Sam Hubinette

We Ask Michael Essa Questions about Ethanol and Drifting


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.


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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10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift New Jersey Round 4


10. The BMW chassis is looking Hot in 2016
Man, the BMW chassis is looking like it should be hot property after this drift season. BMW has seen a podium at 75% of the events this year and some of the most notable drifting has come from the likes of Essa, Moen, Heilbrunn, Bluss, and DeNofa all in the BMW camp. The changes in the series seem to favoring this chassis in a big way.

9. Vaughn Gittin Jr. Ties Sam Hubinette for Event Wins Record
Vaughn Gittin Jr. battled his good friend Chris Forsberg in the finals at Wall Speedway and won! It was also a tie-breaker between the two friends. Chris Forsberg and Vaughn Gittin Jr. both had 8 event wins going into this event in New Jersey. It also happened to be a home track for both drivers who grew up within hour of Wall. Tons of narrative and storyline here as Vaughn Gittin Jr. prevailed and tied the record holder Sam Hubinette now with 9 event victories. An even crazier point made by our stats guru Jacob Leveton, Vaughn’s first win actually came after Sam Hubinette’s last win of their respective careers.

8. Forrest Wang Retirement is Tough to Swallow
Forrest Wang retiring from Formula Drift is a tough one to realize and swallow for fans. He has the best drifting style in Formula Drift but all good things must come to an end. I also see him coming back before the end of this season but that is just pure speculation that I have no evidence for. I am kind of bummed that the Wang/Forsberg battle managed to overshadow what was a super exciting event. If you missed the event or have live under a rock, here is our analysis of the Top 16 battle.

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Vote for Dean Kearney’s 2015 livery


Dean Kearney’s title sponsor Oracle Lighting is holding a poll on their Facebook Page to help choose the livery for the 2015 Formula D season. Both liveries were designed on Forza, and these two finalists were narrowed down from several other entries. Both entries have some clear influences from previous liveries that both Kearney and Sam Hubinette have worn on previous Dodge Viper drift cars. Which design do you like better?

Livery Design #1 (white):



Livery Design #2 (red):


2014 Formula D Championship Standings – Round 6 Texas [STANDINGS]



Heading into the final event, it is now officially a two-horse race. Had Aasbo been eliminated in the top 16, there was a potential for Chris Forsberg to clinch the championship entirely in Texas. With Forsberg losing to Aasbo in the Final 4, and Aasbo going on to win the event, the championship chase is now tighter than it has been nearly all season. Odi Bakchis also jumped from 6th in the championship to 4th by earning his second podium of the season, while Wang jumps from 10th to 8th with his second career podium finish.

Here are the point totals after Texas Motorspeedway’s 6th round of Formula D competition:

1. Chris Forsberg                 493 points
2. Fredric Aasbo                  467 points
3. Vaughn Gittin Jr.            359.5 points
4. Odi Bakchis                      328 points
5. Kenneth Moen                 293 points
6. Darren McNamara         280.5 points
7. Justin Pawlak                  259.5 points
8. Forrest Wang                  257.5 points
9. Dean Kearney                 252 points
10. Ryan Tuerck                  213 points
11. Conrad Grunewald       211.5 points
12. Robbie Nishida             208.5 points
13. Ken Gushi                      192.5 ponts
14. Tyler McQuarrie           188.5 points
15. Michael Essa                 183.5 points
16. Chelsea Denofa             172.5 points
17. Matt Field                      170.5 points
18. Pat Goodin                    157.5 points
19. Charles Ng                     154.5 points
20. Jhonnattan Castro      143 points

My Trip to the Dominican Republic for CDCD Round 3 [RECAP]


I hopped on a plane to Santo Domingo without much expectation or information about drifting in the Dominican Republic. Jhonnattan Castro, running in Formula Drift, was the extent of my knowledge of drifting in the Caribbean as a whole. That is about as much information as most of you I would imagine. So I packed a couple things and hit LAX for a long journey to the Dominican. My first stop was JFK where I had a couple hour layover and linked up with Formula Drift judge Brian Eggert who was guest judging the same event.


Here we are on the plane leaving from JFK. Brian was slated to be a guest judge for the weekend and he also didn’t know very much about the Dominican Republic series. So basically we were flying to the Caribbean and we didn’t know anything other than that Carlos, the series owner, was going to pick us up from the airport. We landed and were taken out to Boca Marina for some fish and then headed to Autodromo Mobil 1 to watch practice.


The track itself sits right outside Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, and also is placed right along the gorgeous Caribbean Ocean. The far left of the course is a drag strip and part of the larger grand prix course here which the drifters do not use. The drifting starts right at the pit out area and heads towards the ocean around that big turn making an S onto the far right straight. Then the drifters take the kart track turn in to finish off the course with a slow technical element and shut down once they get back to the far straight.

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Wrecked Magazine Issue 29 – A Ten Year Tribute of Formula Drift

Issue 29  is a tribute piece to the first 10 seasons of Formula Drift. Using the number 10 as a benchmark, we look at the Top 10 Unique Car Builds, Top 10 Reasons I’m A Fan, and a look at the Victories by OEM. The cover spread is the Top 10 Moments of Formula Drift which covers wrecks, thousands in cash, and even some international travel.

Read the Issue:

2013 Formula Drift Awards – Most Event Wins of the Decade: Samuel Hubinette

Sam Hubinette still has the most wins of the decade with 9 total wins. Keep in mind he swept the 2004 season and racked up wins in 2005 as well. Several drivers are inching closer and closer to his victories with Dai Yoshihara and Chris Forsberg right on his heels. We will see how the next decade of drifting works out for event winners.


Throwback Thursday: All 9 podiums from Atlanta

Although Wrecked Magazine has only been around since 2007, we’ve dug into the archives to put together all 9 previous podiums from Atlanta. Dai Yoshihara and Chris Forsberg both have two wins at the track, but Darren McNamara and Ryan Tuerck both have two career podium finishes at the track. Who’s your pick to take home the win this weekend?

1st – Justin Pawlak – Falken Tire Ford Mustang
2nd – Freddy Aasbo – Need for Speed Scion tC2
3rd – Daigo Saito – Achilles Radial Lexus SC430

1st – Dai Yoshihara – Discount Tire Nissan S13
2nd – Darren McNamara – Falken Tire Saturn Sky
3rd – Toshiki Yoshioka – Retaks Nissan S13

1st – Dai Yoshihara – Discount Tire Nissan S13
2nd – Vaughn Gittin Jr – Monster Energy Falken Ford Mustang
3rd – Chris Forsberg – NOS Energy Maxxis Tire Nissan 350Z

1st – Chris Forsberg – NOS Energy Drink Maxxis Nissan 350z
2nd – Darren McNamara – Sears Saturn Sky
3rd – Ryan Tuerck – Gardella Racing Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice

1st – Rhys Millen – Red Bull Pontiac Solstice
2nd – Michihiro Takatori – Superautobacs  Skyline R34
3rd – Ryan Tuerck – Gardella Racing Mobil 1 Pontiac Solstice

1st – Chris Forsberg – Maxxis Nissan 350Z
2nd – Darren McNamara – Falken Tire McnSport SR86
3rd – Tanner Foust – AEM Memphis Audio 3350Z

1st – Tanner Foust – AEM Nissan 350Z
2nd – Sam Hubinette – Mopar Dodge Viper
3rd – Dai Yoshihara – Rockstar Energy Drink S13

1st – Sam Hubinette – Mopar Dodge Viper
2nd – Dai Yoshihara – Pacific Rim S13
3rd – Rhys Millen – Pontiac GTO

1st – Sam Hubinette – Mopar Dodge Viper
2nd – Chris Forsberg – Motorex Nissan 350Z
3rd – Hiro Sumida – DriftDay Corolla AE86

Daigo Saito Testing Dodge Challenger at Ebisu Circuit [VIDEO]

Daigo Saito has been super busy this off-season buying cars, NASCAR engines, playing drift pinball, and even buying Sam Hubinette’s old Dodge Challenger. He has taken the Challenger to Japan and this video shows him testing it out at Ebisu Circuit. Daigo is rumored to be running this Challenger or a NASCAR V8 powered Dodge Viper for the 2013 D1 Grand Prix season. What do you think of his Ebisu Circuit shakedown of the Dodge Challenger?

Sam Hubinette drifts a bunch of cars for Oakley and Macallan [VIDEO]

What’s a good way to show how durable an ‘ultimate flask’ is? Hit it with a car in drift, then drag it behind the car, clearly. Sam Hubinette has worked with Oakley in the past, and he teamed up with the iconic eyewear company to drift a plethora of cars including a BMW M3, Mercedes SLS, and a Shelby Cobra kit car. It’s awesome to see more companies marketing their products with drifting involved, and we’re glad to see the former 2-time Formula D champion staying busy.