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122013 Formula Drift championship goes to Michael Essa

Six months after the season opener in Long Beach, Formula Drift closed out its seven-event 2013 schedule in front of a sell-out crowd of more than 20,000 spectators at Southern California's Irwindale Speedway this past weekend. Daigo Saito, driving a Lexus SC430 with a 1,200 horsepower turbocharged Toyota 2JZ, took the event win on Saturday night, with Michael Essa (above) earning the overall series championship.

11Drift event held in shadows of Detroit's iconic train station

While the annual Woodward Dream Cruise brings plenty of cool cars and automotive enthusiasts to the suburbs of Detroit, the third round of the Midwest Drift Union brought some racing excitement to downtown Detroit. Laying down some rubber with the city's historic and iconic Michigan Central Depot as a backdrop, the "Streets of Detroit" drift competition took advantage of the broad, sweeping turn and tight-angled streets directly in front of the early-1900s-era train station.

11Formula Drift crowns its 2012 champion

Coming into the last event of the Formula Drift season no less than seven drivers had a chance at winning the championship. Vaughn Gittin Jr., the 2010 champion, was the odds-on favorite, entering the final with a size points lead gained from back-to-back wins earlier in the season, but other drivers like veteran Rhys Millen, last years champion Daijiro Yoshihara, rookie Daigo Saito and Gittin's fellow Mustang driver Justin Pawlak were all in the hunt.

9Drifting through the eyes of drifters

Every once in a long spell, we get an email asking how an ambitious young writer can work his or her way into the automotive sphere. The answer is always the same: work harder. Work harder than you ever have in your entire life. Work harder than anyone else around you. Sacrifice your time, your happiness and monetary gain just to work harder. Abandon your notions of fairness. They will only slow you down. Never fool yourself into thinking your hard work entitles you to anything. It does not. It

12Watch Millen dance with his new Genesis Coupe at Long Beach

Earlier this month, Rhys Millen took to Formula Drift Long Beach to introduce his newly updated 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe racer. After securing second place during qualifying and besting Nick D'Alessio in the top 32 battle, Millen spun on his second run of the top 16 contention versus Daigo Saito. Saito was 2011's D1 Japan champion. The spin knocked Millen from a shot at the podium all the way to sixth place, where he tied with Tyler McQuarrie with a combined 64 points. With a total of six roun

12Hyundai shows Millen's updated-for-2013 Genesis Coupe drift car

Hyundai has once again partnered up with Rhys Millen, this time to create a new 2013 Genesis Coupe fit to take on Formula Drift. The specially prepared two-door boasts more then 600 horsepower thanks to careful tweaking by the minds at RMR. That's a far cry from the 274 hp served up by the stock 2.0-liter turbo four, and so far, Millen is keeping the secret of how he pulled that much grunt from the four-pot to himself. We're guessing this machine has been touched by the gods of forced-induction

10Samuel Hubinette retires from Formula DRIFT

Samuel Hübinette, two-time Formula D champion, will not return for the 2012 Formula Drift pro championship season. "Two of our main sponsors changed their marketing direction, so we decided that the best thing to do with the Dodge Challenger SHR drift car is to focus on doing demos," said Hübinette, driver and team owner of Team Samuel Hübinette Racing. But don't think team SHR has lost its competitiveness. While drifting has been put on the back burner, Hübinette (the "Crazy

54Scion FR-S turbo spotted testing at Laguna Seca

It looks as if Scion may be hard at work on a new turbocharged FR-S prototype. Motor Trend nabbed a quick video of what appears to be a forced-induction version of the coupe darting around Laguna Seca. With its tall wing and sideways antics, the vehicle is likely being put through its paces by the Scion drift team, which has had to rely on specially modified TC models until now. It makes sense for the drift team to strap a turbo onto the vehicle's 2.0-liter flat four for a little extra grunt, bu

9Daijiro Yoshihara crowned 2011 Formula Drift champion

Formula Drift headed to Irwindale Speedway to decide who would be crowned the 2011 champion in front of a sold-out crowd. Going into the event, the title race was the closest it had ever been with Falken Tire teammates Daijiro Toshihara and Justin Pawlak separated by just 12.75 points. Each driver had two wins and three podiums this season, leaving the final event to decide the title.

5Samuel Hubinette to field two-car Formula Drift team for 2011

Two-time Formula Drift champion Samuel Hubinette is fielding a two-car team for the 2011 season, calling on European Pro Drift champion Dean Kearney as his second driver. The two will compete in a Dodge Motorsports Challenger and a Dodge Viper SRT-10. Kearney will wheel the Viper, while Hubinette will pilot the Challenger.

17Long Beach Grand Prix 2010: Reflecting on America's Monaco

2010 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach Grid Girls – Click above for high-res image gallery

14Rhys Millen gets first Formula Drift podium for Hyundai Genesis Coupe [w/video]

Rhys Millen drifting primer – click above to watch the video

12Vaughn Gittin Jr. unveils new 2011 Mustang drifter, announces new sponsor

Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s 2011 Monster Energy Ford Mustang – Click above for high-res image gallery

19Electronic Arts puts down controller, forms real racing team

Wonders never cease. The crew from Electronic Arts has decided to take its love of all things racing off the console and onto the track. The company just formed a genuine race team under the Need For Speed banner, and while we've seen plenty of brands go racing in the past as part of their marketing scheme, for the moment, this appears to be somewhat different.

58Ruh-Roh: Nick Hogan announces return to drifting

Hulk Hogan's son, Nick Hogan, has announced that he'll be returning to competitive drifting. That's right, at one point in time Nick Hogan was a competitive professional drifter, licensed by Formula D and finishing as high as third place at a 2007 NOPI Drift event. Then he went and crashed his hyper-modded Toyota Supra (while drunk and racing) and in the process put his friend and Iraq veteran into a vegetative state. Hogan, who was a minor at the time of the crash and subsequent incarceration,

5VIDEO: Formula D Judgment Day 2009

Formula D Judgment Day - click above image to watch the video

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