Autoblog.com Feature on Michael Essa

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Autoblog.com just featured a nice article on Michael Essa.

Sliding Sideways Through The Desert: A day spent drifting with Michael Essa [w/video]

Drifting isn’t a real sport.

So sayeth the peanut gallery that thinks drifting is just a bunch of wheel-spinning youngsters who’ve watched way too many selections from the Fast and Furious library. I’m here to tell you that it’s very much a sport, and the men and women behind the wheels of their sideways machines dance the thin line between aggressive fury and smoke-filled poetry.

I’m sweating my ass off in the middle of the Mojave Desert for my first lesson on drifting, and my teacher for the day is none other than Mr. Michael Essa. He’s late, it’s hot and I’m surrounded by a pit road filled with random examples of rear-wheel-drive Japanese machinery in all the colors of the rainbow. Plus three more hues that I’ve never seen before.

Who exactly is this guy I’m waiting for? If you’re already a fan of drifting, than you know that Professor Essa is the bespectacled pilot of the GSR Autosport BMW Z4. Essa is a professional drifter who competes in the Formula Drift series alongside the likes of Vaughn Gittin Jr., Rhys Millen and Samuel Hubinette, amongst others. Mike is passionate about his sport, skilled behind the wheel and also capable of ducking under the hood and turning some wrenches. At the moment, however, I don’t know any of this… because I’m melting into the asphalt of the Streets of Willow, and Essa is still late.

READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE HERE

FORMULA DRIFT TELEVISION PROGRAM TO DEBUT SUNDAY ON VERSUS

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**Update Premiere Episode Airs at 4 PM (EST) / 1 PM (PST) Sunday, Aug. 14 w/ Re-Airs on Thursdays at 5:30 PM (EST) 2:30 PM (PST)**

The 2011 Formula DRIFT Championship will debut the premiere episode of the season on the VERSUS network this Sunday, August 14, 2011 at 4:00 PM (EST) / 1:00 PM (PST).

For the third consecutive year, Formula DRIFT will air the television program titled, “Formula DRIFT,” on the VERSUS network. The 14 half-hour long episodes will run for 14 consecutive weeks on Sundays beginning on August 14, 2011 with re-airs showing on Thursdays at 5:30 PM (EST) beginning on August 18, 2011.

The episodes will document all 7 Championship rounds and 1 invitational competition that took place in Qatar. The programs will be hosted by Formula DRIFT co-founder, Ryan Sage along with Formula DRIFT announcer, Jarod deAnda.

For the full schedule check the Formula DRIFT website TV page.

Two of Formula Drift Asia’s Top Stars Are Confirmed To Join The Formula Drift Pro Championship

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Two of Formula Drift Asia’s top stars are confirmed to join the already diverse international field in the most competitive pro drifting series in the world, the Formula Drift Pro Championship. Saranon Pornpatanarak of Thailand who finished the season in 2nd place behind inaugural 2010 Formula Drift Asia Champion, Tengku Djan Ley and Emmanuel Adwitya Amandio of Indonesia, who finished the season in 3rd place.  Their entries will mark the first time Formula Drift Asia pro drivers enter formal competition is the primary Formula Drift Championship and take the nations count to 14.
Saranon Pornpatanarak
Emmanuel Adwitya Amandio

Formula DRIFT Round 5: Throwdown Results

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Formula DRIFT Round 5: Throwdown Results;
Daijiro Yoshihara Takes the Victory and the Lead in the Standings

Long Beach, Calif. – July 23, 2011 – Formula DRIFT returned to Evergreen Speedway for Round 5: Throwdown. Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire / Falken Nissan S13 takes the victory and the lead in the overall Pro Championship points standings. Attendance records were broken as the event reached capacity for the venue.

Round 5: Throwdown reached capacity as fans came in droves to Evergreen Speedway. Attendance was up over 10% from last season continuing the increase in numbers for the Series. Fans were treated to an exciting round of action from the top drivers in the sport.

“The Pacific Northwest has an amazing fan base, which was proven today,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “We are excited to see the growth of the sport and the Series this season with a continued increase in attendance at each event.”

The competition heated up with the final four drivers aiming to move closer in their chase for the championship. Fredric Aasbo in the Need For Speed / Scion Racing TC went head to head with Rhys Millen in the Red Bull / Hankook Hyundai Genesis Coupe and edged out the former champion earning third place. The Finals matched up the 2009 champion, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z with Daijiro Yoshihara. Yoshihara took the victory and gained the lead in the Pro Championship point standings and remains the leader with a commanding lead in the Tires.com Triple Crown bonus.

“It feels great to be in the lead,” stated Daijiro Yoshihara, winner of Round 5: Throwdown. “After the Top 32 when Justin Pawlak was taken out of the competition I knew I had a good chance to win, but I didn’t want to think about points and focused on winning one round at a time, which worked! We have 2 competitions left so I need to focus on them still before I can think too much about the championship.”

The Formula DRIFT Championship continues for Round 6: After Dark at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on August 26 – 27. Tickets are available to purchase online.

Update Round 5: Throwdown Almost at Capacity

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Formula DRIFT Round 5: Throwdown at Evergreen Speedway is currently close to capacity. Tickets purchased online are available at Will Call still, but no guarantees for anyone arriving looking to purchase a ticket at the door.

Formula DRIFT would like to thank all of the fans of the Pacific Northwest for their continued support of the Series. The event is streaming live via the DriftStream for those at home that would like to check out the action for themselves.