2011 SEMA Press Conference

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For those attending the annual SEMA tradeshow next week in Las Vegas, Formula DRIFT will hold a press conference to announce news items pertaining to the Series.

If you are a member of the media and would like to attend this press conference please RSVP to john@theidagency.com. One on one interviews can be scheduled including co-founders Jim Liaw and Ryan Sage and the 2011 Formula DRIFT champion Daijiro Yoshihara.

Formula DRIFT Round 7: Title Fight Results

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Formula DRIFT Round 7: Title Fight Results;
Daijiro Yoshihara Wins the Championship and Tyler McQuarrie Takes the Event Victory

Long Beach, Calif. – October 8, 2011 – Formula DRIFT returned to the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale for the final event of the 2011 season. Daijiro Yoshihara in the America’s Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 won the championship, while Tyler McQuarrie in the Falken Tire Nissan 350Z took the event victory.

Round 7: Title Fight concluded the most successful season in Formula DRIFT history. The sold out crowd eclipsed attendance records for the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale and is now the largest Formula DRIFT event in history.

“First of all we would like to congratulate Dai on his first championship. He has worked hard for over 8 years and has consistently had good results and its awesome to see it pay off for him,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “You couldn’t script the finals to be any better capping off the season with excitement and drama and ending on a high note to a sell out crowd to be the largest drifting event we have ever produced.”

With the championship decided in the Final 4 competition, the event was far from over. Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z defeated Darren McNamara in the consolation round to secure third place for the event and also move him up into third place overall. The final battle of the evening pitted Rhys Millen in the Redbull / Hankook Hyundai Genesis Coupe against Tyler McQuarrie. After an intense battle McQuarrie took the victory moving himself up to finish in the fifth standing position for the season.

“To win in Irwindale is massive for any driver and to do it under the circumstances surrounding this week is incredible,” stated Tyler McQuarrie, winner of Round 7: Title Fight. “This victory paints a better picture and gives me the momentum heading into the off-season.”

The results of the event could only be described as the ultimate finish to crown a champion. This event was the closest and most competitive chase for the championship in Formula DRIFT history, with 5 drivers entering with a chance at the title. Rookie of the year honors went to Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis. Many scenarios played out with such a close gap in the point standings. Daijiro Yoshihara entered with the point lead and was taken out early in the Top 16 opening the door for the others to take the championship. Yet, the stars were aligned for Yoshihara and by a narrow margin he was able to hold onto the lead to win the 2011 Formula DRIFT Championship along with the Tires.com Triple Crown. Marking the first time in Series history that the champion also wins the bonus prize.

“It’s a great feeling and a dream come true,” said Daijiro Yoshihara, 2011 Formula DRIFT champion. “After 8 years of driving it finally paid off. I owe a lot to my team and sponsors. My new goal will be to defend the championship and win it outright during the event.”

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.


Round 2: Qualifying Results

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Driver: Car # Score:

1 C. Grunewald #79 96.2
2 R. Tuerck #44 94.4
3 J. Maeng #51 94.4
4 D.Yoshihara #9 93.3
5 T. McQuarrie #17 91.1
6 K. Gushi #33 90.9
7 M. Powers #665 89.8
8 C. Forsberg #64 88.4
9 K. Mohan #99 87.8
10 D. McNamara #8 87.6
11 M Essa #101 80.8
12 V. Gittin #1 80.6
13 F. Aasbo #151 79.3
14 T. Yoshioka #21 77.8
15 J. Pawlak #13 77.3
16 M. Waldin #23 77
17 K. Moen #76 76.2
18 D. Mertzanis #323 73.3
19 R. Petty #808 72.5
20 P. Cyr #68 71
21 O. Bachis #723 70.5
22 P. Mordaunt #90 70.3
23 M. Feiock #222 69.9
24 E. O’Sullivan 66.6
25 C. Martinez #951 66.5
26 M Field #777 65.5
27 C. Ng #84 65.4
28 D. Kearney #43 64.9
29 J. Jones #29 64.3
30 W. Wilkerson #95 63.8
31 T. Aono #86 59.8
32 J. Russakoff #87 58.6

Formula DRIFT announces the addition of the Slammed Society Showcase by Fatlace for the 2011

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Formula DRIFT Announces the Slammed Society Showcase by Fatlace;
Car Show to Debut at Round 1: Streets of Long Beach on April 9

Long Beach, Calif. – March 31, 2011 – Formula DRIFT announces the addition of the Slammed Society Showcase by Fatlace for the 2011 Pro Championship season. The car show will make its debut at Round 1: Streets of Long Beach on April 9, 2011.

The Slammed Society Showcase will display the top cars from each area on the nationwide tour. The car show will feature the owners and their vehicles connecting the passion of automotive tuning and motorsports. Entrants will be awarded by Meguiar’s Car Care with a goodie bag from the presenting sponsor along with the event winners receiving a feature on www.fatlace.com. Fatlace is an online lifestyle magazine that focuses on the style and function of tuned vehicles, industry insight, music and lifestyle.

“2010 introduced the country to Fatlace and the One of One Showcase, for 2011 the Slammed Society Showcase is gearing up to present the top cars in the nation to the Formula DRIFT fan,” said Felix Marcelino, Director of Operations, Fatlace, LLC. “We want to show what the future of car shows are all about and award the true automotive enthusiast.”

Online registrations are now open for all car show participants on www.fatlace.com/society/showcase