Some of you might be aware of Daigo Saito. If not from years of D1 Grand Prix fame, maybe you remember him mopping the floor in the 2012 season Formula Drift, or the drift Lamborghini Murcielago, or being the haunt of Ebisu circuit, or putting 2JZ engines in literally everything, or… you get the point. The guy is prolific.
Daigo owns a shop called Fat Five Racing in the Saitama prefecture of Japan. It’s been operating a fair while (the website won’t give me a clear date), and have built many a legendary drift car. Saito’s affinity for big-body Toyota sedans is obvious, with his practice “missile” car being a Toyota JZX100 Mark II, his former D1GP car being another JZX100 Mark II with an insane custom firewall, a custom billet 2JZ that lives under the dash, and radical weight distribution for unhinged transitions and snappy flicks. Oh, and his 2012 Formula Drift championship-winning car was a 2JZ swapped Lexus SC430 with 1200 HP.
With so many Toyota builds under his belt, he’s built a deep relationship with Toyota as a pseudo-works team. He gets pre-production chassis for the latest cars, including the A90 Supra, and the GR Yaris. Wait, GR Yaris? As a drift car?
According to Saito: absofuckinglutely. As a bonus, Saito has fostered a relationship with storied aftermarket parts wizards HKS. With them, he’s built an R35 GT-R drift car, and four A90 Supra drift cars. Yes, four. For himself. Because he can. He also has an entire barn full of rare supercars like F40s and other, unknown stuff.
So, back to GR Yarises (Yarii?). He also has two of those, fully built pro drift machines with 1000-horsepower 2JZ engines. The dude can’t help himself. He drops a casual 2JZ wherever he’s walking. Legend has it, he carries 3 spare billet 2JZ blocks with him at all times (at $12,000 each), and runs through several engines a season, per car. It’s like freakin’ Frank’s Red Hot. Naturally, these engines would end up in his GR Yaris pro drift cars, which are barely Yarises anymore.
Fat Five Racing specializes in tube-frame full-custom race cars, while also being really good at building stock-frame drift cars into competition destroying machines. It seems like the dude is building something new every other day, so give his Instagram a follow: @daigosaito87.
Would you put 2JZs in everything? Tell us in the comments!