Michael Essa

Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Conrad Grunewald – Poor Camera Angles Screw Grunewald with Incorrect Deductions [VIDEO]

This post is going to take a while to break down so let’s start with a huge breath of fresh air and some simple instructions. The cones on the outside of the track behind the paint in the first turn were explained in the drivers meeting to earn you a big fat zero.

The judges followed this rule so hard and fast over the weekend that Chris Forsberg drifted past a cone and then through magic, fishing lure wire, or exhaust the cone just tipped over in its place giving him a “0″ and allowing Michael Essa to advance on in the event. In fact, this Vaughn vs. Conrad battle happened right before the Michael Essa vs. Chris Forsberg run.

Then the judges made a similar stern call in the Matt Field vs. Daigo Saito battle once Matt Field hit a cone and then Daigo flew off course right after. They put it at the fault of Matt Field for going off course and leading Daigo Saito to the same destiny.

In the “Correct Angle Fan View” video you can see it was shot from an oncoming angle, that we can guess is a fan shot video, in which  you can clearly see Vaughn Gittin Jr. goes off course and hits a cone in the exact same fashion as Matt Field. However, all the judges and commentators did was issue Conrad Gruenwald a 0 for going off course with no deduction to Vaughn Gittin Jr. giving him a definitive advantage he never deserved.

Correct Angle Fan View

Livestream

It is hard to say how the outcome of the second run would of been with the knowledge of Conrad and Vaughn being at a level score or playing field but how such an oversight occurred is rather annoying and disappointing. Why didn’t we have a camera set to focus down the row of cones like this fan view for the weekend since these cones were such a definite marker?

This automatic zero cone business just seemed like an excuse to eliminate making hard judging calls or use common sense to figure out what is happening on the course. The real crime, is having cones at all in such a precise area of a professional series. Can we bring in krail already? That is what everyone I would imagine wants to see making a clear definition of that turn.

You would be driving at that k-rail at a lower speed than the old Vegas Speedway course, Irwindale, and Evergreen Speedway and then allow a clear and definitive off course to be made. Volunteer course workers are tasked with putting down these cones and while I want to commend them for hustling and working hard the cones are not going to be put precisely in the same place run per run.

This tends to make things problematic when the differnce of a perfect run and a zero are literally millimeters (unless you are Chris Forsberg your exhaust will just knock the cone over after your perfect run scoring a 0.) I know everyone is going to come into this post and claim a Ford conspiracy and others will claim I am an idiot for spending time to point this out. What will make me super happy in 2014 is to see k-rail around that turn or just leaving that South Florida swampland all together.

 

What do you think about this call and tandel battle from Palm Beach?

 

Clarification Added at 11:11pm PST After Speaking with Ryan Sage on Phone: 

1. I didn’t mean to say that this tandem battle was the same or similar to the Matt Field and Daigo Saito was the same situation as this one or the same as Forsberg vs. Essa. I just mentioned these runs as references to show that cones were a definitive zero.

2. I have been told by many people that the judges didn’t dock Vaughn Gittin Jr. on his first run but Vaughn and Ryan Sage have told me he did receive a zero. The clear cut issue here is that Conrad Grunewald has communicated with me he didn’t know Vaughn got a 0 so I dont’ think or feel anyone else can really be expected to know that happened. I think that really gave Vaughn a psychological advantage and highlights a big communication problem of information to the teams. Weather the points were docked it clearly took a toll mentally on Conrad for run two in my eyes.

3. As I mentioned on my phone call with Ryan Sage I feel moving to a k-rail model would make this issue far more definitive over the course of the weekend. All the conflicts and problems occurred in one corner that drivers went over aggressive and wild into because it lacked serious negative consequences which then have broiled into a huge topic of discussion this week.

Our Readers Pick What Formula D Palm Beach Judging Call They Want Clarification On [ROCK THE VOTE]

After a Formula Drift judging reply to the incidents at Round 2 Road Atlanta we have talked to the three judges who agreed to break down a judging call of the Wrecked readers choice. Below, we hand picked the Top 10 most controversial tandem battles of the Palm Beach Round 3 weekend so the readers can request clarification.

 

What Palm Beach Tandem Battle Do You Want the Formula Drift Judges to Break Down on Wrecked Magazine?

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Formula D Championship Points standings after Palm Beach [STANDINGS]

With his second consecutive podium finish, Daigo Saito now moves into the drivers seat for the championship, 13 points ahead of Vaughn Gittin Jr. Essa now moves firmly into third place overall, 39.5 points ahead of Chris Forsberg, while Darren McNamara falls from third place all the way to ninth with his first top-32 exit of the season.

Here’s how the points currently sit:

1. Daigo Saito                              257 points

2. Vaughn Gittin Jr.                 244 points

3. Michael Essa                          241.5 points

4. Chris Forsberg                        202 points

5. Fredric Aasbo                        197.5 points

6. Daijiro Yoshihara                  195 points

7. Kenny Moen                           184 points

8. Justin Pawlak                       182.5 points

9. Darren McNamara                 180.5 points

10. Aurimas ”Odi” Bakchis          166.5 points

11. Ryan Tuerck                           150.5 points

12. Matt Field                             144.5 points

13. Forrest Wang                        136.5 points

14. Chelsea Denofa                       130 points

15. Robbie Nishida                      127.5 points

16. Matt Powers                             119 points

Michael Essa Wins Formula Drift West Palm Beach 2013 [RESULTS]

After a crazy Top 16 battle. Michael Essa take home the victory at Formula Drift Palm Beach.

1st: Michael Essa – GSR Autosports Yokohama Tire BMW E46
2nd: Daigo Saito – Achilles Tire Bridges Racing Lexus SC430
3rd: Robbie Nishida – Achilles Tire Bridges Racing Lexus SC300

Some New Formula Drift Road Atlanta Wallpapers Added to Site


After shooting some photographs I just loved at Road Atlanta we put some of them into wallpaper form in sizes: 1024×768, 1140×900, 1250×800,1680×105, 1920×1200. The new wallpapers include some tandem battles and a nice compilation of insane entries from Conrad Grunewald, Michael Essa, and Chelsea DeNofa to top off the new wallpapers. Head over to the Wallpapers section and update your desktop today.

Download Wallpapers Here: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/wallpaper/

2013 Formula D Atlanta top 32 Qualifying Order [RESULTS]

After a disappointing top 8 exit at the hands of Dai Yoshihara in Long Beach, Freddy Aasbo has emerged from qualifying in Atlanta with the top position. Mike Essa, Justin Pawlak, Chelsea Denofa, and Daigo Saito all earn key qualifying points with runs that landed them in the top 5. Here’s the entire qualifying order from Road Atlanta:

1 – Fredric Aasbo
2 – Mike Essa
3 – Justin Pawlak
4 – Chelsea Denofa
5 – Daigo Saito
6 – Darren McNamara
7 – Matt Powers
8 – Matt Field
9 – Vaughn Gittin Jr
10 – Chris Forsberg
11 – Odi Bakchis
12 – Forrest Wang
13 – Jeff JOnes
14 – Danny George
15 – Dai Yoshihara
16 – Kenny Moen
17 – Robbie Nishida
18 – Conrad Grunewald
19 – Ryan Tuerck
20 – Kyle Mohan
21 – Miro Ovcharik
22 – Toshiki Yoshioka
23 – Taka Aono
24 – Dave Briggs
25 – Chris Ward
26 – Will Parsons
27 – Nate Hamilton
28 – Pat Mordaunt
29 – Joon Maeng
30 – Pat Goodin
31 – Corey Hosford
32 – Walker Wilkerson

Here are the tandem matchups for tomorrow:
1 Freddy Aasbo vs 32 Walker Wilkerson
16 Kenny MOen vs 17 Robbie Nishida
8 Matt Field vs 25 Chris Ward
9 Vaughn Gittin Jr vs 25 Dave Briggs

4 Chelsea Denofa vs 29 Joon Maeng
13 Jeff Jones vs 20 Kyle Mohan
5 Daigo Saito vs 28 Pat Mordaunt
17 Forrest Wang vs 21 Miro Ovcharik

2 Mike Essa vs 31 Corey Hosford
15 Dai Yoshihara vs 18 Conrad Grunewald
7 Matt Powers vs 26 Will Parsons
10 Chris Forsberg vs 23 Taka Aono

3 Justin Pawlak vs 30 Pat Goodin
14 Danny George vs 19 Ryan Tuerck
6 Darren McNamara vs 27 Nate Hamilton
11 Odi Bakchis vs 22 Toshiki Yoshioka

Michael Essa at Streets of Long Beach – Talks About Clutch Masters [VIDEO]

Michael Essa brought out this E46 M3 for 2013 and right out of the box looked insane compared to his Z4. This M3 runs a Clutch Masters 850 Series Twin Disk clutch which according to Essa is working out perfectly for his new drift season. Listen to what he says about his product while he rips around the Long Beach streets course.

2013 Formula Drift Grand Prix – Super Drift $25k Main Event [GALLERY]

The Top 16 suffered various delays including tons of water being poured onto the track from the ALMS idiot vendors. After a small delay we kicked off to one insane run of tandem battles. Robbie Nishida defeated his Achilles teammate Daigo Saito and Fredric Aasbo banged into the turn 10 wall in the final four battling his Motegi teammate Matt Powers. Here are images from all the tandem battles of the day.

Check out the Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=331

Matt Powers wins Motegi Superdrift Challenge at Long Beach Grand Prix [RESULTS]

Matt Powers drove his Fatlace / Nitto Tire S14 to the win in the first ever Motegi Superdrift Challenge, narrowly defeating Mike Essa’s GSR Autosports BMW E46 in the final. Walker Wilkerson earned 3rd place by default due to Freddy Aasbo crashing out in his battle with Powers in the top 4.

1st – Matt Powers – Fatlace / Nitto Tire S14

2nd – Mike Essa – GSR Autosports / Yokohama BMW E46

3rd – Walker Wilkerson – Fueled Racing / Achilles Tire S14

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