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Friday, December 23, 2005
Posted by: Torry
D1 Grand Prix USA vs Japan All Star Exhibition, Dec 16-17, 2005.
NICOclub is proud to present exclusive photos of D1GP, captured by NICO’s very own Justin “Bling” Derendal.
This event had all the necessary ingredients for a spectacular 2006 season opening round: Irwindale Speedway. The best drivers from the US and Japan. 10,000 spectators.
Pride, nationalism and bragging rights were on the line.
There were some tense moments as track communications broke down, resulting in the Megan Racing drift car colliding with one of the Irwindale Speedway support trucks as it was tending to an earlier accident.
Many drivers had troubles adjusting to the clockwise track arrangement. Rhys Millen, the leading points leader of the 2005 series, was the first to crash in practice, and he did not return.Rod Millen had his first shot in D1 and qualified in the Top 16 along with US D1 favorites, Alex Pfeiffer, Samuel Hubinette, and Tanner Foust.
The main event was a memorable one in drifting history. Vaughn Gittin Jr. took first place in his Falken-sponsored Ford Mustang over the Japanese drivers. No simple task – In order to win, he had to defeat Yasuyuki Kazama, the 2005 series champion as well as Youichi Imamura the 2003 series champion.