressing day for all the contenders.  Keiichi Tsuchiya made the last briefing in front of the contenders, the message was clear : tight battles, high speed and big angle!  

    Time came for the first Top8 final in the morning, the "Gaijin" Battle dedicated to the best 8 foreigners.  A tough first battle opened this Top8 : Aussie Luke Fink defeated British Steve Biagioni during a pure “Japanese style tsuiso”.  Luke Fink was unstoppable during this foreigner's final and easily made his way to the victory.  Second place is for the French champion Nicolas Delorme while third place came in the hand of the experienced King of Europe driver Nicolo Rosso from Italy.

    Like an unexpected rare gift, during midday break, drivers, teams and spectators had the luck to watch Keiichi Tsuchiya himself drifting at the Nikko circuit.  Keiichi was testing the new high performance tire from Federal : the 595 RS-RR.  Keiichi put a great show on the track and really enjoyed this new drift tire!  

    And finally, the main Top32 was here.  32 machines from all around the world on the start line.  Teams, KOA crew and fans were so excited and under pressure for this first ever Federal Tyres King of Asia final.  Federal tyres CEO Mr Shu Jam Ma warmly welcomed the drivers and audience to this event and sent the drivers to the start line.  Mike Procureur then gave the "Go" for the first ever battle to remember where local hero Daigo Saito defeated Polish driftgirl Karolina Pilarczyk.  

  Experienced Shinji Minowa also qualified easily against Noritsugu Totani.   Nicolo Rosso  advanced strongly against Kentaro Kawai but French Nicolas Delorme lost his battle against unstoppable Aussie, Luke Fink.  The other favorites also moved to Top16 : Naoki Nakamura, Drift Zamurai and Benjamin Chiam.  Unfortunately during this Top32, engine failures generated lot of frustrations to friendly drivers like Hideo Hiraoka, Muhammad Zaiham Hamdam, Kenji Kigushi and Yoshitaka Ogane!

    Next round, the Best16, sent home most of the foreigners, Luke Fink surrendered against Daigo Saito, Nicolo Rosso had a great battle but went home early as well.  A spin out settled the win against American driver Donald Jackson JR, Brazilian Jonatan Neves had no chance against over talented Naoki Nakamura and finally Benjamin Chiam couldn't line up on the start line due to technical failure!

    Best8 is on, Daigo Saito vs Shinji Minowa was the first quarter final, two Chasers but only one winner, Daigo was so hungry he didn't let a chance to Shinji for the last 4.  Surprising Wataru Saito and his PS13 took the win again with two perfect laps against Tsubasa Maeda.  Naoki Nakamura had no other option than winning to keep his dream alive and finally the last foreigner British Steve Biagioni defeated the legendary Drift Zamurai.

    Final four! First semi-final Daigo Saito versus Wataru Saito, same family name but different classes of drifters.  Daigo, the drifter from another planet got easily his ticket to the final.  On the other half, Naoki went straight to the final, Steve Biagioni's engine died after the first lap, bad luck for Steve but still a very good fourth place for him!  Third place went automatically to Wataru Saito.

    And here is the final confrontation, the dreamed one, the expected one, Daigo Saito and his one-thousand horsepower machine against Naoki Nakamura with a teammate PS13.  Daigo has everything in hand, talent, skills and perfect machine, Naoki must give all or nothing now if he want to take the win.  A first amazing chasing lap from Naoki gave him advantage of 4-6 at end of first lap.  Noaki took then the lead on the track for the last lap but Daigo couldn't replicate Naoki's pressure on first lap : clear battle, clear winner, Noaki Nakamura made it!  Congratulations to the first KOA event winner!

A great victory for Naoki Nakamura and also a great ticket to Europe.  Naoki won a “race package” to Europe, flight, race car and all expenses paid for him.  End of the stoy ? Far from it, Malaysian exhibition is set to start in less than two months, followed by Australian exhibition match in October.  In just one event, Federal Tyres King of Asia has built a strong image and will continue his successful Asian tour, this is just the beginning of a new drift era in Asia.

    King of Asia has been fortunate enough to benefit from the amazing support coming from global renown companies : Federal Tires, Motul Lubricants, KW Suspensions, Dotz Tuning Wheels, Recaro Automotive, Remus Innovation and MyWay Drift School.

More info and photos from this round 1 can be seen on the official King of Asia Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/asiadrift

Stay tuned for the Official King of Asia Event Videos and TV Show, which will be broadcasted through all of our partner channels,  covering more than 160 million people worldwide.

Also, be sure to follow all of our official Series partners:

Federal Tyres:   http://www.federalcorporation.com/en/

Dotz Tuning Wheels: http://www.dotzmag.com

Motul Lubricants: http://www.motul.com

KW Suspensions:  http://www.kw-suspensions.eu

Recaro Automotive : https://www.recaro-automotive.com/

Remus Innovation:  http://www.remus.eu/

MyWay Drift School: http://www.driftschool.com/

Day One :

Day Two :

Japland TV Trailer :

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