Falken Ready For 2019 Formula Drift Season

Spin It Up!

As the opening round of the 2019 Black Magic Formula Drift Pro Championship gets set for Falken Tires’ hometown track of Long Beach, CA, Team Falken is organizing final plans with its six team drivers including two-time defending Champion, Irishman James Deane, who is aiming for a three-peat. The eight-event Formula Drift season kicks off next week, April 5-6, in Long Beach, California and ends October 18-19 at the “House of Drift” in Irwindale, California.

“We are so excited to get this season started,” declared Steve Wong, Falken’s Supervisor of Passenger Car Events and Motorsports. “We want to get that ‘hat trick’ for Falken Tires, for James, and for all our drivers. Our Falken Azenis RT615K+ tire is as strong as ever, and it will be the featured tire on every one of our cars as it has throughout our years with Formula D. It’s why we also won the Tire Manufacturer Cup last year with aspirations of doing so again this year.”

Among those returning to Falken are Deane in his Nissan Silvia, having won both the 2017 and 2018 Formula D Championships; Piotr Wiecek, also driving a Nissan Silvia, who finished third overall in the 2018 Driver’s Championship; Justin “JTP” Pawlak, a veteran Falken driver, who will again run Falken teal and blue on his Ford Mustang; Matt Field, also sporting Falken livery on his Chevrolet Corvette; Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis, driving a Nissan 240SX with Falken colors; and 2011 Driver’s Champion and long-time Team Falken member, Daijiro “Dai” Yoshihara, competing in his Subaru BRZ.

“We continue to field what we consider to be the strongest driver line-up among the tire-sponsored teams and independents,” stated Jonathon Bradford, Falken’s Manager of Motorsports and Events. “We’re confident our drivers together will propel Team Falken to victory. Our guys have worked together well over the years, and they know what to do. Our commitment to Formula Drift remains as strong as it ever has, returning as a major sponsor of the series as it starts its 16th year of competition.”

“It’s important to go for that third championship in a row,” continued Wong, “but we don’t want to reflect on just the victories – which are great, obviously – but it’s about total points. That’s what gets you to the top.

Wong added, “There are two things that we always consider so meaningful about Formula Drift, and the first is the fan interaction – the stands are always full and the crowd is extremely brand loyal. Second, it’s important to reflect on how Formula Drift gives Falken the opportunity to host our dealers and retail partners across the nation. It’s great to have them come out to the track, meet the drivers and watch our team perform. We work closely with our sales teams to make sure that happens and that our guests have the chance to experience everything this sport has to offer.”

A leader in high performance tire technology for cars, trucks, SUVs and crossovers, Falken Tires has consistently seen its AZENIS RT615K+ tires perform flawlessly on the contrasting surfaces that make up the Formula Drift season, from street courses to ovals to road racing tracks. This same DOT-approved tire is available for consumers at their Falken retailer.

Formula Drift will start its 16th season in 2019 and following Long Beach, will continue on with the following schedule:

April 25-27, Orlando, FL
May 9-11, Atlanta, GA
June 7-8, Wall, NJ
July 19-20, Monroe, WA
August 8-10, St. Louis, MO
September 12-14, Dallas, TX
October 18-19, Irwindale, CA

Last Time Round


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Falken Tire







(800) 723-2553


8656 Haven Ave.

Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730

ABOUT Falken Tire®

Falken Tires, a part of Sumitomo Rubber North America, is based in Rancho Cucamonga, California, which serves as the corporate headquarters. Falken Tires was launched in its native country of Japan in 1983 and introduced to the North American market two years later. At its inception, Falken was created as the flagship high-performance radial brand under Ohtsu Tire and Rubber. Now, Falken has solidified its place as a strong consumer choice for tires, as it has focused on UHP (Ultra High Performance) products by participating in – and winning – well-known professional motorsports programs.