Formula DRIFT and Pikes Peak International Hill Climb champion Dai Yoshihara is back and ready to take on TC America. Dai Yoshihara will be the sole driver of the Pit+Paddock Honda Civic Type R TCX.

On the outside, this FK8 might look like a relatable, modified street car. Just with a wicked widebody kit, front splitter, functional hood/bumper vents, and a massive rear wing. But in reality, it’s a full-fledged race car that’s sanctioned by Honda, engineered to meet the regulations of the worldwide TCR Touring Car series. It’s even assembled by JAS Motorsport in Italy, an official partner of Honda. In addition, the Civic Type R TCR is actually equipped from the factory with CSF Coolers. This Type R features CSF’s private label HPD (Honda Performance Development) Race Radiator and two CSF #8119 High-Performance Bar/Plate Oil Coolers.

Race Results Recap

Sonoma Raceway – Round 1 & 2

March 30th – April 2nd, 2023

Qualifying for Round 1 & 2 at Sonoma Raceway in California was very promising for Dai Yoshihara and the Civic Type R. Dai managed to claim pole position by taking first place in qualifying by 0.241 seconds. Things were looking promising from there in Round 1 as he led the field for the first 15 minutes of this 40 minute race. However, disaster struck when gearbox issues forced him to retire for the rest of the event.

NOLA Motorsports Park – Round 3 & 4

April 28th – 30th, 2023

After the unfortunate start to the season at Sonoma, Dai was eager to get some solid points on the board. Once again Dai was able to secure the pole position in qualifying and things were looking up. Round 3 saw a great neck and neck race between Dai and Kyle Loh. Loh technically edged out Dai but was later disqualified for running a wing angle outside of regulation (enabling faster straight line speed).

After taking 1st place in Round 3 Dai was feeling confident about Round 4 the next day. Unfortunately, reliability issues struck again, this time with the fuel pump. The Civic Type R did manage to finish but limped across the line in last place. While disappointing, Dai and the team feel confident about the car being able to perform if the reliability issue can be resolved.

Circuit of the Americas (COTA) – Round 5 & 6

May 19th – 21st, 2023

COTA qualifying once again put Dia Yoshihara in the pole position for the start of Round 5. The rain and wet track here proved to be a big advantage for our seasoned Formula Drift champion. However, at the start of Race 1 (Round 5) the track had dried out putting the FWD Civic Type R at a disadvantage due to the track’s RWD friendly layout. Dai still managed to make a solid showing. But with 2 minutes left, the Civic experienced a puncture in the left front tire. Needless to say this definitely caused some pain in the points department.

COTA’s 3.425-mile lap distance sometimes results in weather playing an even greater role in determining a driver’s fate. While sunny, grippy, and hot in some sections, light rain from previous sessions left other parts of the circuit greasy and cool. The dichotomy made it difficult for Dai and he was unable to climb back up the order, even as the track surface became more uniform late in the race. A sixth-place finish was all that Yoshihara could muster, though it was one better than where he started.

Virginia International Raceway (VIR) – Round 7 & 8

June 16th – 18th, 2023

VIR is a track defined by its challenging layout. Narrow passages make the elevation changes, high-speed uphill S turns, and off-camber corners quite onerous. Dai Yoshihara managed to muscled his way up to an impressive fourth place finish in qualifying. This was the top qualifying spot for all the TCX Civics on a track that favors the more powerful BMW M2 CS Cup cars.

Round 7 on Saturday proved the track was much better suited to the M2CS Cup car’s powertrain layout. Dai did manage to finish 5th overall pulling in some much needed points. Heading into Round 8 on Sunday had the BMWs up front the whole race as the Hondas struggled with their balance of power and drivetrain disadvantage. Finish in 7th was still quite an accomplishment for Dai. Swapping paint and working hard to get as many points as possible.

ROAD AMERICA – Round 9 & 10

August 18th – 20th, 2023

Road America is a 4.048-mile, 14-turn configuration that hosts other professional series like IMSA, IndyCar, NASCAR, and GT World Challenge. Compared to VIR, Road America is longer, wider, and faster, but carries a bit more rhythm. The infamous Kink always provides a technical challenge.

Once again, Dai showed off an impressive pace in the Pit+Paddock Honda Civic Type R TCX and shocked the field by churning out the fastest Friday practice times, despite having no previous experience at Road America. Things were looking up in the qualifying match where Dai came in a close second just 0.019 second behind Matthew Pombo.

Despite strong practice results and a great qualifying round, race 1 and 2 were filled with struggles. Race 1 (Round 9) same some serious on-track drama between Matthew Pombo and two of the M2 CS Cup cars. The furious battle for the lead resulted in an accident that took them out of the race. The red flags definitely threw a wrench into Dai’s rhythm but he did manage to finish in 6th place for the day.

Race 2 started out really strong for Dai, but an unfortunate minor collision on his 3rd lap put the Civic out of commission for the rest of the race. Damage to the intercooler was just too much for the car to handle in the extreme heat.

Sebring International Raceway – Round 11 & 12

September 22nd – 24th, 2023

Dai’s pace made the entire TCX class turn the wick up for qualifying. Dai had less overall seat time during qualifying, which relegated him to starting 7th in Saturday’s race. However, the team knew there was enough pace in the car to make proper amends.

In the first race (Round 11), Dai opened the taps at all the right moments, seizing every opportunity that presented itself as he ascended from 7th place to 4th a mere 0.162 seconds from a podium spot.

Race 2 (Round 12) saw Dai move from 5th to 4th in the end, marking his 10th consecutive round with points on the board and another impressive tally to Yoshihara’s inaugural campaign. Earning more than just points, Dai earned a “hard charger” award, which sent him home with some extra hardware to add to his trophy cabinet. “I drove the best here out of any race so far,” confessed Dai. “After every race weekend, I feel like I’ve gelled with the car more and learned how to improve my race craft.” As the team looked forward to the season finale in Indianapolis, there was an immense amount of optimism in the garage.


October 5th – 8th, 2023

As the last contest on the calendar, there will be no-holds-barred here, so we will aim high to put a proud exclamation mark on Dai’s first grip racing endeavor before next year’s campaign.

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