Competition drift cars seem to come in two flavours these days. The first is the manufacturer backed cars, which although are rare are the ones to beat. The second is the homebuilt effort which probably accounts for 99% of competition drift cars on the planet. This is one of those cars that was built the hard way. The car first appeared in 2009 in it's previous red WKD colours. It was a season of mixed luck for Nigel, he picked up his first Prodrift win in a borrowed 180SX (His old car incidentally) at a rain soaked Ennis. Throughout the course of 2009 the 180JZ would suffer several engine failures, each coming at a time when he thought the car was finally right. Most people would of given up and returning to the trusty SR20 bit Nigel fought on and for 2010 finally has a car he can launch a championship challenge with.
The car is a 1994 180SX JDM import. The decision to use the RPS13 is simple. Parts are easy to get, they handle well, they look pretty good and are a proven chassis for drifting.
For 2010 Nigel swapped from (being honest) a rather standard looking red to this great satin black finish the car now sports. Unlike a lot of drift cars I've shot, this is a really, exceptionally clean car.
We'll take a quick look at the exterior before looking at the technical details of the car. Up front we have the strawberry face conversion which transplants the front of the S15 onto this RPS13. This is done using Spec R S15 headlights, an Origin S15 bonnet, Origin S15 +30mm front wings and an URAS S15 front bumper.
At the back we have a Japspeed high mount rear spoiler, URAS rear bumper, polycarbonate rear screen and custom Kouki lights.
The 9.5 x 17 front and 9.5 x 18 rear Rota Torques have been powder coated a custom day glow yellow. I can already hear the furore of keyboards clattering, about to bash the choice of Rota wheels. Guys It's a simple choice – the wheels are round, strong and cheap. This leaves more money for more tires and more seat time. Behind the Rotas are Skyline front & rear brakes with Project Mu brake pads.
Under the hood we have the respected Toyota 1JZ GTE which was sourced from a Soarer.
Forcing air into the cylinders we have a Garrett GT35R turbo. The turbo is attached to a Japspeed prototype single turbo six branch manifold.
The arches have been tubbed to allow the car to run more lock and castor without fouling the body. The engine is a pretty standard 1JZ with 800cc Sard injectors, Tial 44mm external wastegate and a few custom pieces to allow the engine to sit comfortably in an alien chassis.
A custom side exit exhaust was fabricated by the folks at Hade Motorsport.
This is probably the cleanest drift interior I've seen. All the essentials are here : Wilwood hydraulic handbrake, six speed Getrag gearbox, Sparco wheel, ETB Digidash and a lot of unlabelled switches. Nigel answered the obvious question of why aren't they labeled with the even more obvious answer of 'Sure I know what they do.' You can't argue with that.
The car also has an OBP floor mounted pedal box system. Usually the reservoirs are kept in the engine bay but with the heat generated from that GT35R, Nigel relocated the reservoirs to …
… behind the drivers seat.
Holding driver and passenger in are D2 seats and harnesses.
A Closer look at the ETB digidash which displays oil pressure, oil temperature, water temperature, RPM and speed.
For safety, the car has a full weld-in cage which meets all rules and regulations.
You can see here how the chassis has been spot welded to increase rigidity.
Nigel usually runs Federal 595s in 265/35/18 on the rear and Toyo Proxes R1Rs in 225/45/17 on the front.
Nigel has gotten off to the best possible start for the 2010 Prodrift Series with a runner up at round one and a win at round two which should put him top of the points leaderboard before the third round next weekend at City West.
Nigel's work ethic around the car is very similar to his driving style on track. He's prepared, consistent and focused on getting the best out of the car and his own skills. Speaking to him throughout the shoot, his ambition for 2010 is to win the Prodrift Series outright and lay the foundations to become the next Irish driver to cross the Shamrock Highway into Formula D.
The third round of Prodrift takes place next weekend at the City West Event Centre in Dublin, the first ever competitive drift event to take place in the capital.
Will Nigel still be on top after round three ?
Toyota 1jz gte soarer
Garrett Gt35r turbo
Prototype Japspeed single turbo 6 branch
Tiall 44mm Ext Wastegate
ACL Race bearings
ARP con rod stud kit
ARP cap bolts
Arc front mount
Custom Intercooler pipeing by Hade Motorsport
Japspeed 50mm radiator
Custom twin electric fans
Mocal 50mm oil cooler
Sard 800cc injectors
Skyline GTR in tank fuel pump
Custom Swirl pot
Bosch 044 External pump
Braided fuel lines inside car
HKS f-con vpro gold
HKS EVC 6 Boost controller
Custom Engine Mounts
Custom 2 1'2" Side exit exhaust by Hade Motorsport
6speed Getrag supra box
Custom Short Shifter
Exedy Hyper Twin clutch
Custom Prop shaft
Skyline R33 GTR rear diff/Shafts and hubs
Nismo GT Pro 2way diff
Driftworks CS2 Coilovers 8kg/6kg
Tein Tension rods
Custom Tie rods
Tein Tie Rod ends
Driftworks ADJ Wishbones front and rear
Driftworks GEO master hubs front and rear
Cusco Rear camber arms
Cusco Rear Toe Arms
Cusco Rear Traction arms
Whiteline ARB front and rear
Solid mounted Subframe
OBP floor mounted pedal box system, brake bias controller,
Project Mu pads
Wilwood Hydraulic handbrake
Wheels & Tyres
9.5 x 17 front
225/45/17 Toyo Proxes R1r
9.5 x 18 rear
265/35/18 Federal 595ss
Custom Day glow yellow by Barelle Powder coating
180-s15 origin +30mm front wings
180sx +50mm rear over fenders
S15 Origin Hood
Uras s15 front bumper
Uras 180sx sideskirts
Uras 180sx rear bumper
Japspeed High Mount rear spoiler
Poly rear screen
s15 spec r headlights
Custom Kouki rear lights
D2 Bucket seats
ETB Digi Dash system showing
Oil pressure, oil temp, water temp, RPM, Speed
Complete car fully re-wired
Sparco Steering wheel
Battery relocated inside