Michael Essa is no stranger to getting the most from a suspension. Beginning at a youthful 16-years of age, Essa began autocrossing a Datsun B210. His first time out set the fastest time of the day which encourage the youngster to learn more about the mechanical end of the sport. He already had the natural skills behind the wheel but lacked the mechanical knowledge to take his talents to the next level.
Diving into the inner workings of automobile suspensions, Essa went from Porsche club racing to season championships on road courses. Before long, he had earned his Formula Drift Pro License, built his own car and funded his own team to win rookie of the year. He went on to win the Championship in 2013 and start his own company. Accepted as a champion in many different aspects of auto racing, Essa is considered a chassis specialist/driving coach and drives a 2013 Camaro in the Formula Drift series.
Essa unveiled his new Camaro at the beginning of the 2015 season after joining forces with BMR Suspension for the suspension stability he desired on the track. With a sport that is centered around predictability in handling, the pairing of Essa and BMR seems like a natural fit.
Essa explained that the teams in Formula Drift are all using the stickiest tires that are available, to get the traction that the driver’s require to drive within inches of each other in controlled power slides. Essa credits BMR’s suspension components with the ability to dial in suspension settings that work for the track, and the ability of the suspension components to hold those settings for superior performance. The last thing that the teams want is control arms that flex, or bushings that give or flex too much in the corners which changes all of the suspension controls. Toe, caster and camber are all affected by suspension flex.
“Having the right suspension is critical in drifting.” According to Essa, if the suspension doesn’t hold the settings, “You just won’t be able to get the grip out of the car that you need to be competitive.”
For more information on BMR Suspension and their line of products, visit them online at www.bmrsuspension.com