With the first round of the 2009 D1GP USA series less than a week away the officials at D1 have confirmed the Japanese professionals that will be loading their machines onto freighters and packing their racing suits for the first round of stateside competition in Anaheim on May 2nd.
The drivers confirmed for the 2009 D1GP series are former professional drift champions Daigo Saito (2008) and Nobushige Kumakubo (2006). Saito will be competing in his 800 HP four door Toyota Chaser, and unfortunately for diamond star fans Kumakubo will leave his JUN powered rear wheel drive EVO X in Japan and instead compete in the Team Orange Subaru WRX. D1 veteran and Vertex owner Takahiro Ueno will compete in his beloved twin turbo Toyota Soarer, better known as a Lexus SC300 here in the U.S. Toshiki Yoshioka will not be driving his latest generation Lexus SC430 and instead has found a ride in the Driftspeed S15 Nissan Silvia. Providing comic relief in the pits will be the “Monkey Man” Ken Nomura piloting his longtime favorite four-door R34 Nissan Skyline. New to competition but not to the sport, Daijiro Inada the founder of the D1GP will suit up to compete in Anaheim.
More after the jump.
Deciding the fates of the competitors in the D1GP USA series will be the original “Drift King” himself Keiichi Tsuchiya along with two time D1GP Champion Yoichi Imamura and fellow Team Orange member Kazuhiro Tanaka joining him in the judging booth. In order to ensure unbiased evaluations of the drifting competition, from the infamous American racing family Adam Andretti and old-school American drifter Brian Norris.
So get ready for the stateside slideways action of the 2009 D1GP USA. Beginning on May 2nd at Anaheim Stadium, then dropping by Dolphin Stadium in Miami on May 30th before making their way to the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia on July 18th and finishing out the tire annihilating action at Chicago’s Soldier Field on August 1st. This is definitely a great opportunity to see some of the best names in professional drifting, don’t let them pass you by.