Michael Essa

2013 Formula Drift Long Beach Grand Prix SuperDrift Qualifying Order [RESULTS]

Mike Essa took home the top qualifying spot, scraping both walls between turns 9 and 10 and putting on a show for the Long Beach Grand Prix crowd! Several drivers had car problems, and may or may not return tomorrow. Qualifying was a best of two runs affair, with drivers who failed to make a pass being ranked based on their 2013 FD points standings. Walker Wilkerson turned his first wheels on track for 2013, while drivers like Jeff Jones and Forrest Wang continued to look strong and built off of their performances last weekend.

Here’s the qualifying order:

1st – Mike Essa

2nd – Matt Powers

3rd – Robbie Nishida

4th – Forrest Wang

5th – Odi Bakchis

6th – Freddy Aasbo

7th – Jeff Jones

8th – Toshiki Yoshioka

9th – Ryan Kado

10th – Jhonnattan Castro

11th – Pat Mordaunt

12th – Walker Wilkerson

13th – Chelsea Denofa (transmission)

14th – Daigo Saito (misfire)

15th – Kyle Mohan (apex seal)

16th – Pat Goodin (axle)

Here are how the tandem matchups will work tomorrow:

Essa vs Goodin
Yoshioka vs Kado

Wang vs Denofa
Bakchis vs Wilkerson

Powers vs Mohan
Jones vs Castro

Nishda vs Saito
Aasbo vs Mordaunt

2013 Formula Drift Long Beach Grand Prix SuperDrift Updated Drivers List

Formula D has posted a new roster of drivers that will be competing this weekend at the SuperDrift challenge in conjunction with Long Beach Grand Prix. Here’s the list:

- Fredric Aasbo
- Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis
- Jhonnattan Castro
- Chelsea Denofa
- Mike Essa
- Patrick Goodin
- Jeff Jones
- Ryan Kado
- Kyle Mohan
- Patrick Mordaunt
- Robbie Nishida
- Matt Powers
- Daigo Saito
- Forrest Wang
- Walker Wilkerson
- Toshiki Yoshioka

Compared to this previous list, there are several major names missing including Chris Forsberg, Conrad Grunewald, Tyler McQuarrie, Ryan Tuerck, Dai Yoshihara, and Tony Angelo. New names on the list include Jhonnattan Castro, Pat Goodin, Jeff Jones, Pat Mordaunt, Forrest Wang, and Walker Wilkerson. How do you feel about this new roster?

Championship Points standings after Formula D Long Beach [STANDINGS]

With the first round out of the way, Dai Yoshihara leads the points by taking the win along with earning top qualifier. 2012 champion Daigo Saito sits in 10th place after getting knocked out in the round of 16 by Freddy Aasbo, matching his worst finish from 2012. JR was the last champion to win the Long Beach event and go on to win the championship back in 2010, it will be interesting to see if Dai Yoshihara can repeat that. Who’s your favorite to win the 2013 championship after Long Beach?

1. Daijiro Yoshihara                    112 points

2. Vaughn Gittin Jr.                     92 points

3. Chris Forsberg                        79 points

4. Chelsea DeNofa                      75 points

5. Kenny Moen                         65 points

6. Darren McNamara                   64 points

6. Ryan Tuerck                           64 points

8. Fredric Aasbo                       63 points

9. Ken Gushi                               62 points

9. Michael Essa                           62 points

11. Daigo Saito                           57 points

12. Aurimas”Odi” Bakchis           56 points

13. Ryan Kado                            55 points

14. Matt Powers                          55 points

15. Patrick Mordaunt                   54.5 points

16. Justin Pawlak                         54.5 points

Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach Qualifying [RESULTS]

After one of the longest qualifying sessions in Formula Drift history. Dai Yoshihara takes takes the number one qualifier spot. The rest of the qualifying order is below.

32 Tyler Mcquarrie
31 Dennis Mertzanis
30 Enrique Mendoza
29 Carl Ryquist
28 Miro Ovcharik
27 Pat Goodin
26 Jeff Jones
25 Danny George
24 Toshiki Yoshioka
23 Justin Pawlak
22 Pat Mordaunt
21 Joon Maeng
20 Robbie Nishida
19 Kyle Mohan
18 Jhonnattan Castro
17 Matt Field
16 Matt powers
15 Chris Forsberg
14 Ken Gushi
13 Ryan Kado
12 Odi Bakchis
11 Taka Aono
10 Forrest Wang
9 Freddy Aasbo
8 Daigo Saito
7 Ryan Tuerck
6 Vaughn Gittin JR
5 Kenny Moen
4 Chelsea Denofa
3 Mike Essa
2 Darren McNamara
1 Dai Yoshihara

Michael Essa Interview at 2013 Formula Drift Tech Day [VIDEO]

We caught up with Michael Essa talking about his new E46 heading to Formula Drift this season. He actually mentioned how the Z4 suspension and the E46 are very similar which we found quite interesting in his interview. His new Formula Drift car has some insane angle from WiseFab which we documented when we swung by GSR Autosport earlier this month. Michael Essa even talks about why he is out drifting instead of racing Porsche’s from his shop all week.

Michael Essa Testing the E46 BMW at Willow Springs [VIDEO]

Twenty-four hours ago this BMW was going through tech inspection at Formula Drift and for Easter Sunday the GSR Autosport team went to shake the car down at Willow Springs. Sadly this video doesn’t show off the insane angle he can produce from his WiseFab suspension but the car looks awful fast flying around Balcony. After some headaches with the Z4 and a few years understanding how the series works I think Essa is poised to be a top ten driver in 2013. We have seen the E46 drift well in the past and judging by this test run he has this car already dialed better than the Z4. What do you think of the run and his E46?

2013 Formula Drift Tech Day [GALLERY]

Tech Day was a packed out venue all day as Formula Drift cars rolled in and out of the lifts getting tech’d by technical director Kevin Wells. We saw and interviewed over a dozen drivers yesterday at Tech Day and will be providing video interviews with several rookies and returning drivers on how they feel about new rules and their setup for the 2013 season. We snapped a few car show photos, showed off our Mustang RTR, and took a deep peak at some of the Formula Drift machines.

Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=324

2013 Formula Drift Official Drivers List for Streets of Long Beach

Here is the official list of drivers who are paid and ready to head out for Streets of Long Beach. You will notice an absense of Rhys Millen but an addition of an open wheel racing star. Please remember that the * denotes anyone who is eligible for rookie of the year in 2013.
Saito, Daigo
Gittin, Vaughn Jr.
Pawlak, Justin
Tuerck, Ryan
Aasbo, Fredric
Yoshihara, Daijiro
Gushi, Ken
Grunewald, Conrad
Powers, Matt
Forsberg, Chris
Essa, Mike
Nishida, Robbie
McQuarrie, Tyler
Yoshioka, Toshiki
Bakchis, Odi
Denofa, Chelsea
Wilkerson, Walker
Moen, Kenneth
Field, Matt
Kado, Ryan
Mohan, Kyle
Angelo, Tony
Maeng, Joon
McNamara, Darren
Mordaunt, Patrick
Aono, Taka
Mertzanis, Dennis
Ovcharik, Miroslav
Castro, Jhonnattan
George, Danny
Lee, Alex
Ward, Chris
Goodin, Patrick
Briggs, Dave
Hosford, Corey
Jones, Jeff
Cano Estrella, Carlos
Mendoza Jr., Enrique
Stone, Gabe
Thomas, Nick
Bostrom, Jason*
Graven, Otto
Hamilton, Nate*
Hateley, Andy
Hildebrand, J.R.*
Jacobs, Julian*
Jeanneret, Chris*
Kretschmer, Eugene*
Landerville, Marc*
Moore, Victor
Osaki, Karl*
Pakula, Luke*
Parsons, Will*
Primozich, Rob*
Steele, Josh*
Wang, Forrest
Wicknick, Brandon*
Kearney, Dean
Keezer, Kory*
Rydquist, Carl
Pollard, Mike

A Quick Look at Michael Essa’s 2013 Formula Drift Car – E46 BMW [SNEAK PREVIEW]

We woke up way too early this morning and headed out on a cruise with the guys from Targa Trophy / Shift-s3ctor with our Project Mustang RTR. The cruise wound up landing us at GSR Autosport where Michael Essa has been hard at work with his new E46 drift machine. With some Forgestar wheels, insane angle from Wisefab and a big Garrett turbo we really like how this build is coming together. Here are some pictures from the build in progress:

Here is the insane angle Michael Essa has gained with this new build from Wisefab. I cannot wait to see Essa bring this car reverse entry down the big hill at Road Atlanta. The suspension really is something to look over and enjoy when you see this car in the pits this season.

We found these renders laying around showing Michael Essa’s design concepts for the 2013 season. At the meet Essa was mentioning that none of these wound up being the final render exactly but we have to imagine this is somewhere close to how the E46 BMW will turn out for the new season.


Michael Essa and Toshiki Yoshioka heading to Yokohama Tire for 2013

Currently Michael Essa is building an E46 chassis BMW to compete in the 2013 drift season, while Toshiki Yoshioka is building a BR-Z and running his own team. With Nitto Tire making the big signing of Vaughn Gittin Jr. they have trimmed down the rest of their program for the 2013 season and both Yoshioka and Essa were results of this trimming. This cutback over at Nitto Tire led to rumors that Michael Essa is making the move over to Yokohama Tire, and that was confirmed today with an announcement from Yokohama announcing both Essa and Yoshioka have made the switch. Essa’s E46 chassis we think will give him a ton of potential to progress in the sport and be a top level competitor in the 2013 season, while Yoshioka will be the lone Subaru-badged vehicle on the grid as of this time. These drivers joins the ranks with Patrick Mordaunt and a couple other drivers completing the Yokohama team. What does everyone think of this move for 2013?