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April 02, 2014

Yokohama's Formula Drift title defense begins at Long Beach

Essa will be driving the Essa Autosport BMW E46 M3 in Formula Drift this season.
Essa will be driving the Essa Autosport BMW E46 M3 in Formula Drift this season.

The 2014 Formula Drift season starts April 4-5 in Long Beach, California, and Yokohama Tire Corporation (YTC) is ready to defend its title with reigning champion Michael Essa. YTC and Essa captured the 2013 Formula D crown on ADVAN Neova AD08 R tires.

Essa will be piloting the Essa Autosport BMW E46 M3 on a segment of the Long Beach Grand Prix street course. YTC is also partnering with D1 veteran Kuniaki Takahashi in his A’PEXi Lexus SC430, as well as up-and-coming Ryan Kado in his Gryphon AutoLab Nissan 350Z.

“We have an extremely talented line-up this season,” said Matt Johnson, YTC performance marketing supervisor. “Essa is looking to repeat, Takahashi brings a wealth of drifting experience to the Yokohama team and Kado is a definite name to watch.”
I
n addition, all three YTC-sponsored teams are scheduled to participate in the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge during the Long Beach Grand Prix weekend, April 10-11.  The cars will compete under the lights on Friday and Saturday evening and be on display throughout the weekend.

“Formula Drift is a very competitive series and the capabilities of the AD08 R tires are a key component for success,” said Johnson. “It’s a world-class extreme performance summer tire and utilizes our breakthrough orange oil compound, found both in our ADVAN ENV-R2 race slick and consumer tire products.”

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