Autoblog: How the V8 became drifting’s engine of choice


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[youtube][/youtube] Feature on Michael Essa


Posted on 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.


Autoblog coverage of the Finals


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Formula Drift 2009 season wraps up in Irwindale, California
by Merritt Johnson


The sixth season of the Formula Drift series wound to a close in Irwindale, California this weekend, and the finale certainly lived up to the host venue’s ‘House of Drift’ reputation. The high speeds and excessive angle required to navigate the speedway’s bank required a “go big or go home” attitude in order for drivers to move through the rounds, and there was no playing it safe for seasoned veterans.

The 2009 Formula Drift season began with the debut of a slew of radical new platforms. It was anyone’s guess as to what methodology would win out come October. Driver Chris Forsberg proved that the tried and true ride, with a few years of service under its belt, was the key to securing a championship. Forsberg powered his V8-equipped Nissan 350Z to the top 16, earning him enough points to take the 2009 Formula Drift Championship title. Nipping right at Forsberg’s heals in the point race was fellow Drift Alliance member, Ryan Tuerck. Tuerck showed that Pontiac is still well and alive by sliding his Solstice GXP to the top of the event podium. Hit the jump to get all the results and a rundown on the season finale.

Check out the rest of the article and the image gallery HERE