Team TOYO TIRES DRIFT Masato Kawabata Wins D1 Grand Prix World Champions

Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd. announces that team driver Masato Kawabata was victorious at the 2014 D1 Grand Prix World Champions, a D1 Grand Prix exhibition match held at Odaiba Special Course, Tokyo on Sunday, October 19.

The 2014 D1 World Champions exhibition match was contested in a tsuiso tournament*1 format by 24 racers, including the top-ranked drivers in the 2014 D1 Grand Prix Series and former champions, 2014 D1 Street Legal*2 champions and six foreign drivers from five countries (Russia, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand and Italy) in order to determine the world’s best. Competing from company-supported Team TOYO TIRES DRIFT were Masato Kawabata, Tatsuya Sakuma and Seimi Tanaka.

In the qualifier consisting of two stages, advancing to the tournament finals were Kawabata with an overpowering high speed and error-free performance, and Tanaka, who has been in top form this season. In the eight-driver’s “ULTIMATE 8”, Kawabata demonstrated masterly control over his heavyweight GT-R, piling up points with exactingly precise drifting on his way to claiming the crown as 2014 D1 Grand Prix World Champions victor. Tanaka also raced his way into a top-four finish.

*1: Tsuiso Tournament
Tsuiso is a knockout race in which there is a lead car and a chasing car drifting in tandem with the lead. There are two passes, with each driver taking a turn to lead. For this exhibition match, both the qualifier and the finale were contested as a tsuiso tournament. (except the consolation match)

*2: D1 Street Legal
A drift competition class contested using fine-tuned road-going cars.