Round 6: Showdown at Texas Motor Speedway Results

Posted on

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.”

Round 5: Throwdown at Evergreen Speedway Results; Chris Forsberg Takes the Victory

Posted on

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.

Round 4: The Gauntlet at Wall Speedway Results

Posted on


Daigo Saito Takes the Victory

Long Beach, Calif. – June 22, 2013 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro returned to Wall Speedway in New Jersey for Round 4: The Gauntlet. Daigo Saito the driver of the Achilles / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 increases his Championship point lead with his second victory of the season.

For the second year in a row, Round 4: The Gauntlet showcased action in front of a sold out crowd in New Jersey. This event marks the half-way mark for the season with the championship in the sights of a few of the top drivers.

“We are happy to return to New Jersey for the ninth time,” stated Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “After Hurricane Sandy devastated the area last year, we are proud to be able to contribute and bring some economic stimulus to the region with our Series. On top of that we were treated to world class action in front of a capacity crowd.”

The new course configuration at Wall Speedway proved to be challenging and exciting for the drivers. A few of the top teams were taken out early in the competition opening the door for others to move ahead in the event. In the consolation round with Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z against Darren McNamara in the Falken Tire Nissan 240SX the action heated up when McNamara had a mistake that gave Forsberg the third place finish. The final battle pitted the number one qualifier Justin Pawlak in the Falken Ford Mustang against champion Daigo Saito. Pawlak on his chase run went a little too hard and spun out giving the victory and increasing the Championship point lead to Daigo Saito.

“I’m very happy to have this win and remain in 1st place,” said Daigo Saito, winner of Round 4: The Gauntlet. “It feels like I won a championship tonight going against some of the top competition in the Series with Vaughn, Fredric, Darren and Justin and I look forward to the next event.”

Formula DRIFT continues to Round 5: Throwdown at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA on July 19-20, 2013.

Round 2: Road to the Championship Results

Posted on

May 11, 2013

Round 2: Road to the Championship Results;
Daigo Saito Takes the Victory

Long Beach, Calif. – May 11, 2013 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro continued to Round 2: Road to the Championship at Road Atlanta. Defending 2012 champion, Daigo Saito in the Achilles / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 takes the victory.

Round 2: Road to the Championship returned for the tenth consecutive season to the home of the inaugural Formula DRIFT competition at Road Atlanta. This is the only course on the circuit that has paved a custom section of the track specifically for drifting. Despite the intermittent rain, the fans in Atlanta came out in force and stayed through to the end of the event. Road Atlanta has the largest attendance for the Series outside of California.

“Drifting is chaotic and unpredictable,” stated Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “Today showed the ability of the Formula DRIFT drivers to adapt to the changing conditions while still performing.”

The rain slicked track proved to be a challenge as the event entered into the Top 16 portion of the competition. Heading into the competition, Daijiro Yoshihara in the Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan 240SX held the points lead, but surprisingly failed to make it into the Top 16, opening the opportunity for other drivers in the point standings. Michael Essa in the GSR Autosport / Yokohama Tire BMW M3 faced Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in the Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR in the consolation round. Gittin won third place and takes the lead in the 2013 Pro Championship point standings. The final round pitted Darren McNamara in the Falken Tire Nissan 240SX against returning champion Daigo Saito. McNamara on the first run misjudged the speed of Saito and ran into his car causing damage and giving up the advantage, which his team was not able to overcome. Saito earned his first victory of the season and moves into second place overall.

“This almost feels like revenge from Long Beach since I was only able to make it into the Top 16 at Round 1,” said Daigo Saito, winner of Round 2: Road to the Championship. “The track conditions were horrible and it could have been anyone that won, but I am happy that I was able to pull off the victory. Thanks to the team and Achilles for helping make this all possible.”

For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com

Formula DRIFT Professional Championship Presented by GoPro 2013 Standings After Two Rounds
1. Gittin Jr., Vaughn Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR 172 Points
2. Saito, Daigo Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 161 Points
3. McNamara, Darren Falken Tire Nissan S14 156 Points
4. Essa, Michael GSR Autosport / Yokohama BMW M3 141 Points
5. Yoshihara, Daijiro Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 137 Points
6. Aasbo, Fredric Hankook Tire Scion Racing tC 136 Points
7. Forsberg, Chris NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Nissan 370Z 135 Points
8. Tuerck, Ryan Team Retaks / Maxxis Scion Racing FR-S 125.50 Points
9. Moen, Kenneth Lutz Performance / Falken Tire Nissan 350Z 120 Points
10. Powers, Matt Nitto Tire / Fatlace Nissan S14 119 Points
11. Pawlak, Justin Falken Tire Ford Mustang 116.50 Points
12. Bakchis, Aurimas Nexen Tire Nissan S14 112 Points
13. DeNofa, Chelsea BC Racing BMW 3 Series 105 Points
14. Mohan, Kyle Nexen Tire / Mazdatrix RX-8 86 Points
15. Wang, Forrest Get Nuts Labs Nissan 240SX 82 Points
16. Field, Matt CX Racing / Blacktrax Nissan 240SX 81.50 Points

Round 2: Road to the Championship Event Results
1. Saito, Daigo Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 Winner
2. McNamara, Darren Falken Tire Nissan S14 Second Place
3. Gittin Jr., Vaughn Monster Energy / Nitto Ford Mustang RTR Third Place

Manufacturers Championship Standings After Two Rounds
1. Ford 288.50 Points
2. Scion 261.50 Points
3. Nissan 248 Points
4. BMW 246 Points
5. Lexus 239.75 Points

Tire Championship Standings After Two Rounds
1. Falken 330 Points
2. Nitto 311 Points
3. Hankook 270 Points
4. Achilles 243 Points
5. Nexen 228.50 Points

Daigo Saito is Victorious at Round 7: Title Fight and is Crowned the 2012 Formula DRIFT Champion

Posted on

Long Beach, Calif. – October 13, 2012 – Formula DRIFT returned to Irwindale Speedway for the 2012 season finale. Daigo Saito in the Achilles Tire / Bridges Racing Lexus SC430 takes the event victory and wins the 2012 Formula DRIFT Championship.

Round 7: Title Fight at Irwindale Speedway showcased drifting in its finest form. For the first time in Formula DRIFT and Irwindale Speedway history the event sold out before the gates opened to the public.

“Last year was so amazing we didn’t think we could do it again, not like this“ said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “This is why we love drifting. We are so energized for season 10 starting April 12-13, 2013.”

The competition was intense as the championship was up for grabs. Entering the event, seven drivers had a chance for the title. This soon changed as top drivers in the chase were taken out early including points leader Vaughn Gittin, Jr. in the Monster Energy / Falken Ford Mustang, defending champion Daijiro Yoshihara, in the America’s Tire / Falken Tire Nissan 240 and the 2009 champion, Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy / Hankook Nissan 370Z. This opened the door for both Daigo Saito and Rhys Millen in the RMR / Hankook Hyundai Genesis Coupe who met in the Final Four. Millen, the number one qualifier took himself out as he went hard into the wall giving the win to Saito. The wall took a number of victims through the competition including Justin Pawlak in the Falken Tire Ford Mustang when he battled Saito in the Finals, giving Saito the event victory. Saito in his rookie year in the Series becomes the first Series rookie to also be crowned Formula DRIFT champion. Saito a seasoned veteran drifter is arguably considered the best drifter in the world winning the Formula DRIFT Asia championship, D1 championship and now Formula DRIFT Pro Championship.

“Luck was with me tonight. I’m very happy to be able to compete in Formula DRIFT this year. I’ve wanted to compete in the Series for so long,” said Daigo Saito, winner of Round 7: Title Fight and 2012 Formula DRIFT champion. “Thank you to Formula DRIFT and Achilles Tires. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without the help of everyone that helped me get to this point.”

Formula DRIFT enters its tenth season of competition in 2013. Tickets are on-sale currently and can be purchased through the Formula DRIFT website and Ticketmaster. Round 1: Streets of Long Beach will be held on April 12-13, 2013.