Round 6: Showdown at Texas Motor Speedway Results;
Michael Essa Takes the Victory and the Points Lead
Long Beach, Calif. – September 15, 2013 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro entered Texas Motor Speedway for the first time. Michael Essa in the GSR Autosport / Yokohama BMW M3 takes the victory and the lead in the Pro Championship points chase heading into the final competition of the 2013 season.
Round 6: Showdown saw a return to Texas with the first Formula DRIFT event in the Lone Star State since 2005. Texas Motor Speedway hosted the highly anticipated event under the night sky. The new track proved to be challenging as one of the fastest drift tracks on the circuit and one of the most technical for tandem drifting.
The consolation round saw Patrick Mordaunt in the Diamond Lighting / APEXi Lexus SC430 against point leader, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z. Forsberg won the battle to secure third place, but falls to second place overall in the Pro Championship standings with only 15.5 points separating him from the leader. The final battle pitted Essa against Matt Field in the CX Racing / Maxxis / Blacktrax Nissan 240SX. Essa bested Field for his second victory of the season and second straight podium finish to take the event win and lead in the point standings heading into the final competition of the season. This was Field’s first podium finish of his Formula DRIFT career.
“First year here at this track and the course was just insane with sustained speed throughout. It was just crazy out there, but we were able to take home the win,” said Michael Essa, winner of Round 6: Showdown. “Our GSR Autosport BMW E46 with Wisefab suspension and Bilstein suspension along with Yokohama Tires helped make this an amazing event for us. We are leading the points right now by about 15 points heading into Irwindale and we have a shot at the Championship which is not what we expected entering this season with a new car and can’t be more happy with the results.”
Heading into the final competition of the season for Round 7: Final Fight on October 11 – 12, 2013 at Irwindale Speedway. Less than 90 points separate the top six drivers and the championship. Additionally, the inaugural tire and manufacturer championship will be determined at the final competition of the tenth season of Formula DRIFT.
“It is always exciting to hold an event at a new venue and Texas Motor Speedway provided a great place to showcase drifting. The event outcome sets up a competitive finale, ” stated Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “With only one competition left in the season, the Championship is up for grabs with the top six drivers vying to be crowed champion.”
Long Beach, Calif. – July 21, 2013 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro returned to the Pacific Northwest to a sold out crowd. Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z takes the victory and the championship points lead.
The fans came out in droves for Round 5: Throwdown at Evergreen Speedway and for the second year in a row the event was held in front of a sell-out crowd.
“Each year we look forward to the action and excitement at Evergreen Speedway and this year did not disappoint. The championship chase is heating up with only two events left in the season,” stated Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “The chase is as close as it has ever been and we look forward to returning to Texas for the next round of competition and then the Finals in Irwindale.”
Heading into the event, returning champion Daigo Saito had a commanding points lead, but with an early exit in the Top 32, an opening for the other drivers became present. In the consolation round, Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis in the Nexen Tire Nissan 240SX battled Fredric Aasbo in the Hankook Tire / Scion Racing tC. Wheel and tire problems helped give Aasbo the win and the third place finish. The final battle pitted Michael Essa in the GSR Autosport / Yokohama BMW M3 against Chris Forsberg. After a close battle, Forsberg edged out Essa to take the victory and the lead in the 2013 Pro Championship points standings. Essa also moves into second place overall.
“Hats off to my crew for giving me a perfect running car this weekend as they were hustling really hard since Thursday’s practice to get the car dialed in for today,” said Chris Forsberg, winner of Round 5: Throwdown. “It is a testament from last year’s season to this year just how much you can improve with a hard working crew and the support of great sponsors. I’m excited for the win and the lead and can’t wait for the next event.”
With only 2 events remaining the championship is up for grabs with less than 35 points separating the top five drivers from the title. Formula DRIFT continues to Round 6: Showdown at Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas on September 13-14, 2013.
Long Beach, Calif. – June 1, 2013 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro returned to Palm Beach International Raceway for Round 3: Invasion. Michael Essa in the GSR Autosport / Yokohama Tire BMW M3 takes the victory and moves into third place overall in the standings.
Round 3: Invasion returned for the third consecutive season to South Florida to a capacity crowd. The fans were treated to exciting on-track action intermingled with the Slammed Society car show and display of cars from the Targa Trophy.
“South Florida continues to prove to be a viable market with another capacity crowd,” stated Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “The spirit of competition also continues to rise and is at the highest level it has ever been, which has made an amazing season thus far.”
The skies cleared up for the main event day and the crowds flocked to the venue. The technical track featured a fast entry that proved to be a challenge for some of the drivers with many favorites failing to enter the later rounds of competition. The consolation round pitted Robbie Nishida in the Bridges Racing / Achilles Lexus SC300 against Vaughn Gittin in the Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang. After failing to reach the line after a Competition Timeout following mechanical problems from the previous round, Gittin conceded to give Nishida the win and third place. The final battle pitted Michael Essa in the GSR Autosport / Yokohama Tire BMW M3 against returning champion Daigo Saito in the Bridges Racing / Achilles Tire Lexus SC430, who also won this event last season. The battle was fierce, but Essa took the victory after Saito had a slight error in his chase run. This is Essa’s first Formula DRIFT pro championship podium and victory, which moves him into third place overall in the standings. Saito in the process moves into first place overall with Gittin closely behind him in second place.
“It’s surreal. We started this week with some issues and didn’t qualify well,” said Michael Essa, winner of Round 3: Invasion. “The team put together a solid car and thanks to Yokohama Tire, Bilstein, Garret and the rest of the sponsors we were able to win. We need to keep the momentum going and I can’t wait for the next round.”
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Formula DRIFT Professional Championship Presented by GoPro 2013 Standings After Three Rounds
1. Saito, Daigo Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 257 Points
2. Gittin Jr., Vaughn Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR 244 Points
3. Essa, Michael GSR Autosport / Yokohama BMW M3 241.50 Points
4. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z 202 Points
5. Aasbo, Fredric Hankook Tire Scion Racing tC 197.50 Points
6. Yoshihara, Daijiro Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 195 Points
7. Moen, Kenneth Lutz Performance / Nexen Tire Nissan 240SX 184 Points
8. Pawlak, Justin Falken Tire Ford Mustang 182.50 Points
9. McNamara, Darren Falken Tire Nissan S14 180.50 Points
10. Bakchis, Aurimas Nexen Tire Nissan S14 166.50 Points
11. Tuerck, Ryan Team Retaks / Maxxis Scion Racing FR-S 150.50 Points
12. Field, Matt CX Racing / Blacktrax Nissan 240SX 144.50 Points
13. Wang, Forrest Get Nuts Labs Nissan 240SX 136.50 Points
14. DeNofa, Chelsea BC Racing BMW 3 Series 130 Points
15. Nishida, Robbie Bridges Racing / Achilles Tire Lexus SC300 127.50 Points
16. Powers, Matt Nitto Tire / Fatlace Nissan S14 119 Points
Round 3: Invasion Event Results
1. Essa, Michael GSR Autosport / Yokohama BMW M3 Winner
2. Saito, Daigo Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 Second Place
3. Nishida, Robbie Bridges Racing / Achilles Tire Lexus SC300 Third Place
Manufacturers Championship Standings After Three Rounds
1. Ford 426.50 Points
2. Lexus 414.25 Points
3. Nissan 386 Points
4. Scion 379 Points
5. BMW 371.50 Points
Tire Championship Standings After Three Rounds
1. Falken 461 Points
2. Achilles 417.50 Points
3. Nitto 408 Points
4. Hankook 399.50 Points
5. Yokohama 320.50 Points