Michael Essa

10 Things I Learned About Formula Drift Orlando

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10. JJJJJJ CASTRO!
The legend of Jhonnattan Castro in Florida continues on. He has a long history of being success at Florida tracks including defeating Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the past. J Castro single handedly derailed the James Deane hype train by defeating him in the Top 16. Now

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9. Kevin Lawrence Might Be the Future Fredric Aasbo
Looking into Pro 2 you basically had Kevin Lawrence put on a clinic against the rest of the series. I know that this was his home track but man he had that robotic style of consistency that I remember Aasbo having back in the Supra. Smart money has him winning the Pro 2 championship this year.
8. Pro 2 Picture Perfect
Finally the Pro 2 program is moving in the right direction. Good battles, balanced tandem, and even a great podium restored my belief in the system once again. Sadly the field was filled with many drivers who are not Pro Am license holders but I’ll take it for now. Pro 2 put on a decent performance in Orlando last season as well so the success of this year’s Pro 2 program will be looked at next round.

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7. WHY did you spin Dean Kearney?
An amazing battle in my eyes was the European showdown of Dean Kearney and Piotr Wiecek. Why did you spin Dean Kearney? Just why! He has developed over time in the Dodge Viper and these guys were ready to put on a show! I don’t think Dean Kearney has that Viper in championship trim yet but he is doing far better than I ever thought he could over the last few events with it.

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Charles Ng in BMW for 2017 and Teams Up with Essa

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Charles Ng is running a E46 BMW for the 2017 Formula Drift season built by Michael Essa. Charles Ng debuted in Formula Drift in Michael Essa’s old FC Mazda RX-7 so they have done some business together in the past. Charles Ng always has had promise but suffers car issue after car issue with his G37. It will be interested to see how he will look in a Michael Essa built BMW chassis.

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2016 Formula Drift Round 5 in Canada [GALLERY]

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Don’t miss all of our Formula Drift Canada coverage that was captured by our favorite Canadian photographer Jeremy Glover! He did an awesome job capturing the drama and drinking of Redbull that went down over the event weekend. Don’t miss an image by checking out our complete gallery below.

Full Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=473

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift’s Canada Invasion

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10. Justin PAWLAKKKKK – WOW!
Justin Pawlak’s drifting was on another planet this weekend. He looked to be back to his old insane FC Mazda RX-7 style that everyone just loved so much. Perhaps he is just growing into the S550 Ford Mustang chassis? Either way, if he can keep it together a little more I think he is a serious threat for the remaining part of 2016. Let’s also not forget to mention, he threw in some super insane entry against Vaughn following that didn’t quite work out, then managed to catch up to Vaughn and he tried to punt him off the track. Love it! If you go back into qualifying videos and watch his runs you will be impressed 100%.

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9. Odi Bakchis Has Turned a Hyundai into Gold
After years and years of watching people struggle to drift a Hyundai chassis you really have to tip the hat to Odi Bakchis as a suspension wizard. He makes his Genesis couple look and drift just like his Nissan 240sx and probably needs to receive a couple million dollars of Hyundai marketing money to help continue making their platform look so viable. Odi would be in the championship chase for me this year if he wasn’t just so conservative in his tandem chases sometimes. He needs to break that mental barrier of conservative in his head and find that bit of flair and he could run the whole way. He did really step up the game I felt like this weekend and should be recognized for it.

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8. The Best Commentary Setup in Formula Drift History
Two things made this the best commentated event in Formula Drift history and I just hope Formula Drift can figure out how to keep doing it the future. #1, Ryan L. as a judge explaining things is genius even though I feel like it could pull away from his judging focus. Explanations are great and at least informing people is a huge plus (although I doubt most are listening/paying attention). #2 and more important is that Formula Drift had live commentary for the crowd itself. That means that Ryan Sage and Jarod DeAnda could focus on broadcasting a TV like show over the air and it worked like a charm. Nothing makes everyone want to turn off the Livestream more than when Jarod is asking for people to do the wave at Irwindale and you are sitting in your parents damp basement eating a PBJ sandwich. The overall quality of production just seemed so much better and it was great to hear the crowd randomly roaring up without being prompted in my ear. Just my .02 cents on that.

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2016 Formula Drift Round 5 in Canada Qualifying [RESULTS]

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Forrest Wang got pretty wild with a top qualifying run after coming out of retirement (watch run). Only 28 drivers made the trek over the border and just 27 of them managed to get a score. Tyler McQuarrie crashed in practice and was unable to fix the car before his qualifying runs. The notable drivers we documented missing from this weekend were Pat Morduant, Kristaps Bluss, Alex Heilbrunn, Kenneth Moen, and Jeff Jones were all missing from the roster. Local star Marc Landerville was added to the competition this weekend and he managed to qualify 11th. Here is how the scores stacked up:

1. Forrest Wang 92
2. Ryan Tuerck 89
3. Justin Pawlak 89
4. Chelsea DeNofa 88
5. Fredric Aasbo 88
6. Dai Yoshihara 88
7. Alec Hohnadell 87
8. Odi Bakchis 86
9. Matt Field 85
10. Chris Forsberg 85
11. Marc Landerville 84
12. Pat Goodin 84
13. Matt Coffman 83
14. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 83
15. Kyle Mohan 81
16. Andrew Gray 81
17. Geoff Stoneback 81
18. Ken Gushi 80
19. Michael Essa 80
20. Charles Ng 79
21. Robbie Nishida 79
22. Dean Kearney 79
23. J Castro 77
24. Cameron Moore 75
25. Mad Mike Whiddett 73
26. Faruk Kugay 70
27. Juha Rintanen 56
28. Tyler McQuarrie 0 (DNR)

Left Bracket
Forrest Wang vs. BYE
Andrewy Gray vs. Geoff Stoneback
Odi Bakchis vs. Mad Mike Whiddett
Matt Field vs. Cameron Moore
Chelsea DeNofa vs. BYE
Matt Coffman vs. Charles Ng
Fredric Aasbo vs. BYE
Pat Goodin vs. Robbie Nishida

Right Bracket
Ryan Tuerck vs. BYE
Kyle Mohan vs. Ken Gushi
Alec Hohnadell vs. Faruk Kugay
Chris Forsberg vs. J Castro
Justin Pawlak vs. BYE
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Michael Essa
Dai Yoshihara vs. Juha Rintanen
Marc Landerville vs. Dean Kearney

We Ask Michael Essa Questions about Ethanol and Drifting

MichaelEssa.IgnitedRacingFuel

After we found out that Michael Essa was running Ignite Racing Fuel in his E46 BMW I wanted to find out what it was all about and why he made the jump into ethanol. Michael Essa chooses to run Ignite Racing Fuel and we also found out quite a bit of the Formula Drift field also runs this product. Here is our quick Q&A with Michael Essa on the product itself.

Wrecked Mag: What all did you have to change on the BMW in regards to timing, injector size, and fuel pump?
Michael Essa: I built my current engine and fuel system to maximize efficiency from Ethanol. We are able to run a high compression ratio, and gain a lot of mid range power and torque. We use DPI 2200cc injectors to make 1000hp at the flywheel, along with dual fuel pump set up from Radium.

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Wrecked Mag: After running the fuel for a few years what have your engines looked like on the inside have you seen any major differences with carbon deposits?
Michael Essa: After a full season of Formula Drift events, testing, and dyno runs; the engine is extremely clean inside. No carbon build up at all. The inside of the exhaust manifold, turbo and down pipe are the same.

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2016 Formula Drift Round 4 New Jersey Qualifying [RESULTS]

DaiYoshihara

Here is the qualifying results from a gorgeous day in New Jersey. Only 30 drivers managed to get points this weekend leaving two bye runs for the top qualifiers into the Top 32. Dai Yoshihara looked insane during qualifying with two 93 point runs to lock in first place on Odi Bakchis on a style score tie breaker.

1. Dai Yoshihara 93
2. Odi Bakchis 93
3. Chelsea DeNofa 92
4. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 91
5. Fredric Aasbo 90
6. Ryan Tuerck 89
7. Chris Forsberg 88
8. Robbie Nishida 87
9. Alex Heilbrunn 84
10. Tyler McQuarrie 84
11. Ken Gushi 82
12. Justin Pawlak 82
13. Krisptas Bluss 81
14. Matt Field 80
15. Michael Essa 78
16. Alec Hohnadell 78
17. Dean Kearney 77
18. Jhonnathan Castro 76
19. Charles Ng 75
20. Andy Gray 75
21. Kyle Mohan 75
22. Juna Rintanen 75
23. Forrest Wang 74
24. Geoff Stoneback 74
25. Matt Coffman 73
26. Jeff Jones 72
27. Pat Goodin 72
28. Pat Mordaunt 64
29. Cameron Moore 55
30. Faruk Kugay 54
31. Mad Mike Whiddett Did Not Run
32. Kenneth Moen Did Not Run

Tandem Bracket Left
Dai Yoshihara vs. BYE
Alec Hohnadell vs. Dean Kearney
Robbie Nishida vs. Matt Coffman
Alex Heilbrunn vs. Geoff Stoneback
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Cameron Moore
Kristaps Bluss vs. Andrew Gray
Fredric Aasbo vs. Pat Mordaunt
Justin Pawlak vs. Kyle Mohan

Tandem Bracket Right
Odi Bakchis vs. BYE
Michael Essa vs. Jhonnathan Castro
Chris Forsberg vs. Jeff Jones
Tyler McQaurrie vs. Forrest Wang
Chelsea DeNofa vs. Faruk Kugay
Matt Field vs. Charles Ng
Ryan Tuerck vs. Pat Goodin
Ken Gushi vs. Juha Rintanen

2016 Formula Drift Round 3 Orlando Speed World [GALLERY]

MichaelEssa.KristapsBluss VaughnGittinJr DirkStratton

Formula Drift rolled into Orlando Speed World and aside from the ridiculous heat and the glued tires it was a really fun event.

 

Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=470

2016 Formula Drift Round 2 Atlanta – OEM MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP [STANDINGS]

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A top 8 appearance from Michael Essa helped BMW maintain the lead in the OEM championship, while Ford moved up from third to second thanks to the win from Vaughn Gittin Jr. Scion dropped to third after all four Scion cars lost in the round of 32. We now have 10 manufacturers competing for the OEM championship after Toyota earned the first points of the season behind Andy Gray.

Here are the standings in the OEM Manufacturer championship after 2 of 8 rounds:

1. BMW  – 202 points
2. Ford – 191 points
3. Scion – 185 points
4. Nissan – 151 points
5. Mazda–101 points
6. Chevy – 83 points
7. Dodge – 51 points
8. Infiniti – 49 points
9. Lexus – 34 points
10. Toyota – 18 points

2016 Formula Drift Motegi Super Drift Challenge [RESULTS]

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The Motegi Super Drift during the Long Beach Grand Prix had a pretty weak drivers list of 11 that included some Pro 2 drivers to make the field larger than a Top 8. The podium was swept by three drivers who are starting a 2016 season with a new tire company. The final four saw Michael Essa versus Odi Bakchis (#1 qualifier) in the battle of the show that Odi was given the edge on and advanced into the finals. Matt Field made easy work of Dean Kearney in the Final Four with a big mistake from Dean pushing him into the finals.

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The $25,000 payout is a nice chunk in the wallet for the top Formula Drift drivers. Here is how the event finished up:
1. Matt Field
2. Michael Essa
3. Odi Bakchis
4. Dean Kearney
5. Kyle Mohan
6. Jeff Jones
7. Ryan Litteral
8. Fredric Aasbo
9. Justin Pawlak
10. Trenton Beechum
11. Alex Heilbrunn

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