FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 26, 2023
BEHIND THE WHEEL
DAI YOSHIHARA IS BACK ON THE MOUNTAIN
FROM TOYOTA TO TESLA TO S2000 HE’S READY TO TACKLE THE 156 TURNS
Photo by Larry Chen
Colorado Springs, CO – The 101st Running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, brought to you by Gran Turismo, presents 70 drivers from around the world and across the USA on June 25. Veteran competitor, Daijiro Yoshihara will be back for his 5th attempt at the 12.42 mile course.
Yoshihara made his initial attempt at the 14,115′ summit in 2019, the first time he would compete in the Toyota 86. Despite his best efforts, the mountain prevailed and Yoshihara recorded a DNF.
Returning in 2020 Yoshihara pushed hard on the mountain, and the mountain pushed right back. Plagued by mechanical problems during practice and qualifying sessions, he was forced to start at the back of the field. As the last car to take a green flag on race day, Yoshihara left the start line in questionable weather, spun out on his way to the Summit yet against all odds captured the Unlimited division win.
Photo by Larry Chen
Yoshihara and his team celebrate an Unlimited division win in 2020 with his clocking of 10:05.006 in the Toyota 86.
In 2021 Yoshihara returned to Pikes Peak in a 2018 Tesla Model 3 in the Exhibition division.
Returning to take part in the historic 100th Running of this iconic hill climb, Dai’s effort in the Tesla was impressive. He finished second in the Exhibition division, and 9th overall. “The race was particularly challenging due to the rainy and foggy conditions, but my team and I were able to capitalize on our Yokohama rain tires and take advantage of the weather to achieve a strong result, he shared. “We ended up being the fastest EV car in the entire field, which was a significant achievement for us!”
Photo by Larry Chen
As a professional drifting instructor, stunt driver and drift competition judge for Formula Drift Asia in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Japan and Australia, as well as Red Bull’s CP Drift Finals in the UAE and Oman, Yoshihara has seen just about every race track. When asked what makes racing on Pikes Peak different from anywhere else, he explained, “It’s a public road at high altitude so the course condition changes a lot. And the fact that you can run the whole course at racing speed only once a year, on race day, make it truly unique.”
Get to Know Dai Yoshihara:
Three Things For Fans To Know:
I was born and raised in Japan.
I was the 2011 Formula Drift champion.
I am a 2023 TC America series competitor
Does your past drifting experience help you on the mountain? – “Yes it does. Of course, I try not to get sideways at Pikes Peak, but it helps with overall car control skill, especially since the road is unlike the race tracks. The grip levels, elevation changes, bumps, etc. So, I think my mountain road experience in Japan back in the day helps as well.”
Pikes Peak Heroes – Monster Tajima and Rod Millen
Pikes Peak Mentor – Rhys Millen
Photo by Larry Chen Photo – Louis Yio
Pictured at the summit post-race in 2022, Dai is joined by Rod and Rhys Millen. All three competed in the 100th Running of the Race to the Clouds.
ABOUT THE PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB
First staged in 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest race in America. The invitation-only event, often referred to as The Race to the Clouds is held annually on the last Sunday of June on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, near Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. The famous 12.42-mile (20 km) course consists of 156 turns, boasts an elevation gain of 4,725 feet (1,440 m), and reaches a finish line at 14,115 feet (4,302 m) above sea level. The PPIHC’s six race divisions feature a wide variety of vehicles – from production-based Time Attack challengers to purpose-built Open Wheel racers and state-of-the-art Unlimited vehicles. The current race record was set in 2018 by Romain Dumas and Volkswagen in the all-electric I.D. R Pikes Peak – 07:57.148.
Communications Manager / Historian