Robbie Nishida

Achilles Radial Takes On Formula Drift Long Beach [VIDEO]

Brooks Films from England flew out to document the Achilles Radial team for Formula Drift Round 1. This unique and diverse international team has drivers from Japan, China, Ireland, and Norway in the mix. This brilliant video introduces you to the team and tracks their performance throughout the Round 1 Formula Drift weekend. It ended up Achilles Radial driver Kenneth Moen on podium!

Daigo Saito & Robbie Nishida Running Misslies at Ebisu [VIDEO]

Here is one awesome video from Matsuri showing Formula Drift drivers and teammates banging doors all around the various tracks of Ebisu Circuit! Daigo Saito is in the white missile car in the video and is flying around courses with Robbie Nishida in what might be the most fun you can possibly have in a drift car period!

Motegi Super Drift $25k Challenge Qualifying [RESULTS]

ForrestWang

Motegi Super Drift $25k Challenge has wrapped up day one with practice and qualifying! Dennis Mertzanis and Brandon Wicknick never managed to make a pass and Robbie Nishida lost his hood due to it not being latched on the first pass. Everyone else successfully gained a score for the weekend. He is how they finished:

1. Forrest Wang – 87
2. Daigo Saito – 85
3. Odi Bakchis – 84
4. Kenneth Moen – 84
5. Fredric Aasbo – 81
6. Michael Essa – 80
7. Dean Kearney – 76
8. Toshiki Yoshioka – 70
9. Jeff Jones – 69
10. Ryan Kado – 66
11. Kuniaki Takahashi – 62
12. Charles Ng – 59
13. Kyle Mohan – 50
14. Robbie Nishida – 0
15. Brandon Wicknick – 0
16. Dennis Mertzanis – 0

 

Top 16 Tandem Pairings
Forrest Wang vs. Dennis Mertzanis
Daigo Saito vs. Brandon Wicknick
Odi Bakchis vs. Robbie Nishida
Kenneth Moen vs. Kyle Mohan
Fredric Aasbo vs. Charles Ng
Micahel Essa vs. Kuniaki Takahashi
Dean Kearney vs. Ryan Kado
Toshiki Yoshioka vs. Jeff Jones

2014 Formula Drift Round 1 – A Review of the Top 32

MichaelEssa

Michael Essa qualified first this weekend – backing up his top qualifying spot at Irwindale Speedway last year. This makes two events in a row with a top qualifying spot for his E46 BMW. His first battle of the weekend was against Jeremy Richter who zeroed out on his follow run and then called a competition timeout. He was unable to return to the event and gave Michael Essa a pass to the Top 16.

PatMordaunt.BlownMotor

Pat Mordaunt blew his second engine of the week in the final practice session and gave Mats Baribeau and easy pass into the Top 16. His Hyundai Genesis (with red seats – not to be confused with Dennis Mertzanis’ Genesis that has black seats) retained the V6 Lambda motor which has continued to be a problem setup for the ARK team.ChelseaDeNofa.DennisMertzanis

Chelsea DeNofa was seemingly on his way to a victory over Dennis Mertzanis when his car shut off right by the horseshoe exit. Sources tell me he broke an axle and the mechanical gremlins continue to fall apart with the build. Dennis was given an easy pass to the Top 16 in his 1000hp Hyundai.

ForrestWang.CarlRyqduist

These guys were the first Top 32 battle to actually make two successful passes on the weekend. In the lead run Carl made a huge error resulting in a zero from the judges or a huge deduction. Forrest Wang on his follow run just sat back a little took it easy, which got him into the Top 16. All three judges favored Forrest Wang to move on.

GeoffStoneback.KennethMoen

Geoff Stoneback was the highlighted rookie of this weekend. After overcoming transport issues and clutch issues he managed to drive his way into the Top 32. He was sent packing by Kenneth Moen after two battles, but proved as a rookie he can overcome the diversity of the sport. Kenneth also looked unbeatable through most of the weekend.

The highlight of this tandem battle was the big wreck on Kyle Mohan’s follow run. These guys actually put on the best show of the weekend until Kyle planted his car into the wall, shattering his wheel. Robbie actually spins in a separate incident (off camera to LiveStream viewers) resulting in both drivers getting a 0 on the second run. The judges, after reviewing the first tandem battle where Kyle Mohan led gave, him the victory.

KyleMohan.Damage

Kyle and his team borrowed some taillights from a car in their paddock and got to work on replacements. Speaking with Kyle after the round, the team managed to get the car back on the road with a new wheel, brake lines, other small items, and one serious alignment. He does get the car back on track for the Top 16 introductions which is quite impressive!

MarcLanderville

Marc Landerville and Fredric Aasbo was another actually solid battle. Marc maybe even had a slight advantage after the first run groupings but really messed up his exit on turn 10 and went way shallow. That was the nail in his coffin and allowing Fredric to advance into the 16. All three judges picked Fredric to advance into 16.JCastro.ConradGrunewald

Jhonnattan Castro looked impressive in his CFR built Nissan 370z this weekend, but ran a little too conservative to defeat Conrad Grunewald in the Camaro. Castro looked far improved from any performance he had given in the past. Conrad really outshined him on the chase run letting Conrad move into the 16.

DaveBriggs.VaughnGittinJr

Dave Briggs was on fire with his performance over the weekend. In fact, he was putting out WAY more smoke than Vaughn Gittin Jr. throughout these battles. He drove Vaughn to a OMT after the first set of runs. Dave Briggs had an insane lead run and Vaughn Gittin Jr. made contact with the wall throwing him off line through turn 10. After the contact Dave has a huge correction, forcing the judges into a OMT. All three judges called for the first OMT battle.

During the OMT battle, Dave  fell a little behind on the follow run probably leaving him at a slight disadvantage as Vaughn went wall to wall without hesitation. Briggs’ lead run was awesome but he couldn’t make up the big amount of space he left when chasing Vaughn. All three judges favored Vaughn to advance!

DeanKearney

The Irish battle took place with Dean Kearney facing Darren McNamara. Dean looked insane with the Dodge Viper when he could complete the course. He was bringing out one aggressive snap entry into 10 and flying through the course. After watching both runs again and again after the event, I think the judges could of taken this either way. The judges really should of sent this battle to a OMT in my opinion, but they ended up calling it all three for Darren McNamara.

DaiYoshihara

Neither of these drivers were excited about this Top 32 draw. Dai Yoshihara in a new twin turbo V8 Subaru BRZ surely wanted an easier tandem partner for his first competition round in the new car. Chris Forsberg showed little remorse with two insanely solid runs dispatching Dai in the Subaru BRZ. All three judges favored with Chris Forsberg to move into the 16.

PatGoodin.DaigoSaito

Pat Goodin and Daigo Saito was one for the ages! Pat Goodin actually out qualified Daigo Saito so he was given the ability to lead first. Daigo was glued to Pat Goodin and didn’t give him enough space to transition heading into the horseshoe. Daigo smashed into his rear quarter panel leaving his bumper behind.

Sadly for Daigo Saito he already used his competition timeout in qualifying so he was unable to fix his car. Daigo attempted to bring the car out back to the start line but clearly had a serious front suspension issue and had to let Pat Goodin advance into the Top 16.

TylerMcQuarrie

Tyler McQuarrie and Tony Angelo was a tame contest. Tyler was just clearly faster around the course and easily dispatched Tony Angelo who experienced various driveline issues throughout the week.

KenGushi.OdiBakchis

Ken Gushi and Odi Bakchis was one of my favorite battles of the Top 32. Odi Bakchis had an insane chase really showing he has progressed a ton in the off-season. In the photo above, Odi Bakchis is so close you cannot even see his car buried by Ken Gushi’s Scion FR-S. All three judges easily went with Odi Bakchis to move into the 16.

JTP.FordMustang

Justin Pawlak stole the playbook from old Falken Tire teammate Haraguchi and used a feint entry into Turn 9. Why the judges or anyone said this was okay is beyond me! He continued this entry to gap drivers on his lead and then dove in normally on his follow run. It was kind of a lame strategy but the judges allowed this to take place.

Justin then parked it (hence the photo) on his second run and didn’t take off. He claimed Jeff Jones jumped the light and he couldn’t catch up. Jeff Jones ran the whole course in quite an impressive fashion but managed to break an axle before he returned. Jeff Jones called a competition time out but couldn’t fix his car, so JTP was allowed to advance into the 16. It was quite a strategic play overall from his perspective , but really sold the fans short of a good battle.

AlecHohnadell

Alec Hohnadell was the one of the three rookies to qualify into the Top 32. In his follow, run he really held his own following Ryan Tuerck with only a minor steering correction as his only deduction. In the end, Ryan Tuerck dismissed the rookie but he really performed well. I feel like with an easier draw in the 32, Alec could have advanced into the Top 16.

 

This wraps up the Top 32 round guys and we will have a Top 16 to podium summary also coming out very soon!

Kyle Mohan’s Big Top 32 Crash with the Wall [VIDEO]

The crash from Kyle Mohan wasn’t easy to capture since he was following behind Robbie Nishida putting out big smoke from his Achilles Radial tire. Regardless, you can clearly see Kyle make big contact with the wall and his wheel spokes shatter with contact at the wall. The wheel ring stayed in tact and the GT Radial SX2 tire didn’t even come dismounted from it!

Formula Drift Round 1 Bracket Breakdown with Tandem Battles

KenGushi

Here are the Top 32 brackets and we grouped together the potential Top 16 pairings as well. Sit back and get ready for an insane Round 1 of Formula Drift with the new season officially underway. Here is how they are set:

LEFT BRACKET

1 Michael Essa vs. 32 Jeremy Richter
16 Patrick Mordaunt vs. 17 Mats Baribeau

8 Chelsea DeNofa vs. 25 Dennis Mertzanis
9 Forrest Wang vs. 24 Carl Rydquist

4 Kenneth Moen vs. 29 Geoff Stoneback
13 Kyle Mohan vs. 20 Robbie Nishida

5 Fredric Aasbo vs. 28 Marc Landerville
12 Conrad Grunewald vs. 21 Jhonnathan Castro

RIGHT BRACKET

2 Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. 30 Dave Briggs
15 Darren McNamara vs. 18 Dean Kearney

7 Chris Forsberg vs. 25 Daijiro Yoshihara
10 Pat Goodin vs. 23 Daigo Saito

3 Tyler McQuarrie vs. 30 Tony Angelo
14 Odi Bakchis vs. 19 Ken Gushi

6 Justin Pawlak vs. 27 Jeff Jones
12 Ryan Tuerck vs. 22 Alec Hohnadell

Achilles Radial Announces Official 2014 Team for Tire Championship Chase with 21 Drivers

Daigo-Robbie-IRW-4530

The 2014 Achilles Radial team has grown quite substantially for the 2014 season. Achilles Radial has the intent to win another championship this season and also steal the Tire Championship this season. With 21 drivers in the Pro Series this year they stand a damn good chance. Let’s also not forget about Fantasy Drift “Team Tire Podium” points from this bunch as well. Here is the team listed out below.

Full Achilles Radial Team List:
Daigo Saito – Tokyo, Japan
Robbie Nishida – Tokyo, Japan
Kenny Moen – Oslo, Norway
Dean Kearney – Waterford, Ireland
Dave Briggs – Ontario, Canada
Marc Landreville – Quebec, Canada
Brandon Wicknick – Layton, UT
Rob Primozich – Seattle, WA
Enrique Mendoza – Moreno Valley, CA
Joshua Steele – Houston, TX
Charles Ng – Hong Kong
Alec Hohnadell – Miramar Beach, FL
Brad Heyl – Bradfordwoods, PA
Chris Mills – Los Gatos, CA
Dan Savage – Herndon, VA
Eric Hill – Westminster, CA
Erich Hagen – Olympia, WA
Geoff Stoneback – Huntingdon Valley, PA
James Evans – Baltimore, MD
Jeff Wolfson – San Jose, CA
Mike Pollard – Las Vegas, NV

Formula Drift Paddock Lost A Great One This Weekend – Chris Harrington

ChrisHarrington

While only about 50 drivers remain in the spotlight on any given weekend you will find hundreds of regulars behind the scenes making the event work and function. Chris Harrington passed away today who was a photographer and part of the Scion family for as long as I can remember.

I didn’t have quite as personal of a relationship with Chris as many others on the grid but we both shared a love for Formula 1 and he was quite a trackside cook. I even was lucky enough to meet his daughter Bianca when she came to the track who he managed to reunite with via social media. Chris was quite young and its a shame to know he wont’ be on site with everyone at Streets of Long Beach. Here is what some others had to say:

Photo Source: Larry Chen

Bridges Racing – Wrecked Weekly Episode 12 [VIDEO]

Episode #12 of Wrecked Weekly was shot today with a special co-host Jacob Leveton and the owner of Bridges Racing Bryan Bridges. We talk about his recent acquisition of Kenneth Moen making his team to manage for 2014 four vehicles. The Bridges team will all run Achilles Radial and include Daigo Saito, Robbie Nishida, Dean Kearney, and now Kenneth Moen.

Bryan Bridges touches on his 2015 new car builds and the drag racing team Speedfactory Racing who is entering Formula Drift in 2014. Finishing up our interview Bryan previews the growth of Achilles in the Formula Drift paddock for the 2014 season and talks about what hair gel he uses.

Kenneth Moen to Join Bridges Racing and Achilles Radial for 2014 Formula Drift Season

KennethMoen

Earlier this week Jacob reported that Bridges Racing was adding a fourth driver to the team for 2014. The new driver for the Achilles Radial / Bridges Racing team will be Kenneth Moen running a 700whp 2JZ powered S14 Nissan 240sx. The car will be built by Limitless Motorsports and driven by Kenneth through 2014 on the Achilles 123S tire.

“I’m really excited to work with Kenny this year,” said Bryan Bridges.  “He’s caught my eye over the last couple of seasons with his aggressive driving.  He is very passionate and just wants to drive, the same as the rest of our guys.  I think he’s going to make a great addition to our team, hope fully we can provide him with the tools he needs to make that final push for a podium.” 

“We are excited to welcome Kenneth Moen to the Achilles family for this season, and cannot wait to see him create a ton of smoke with his Achilles 123S tires,” said Cheralyn Hale, Director of Marketing for Achilles Motorsports LLC.