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Formula Drift Driver Michael Essa Finishes Good Year, Gets BMW 335i Ready for 2010 Season

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Michael Essa began racing at age 17
Michael Essa began racing at age 17
After six full seasons most fans and aficionados have come to recognize that the Formula DRIFT series puts the X-factor in extreme motorsport racing. Maneuvering through a designated course at high speeds while executing controlled sideways slides requires mad skills. This season just over 60 professional drivers participated in all seven competitions. Michael Essa, from Los Angles, California, is systemically working himself towards the top of that group of racers.
Formula DRIFT Rookie Michael Essa
Formula DRIFT Rookie Michael Essa


In this his rookie year, Essa finished the season in second place out of eleven total rookie drivers. Due to budget issues he was unable to attend the New Jersey event. With the momentum he was carrying, the potential points he would have earned there could very likely have put him in the Rookie of the Year spot. "I had a good season, finishing sixth overall in Las Vegas and in the top sixteen at the last event at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, California," says Essa.

Essa first got behind the wheel of a racecar at age 17 – he says he knew instantly that this was where he wanted to be. From that point on he has remained focused on the machinery and the track, in his ongoing efforts to build on a solid foundation to create a legacy in global motorsports.
Drifter Michael Essa in action.
Drifter Michael Essa in action.


He has held positions as Crew Chief and Lead Tech Inspector, building and developing his talent from the ground up. In the spring of 2001 Essa opened Tech Trix Motorsports in Anaheim, California. It's there that he builds, maintains, and provides track support for Porsche racecars. Essa not only worships racing, but he also supports the community by offering driving instruction for both Porsche racers and drift drivers.

Essa races a 1987 Mazda RX-7, powered by a 2003 Z06 LS6 Corvette engine. "The car is basically the same as how it started the season. For the last event though we added a new cam and ported the heads, to up the power to 430whp and 390wtq," says Essa.

1987 Mazda RX-7 with 2003 Z06 LS6 Corvette engine
1987 Mazda RX-7 with 2003 Z06 LS6 Corvette engine
"I'm happy to represent K&N. I would buy and use their products even without their support, and I have in the past. K&N makes only high quality items, I truly believe them to be the best available. I always use K&N air filters/kits and oil filters."

"For the 2010 Formula Drift season I've teamed up with GSR Autosport to build, campaign and drive a 2008 BMW 335i. Were excited to bring a new European car to the FD series," adds Essa.

The rear-engine BMW 335i is a sports coupe with a rock-solid chassis and plenty of room for aftermarket development. The new platform will easily handle the 550-hp turbocharged 3.2-liter M3 powerplant which Essa has almost finished.

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail tech@knfilters.com, or visit www.knfilters.com.