Formula DRIFT Round 4: The Gauntlet Results

Aurimas Bakchis fights his way to victory

Long Beach, Calif. – Formula DRIFT Black Magic Pro Championship presented by BlackVue Dash Cameras returned to Wall Speedway in New Jersey for the fourth event of the season. Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis in the Falken Tire / Drifz Wheels Nissan 240 battled his way to victory.

“As we hit the half way point of the season, there’s still plenty of action left,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT. “These are the best drifters from around the world and the championship is still up for grabs.”

The Advance Auto Parts Round 4: The Gauntlet showcased tough competition throughout the event weekend. Over 1 million viewers tuned into the Livestream to watch the exciting action.

The Final 4 pitted Michael Essa in the Achilles Tire / Essa Autosport BMW M3 against Kristaps Bluss in the HGK / Mast / Motul / Wisefab BMW E46 on one side of the bracket. The battle of the BMWs went to the 2013 champion, Essa as he took advantage of a mistake by his opponent. Bakchis was set to face off against Matt Coffman in the Nexen Tire / Coffman Racing Nissan 240, but after failing to repair his vehicle within the allotted 5 minutes, Coffman had to bow out giving Bakchis the win. In the final battle, Essa faced off against Bakchis, with the first run being a very competitive outing. The second battle ended in dramatic fashion as Essa’s tire debeaded coming off the bank and Bakchis’ motor gave out just as he crossed the finish line. Bluss rounded out the podium in third place for the second consecutive event.

“I feel amazing. It was a very hard battle for us the whole weekend,” said Aurimas “Odi” Bakchi, winner of the Advance Auto Parts Round 4: The Gauntlet. “We had lots of challenges, but my crew pulled it together and allowed me to drive like an animal and kept my car somewhat together just enough as it literally blew up right at the finish line. The timing couldn’t have been better and I couldn’t be happier.”

The action continues to Round 5: True North at Autodrome St-Eustache in Montreal, Canada on July 15-16.

Advance Auto Parts Round 4: The Gauntlet Event Results

Position / Driver

Team / Car

1. Bakchis, Aurimas

Falken Tire / Drifz Wheels Nissan 240

2. Essa, Michael

Achilles Tire / Essa Autosport BMW M3

3. Bluss, Kristaps

HGK / Mast / Motul / Wisefab BMW E46

4. Coffman, Matt

Nexen Tire / Coffman Racing Nissan 240

5. Deane, James

Worthouse Drift Team / Falken Tire Nissan Silvia

6. Aasbo, Fredric

Rockstar Energy / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM

7. Yoshihara, Dai

Falken Tire / Turn 14 Distribution Subaru BRZ

8. Jones, Jeff

DOC Racing Nissan 240

9. Denofa, Chelsea

BC Racing / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR

10. Tuerck, Ryan

Gumout / Nameless Performance / Hankook Toyota 86Falken

11. Pawlak, Justin

Roush Performance Ford Mustang

12. Gittin, Vaughn

Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR

13. Rintanen, Juha

STR Racing Wheels / Nexen Tire Nissan Silvia

14. Heilbrunn, Alex

IMR / Nitto Tire BMW M3

15. Hamilton, Nate

Team Enjuku / BC Racing / Hankook Tire Nissan 240

16. Nishida, Robbie

Jerry Yang Racing Nissan GT-R

Black Magic Championship – Standings After 4 Events 

Driver

Team / Car

Points

1. Deane, James 

Worthouse Drift Team / Falken Tire Nissan 240

297.00

2. Essa, Michael

Achilles Tire / Essa Autosport BMW M3

241.00 

3. Aasbo, Fredric

Rockstar Energy / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM

230.00 

2017 Manufacturer Championship Standings after 4 events 

Manufacturer

 

Points

1. Toyota

 

441.00 

2. Ford

 

326.00

3. BMW

 

241.00 

4. Dodge

 

204.00 

5. Nissan

 

155.00 

6. Mazda

 

86.00 

2017 Tire Championship Standings after 3 events

Tire

 

Points

1. Falken

 

590.00 

2. Achilles

 

526.00

3. Nexen

 

483.00 

4. Hankook

 

398.00 

5. Nitto

 

373.00 

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About this article
Series Formula Drift
Event New Jersey
Sub-event Saturday
Track Wall Speedway
Drivers Aurimas Bakchis , Michael Essa , Kristaps Bluss , James Deane , Matt Coffman
Teams Team Falken Tire , Nexen Tire Motorsport
Article type Race report