Hello again Stancenation! I am back with coverage of Round 3 of the 2013 Formula Drift season and let me tell you Round 3 did not disappoint. First off, it was supposed to rain the entire time. I mean the forecast was so bad that I thought about canceling my flights and building an ark to get me there and back. I am kidding of course, but you get the idea. Instead of torrential downpour we got sunny skies. Sunny skies though made for quite the humid weekend. Needless to say, I was drenched in sweat by the end of each day.

Photos By: Sid Fligel exclusively for StanceNation.com

If that wasn’t strange enough, then the driving definitely peaked your strange meter as I know it did mine. Top 32 went as usual with the only real upset being Tyler McQuarrie beating Mats Baribeau after he qualified 5th. Drivers like Justin Pawlak, Daigo Saito, and Vaughn Gitten Jr. all qualified like they should but others like Mats Baribeau and Dave Briggs really shined in qualifying and it paid off for them. Then you have drivers Matt Powers and Ken Gushi who didn’t qualify for the top 32 and that opened the door for some interesting match ups.

Top 16 is where things began to get interesting. To start it off, Robbie Nishida undid Justin Pawlak who was number 1 going into the top 16. Fredric Aasbo knocked off the number 2 seed Kenny Moen, Matt Field beat Dai Yoshihara, and Michael Essa took out Taka Aono. Top 8 got underway with the lights shining bright on the track. An almost eerie evening was upon us. The track was prepped for a champion and the podium was waiting impatiently. Top 4 featured Nishida vs Essa and Gitten Jr. vs Saito. When it as all said and done, Essa and Saito emerged from the smoke ready to take on each other for the championship.

Michael Essa was seeking his first first place finish this season while Daigo Saito was hoping to score his second in a row after being crowned the champion of Round 2 in Atlanta. MIchael Essa would eventually beat Saito and bring home the carbon fiber trophy.

With Round 4 lurking around the corner, the points standing look like this:

1. Daigo Saito – 257.00
2. Vaughn Gitten Jr. – 244.00
3. Michael Essa – 241.50
4. Chris Foresberg – 202.00
5. Fredric Aasbo – 197.50