Recently, Street Legal Performance announced that it is finally entering the world of professional drifting by sponsoring Michael Essa in a Chevrolet Camaro for the 2015 season of Formula Drift. Essa is no stranger to the circuit and has made quite the name for himself in the past few years. If you haven’t heard of him (get your head out of the sand), read on, and we think you’ll agree that Essa has what it takes to be the perfect match for SLP’s big leap into drifting.
Since he was 16, Essa has had his foot on the throttle. His first time climbing behind the wheel at an autocross event in a Datsun 510 brought him the fastest time of the day. With that positive start, Essa moved forward. He has given himself a leg-up on the competition by being deeply observant since day one. He spent time watching other drivers on and off the track to learn that having a mechanical know-how and an understanding of a car’s inner workings is a major component of performing well on the track, as it bridges the gap between the car and the driver, as well as driver and crew chief.
In 2003, seven years after first jumping behind the wheel, Essa founded Tech Trix Motorsports (Essa Autosport) in Anaheim, California, focusing on Porsche Club Racing. Clients of Essa have had (and continue to have) great success on the track, with a rap sheet full of class wins, season championships, and endurance race victories.
Access to these successful race cars helped Essa to refine his own driving skills in practice sessions and while making suspension upgrades and adjustments to the vehicles. After only a year of Pro-Am level drifting, he earned his Formula Drift Pro license. For his rookie year of Formula Drift, he built his own car, funded his own team, and finished as a runner up to Rookie of the Year after attending only six of seven events. It has been a climb up the rankings since then – he finished 17th overall in 2011, 12th overall in 2012, and won the championship in 2013 with his self-built BMW M3.
Essa is a triple threat: accomplished racer, chassis specialist, and driver coach – making him the perfect addition to SLP’s brand. We are excited to see what the 2015 season has in store for us.
Keep an eye on Essa and the Formula Drift circuit starting on April 10, 2015 at the Streets of Long Beach, California, event.