Singapore's best drift drivers will aim to fly the national flag high at the Achilles Formula Drift Singapore 2012, presented by Canon, when the event kicks off the first ever Canon Nations Cup this weekend at the Changi Exhibition Centre.
Contrary to the traditional Formula Drift tandem battles, the Canon Nations Cup sees drivers of the same country paired together for two tandem runs where points are awarded for teamwork and coordination; teams with the most stylish runs wins. Adding an entertaining spin to the exciting drift action, fans are encouraged to keep their eyes peeled on the track as teams have been given the green light to include props of any size in their tandem runs.
Six countries will be competing in the Canon Nations Cup that will be held in Singapore for the first time, and the local experienced duo of Ivan Lim and Jansen Tan will look to outdo a strong field from USA, Oceania, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan, who clinched the first-ever Nations Cup title the Malaysian leg last month with the pairing of the top two names in the sport - current Series Champion Daigo 'The Ninja' Saito and drift legend Manabu 'Max' Orido.
The team from Singapore will be looking forward to get the local crowd cheering, and comprises of the biggest contingent with a pack of nine drifters including Ivan Lim, Jansen Tan, Felix Lim, Vincent Ng, Winston Ang, Benjamin Chiam, Alvin Tay, Jason Tan, and Geoveen Hi. Their blood, sweat and tears in recent months will all come down to two days of action in front of the home crowd.
Said Jansen Tan, Singapore's leading drifter, "I've only been out of action for a year, but the game has really moved on since I last competed in 2010. I'm back this season with a new car - my V8-powered Nissan Silvia S15 — and it feels good to be back in the competition. The standard of Formula Drift Asia has been steadily improving since the first one I took part in four years ago and the cars are becoming much more powerful with higher driver skill levels. After competing in Malaysia last month, I'm excited to drift in front of the home crowd and supporters this weekend!"
This weekend's drift event will see a bolstered cast of top drifters ready to thrill motorsport fans once again in the Lion City. Other top names to look out this weekend includes Malaysia's 'Prince of Drift' Tengku Djan Ley, who joined the Japanese pair of Daigo and Orido on the podium in the Malaysian leg last month. They will face stiff competition from the likes of American drift star Ken Gushi and South East Asian drivers such as Indonesia's Emmanuel 'Dio' Armandio and Rulli Armando.
On the growing interest of drifting as a motorsport in the Asia Pacific region, Australia's drifter Joshua 'JB' Boettcher said, ""Last year was my rookie season and it was a real tough challenge as I used different cars for all three rounds. Despite that it was a great experience, especially with winning Rookie of the Year. Now that I have seen what Formula Drift is all about, I want to push harder and earn myself one of those carbon fibre trophies. Thus far I've been the only Australian to compete in the series and the experience I've gained is amazing - I've learnt a lot with Formula Drift Asia that I wouldn't have back home. Singapore is special to me because it is where I made my Formula Drift debut!"
With the popularity of the sport on the rise, this year sees the return of title sponsor PT. Multistrada Arah Sarana, Tbk (PT MASA), tyre manufacturers of Achilles Radial and Corsa Motorcycles. Formula Drift Asia 2012 is organized by ESPN STAR Sports Events Management Group and title sponsored by Achilles Radial. In addition, Canon joins the event as the presenting sponsor. STAR Sports is the official broadcaster and the coverage will be aired across its networks, covering 24 countries to a cumulative reach of more than 300 million viewers in Asia.
Another notable first is that the event will be broadcasted live on ESPN STAR Sports for the very first time for the Singapore race so Formula Drift fans across the region can catch the action simultaneously.