Track News | Sailun Drift Team Seimi Tanaka Takes First for Solo Runs at Ebisu
On August 22, 2020, D1GP Round 2 took place at Ebisu’s Minami (South Circuit), Fukushima Prefecture. Over the last twenty years, Minami is the only race track used every D1GP season for the past 20 years, with only a few changes to the track. This means all D1GP drifters have a full understanding of this track with each having substantial performance records. The drifters’ true skill levels are at their peak here at Ebisu. Furthermore, in contrast with the competition opening at Okuibuki Motorpark, a small percentage of the audience could enter the site for closer observation, further pumping up the crowd.
The scoring zone of Minami starts from the end of the first corner and ends on the last part of the fourth corner, and the driver must pass through the designated zone. As fast downhill drifting is required during the race, the Ebisu Circuit is a perfect site to test Sailun’s outstanding dry grip.
Ebisu’s Minami (South Circuit) Map
While it rained in the morning of the race, the formal race fortunately took place with dry conditions. As the D1GP does not prohibit pre-race testing, the drifters were all fully prepared and charged out in full force.
Sailun Tire Drift Team
Seimi Tanaka, as the first drifter of Sailun Tire to race, demonstrated his extraordinary skills in the first run. In the second run, during the peak of his performance, he drifted at a speed of 116.62 kilometers per hour, scoring 98.9 points and taking first place in the solo runs.
Seimi Tanaka’s Leads the Way at Full Speed
Takahiro Ueno made a minor mistake in the first section of the solo run, but managed to score 95.8. For the second run, Takahiro Ueno slowed down around the last corner reducing his score; fortunately, his high score for the first race helped him advance to fifteenth place.
Takahiro Ueno in his Lexus RCV Valino
Tetsuya Hibino also demonstrated his resolve to win. Thanks to the extraordinary gripping power of the Sailun GENE-R PODIUM PD01, Tetsuya Hibino displayed his astonishing drift angles in his Silvia S14, scoring 97.4 points to advance to eighth place.
Tetsuya Hibino’s Classical Sailun Tires Wrap
Akinori Utsumi, from Group B, had a collision during his morning run with technicians rushing to restore the vehicle before the official race; however, the vehicle problems still affected Utsumi’s performance. Akinori Utsumi’s highest score was 94.9 points for the two solo runs, taking eighteenth place.
Akinori Utsumi in his Nissan Silvia S15
This was Koudai Sobagiri first race with the Sailun Drift team, and despite having only three years of drifting experience, was able to performed well for the solo runs, advancing to thirteenth place.
The logo of Sailun
Shingo Hatanaka was assigned to the last group and was the last Sailun Tire drifter to race. According to his previous records, being able to achieve an advancing score of 96 points was not uncommon for the drifter. As a result, he adopted a conservative approach for his first solo run. Accidentally, the DOSS experienced a system failure, and therefore his score was considered invalid. Despite grave pressure, Shingo Hatanaka managed to perform as usual during his second solo run, scoring 95.7 points to advance to sixteenth place.
Shingo Hatanaka in his Toyota Chaser JZX100
Finally, Seimi Tanaka, a drifter of Sailun Tires, took first place for the solo runs. After claiming victory for the solo runs at the wetland area of Okuibuki Motorpark, Sailun Tires once again demonstrated its extraordinary performance on dry roads in the most challenging part of the D1GP, Minami South Circuit.
After a short recess, the long-awaited drift chase run began. As Seimi Tanaka claimed first at the solo runs, and Shingo Hatanaka happened to be sixteenth place, this meant the two teammates would be pitted against one another to compete for the top 16 drifters.
Seimi Tanaka in his Nissan Silvia S15
Shingo Hatanaka in his Toyota Chaser JZX100
For the second match, Tetsuya Hibino (ranking eighth) competed against Takeshi Mogi. As Takeshi Mogi’s DOSS failed, both drifters waited for system recovery in the blazing sun.
During the first match, Tetsuya Hibino drifted out front. Passing the last turn, he left his opponent in the dust with his overwhelming advantages, leaving zero doubt as to who had won. Tetsuya Hibino ended up scoring 98 points, 9 points more than his opponent.
During the second match, Takeshi Mogi drifted first, while Tetsuya Hibino, who also had a good command at the start, maintained the distance before the jump drift, and managed to fall in sync with the motion of the vehicle out front. Once again, Tetsuya Hibino scored 95 points with a one-point lead, and smoothly advanced to the next level with great advantage.
Tetsuya Hibino Advances Ahead
Takahiro Ueno, another drifter of Sailun Tire, competed against Masashi Yokoi during the fifth match. Takahiro Ueno’s vehicle was still experiencing mechanical failures after his second solo run.
For the first match, Masashi Yokoi drifted first. Takahiro Ueno cut in the inside of his opponent's path during the last turn but was quickly passed at the start of the drift with a score of 94 points, which was three points less than his opponent.
For the second match, Takahiro Ueno drifted first and attempted to accelerate to widen the distance in the last turn. Masashi Yokoi closely chased after him, however, and scored two points for his tandem run. Ueno ended up losing his ace to Yokoi, last year’s champion, and was cut from list for the top 16.
Takahiro Ueno vs. Masashi Yokoi
The first race of the quarterfinals once again took place between two Sailun Drift Team racers, Shingo Hatanaka vs. Tetsuya Hibino. For the first match, Shingo Hatanaka drifted first. Both drifters were very close to each other from the acceleration path. Hibino’s front tires bounced multiple times when landing on the ground after the jump drift, but the vehicle maintained its balance. While the DOSS reported 98 points for both teammates, Hibino could use his four points during the drift chase run to his advantage.
For the second match, Hibino started to gain the advantages after the start of the drift, while Hatanaka failed to seize the opportunity. Hibino scored 10 points more to advance forward.
Unfortunately, during the semifinals, Tetsuya Hibino drifted too fast at the first match and broke the valve pipeline of the turbine bypass. Due to this issue, he failed to compete at his peak. Competing against Saito Daigo for the second match of the drift chase, he could barely manage to drive forward. Despite all efforts, he ended up being disqualified for the semifinals.
Tetsuya Hibino vs. Shingo Hatanaka
Tetsuya Hibino vs. Saito Daigo
In the end, the Sailun Drift Team had five drifters make their way to the top 16 and two drifters to the quarterfinals with Tetsuya Hibino dropping out in the semifinals due to an automotive failure and Seimi Tanaka taking first for the solo runs. For the upcoming Round 3, the six Sailun Drift Team drifters will continue to demonstrate their spectacular skills to their best ability. Best of luck to the team; stay tuned for the next round!
Solo Runs Champion: Seimi Tanaka