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Carlos Cano Estrella, Formula DRIFT's Mexican!

Carlos Cano Estrella was born in Mexico City where he developed a love for driving at a very young age. His father, Ramon, was a "taxista" and an ambulance driver in the buzzing metropolis. "My professions were humble," retold his father, "but Carlos enjoyed tagging along during my shifts and these experiences were as much a part of his formative years as kindergarten. The D.F. streets gave birth to his love of 'automovilismo' and for this his career is forever linked to his native country." The Cano family relocated to the United States in the late 80s and Carlos and his siblings grew up in the rougher parts of the San Fernando Valley. "To call Pacoima and San Fernando 'dangerous places' back then was an understatement," details Cano Estrella, "We lost one of my uncles to gang violence and many other family members were incarcerated. Everybody struggled and I remember living in garages, having to work as a child, and going hungry. But our collective struggle made us stronger and it brought us closer together." Never too far away from a vehicle, Cano Estrella was informally taught how to drive a manual transmission vehicle during a visit to Mexico at age 13. Unaware of track days or organized events, he began drifting in the streets of Los Angeles during 2001. By 2007 he and his AE86 were mainstays at the local Just Drift events. In 2009 he competed in Top Drift Battle in an AE86 powered by a 4AG with individual throttle bodies. That year he finished 16th in the championship. He returned in 2010 in an AE86 powered by a stock Honda F22 that was installed at JSP Fab by John Russakoff. That year he finished 6th in the championship, just 2 points shy of a FD license. "He had some incredible battles that year," adds crew chief Daniel Tadeo, "in a car with 190 horsepower he took down Danny George in a OMT. As well as the reigning champion and Pro-Am legend Mickie Frial, also in a OMT. He had some blood battles with Odi Bakchis that season; but it just wasn't his year, not yet." In 2011, Cano Estrella signed with team Sinister Designs. With the same engine setup and minor suspension and chassis upgrades he finished 3rd in the championship and with a FD license. "Drifting is a discipline which requires a lot of creativity and concentration," explains Cano Estrella who practices a strict training program, "rather than relying on horsepower, I believe that a driver must find the means from within." In 2012 "the face of Latino growth in the sport" partnered with Erick's Racing Engines. For 2013, Cano Estrella returned to Sinister Designs and the team fought extremely hard to develop the now Toyota powered 1UZ AE86. 2014 looks to be a promising year as Formula DRIFT announced P2 as a bridge for drivers like Cano Estrella. "There are so many development packages which we began last year; and they will all bear fruit this year. I am extremely blessed to represent Mexico in this championship as we take a step further in developing this dream into a reality and using this platform to bring positive change to our communities."