Michael Essa

Formula Drift Invades Circuit of The Americas for Demo During ALMS

Next weekend in Austin, Texas during the ALMS race some Formula Drift drivers will be doing a demo around the Observation Tower of turns 12-15. This is a first for Formula Drift at this gorgeous race track tucked just outside Austin, Texas. Here is what the PR mentions with drivers and events happening over the WES/ALMS weekend:

Tyler McQuarrie, Conrad Grunewald and Michael Essa are all crossover drivers with road racing background, while Justin Pawlak is part of Team Falken Tire that will also be fielding a team in ALMS’s GT Class over the weekend. The drift demonstration will take place during the race weekend for the ALMS and WEC Series.

“We are proud to showcase drifting to the ALMS and WEC fans at Circuit of The Americas and be part of a motorsport filled weekend,” stated Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “It is going to be a fantastic sight seeing the guys drift through turns 12-15 and around the iconic observation tower.”

Michael Essa Shows Off Nitrous Kit Before Round 6 at Texas Motor Speedway

Michael Essa showed off his new addition to the GSR Autosport BMW for the weekend. The new addition to his car for the championship run is a nitrous kit giving him some more horsepower on this championship run. After winning Palm Beach Michael Essa has held serious championship contention, however most people haven’t been talking about him like the other championship front runners. Could nitrous give him the extra edge on this high speed entry to pass Chris Forsberg and take the lead in the championship before Irwindale Speedway in October? Do you like the idea of them adding nitrous this late into the season?

 

Darren McNamara is the best qualifying driver through 5 rounds of 2013 [STANDINGS]

With the long layoff between Seattle and Texas, we have to do something to keep us entertained. After last week’s look at the rookie standings, we decided to dive into the qualifying points as we did last year around this time.

For the first time in years, Darren McNamara is atop the charts. McNamara has been known as a driver who tends to drive better in tandem than in qualifying, but this year seems to be quite different. As the only driver who has been one of the top two qualifiers in three of the five rounds (1st in Seattle, 2nd in Long Beach and New Jersey), McNamara has stood out in the new qualifying format. His Falken Tire teammate Justin Pawlak is 2nd with two top qualifier awards (Palm Beach and New Jersey), while Aasbo has a top qualifier position (Atlanta), 2nd qualifier (Seattle) and a 3rd qualifier (New Jersey) that put him in third in the overall qualifying standings.

The other driver to earn a top qualifier position is Dai Yoshihara, who hit the top spot in Long Beach but has struggled since, qualifying 6th in Palm Beach but outside of the top 10 in all other rounds. Last year’s leader at this time was Vaughn Gittin Jr, who has dropped to 9th in this year’s standings. Comparing this list to the overall points standings after 5 rounds, there’s quite a substantial difference, showing that qualifying is less important than in years past. Forsberg, who is currently leading the championship race, is only the ninth-best qualifier.

Here’s a look at the top 20 of the qualifying standings according to our points table. NOTE: This is based on the number of qualifying points earned, not the average qualifying position.

UPDATED on August 21st to reflect qualifying penalties for Tuerck and Saito

LB Qual ATL Qual PB Qual NJ Qual SEA Qual Total
1 McNamara 10 4 0.5 10 12 36.5
2 Pawlak 0.5 8 12 12 2 34.5
3 Aasbo 2 12 0.5 8 10 32.5
4 Essa 8 10 0.5 1 2 21.5
5 Saito 3 4 8 4 0 19
6 Yoshihara 12 1 4 0.25 1 18.25
7 Moen 4 1 10 2 0.5 17.5
8 Forsberg 1 2 6 6 2 17
8 Gittin 4 2 3 2 6 17
10 DeNofa 6 6 1 2 0.5 15.5
11 Field 0.5 3 2 0.5 8 14
12 Bakchis 2 2 0.5 0.5 4 9
13 Powers 1 3 0 0.5 4 8.5
14 Grunewald 0 0.5 2 3 2 7.5
15 McQuarrie 0.25 0 0.25 4 1 5.5
16 Aono 2 0.5 2 0.25 0.5
5.25
18 Tuerck 3 0.5 1 0.5 0 5
18 Nishida 0.5 0.5 0.5 3 0.5 5
19 Kado 1 0 0.25 0.5 3 4.75
20 Wang 2 2 0.5 0 0 4.5

Tuerck’d – Live Free or Die with Michael Essa and Matt Powers [VIDEO]

While we don’t think the tourism board of New Hampshire will be promoting this video it shows off the wild time you can have in the northern state of New Hampshire. With Michael Essa and Matt Powers following along they go explore the great outdoors and then hit the NASCAR track New Hampshire Motor Speedway for some good times at the top of 4th gear drifting around the roads of the course. You can even see a cameo from the Takata Harness Scion FR-S as a camera car in the video.

Tuerck’d Has Special Guests Michael Essa and Matt Powers [PREVIEW]

In case you are rattled with a huge case of the Monday’s then we have something to get you fired up for tomorrow. Ryan Tuerck has dropped us this leak of the new episode including a photograph of the three drivers in their respective Formula Drift cars running tandem at New Hampshire Motorsports Park, hitting local swim spots, and missile car drifting at the Tuerck house. Get ready!

Formula Drift Seattle with Off Track – Tony Angelo and Chris Forsberg v. Michael Essa [VIDEO]

Ryan Tuerck won the GoPro camera and Jenson Argyle walks around asking the drivers of Formula Drift which judge they would kill, bang, marry. Chris Forsberg and Michael Essa take home the run of the weekend where Chris put down an insane follow battle against Michael Essa. Tony Angelo is the highlighted driver in Off-Track to wrap up the Round 5 video.

2013 Formula Drift Round 5 at Evergreen Speedway Qualifying [RESULTS]

Darren McNamara took down first place with a solid qualifying pass while tons of big names scored a 0 on the first run setting them to the back of the grid such as Ryan Tuerck, Daigo Saito, Kenneth Moen, and Robbie Nishida. A notable absence is Kyle Mohan who had steering rack issues and failed to qualify. Here is how the Top 32 wound up:

1. Darren McNamara
2. Fredric Aasbo
3. Matt Field
4. Vaughn Gittin Jr.
5. Odi Bakchis
6. Matt Powers
7. Toshiki Yoshioka
8. Ryan Kado
9. Michael Essa
10. Justin Pawlak
11. Chris Forsberg
12. Conrad Grunewald
13. Dennis Mertzanis
14. Dai Yoshihara
15. Tyler McQuarrie
16. Ken Gushi
17. Chelsea DeNofa
18. Kenneth Moen
19. Robbie Nishida
20. Taka Aono
21. Joon Maeng
22. Miro Ovcharik
23. Ryan Tuerck
24. Pat Goodin
25. Danny George
26. Daigo Saito
27. Jeff Jones
28. Tony Angelo
29. Chris Jeanneret
30. Pat Mordaunt
31. Jhnotthan Castro
32. Brandon Wicknick

Top 32 Tandem Battles:
Darren McNamara vs. Brandon Wicknick
Ken Gushi vs. Chelsea DeNofa
Ryan Kado vs. Danny George
Michael Essa vs. Pat Goodin
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Chris Jeanneret
Dennis Mertzanis vs. Taka Aono
Odi Bakchis vs. Tony Angelo
Conrad Grunewald vs. Joon Maeng
Fredric Aasbo vs. Jhonnthan Castro
Tyler McQuarrie vs. Kenneth Moen
Toshiki Yoshioka vs. Daigo Saito
Justin Pawlak vs. Ryan Tuerck
Matt Field vs. Patrick Mordaunt
Dai Yoshihara vs. Robbie Nishida
Matt Powers vs. Jeff Jones
Chris Forsberg vs. Miro Ovcharik

Wrecked Magazine Issue 27 Is Out Now [READ THIS]


Issue 27 of Wrecked Magazine brings Michael Essa back to our cover to interview him after his first ever Formula Drift victory. Jacob Leveton writes a guest editorial on the state of the 2013 rookies and then Danny George gets put In Focus. Wrecked Lifestyle puts a focus on what our staff has deemed “track essentials” with items from Electric Visual, ReplayXD, and Otterbox. The big finale is our amazing trip to Japan for Drift Matsuri including a write up on how cheap you can participate converted already into American dollars. Our Mustang RTR gets a huge drivetrain overhaul with help from Tremec and ACT Clutch.

Read the issue: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/issues/issue27/issue27.html

2013 Formula Drift Round 4 at Wall Speedway [GALLERY]








A big main event weekend finished up at Wall Speedway while Forsberg lost a door mid-drift and kept going and Daigo Saito took home another victory. In the past nine seasons tandem has never been this close or entertaining at Wall Speedway. Enjoy my extensive gallery of photos from the Top 32 all the way to the podium from the Round 4 weekend of Formula Drift.

Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=349

Formula D Championship Points standings after New Jersey [STANDINGS]

After a third consecutive podium, Daigo Saito is increasing his lead on a quest to win his second consecutive championship. After being knocked out in the top 16, both Vaughn Gittin Jr and Mike Essa lost ground on Saito in the points standings. Forsberg remains in fourth after his second podium this season, while Pawlak moves from 8th to 5th with his first podium of the season. Here’s how the points shape up after four events in the season:

Here’s how the points currently sit:

1. Daigo Saito                   361 points

2. Vaughn Gittin Jr.       300 points

3. Michael Essa                296.5 points

4. Chris Forsberg            286 points

5. Justin Pawlak              282.5 points

6. Fredric Aasbo             266.5 points

7. Darren McNamara     259.5 points

8. Aurimas ”Odi” Bakchis     221.5 points

9. Daijiro Yoshihara      219.5 points

10. Kenneth Moen               210 points

11. Ryan Tuerck               205 points

12. Matt Field                   199 points

13. Robbie Nishida         191.5 points

14. Chelsea Denofa          186 points

15. Conrad Grunewald   174.5 points

16. Tyler McQuarrie       143.5 points

16. Matt Powers               143.5 points