Michael Essa Makes Camaro and SLP Sponsorship Official for 2015

Posted on Feb 13, 2015 In Formula D Justin Pawlak Michael Essa


A couple weeks ago we reported on a rumormill about Michael Essa stepping into a Chevrolet Camaro. Today, Essa Autosport confirmed our suspicions today with an official PR announcing his debut of a Chevrolet Camaro and a partnership with SLP (Street Legal Performance). The Essa Autosport team is sure on a thin deadline to get this car ready for testing and a debut at Streets of Long Beach.


Even more interesting is together with SLP and parent company Roush, Essa Autosport will be teaming up with friend Justin Pawlak, making for an interesting Chevy vs. Ford battle in the Formula Drift paddock. How do you think Essa will do in this American V8 for 2015?


  1. Linhbergh says:

    And here was me wishing his Land Cruiser troll was for real.

  2. apieceobacon says:

    He’s got a good team and is getting some good sponsors. I hate to see him leave the bmw behind but I hope he does well in his new car.

  3. apieceobacon says:

    Im kind of surprised that the team didnt start the build with Chevorolet’s Camaro Body in White kit. It seems like it would save time as you dont have to do the tear down.

  4. Turbology says:

    Seems like a shame to pull the plug on the E46 after all the trial, error and development, but he did mention at FD NJ last year that he felt he was already pushing the boundaries of the S54 for reliable torque.

    I like Linhberg’s thinking: somebody build a Supra or FR-S with a 1FZ!

  5. GaryG says:

    Wrecked does Roush have anything to do with SLP?

  6. Turbology says:

    Roush bought SLP Gary, didn’t go over very well with a lot of the die-hard GM guys.


  7. chris beasley says:

    I wonder if he will put transformer stickers and neons all over it like all the other Camaro guys. I wish he could have stuck with a bmw of some sort.

  8. Chris Jeanneret says:

    Im super stoked for this guy, I know he will do well in this car he is a great car builder and there is already a lot of guys drifting these Camaro’s so at least he’s not going in blind. I will also miss the BMW but he told me its for sale if there is any serious buyers.

  9. Turbology says:

    No two ways about it, it’s a heck of a lot easier (and cheaper) to make reliable torque from a V8 than a high-strung I6.

    Chris, will you be running the K24 again this year? Very cool set-up, hope to see you in action some time!

  10. HosfordHugger says:

    Wonder how long it will take Wisefab to make an angle kit

  11. Chris Jeanneret says:

    @turbology yes I will be running the same engine setup thanks for asking 🙂

  12. traistaylor says:

    How come joon maengs new build has been discussed on here yet?

  13. Max power says:

    @ traistaylor

    Because being nice doesn’t win you races and no matter what he builds he will still be a stepping stone for the Judges homie’s . Good to see Gary helping out with the team.

  14. Turbology says:

    @Chris Jeanneret rad, with Taka being bumped to Pro 2 and Briggs running a VQ this year, looks like you and Aasbo are the last 4-cylinders, big respect!

  15. Mr.E says:

    Chris never deserved to be in pro 1. Please don’t put him in Aasbo in the same sentence.

  16. Turbology says:

    @Mr.E I am not a pro driver, so it is not my place to judge the skills and competence of others, just a passing observation that I think it’s great that somebody still runs a 4-cylinder set-up.

  17. CatShitOne says:

    im looking forward to seeing what he brings to the table, i’m curious to see if he will be keeping his Turbo by Garrett sponsor.

  18. Max power says:

    Sounds like a JTP and Essa team up with Roush and SLP! Ford and Chevy power unite. I’ll give that half a season.

  19. Turbology says:

    @CatShitOne good point, Grunewald and McQuarrie don’t run turbos on their cars, so it will be interesting to see if Essa links up with Garrett again for his Camaro.

    @Max power you think there will be static? I’ll be curious to see how Essa handles the transition from strung out, manic I6 to big V8. He won’t have had too much seat time.

  20. DUSTT31 says:

    Essa is a damn good driver, I hope and think he will do fine.

  21. Mike Owen says:

    Conrad is building a turbo motor so your point is mute.

  22. CatShitOne says:

    @mikeowen Conrads turbo car is his demo car…

  23. jay8393 says:

    Chris Jeanneret, I hope you will do better this season. As a Honda guy, I’m seriously happy and proud that you use a Honda chassis with a proper VTEC engine for drifting.

  24. jay8393 says:

    @Turbology, I think Grunewald is going turbo this season.

  25. Justin Yamashiro says:

    Essa has had his share with a V8 prior as he had the FC that later was piloted by NG and even at one point the V10 E92(always going to miss that car). As stated by Turbology, the transition back will be interesting to see how he does though no doubt I’m sure he’ll do fine. Might take a moment to remember something big bodied, but overall 2015 should be hopefully something good to see.

  26. Turbology says:

    Regardless of the politics and drama that has surrounded him at times, I do agree that Essa can pedal, so I’m sure he will be competitive in the Camaro.

    @Justin Yamashiro I forgot about that RX-7, so at least he has seat time with an LS-powered car and he understand the characteristics of its power delivery etc.

    I have to assume the Camaro is heavier than the E46, but historically, it seems the V8 guys are generally not as ‘on/off’ as the turbo 6 guys.

    That consistency may be a helpful advantage in season-long points, but he will need more than a few Top 32 finishes to have a chance.