Inside Michael Essa’s 1000hp Formula Drift BMW E46 M3!

A Fore fuel pressure regulator is used.  Essa Autosports said that in their experience the Fore regulator has some of the most stable fuel pressure of any regulator they have tried to date.

This self draining baffled catch can deals with the engines blowby.  This lightweight catch can was fabricated by Essa Autosports and saves several pounds from the previous billet catch can.  For 2020 Formula Drift mandated a steel scattershield for the clutch and this weighed about 20 lbs more that the previous alloy bellhousing. The weight saved from the turbo, catch can, and ti exhaust more than make up for this weight gain.

This cool billet cap feeds the Radium Engineering fuel cell.

A Radium Engineering fuel cell has their integral FCST surge tank fuel pump hanger with twin 450 LPH ethanol safe Walbro fuel pumps.  The surge tank assures consistent fuel pressure even when the car is experiencing hard G forces.

The cooling system has a high mounted recirculating Radium Engineering surge tank to eliminate all air bubbles.

Ignition Products high powered coils provide spark.


  1. Some very nice little details – I very much like the adaptation of the blade swaybar end to the splined bar, and the use of multiple batteries as not-technically-ballast amuses me. There’s definitely a feel like… about a well sorted car where there’s not much excess, which you would figure.

  2. It’s interesting how some shops swear by using the latest in performance bearings for their rods or mains. And then there are the ones who check their clearances and successfully run stock bearings (not even WPC etc. treated).
    In my experience a crank with too much runout or oval/worn journals is the main culprit of bearing failures, not the mechanical properties of the bearing itself.
    I’ve even noticed that some performance bearings have less crush height than OEM ones, especially on Honda engines.
    Using performance bearings in daily driven engine is also a recipe for disaster. They just don’t absorb contaminants as well, leaving them float around in the oiling system and grind away on your precious polished crank journals.

  3. Great article Mike! The E46 has quite a long wheelbase (2720mm) relative to its overall external dimensions. The current Mustang is also in the 2720mm range. The BRZ (2570mm) and S15 (2520mm) are significantly shorter in wheelbase

    The A90 Supra has a 2470mm wheelbase.

    As horsepower and speeds increase in top level competitions do you anticipate more competitors moving to long wheelbase platforms for improved high speed stability.

    Would the short wheelbase of the A90 Supra hinder it’s high speed stability to a significant degree? Is the BMW E92 Coupe at 2760mm.wheelbase the new benchmark platform for top level drifting?

  4. The power steering cooler looks like a low pressure unit but it does not look like a CSF product… possibly a Setrab ProLine STD range cooler?

  5. Curious as to why 6 speed transmissions are starting be the norm. I’m not aware of many tracks where a 4 speed would not suffice

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